Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 24, 1906)
AUGUST 24, 1908
FROM THE SUMMIT OF PIKE'S PEAK
Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 21.r
Fortunately 'for the gentleman who
advised us to walk up Pike's PfBak
he was called home before we re
turned from the summit He toldus
that the only real way to ascend the
Peak was to start up in the evening,
go as far as possible, stay out over
night, and them finish the trip up in
time to see the sunrise. We cheer
fully admit that the sunrise is all
that one could ask. But the walk
up is another matter.
The architect of this department is
no lightweight. His sedentary habits
have made him shortwinded and ten
derfooted. When a fellow is half-way
up Pike's Peak he ia about 7,000 feet
above sea level, and the atmosphere
at that elevation is about as thin as
the average trust magnate's idea of
charity. And it beats all how full of.
feet "a fellow's shoes can get.
Colonel Zebulon Pike did not dis
cover this peak. It was discovered
several thousand years before Colonel
Pike was born, but it so happened
that it served as a guide to lead him
out of the wilderness. Hence his
name was given ,to the huge moun
tain. It is not recorded that Colonel
Pike was so foolish as to foot his
way to the top. We know a man
who wouldn't do it again if the name
was to be' chanced from Pike to his
own. At Manitou they tell you it is
about 7,000 feet to the top, but we
jaiow better. It is a thousand miles.
Nature is very fond of a joke now
and then. That's what makes nature
so enjoyable. In the Garden of the
Gods nature has had many a joke,
and that is what makes the trip
jthrpugh the garden so enjoyable. By
a great stretch of the imagination
one is able to see images of birds and
beasts in the outlines of the rocks
when the guide calls your attention
to them but you have to stretch the
imagination. The humorous part of
it all is the seriousness with which
;the guide points the things out, and
the exclamations of delight from the
tourists who think they Bee what the
guide tells them they see.
"On the right is Cathedral Rock,"
says the guide. "Note the wonderful
likeness to the towering spires of
.some great cathedral."
And the tourists squeal with de
light and exclaim:
"Oh, isn't it just too lovely; just
like some great cathedral's spires!"
And it's dollars to doughnuts not
a tourist in the party ever saw any
thing nearer a cathedral spire than
the steeple on the local Methodist
church at home. Then it is that
Mother Nature laughs.
But there are wonderful sights in
the Garden of the Gods. Nature has
carved .out curiosities that man can
never imitate. Balanced Rock is a
wonder. A huge rock Is perched up
on a smaller rock, and the point of
contact is so small that it seems as
If a child could push it over. Yet it
has stood for untold ages. It hap
pened to be harder than the rock
around it, and when the waters by
erosion wore the soft rock away It
left this silent old reminder of a for
,mer age standing tbere. You pause
to look at the wonder, and a nasal
voiced photographer who has a shack
near by begins pestering you to death
to havo your picture taken.
"Take home a picture of yourself
leaning against this wonder of na
ture' he pleads.
About seven out of every ten suc
cumb to the temptation. Since watch
ing that photographer, the architect
has been debating whether he would
rather have his job or a block of
Standard Oil stock.
"Toadstool Park" Is a part of the
Garden of the Gods. HundredB of
rocks, many of them twenty or twenty-five
feet high and exactly the
shape of toadstools, stand up from
the level plain inside the garden
walls. They look the part too. The
tourist has to look closely to make
sure they are not real fungi.
The Garden itself covers many
acres, and it is worth going hundreds
of miles to see. And it is the result
of the action of water upon red and
white limestone through untold mil
lions of ages.
The Garden of the Gods is, I be
lieve, the property of a great west
ern railroad corporation, and is kept
open free for the use of the public.
The only thing one has to do to see
the sights is to go there and look.f
But if you want to you can spend a
lot of money. You can hire a guide,
ride a burro and have your picture
taken as often as you please. And
Just about the time you have paused
long enough to get interested in some
magnificent bit of scenery, a hungry
eyed man will hop out of the bushes
and insist on selling you a souvenir.
After you have been in the garden
for a half hour or so you expect to
see a souvenir fiend appear from be
hind every stump, rock and clump of
grass. And they have most persua
sive, ways, too. .
Cheyenne canyon is another great
scenic attraction. It is a rift in the
mountain side, worn there by a dash
ing creek that has been racing down
the mountain side for ages long be
fore Adam weakly succumbed to the
blandishments of Eve. The tourist
follows it in and out, here and there,
and ever upward for miles, and every
ten or fifteen yards has to dodge a
seller of souvenirs. The seven falls
are wonderful. The architect would
give a whole lot to see a collection
of souvenir sellers trying to shoot
the seven falls in a canoe.
But, after all, the grim old peak
standing like a sentinel on the edge
of the wide plain is the greatest at
traction of all. It has a peculiar fas
cination for the visitor. You just
can't rest contented until you have
been to the top. And he who once
sees the sunrise from the vantage
point of -the peak will never forget
it. Colors that mortal painters have
died vainly trying to catch. Flashing
lights that no artist can ever hope
to catch. And out of the great still
ness that broods over all one seems
to catch a whisper, of the infinite.
It really seems as if one stands a lit
tle closer to the Almighty when one
looks outward and upward from one
of these great mountains.
Pike's Peak isn't as high by several
hundred feet as Gray's Peak, near
Denver, but Pike has had the best
press agent, and the result is that
the mountain climbers come hero.
