Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Atop the 14,000-plus-foot summit of Pikes Peak stands the appropriately named Summit House, part gift shop, part snack bar, part warmup area for tourists who have ventured to its heady, oxygen-derived, and often, very, very cold environs. It's a friendly little place and, one would think, a place safe from big-city crime.

Not so, it seems. Sometime during the night on Saturday, burglars broke into the Summit House and made off with a safe.

Here's the thing: the only way to get to the summit is via a cog railway or a toll road. The burglars not only traveled that treacherous toll road after dark, they did so in a stolen pickup belonging to the Pikes Peak Highway toll road agency, according to a story in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Hey, I'm not one to admire criminals, but you've got to give these guys credit. They managed to pull off a heist that promised an incredibly difficult getaway. I mean, really, you can't exactly speed off down the mountain on a road whose hairpin turns have claimed numerous victims over the years. Maybe they were able to clock their getaway at 30 miles per hour---maybe. In a stolen truck, no less. On a toll road that showed no telltale signs of foul play---no broken toll gates, nothing.

As admirable as all that is, I hope they get the buggers, and soon. The Summit House holds so many fond memories for so many people, and its employees ought to feel that they're still working in one of the safest places on earth. Well, safe from criminals, anyway.

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