Hiking Manitou Incline

2768ish steps with the family

So if you learn anything about James and I throughout this series of blog posts, you will learn we are pretty spontaneous. If we plan something out, it’s usually just a few months in advance at most, and that is for something big. I mean, our whole story kind of has been set to full steam ahead.

Dating 2 weeks + Move in together

Dating 1 Month + James Proposes ( I say yes! And for those of you wondering, there was no ” bun in the oven,” We both knew what we wanted and just jumped in headfirst.

6 months of dating/being engaged = Married!!!

9 years later = family vacation with our 5 and 7-year-old kids in Colorado. Randomly decided to hike Manitou Incline. This is the story of how we made it to the top of the Manitou Incline with our 5 and 7-year-olds.

We had just been driving around Colorado Springs, checking out the neighborhoods to see if that is a place we would want to live. Anyways, after a Chick Fil’A lunch, we were trying to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our day, and out we look and see the steps from across town.

We drive to Manitou Springs, and FINALLY got parked! ( Just an FYI, if you ever decide to try this awesome hike, there is a red general store across the incline, where you pay to park at. A parking attendant will be somewhere to take your $10 and give you a ticket and piece of paper to give the guys at the incline base. The incline is free to hike, but with Covid, you must book your reservation online. We did not realize this, luckily attendance that day was lower, and we were allowed to fill out our info and head up. That is where the fun starts…

1 step – Excited, the kids take off sprinting up the steps,
Which turns into an argument of who was going to get to the top first.

25 ish steps – Arguing of who will be first gets sorted out with strict enforcement of line order of Lainey, Mom, Brayton, and Dad bringing up the rear.

100 Steps- The kids are still excited and charging up without any problems.

600 Steps- The kids are starting to get tired; they are asking for breaks and snacks. Luckily we packed some candy and a few little snacks for the kids. At this point, the kids start to lose focus, and the newness and excitement have worn off, which means the whining started. The I’m tired… When can we stop for our next break….

700 Steps- I show the kids the numbered steps, which are numbered in increments of 100 steps, So it’s at this point I show them and tell them our next break will be 1000 steps, .so keep an eye out. This gave them something to focus on; Brayton worked on the math to let us know how many steps we had to go. Any Lainety proudly kept her eye peeled, for the next 100 step marker.

1000 ish steps-
The Snow started to fall heavier. As a family, we were still trudging along, stopping every 200 steps for their starburst break and water breaks. At this point, we start to see people turning back and heading down.

2000 ish steps- The kids are tired, James and I were tired, and for some reason, we had misread the number of stairs and thought it was 2000. From about 2000 steps on, it starts to look like at any second through the snow and clouds, we would crest the top. Turns our unbeknown to us, we still had almost a thousand steps to go.

2300 steps- Lainey is still talking; I don’t think she had stopped either talking to me the whole way up or just about every stranger we passed. From about 1500 steps on, we saw adults turning around and heading back, giving up on getting to the top. This, of course, fueled the competitive nature of my kids.

2768 steps, and we made it to the top. We all had a quiet couple of moments; even Lainey was quiet for a solid 300 seconds before she started to complain of being cold. We set off down the Barr trail, which is the recommended route to get back down.

3 miles to the bottom of Barr trail, and it was a gorgeous snowy trek down. Some of the sights seemed otherworldly, and the whole time we were hiking down, I kept thinking to myself, how lucky I am to get to have this experience with my children. We had such great lessons on character building, talking without our kids about how some of the hardest things we complete lead to some of your best memories. It was one of those moments that you know will be an important building stone for the foundation of who our children will be.

I really think that something was able to switch in our family as a whole that day. It bonded us even closer; we helped pep talk to each other through that hike and finished it as a family. That will forever be one of my favorite memories. I am so glad we went ahead and took the chance of hiking it with the kids and didn’t underestimate them. As adults, we do that too much, how easy it is to see our children as fragile instead of how tough and resilient they truly are.

I got to learn that lesson firsthand when I watched my kids hike that and be able to excitedly say,” Mom, that was our biggest challenge so far, It was hard, but we did it!

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