By tho way, the street railway
company hero has a fine thing. You
get on the car in Colorado Springs
and before yu aro Bottled in your
seat tho conductor makes you dig up
a nickel. Before you go any dis
tance at all ho comes back and says
"But I paid you a moment ago,"
"That" was for Colorado Springs,"
he replies. "We are now in Colorado
So you dig up another nickel and
then resume gazing out upon the
cloud-tipped summit of the peak. Then
that same conductor taps you on tho
shoulder again and says:
"But I just paidTyou a nickel," you
"Yes, but that was for Colorado
City. Wo are now in Manitou," says
So you dig up for tho third time,
and all inside of ten minutes. If a
man had a license to burgarlize banks
he would not have any softer snap
than this street railway line.
The "lid" is always on In Colorado
Springs. There aro no saloons In tho
city. The deed for every lot speci
fies that if liquor is over sold on the
lot it reverts back to tho original
owner. The supreme court has held
the reversion clause to bo good, and
as lots in this city aro valuable the
owners are not taking any chances.
A man, evidently a resident, in
formed the architect that he could
get a thirst quencher If ho wanted it.
"I'll show you where you can got
it'whispered the man. "Just come
Did you ever read Frank Stockton's
story, "Tho Lady or the Tiger?"
The most numerous man In Colo
rado is tho grizzled old fellow who
"drove tho first freight wagon from
the Missouri river to Denver." You
meet him everywhere. You sec an
old and somewhat gray man coming
towards you, looking rather down in
the mouth and somewhat "up against
it," and it's an even break that he
"drove the first freight wagon." If
you believe it and listen to his story,
you get a valuable crop of misinfor
mation. "You have lived here a long time,
have you' not?" you ask of some old
"Say, I've been here from the first,"
he will say. "Why, my boy, I drove
the first freight wagon that ever
crossed the plains. That was in 1847.
Yes, sir; the first freight wagon.
Why, I remember that on that trip,
while we were "
And if you don't make your escape
right then and there you are doomed.
You've got to stand right there and
be filled up with Colorado history
that will never be written Into books
on this earth. But I'm thinking that
the recording angel is keeping tab on
a lot of it.
Tho only trouble about a week's
visit in, this section of the country Is
that a week contains but seven days.
No, there is another trouble about
visiting here. But it can not be rem
edied any more than the week can.
A man really ought to have a private
mint of his own and run it overtime
for tt month or two before starting
west You don't have to spend much"
money, for room and board are com
paratively cheap cheaper than one
might think. But the best of us suc
cumb to -the awful souvenir habit in
side three or four hours, and then
everything is lost save honor.
u DOLLAR WATCH u
n Stcmwind Stem Set n
8.W TneroH Wafcfes day awwfe. rcw
attetl, Bokl and munuiteol; aad every e
stem wind and twlt.foi atom act ,
THo Ineerol( U tnte-timlMr, Icmc-mdwrtor,
iMJMUome, dependable. SoM lyM.W0 rcpul-
aoie aeaiersai ictt t nan me uctorr
chI ef reffHhtbtg n erdtaary
bHHIIIIIIIIA 1l TaTl aV
Taa Jar melt h ffeeeetr nHr
Watcb," lut (here aie H aorta af
guVc-MA ImJtoKmit. Be tuie yew
My " IngtneW." m4 1-jcV tor aMt
moio oa Ike dial. Then yoult ant
your do It Into a real tiine-keffk.
er. tack etl on Iry a cnatan tt e llt
tnant Kmtmnc. Oilier I rif
oll The l-clhxe."
The "Tlnmt)l,, SI.16.titlUi
new "Midget" Watck tor
Uies,(1AO. Booklet free.
fnrtri't: Dellar CSaitttia
alterns, mnd ruttrnntttd l
attay mer gel than
JUkt, H. Iattferll Ir..
119 Jewelers Crt, . T.
COur3 booVi for liinwi mul& m rtertyt of eel. iaapf
B.S.afl.B.LACEV.WatMngUn.P.C. Etifc. IgjJT J
TREES ARE FAMOUS
wherever Dlantcd: are nlanted
Avnrvwhftrn triis aro srown. Frea
r.mtuna nt nitnnrh fruits Black Ben.
King David, Delicious, etc.-StNk Ire's, LmUm, M.
Make Money &$p.
you free. Old eiUhlllhed noma. WorS
honorable, Mif Mrt light at home. Mala
$3 to $10 pr dv urc WrUo fcar
ROYAL MANUFACTUJUNd CO. Bex aae Datott. Mklu
aaasaacs: 1499 ntudenta, oboap board,
and 9109,9m School Building,
OrsdnatoH readily secure altuatlona. uoaatiful
Illustrated catalog FJIISB. Write for It today.
I). X.. MU88ELMAN, Pre.
Sax 223, Qeaa. City Baaiaaaa Collet". Qubuj, III.
Tho Leading School of Music and Dramatic Art.
TWENTY.FIRST SEASON. Sixtv-five eminent
instructors. Unsurpassed course of study.
Teachers' Training Department. Diplomas and
Tcncher's Certificates. Unrivaled Free Advaif
lazes. Tiiirty free scholarships awarded annually
to talented students of limited means. Fall terra
begins Sept. 10, 1906. ratalofjae mailed frre.
JOHN J. HATTSTAEDT, President
nK3?a 1 1
TaePl JBghJ H I
To many points in
California! Oregon, Washington
Every day from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, 1006
to Odeen and Salt Lake City,
to Butte, Anaconda and Helena.
to Pendleton and Walla Walla,
to Spokane & Wcnatchee, Wash.
to San Francisco, Los Angeles,
SanDiego and many other Cali
to Everett, Fairhaven, What
com, Vancouver, Victoria and
to Ashland, Rosebnrer. Eagcne,
Albany and Salem via Portland,
to Portland, or to Tacoma and
And to many other points. Inquire ef
E, B. SLOSSON, Gen'l Agent
Powered by Open ONI