Arizona & Colorado: Day 6
This morning I ate breakfast here at the hotel. The only reason I'm even mentioning it is because of how awkward the experience was. All of the tables were filled with families or couples eating so I ended up finishing my sausage and egg while standing around waiting for one to free up. I had made a reservation yesterday to see the Glen Eyrie Castle, and so my tour was at 11. I arrived right on time and scooted into the tour room just as the tour guide was about to start a video on Glen Eyrie. The Glen Eyrie castle and grounds are owned by the Navigators who use the castle as a retreat center and a place for training. Just driving in you get this feeling of stepping (driving) into another world. The grounds are tucked away in a lush valley filled with trees. The road winds back over several one lane bridges.
The tour started in the Carriage House, named after its original purpose, now also a book store, front desk and coffee shop.
After our video ended our guide, who I must add, did an exceptional job of speaking & explaining throughout, took us outside. You have to know that there are only two tours a day to the Glen Eyrie Castle, so the place isn't bustling with tourists. There were wild turkeys grazing in the lush lawn outside and we were shown the entrance to an underground tunnel that would take staff from the Carriage House to the main castle building if the weather was severe.
The castle itself is gorgeous inside and out. Built in 1871 the family had brought over many things from England such as tiles and roof tiles. Apparently the building was built in only 18 months and had, for its time, every modern convenience. If it was a new invention in New York, the Glen Eyrie had it. Some of these include rib cage showers, rubberized bathroom floors, an elevator, electricity, intercom systems, fire sprinkler system, and its own pasteurization plant.
The man that built the castle is non other then William Palmer, the man responsible for building the Durango - Silverton Railroad line we drove past to get here as well as the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. I know he was responsible for quite a few more things in the early history of Colorado Springs but I won't get into them and bore you. :)
All in all, Glen Eyrie was definitely worth the visit. Perhaps someday we will stay there. I know they have a fantastic Christmas celebration.
Next, a short respite here at the hotel before making the ascent to Pikes Peak. I'm becoming more and more comfortable driving the beast so navigating the narrow winding roads wasn't so intimidating as I had originally thought. In fact by the time I was ready to head down I felt like a pro mountain driver, all low gear and no break.
The top was a slight disappointment as there was a good bit of haze around the bottom of the mountain. Pikes Peak is at an elevation of 14,115 so quite close to the clouds. The train that takes passengers from the base to the summit was there so the small gift shop and place to eat was bustling with tourists. By the time they left I had seen enough and headed back down.
For dinner I picked up a meal to go from Thai Satay. What a wonderful treat to learn that the owner was from Java. We exchanged a bit of bahasa Indonesia and she asked me all about where I was from and why I was in Ambon or Irian Jaya. Quite fun and rekindled my dorment desire to return home.
To close we have some out of control young-ins above us, bouncing, stomping around. They were splashing around in the bathtub, more like a water fight or overflowing it, and two steady streams of water began to leak from the air vent into our toilet and onto the surrounding tiles. Thankfully the maintenance man investigated and told us. Nothing like a bit of excitement and surprise to end the night.