I was flipping through my phone when I found a series of brief videos chronicling last years mad-dash for Colorado.
As per our usual, we hit the road at a moment’s notice. Our goal was Colorado by afternoon the next day in order to cross paths with a cousin that CD hadn’t seen in years.
Here are a few videos from Sprinter stops soon forgotten.
We conquered I-80 again. CD’s cousin was still there and this was the reward.
If you haven’t heard of the Manitou Incline, this is for you. Here is a picture from the top.
Back in the day the challenge was to hike to the top in the same number of minutes as your age. I was thirty something. My record time was 42 minutes and that was before they improved the steps. I like to think I would have easily broken 40 minutes if it was like it is today but who knows.
This year I forgot to start my watch. I have had the same watch for fifteen years and I have never forgotten to start it.
It turns out that in 2019 I still made it to the top. It was not as pretty and not as fast. I still felt successful and healthy and tired and thirsty.
In my younger days, it had been said that one of my main motivations for exercising and recreating was to “apres”. I still believe that “apres” is meant for more than just skiing.
We hiked down and headed to town. After a light lunch and a cold cocktail, I almost felt thirty again!
Manitou Incline Info and Stats:
The Incline is made from the remains of a narrow gauge railway that was built in 1907. It was destroyed in a rock slide in 1990. The rails were removed and the rail road ties remain.
Until 2013 locals and fitness enthusiasts would walk past “no trespassing” signs to hike up the disorganized and unmaintained remains. CD and I were among the people that had the privilege of doing so. I am happy to report that we did so without injury.
It has since been repaired and opened to the public. The obvious results of this have been fees for parking, greater crowds, and evenly spaced railway ties without raged metal edges. We still love it.
- Altitude at the base: 6600 ft
- Ascent: 2011 ft
- Distance: 0.88 miles
- Steps: 2744
- Grade: up to 68%
What to bring:
- Hiking poles (Seriously – you will thank me later!)
- Water (Enough water to dump some on your head if you need; Shade is sparse)
- A friendly smile (To encourage other hikers and let them know you are doing okay.)
- Hiking poles (Trust me on this!)