So, on February 1st, the Manitou Incline finally became legal to climb. Not that trespassing was much of a deterrent to the herd of hikers and fitness enthusiasts that flocked to the fabled railroad ruin on a daily basis... The lure of testing one's self on the steep and uneven staircase was too much to ignore. And the numbers were swelling on a weekly basis during all kinds of weather. Having trained for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon on Barr Trail many years ago, I was surprised by the cult like devotion some people have for the Incline. Granted, I remembered the actual railroad, so I wasn't as fascinated. I also considered it off limits for many years since it was private property and with posted no trespassing signs. Well, those no trespassing signs are gone and it's perfectly legal to hike up the incline. It only took an act of Congress to complete, as well as cooperation between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
That said, Nick and I will probably continue breaking the law when it comes to the Incline. Why? Because the posted hours (which no one really listens to anyway) state that the trail is only open from dawn to dusk. Doesn't do us much good when I'm working late and don't get off until after the sun goes down! Besides, there are other rules that will surely be ignored - like only hiking up and taking Barr Trail down. We see more people hiking down the Incline - which would honestly scare me - then coming down Barr Trail. And don't get me started on dogs... Lots of people hike will their furry friends and will continue to do so, regardless. I think it's really cool that the Incline Friends were finally able to get their beloved trail open. After doing it a few times this winter, I finally understand the attraction. It's a really kick in pants and nice way to get in a hard workout, no matter what the weather. In fact, many of my friends consider the cold, snowy days "Incline Conditions!"
|Breaking the law - legally!|