I didn’t want to embarrass Thomas, but I really wanted to hike the incline with him and Troop 2, so we came up with a plan: I’d drive us both there, and while the group was getting ready to hike I’d take off first and meet everyone at the top. This way I didn’t embarrass the boys (who were slower hikers). It’s never fun to be shown up by a mom!
We got there at 7:55am for an 8am hike. It was CROWDED! I’ve never seen so many people there! It was a nice day, and 8am on a weekend, so I’m sure that added to the popularity. I usually hike the incline when it’s cold or very early in the morning on a Friday, so it isn’t very busy. I can only imagine the insanity in the summer!
It seemed like it took forever for Troop 2 to get ready: Everyone had to assemble, use the restroom, make sure paperwork was done, apply sunscreen, use the restroom again, etc. It was driving me mad, and eventually I said goodbye to Thomas and just started hiking.
My goal for today was not to stop: I could hike slow, but no stopping, just to see if I could make it to the top without stopping. About ¼ of the way up I heard trekking poles hitting the ground behind me. Those poles eventually started making me crazy, so I let the guy with the poles pass. He was from Norway, and thanked me for setting a great pace. His intended goal was Barr Camp, and maybe Pikes Peak today. He passed me for about 40 steps, and then I passed him again. I hate to play leapfrog with other hikers, but luckily he never passed me again and I stayed in the lead.
I was able to hike to the top of the incline without stopping! I made excellent time, and just a few minutes after I summited I was surprised to see Thomas making his way up as well!
He summited in 38 minutes! That’s a great time for his first time up the incline!
The hard part came next: waiting for the rest of the troop to make it. There was a lot of waiting! About 10 minutes after Thomas made it Max summited, and about 20 minutes after that two of the younger boys made it to the top. We waited almost 2 hours for the rest of the troop to summit. That’s long enough I could have hiked the 3 miles down and hiked back up the incline before they made it to the top! Oh well, I met a lot of fun people at the summit who were thrilled with their success (and tons of dogs too! For a “no dogs allowed” hike I counted over 10 of them).
After the entire troop made it to the top I took a Troop 2 picture of the excited boys.
Thomas and Max had been waiting over an hour and a half, so as soon as the picture was done they sprinted down the Barr Trail. I followed after them (a few minutes after, so they wouldn’t be bothered with me) and ran the entire way down as well. So that’s three firsts for me today: Hiking the incline without stopping, hiking the incline with Thomas, and running the entire length of the Barr Trail back down to the parking lot.
All in all, a successful morning!