Pikes Peak celebrates 200 years on America's mapBreaking News
All of these details are simply part of the lore surrounding Pikes Peak, discovered 200 years ago by the Army captain's expedition.
"Pikes Peak is an American icon," said Carol Keenness, public programs coordinator at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. "Everybody has heard of Pikes Peak."
For the people who haven't heard enough, the museum and organizations throughout southern Colorado have scheduled lectures, exhibits, re-enactments and hikes over the next year, showcasing everything from Pike's 1806 journey to images of the mountain in art and advertising.
Pikes Peak climbs swiftly from the Colorado plains just west of Colorado Springs and dominates the landscape along the eastern slopes of the central Colorado Rockies. On clear days, it is visible for 100 miles, far out into the plains toward Kansas.
The peak isn't Colorado's tallest mountain, or its hardest to climb. But beginning with Pike, explorers, thrill-seekers and miners have flocked there looking for pristine views, breathtaking risks and easy money. The views at the summit inspired Katherine Lee Bates in 1893 to write the lyrics to "America the Beautiful."
"It's like a beacon on the plains," said Barb French-Pfeifer, an interpretive park ranger on Pikes Peak. "It still has that mystic and that allure to attract people."
Pike's mission in 1806 was to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas River. He traveled from Kansas and was in southern Colorado in November of that year when he first caught sight of Pikes Peak from near present-day Las Animas.
Later, Pike set out from what is now Pueblo -- 40 miles south of Colorado Springs -- with three men, little gear and linen army uniforms, believing they could summit the "Grand Peak" and return to camp in two days.
"He was quite an optimist," said Clive Siegle, manager of the Santa Fe Trail Association, which is coordinating bicentennial activities.
It took two days just to reach the base. After two more days of climbing and a long, awful night on a nearby peak, the team turned back to Pueblo.
comments powered by Disqus
- Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins
- Now Austria Says It Will Likely Redesign Hitler's House, Not Tear It Down
- Some looted Idlib National Museum artifacts resurface, fate of others a mystery amidst ‘thriving black market trade’
- Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau constitutional?
- Poll: Millennials desperately need to bone up on the history of communism
- Does the 'Father' of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?
- Max Boot wants to know “what the hell happened to my Republican Party?"
- Conservative historians against Trump sign a petition warning he'd be dangerous
- Benjamin H. Irvin Named OAH Executive Editor
- Historian Diana Ramey Berry praises effort to return the skull of Nat Turner to his family