If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Beautiful sunshine and blue skies greeted us this morning although the gusty winds remained.  Steve blazed off to work and I set about to putzing around the house immersing myself in completely meaningless activities that included vaccuming, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, and de-cluttering the paper "pile" (where does all that paper stuff come from anyway???).  After mindlessly slaving away for an hour or so on the meaningless chores, I glanced out the window and noticed the azure blue skies were taking on a more gray hue.  Cloud cover was moving in.  Uh-oh.  Alarm set in as I snapped out of my "responsible person" stupor  -  what am I doing???  Lollygagging around and wasting a beautiful morning on mundane household chores - when did my PRIORITIES become so askew?  Who needs a clean house anyway? Aren't  clean houses a bit over rated?  It's time to hit the trail!

Not in the mood for a normal trail run, I headed off for a little change of pace - the Manitou Incline!  I love the climb up the Incline and the subsequent run down Barr Trail.  Steve isn't as big a fan as me so I am FORCED to SNEAK over on Mondays occasionally.  SNEAK is the operative word because Steve is not fond of me going there by myself as he is fearful of four-legged animals and two-legged animals 'getting me'.  I "forgot" (ahem) to call and inform him of my plan on the short drive over .  Oops, my bad.  I was thoughtful enough, however, to leave him a note on the kitchen counter, before I left, telling him how awesome he is, that I love him, and that BTW, I went to the Incline - just in case one of the species of animals did 'get me' - they would know the approximate vicinity to search for my whereabouts.   

Anyway, I found a nice parking spot and headed up to the start.  Rumors have been floating around the past few weeks of a 'gestapo' squad issuing citations to the hordes participating in the fun of trespassing climbing the Incline (parts of the Incline are privately and publicly owned).  There is ongoing work being done between the various landowners and managers to make climbing the Incline legal.  I had visions of being hauled kicking and screaming (ie: resisting arrest) down the mountain by the 'gestapo' squad and Steve getting a call from me, his sweet wife, incarcerated at our local pokey, pleading for a bailout.  Busted in more ways than one.......  My fears were quickly put to rest, though, as I caught up to a group of firemen from one of our local departments who were training on the Incline today (with big, weight vests and shirts boldly naming their department, I might add). There was comfort in knowing the fine company I was keeping in my choice of criminal mischief exercise and figured to be safe from being hauled in if I stayed close to them.  :-)

It was a good climb today.  My fastest time EVER was quite a few years ago, when I was in good bike shape - 32 minutes - fairly respectable.  I've come close to matching it but not quite.  Today I did it in 33 minutes, 30 seconds.  Very happy since I am coming back from a few down months.  I will get it, again, one of these days. 

Took the new camera to play with today - a Canon SD 960 Digital Elph.  Unfortunately, I didn't do it justice as I managed to wash out any color that was available on a mostly gray day.  Steve will be giving me his tips and tricks on focus and teaching me about the different settings. 
Eager to start the march upward
Expansive views from the top - one mile and 2000 feet elevation gain
Peering through the trees to Garden of the Gods

Snow dusted switchback on Barr Trail

Dilapidated flume near the trail
Old engine

It ended up a most excellent day.  I enjoy the peace and quiet solitude the trail affords.  It allows me to think about life and people.  I have quiet conversations with God (I should probably talk less and listen more!).  I ponder with a heart of gratitude the countless blessings that enrich my life daily from my wonderful husband to dear family and friends and all the 'stuff' that fills it in and makes it full and complete.  Life's not always perfect but it most often is good.  I am thankful, indeed.  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Trails to everyone this week!


Here are a couple of 'Go Fast Up the Incline' songs that rev me up!  :-)


And if you need a dose of BIG TIME winter sports, go watch this video - This.Is.Sick:



shannon said...

Awesome pictures!

Johann said...

I'm glad you got your priorities right. Beautiful place to run, I can see why it's a favorite of your's. Love the old engine( me train geek)!

The Sani Stagger doesn't have online tracking. Not many races in SA have that. I can only think of Comrades and Two Oceans that have.

Jennifer said...

I'm with Johann, glad you got back on track. That incline looks killer!

ShutUpandRun said...

That march upward is crazy. I can't wait until my hip can handle stuff like that again. Love your jacket, where is it from?

Thanks for the song ideas and CRAZY video.

HappyTrails said...

Beth, it is an old bike jersey from Hind. Very wind resistant and has 3 pockets in the back - I like! Unfortunately, it is not made anymore!

Glenn Jones said...

Just beautiful! I guess winter is here....

Paige said...

Sweet! I've heard so much about the Incline, and I hope to give it a go someday soon. What a great little workout! I'm glad you made it back alive!!

Meg said...

What a very special last paragraph you posted, K. I want to listen more too, especially if it's God talking :) !
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and thanks for this thoughtful post.

ajh said...

Love the pictures. Mary wanted me to do the Incline but I chose other stuff. Figured we had already done Barr Trail so I wanted to see something new. Those are great pics. I love the dusting of snow, the one from the top and at the bottom and the Garden of the Gods in the distance! You did quite well with the camera!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Snow!!! Your time is so close to your fastest time! I wondered if you ever listened to music - thought maybe not, so that you could hear the bears approaching! I think I'll add the "Desperate" song to my mp3 player. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice Kathleen! Sure wish I would have gone w/ you! I on the other hand got caught up in those oh so meaningless chores :( But... got two great runs in the last two days, and looking forward to a nice long run tomorrow... before dinner in Denver. Hope you have a lovely time w/ your sister and family!
Happy Thanksgiving

Jill said...

I hope you both had a wonderful day and got in an excellent trail run in (it was soooo cold this morning - eeks). You are getting your strength back, K, and you will be breaking that incline record here soon! I need to get there one of these days and get up that thing - I'd be happy with 3-hours :). Hopefully we can get together for a run soon. Tis a blessing to have you guys in my life :)! Happy (very late) Thanksgiving!

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