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(Continued from page 2)

Meanwhile, I've got more rocks to show you!  <grin> 

I like rocks better now that I'm just hiking and not running. I used to gripe and moan about them. Now I appreciate their beauty more.

I just find all the points in the next picture appealing:


One of the mountains to the south

Another picturesque railing


Here's a different perspective of that rock tunnel I showed you on the way up the mountain:


More views of the valley from rock ledges:




More rock features and railings:








The last mile down:



As I neared the trailhead where I started, I could see over to the trail that accesses the Incline, which used to have tracks for the cog railway before it was relocated. Even in the early afternoon there were some people hiking up to the Incline:



Neither Cody nor I are acclimated to 10,000 feet but we did OK today. I didn't notice the altitude until about 8,500 feet. From there to 10,013 feet -- where we turned around -- I was a little dizzy. My legs and breathing were fine.

This was as much of a stretch for Cody as it was for me. He never lagged behind, however.

One reason is that he had adequate water for the altitude and dry air. He drank the two liters of water he was carrying in his Wolfpack plus at least 20 oz. from my Camelbak. He also had access to water in two little creeks at approximately three and four miles up the trail.

We never did see even one little patch of snow in the woods, however. One runner told me the trail is clear to about half a mile above tree line.

With the congested trail and all my usual stops (photos, Cody water, talking to other folks on the trail, etc.) it took me 3:18 hours to hike 6.2 miles up; I came down more than an hour faster, for a total of 12.4 miles in 5 hours. That's about what I predicted so Jim would know when to come back to retrieve me. (He hiked on the less-hilly Falcon Trail at the Academy while I was on the Barr Trail. His knee hurt too much to run.)

Driving back through Manitou Springs on Memorial Day = lots of traffic.

This evening my hips are pretty sore from all the elevation change; my hams and quads are fine. Cody is walking around normally. He's still a sturdy fella at eight years old. I bet we both sleep soundly tonight, though!

I hope to climb to the top of Pike's Peak when we come back to the area again in July. The trail should be clear by then. Meanwhile, if you want to see photos all the way to the top, click this link for photos from my hike to the summit last year.

Next entry: can we find a spot to camp at Wind Cave NP in the Black Hills of South Dakota?

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the Ultra Lab

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2011 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil