Six Things You Didn’t Know About Pike’s Peak
(alans1948, flickr)[/caption]Here's six things you probably didn't know about Pike's Peak. The Colorado mountain landmark was first sighted on November 15th, 1806 by Zebulon Pike,sent by President Thomas Jefferson to determine the borders of the Louisiana Purchase. Today is a good day to learn a little something about our historic mountain.
1) Pike's Peak is not a volcano, nor has it ever been. However, the rock that makes up the mountain was once hot molten rock, located as much as 20 miles beneath the surface of the earth.
2) Pikes Peak is the most visited mountain in North America, and the second most visit in the world behind Japan's Mount Fuji. It is the easternmost fourteen thousand foot peak in the United States.
3) The slogan "Pike's Peak or Bust" grew out of the Colorado Gold Rush when gold was discovered in the area of Denver in 1858, not near Pike's Peak. It had to do with the mountain's visibility to gold seekers who were traveling west. Gold wasn't discovered in the Pike's Peak area until 1893, and was one of the last major gold rushes in the lower 48 states.
4) On July 17, 1913 William Wayne Brown drove his car, the Bear Cat, twenty miles to the summit. The ascent took 5 hours and 28 minutes.But, the first automobile to reach the summit was a two cylinder Locomobile Steamer driven by C.A. Yont and W.B. Felker in 1901. If you think the Red Mountain Pass is scary, check out this drive up the Pike's Peak Highway. It's not bad til you get above timber line, then look out!
5) Approximately 15,000 people try to climb Pike's Peak each year, but the first woman to make the ascent was Mrs. Julia Archibald Holmes who stayed on top for two days. Mrs. Holmes also became known as the "Bloomer Girl" because of the bloomers she wore while climbing the mountain.
6 ) Pike's Peak was the inspiration for "America the Beautiful." Katherine Lee Bates wrote the song in 1893 after an excursion to the summit of Pike's Peak. She finished writing the lyrics before leaving Colorado Springs but didn't publish the song until two years later.