Bruce and I won tickets last year to ride the Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak. We were super excited about the opportunity because neither of us could remember what it was like to ride up (we had both been with our grandmas when we were little!) I also hiked it once in high school when I had no idea what hiking a 14ner was really like so we hitch-hiked the way down which means I’ve also experienced the Pikes Peak Highway. But turns out that was over a decade ago too so my memory is not as clear.
Life got busy and we kept pushing the tickets to the side, finally just before they were going to expire, we cashed in our tickets and got off work early for a date night with a view. The whole way up we were glued to our windows. This is the world we live in – the drive to the train station took us 10 minutes with parking. But the view, it was something so new and so thrilling. I see Pikes Peak in my rear view mirror every morning and I drive back toward it every evening. Taking the time to look at something so familiar in a new way was good for us – to feel the fresh air, to feel small, to be thankful for the little things.
I had plans for taking some cool style photos at the top of the mountain, but I scrapped it all to have a messy bun and a comfortable outfit. At the top I wanted to stand by my husband and peer out into the world, not try to mess with the lighting forever and attempt to fight the wind for the perfect photo. Of course we took some at the top, but it was more for the memory then the idea of a perfect blog post.
I’m not always good at this. This thing called slowing down. The time away from pushing forward, making plans, and getting things done. I struggled trying to figure out how to perfectly capture the beauty with my camera – landscapes are not something I’ve played with a lot. And while it was good to try, to learn, to focus, I did also put my camera down to look, to see, and to experience. I’m never the person who tells you to put down the camera to enjoy life because I think the presence of a photo is a gift that continues to give but I also think there is a time when we need to let things go. I didn’t need a wonderful outfit or landscape shots that could be featured on Natural Geographic. I just needed to rest, to play, to try, and to live.
Here are those shots. I’m learning to find my photography style. I’m playing around with what I have and creating art the way I long too. It’s not perfect but that is okay. And maybe even more important than any photos we came home with was the time spent together and the 4 hour break from cellphone service.
Go look at the world in a new way. I dare you.
What kinds of “touristy” things are in your neighborhood that you could give a try? Have you ever been to Pikes Peak before? Did you climb, drive, or ride the train?