This past Sunday we took a day trip up to Pike National Forest, where we did a bit of hiking, and then took the toll road up to the peak of Pikes Peak.
We have a gallery of 147 shots up on WritingPlaces.com's galleries page, under RoadTrips 2012.
The road is paved all the way now, and has been for some years now. That was the result of a suit by the Sierra Club, who protested all that gravel - thousands and thousands of tons of it - washing down the slopes and into the forest and watercourses below. Every year. Hats off to the Sierra Club on that one.
There are even some guard rails now, and from the look of a few of them, not a moment too soon.
We packed a picnic lunch, which we enjoyed at the Halfway picnic grounds. We aren't sure if those are maintained by the Forest Service - it isn't shown in the listing of Pike National Forest picnic areas - or by the City of Colorado Springs. Whoever does it, is doing a pretty good job of it.
However ... avoid the commercial 'gift' shops, which are well-stocked with Hechoed in China junk, including the establishment at the summit. Also be prepared for some pretty grungy bathrooms in all of the commercial establishments. You would think with the money they rake in they'd keep the places from looking like something from the Third World.
OTOH, the Pikes Peak donuts were reportedly pretty good. SteveO woofed one down in short order.
Other than the disappointing commercial establishments, the trip was a most outstanding experience. And we didn't go for the junk shops anyway.
We thought about a weekender to New York City, but decided to skip it. We don't think we could pass their health attitude requirements.