Adventure · Travel · Uncategorized

PIKE SUMMITS HIS NAMESAKE PEAK FOR 2006 BICENTENNIAL

Colorado Springs: After 200 years of trying Zebulon Montgomery Pike has finally succeeded in climbing Pikes Peak, with a little help from his friends at Adventures Out West. Pike took part in this year’s bicentennial celebration by taking a Jeep Tour up the once un-scalable mountain. Pike commented on how professional his cowboy driver was, and is quoted as saying “This view is amazing, could their be another like it?” to which the unnamed cowboy said “Yep, you should see it from one of our hot-air balloons.” Well Pike still being the adventurer agreed that he would have to try flying now that he conquered Pikes Peak.
The morning of Pike’s flight he was understandably nervous considering that he had never flown in anything before. The pilot and crew eased Pike’s fears with their humor and knowledge of the balloon system and the weather. The last time he was upon these plains he was lost and hungry on a yearlong expedition of the west. Once airborne Pike marveled at the views of his “little” mountain and was moved to tears by a dream now realized, and that dream was to see the top of Pikes Peak. Now he had not only stood on the top, but he could also now see the top from his bird’s eye view from the basket. Although Pike was fascinated by the views of the peak he also could not help but marvel in the scenery and wildlife that was directly below him.
When asked if he had a good time on his trip Pike responded “This trip to Colorado Springs in my opinion is every bit as memorable as my first trip 200 years ago, but this trip has been made special by the pilot, crew, and tour drivers of Adventures Out West!”

Adventure · Uncategorized

I’m Shakin’

No that’s just the Quakus Tremuloidus shaking in the breeze. The first settlers called the Aspen tree quakies because the way they do. When the wind blows down the canyons the unique 3 sided stem of the Aspen leaf causes the leaf to shimmer in the breeze.

Whatever it does to the tree it works because aspens are also known to be the world’s largest living organism. That’s right, the aspen grows a new tree from the roots every year. After 20-30 years an aspen grove can have thousands of trees covering an acre or more. All the trees in the grove are attached to each other and part of the same organism. In the fall our quakies put on a show. Each organism turns a slightly different shade of golden. When they start to shimmer and the leaves fall off, our Colorado hillsides are covered with dollar sized gold pieces. “There’s Gold in dem der hills!”

horse fall

Uncategorized

Life behind the scenes at an adventure company

*Ring ring* “this is Eric with Adventures Out West, how can I help you?”

*Thud* *slam* “WELL HELLO GIRLS! What a blessing you are!”

*ring ring*

“Where are my passengers?? They’re 10 minutes late; will you call them?”

Thus goes the sounds of the Adventures Out West office in the mid season. There’s never a dull moment and we feel most comfortable when there’s fifteen things for us to do at once. When people ask what I do at my job, it can sometimes be a little difficult to put in to words. Should I say that I put out fires? I help retired drivers figure out their time cards and how to work their smartphones? Perhaps I could say that on the rare occasion when I’m not staring at a computer screen I’m using it to explain to my driver that he’s going to pickup at three different locations and drop at a totally unconventional location in town because his folks would like to do some shopping.

The wonderful thing about this line of work is that no two days are the same. There’s always new people to meet- coming from all over the world and all walks of life to experience the Garden of the Gods or try their first zipline tour.

Like any good job, the people here become family, and a lot family interactions involve getting your crazy uncle towed out of a large “puddle” in the High Country that he “was sure wasn’t that deep last week.” (That happens in normal families, right?)

Gradually the tours slow to a small trickle; Memorial day becomes labor day and labor day becomes October when the drivers are lucky to get one tour a week in comparison to two tours a day six days a week.

In the office we still stay preoccupied with prep for the next season, eagerly awaiting the craziness that we ourselves are crazy to love.

-Firefly

Adventure

Buffalo Phil’s passengers are thirsty for Adventure.

Buffalo Phil tells some of his stories from the field:

One New Year’s Eve day I was sent to the Broadmoor for a Foothills/Garden of the Gods tour. There I met two middle-aged ladies from south Florida, on a holiday getaway from their husbands. When they boarded the jeep one of the ladies – the one who booked the tour – spotted the cooler and asked if there were frozen margaritas inside.  I said, “Unfortunately no, but I like the way you think.”

This was a wintry day, with snow expected and, sure enough, as we headed up to the Short Line the snow came hard. Passenger Number One whipped out her cell phone and called her husband back in Florida: “You’ll never guess what. I’m in the middle of a snow storm in an open Jeep with a crazy cowboy named Buffalo Phil and I’m having a ball.”

We spent the rest of the tour bundled up, seeing the sights and telling jokes, and she rewarded me with a very generous tip.


[Another time] I had a group of gentlemen from Japan on board for a foothills Tour. Only one of them spoke any English at all (I think he had about a dozen words), and he rode shotgun and acted as interpreter.

Needless to say this was a bit of a difficult trip, with the translator trying to explain my explanations of what we were seeing. They were all in a good mood and seemed to enjoy the tour a great deal, and near the end they had a special request: to buy beer. I stopped at a liquor store on Colorado Ave. and let them go inside. Soon the interpreter came out and asked me to come in.

The guests were having quite a discussion with the store clerk around a stack of Bud Light 12-packs. Seems the clerk wouldn’t sell them beer without ID, which they didn’t have. The interpreter asked if I would buy it, and I agreed, but the clerk said he knew what was up and didn’t want to sell to me, either. We left.

Back in the Jeep I told the head guy to give me the money and I would go to another store and make the purchase. He have me a bunch of $20 dollar bills, I bought a bunch of Bud Light and he told me to keep the change as a tip.

 

Adventure · Uncategorized

Climber rescued in the Garden of the Gods

Two climbers were rescued recently after a day in the park turned scary. Apparently the two climbers ignored signs warning of the dangers of climbing in the park.

GOG Park has been a long time favorite climbing place for local Colorado Springs residents. The sandstone formation that makes up the park provides an unparalleled surface for climbing. The stone is similar to that of 100 grit sand paper. The rock sticks like glue to the rubber soles of climbing shoes and tennis shoes and sandals etc. It is very easy to find yourself 50 to 100 feet up in a short time. Coming down is not so easy. Climbers must sign in at the GOG Visitors Center attesting to their climbing ability and knowledge of the rock prior to climbing.

Every year in the height of tourist season Search and Rescue gets the opportunity to bag some game. Rescue teams are called to the Park to remove frozen climbers that have gotten stuck on a precarious ledge.

The climbers rescued this week were climbing on Balanced Rock, one of the most famous rocks in the park. The two climbers were attempting a never before climbed route on the bottom side of the Monolith. The pitch was rated 6.0, also called a ceiling route. This type of maneuver includes negotiating the tiny cracks of the rock while hanging upside down. The ultimate machismo in climbing is to do this without the security of a rope.

Concerned citizens called for the rescue when one of the climbers was unable to release his grip from the rock, frozen in fear. The lack of rope had brought many an onlooker to witness the feat. When Search and Rescue arrived the climber had been stuck for nearly 30 minutes. Unable to talk the climber down Search and Rescue prepared for an evacuation.

At that moment a child visiting the area from New York suggested that tickling the climber in his armpits might release his grip. The young girl walked around the rock to where the climber was and did just that. The climber screamed and laughed at the same time as he fell to the rock below. The young girl pointed out to the climber the sign warning of the dangers of rock climbing in the Garden of the Gods.