Larry Preston

Champion of Endless Optimization (CEO) at Digital Opera & Raceday. Happy stoic, aspirational minimalist, recovered big hair 80’s rock star. Author of “Star Fire Kids – Midnight Blue Express”.

Failed First Attempt at the Manitou Incline

I decided this looks like fun: “The Manitou Incline” in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Definitely, the toughest “hike” I’ve done yet. It’s not really a hike, so much as it is the longest, steepest set of stairs you’ll ever encounter. Often the railroad tie steps are high enough that you can’t just step upon them; you have to use your hands to pull yourself up.

At first, I could go 75-100 railroad ties at a good clip before I had to stop and catch my breath. As the incline increased, that went down to 50, and then 25, eventually it was only 5!

It turns out that what looks like the top is not. They call it the “false summit,” and it’s really just slightly over the halfway point. I made it within a block of that false summit and opted for a trailhead going back down. I had really slowed down to this point, and I wasn’t sure my car actually had enough quarters in the parking meter! Of all the dumb things from keeping me from a goal.

You don’t go back down the stairs (some people do, but it is considered very rude); instead, you take a trail down. It feels pretty good going down after that long of a staircase.

Before I had even gotten halfway back down, I was already resolved that I would make it to the top.

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