Pike’s Peak

Plaque of America The Beautiful

The road to Pike’s Peak was windy, z-turns, with treacherous drop-offs and only a few guard rails. The average grade was 6.7% with many areas at 10%.  The park rangers tell you to drive up and down in low gears … and to allow at least one hour each way. With my wife feeling nervous (white knuckle time) and oxygen deficit affecting both of us as we ascended, I was not looking for a speed record.

When we got to the14,110 foot top, we were met by the beauty of the area … and something even more spectacular for me.  A plaque with a bit of important American history.

In 1895, Kathleen Lee Bates reached the top and was so struck by the scenic view that she wrote a poem. The poem was called America and published on July 4th.  Later, in 1910, the lyrics were put to music and the song, America, the Beautiful was born.

One stanza which I don’t remember ever knowing is:

America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

" … thy liberty in law …."  More people should take these words to heart and develop both a higher respect for and tolerance of the law! 

I nearly flew down the mountain with a greater love and respect for the institutions which those before us wrought.




Categorized in: