The Mount Manitou Scenic Incline Railway was first built in 1907 to assist in the construction of a hydroelectric plant and its infrastructure near the top of Rocky Mountain. Not originally intended to be a tourist attraction, it nevertheless had potential for scenic views from atop its peak, and thus was renamed to Mount Manitou Scenic Incline Railway. It continued operating as a scenic railway, taking visitors to the top of Rocky Mountain (the actual name of the mountain on which the line ran, Mount Manitou, is over a mile away), at a height of 8,600 feet, until a rock slide shut down the operation in 1990.
Today, its former right-of-way is still clearly visible. In order to stabilize the mountain and prevent significant erosion, the original wooden ties were left in the ground, and they still remain to this day. At the top, the concrete platform on which the passenger station was built also remains. Also visible is the steep 68% grade in the middle section of the line. Others report that a boiler from one of the original steam engines used to power trains on the line (via tow cable) still lies at the top of the mountain. The route is a popular destination for joggers and climbers; however, the land on which the route lies is private property and those doing so are considered trespassing. The route is short and steep gaining nearly 2000 feet in elevation in 3/4 of a mile. I am telling you this is a hard yet amazing work out according to a work out app it I burned 1300 calories.
Now that I have given you a small history lesson on what the incline is let me share my story of hiking it for the first time.
(Yes I was one of the many that was trespassing)
So this was my dorky face as I started my hike up the incline.
I was thinking at this moment do I really want to do this?
It cant be as bad as hiking a mountain in high hills in Alaska can it?
I started up the stairs or rail road ties rather I kept staring at the top thinking
Ok its not that far to the top.
Little did I know what I thought was the the top of the incline was just the half way point.
In the first ten minutes I could tell that the elevation was starting to change and I started breathing heaver.
I was feeling pretty wimpy until I could hear labored breathing coming from behind me and stepped to the side to allow a 20 something young man to pass me he looked in awesome shape and I felt a little better.
I kept trekking along and as I did I kept saying to my self its not that bad its not that bad.
Then I started to get to the part where the stairs were further apart and broken and there were rusted thing on the trail.
At this point I was muttering what the crap a lot .
I started feeling really sick and a bit dizzy.
The what the craps got closer and closer together as I was having to use my hands to help me carl up the track in some areas.
I then heard some seriously loud heavy breathing I looked back to see this insane guy running up the incline. I hurried over to the side to get out of his was and slammed my ankle into the side of the railroad tie this time my what the crap was not a mutter it was a loud WHAT THE CRAP!
I closed my eyes tight not wanting to cry and just stood there until the pain dulled a bit.
I looked down the incline and saw how far I had come and said OK MRS Jenn you have come this far you cant quit now.
I climbed another 15 mins then saw black and almost fell backwards.
I sat down a moments I started dry heaving and felt achy like I had the flu.
I recognized animatedly that what was going on from my many bouts of this last year it was not the flu it was elevation sickness.
I thought please let this pass quickly.
I hiked a few more minutes and the most cheerful young man said you are almost there ok maybe not almost but you are getting there.
At this point I really wanted to cry I had just passed the bail out point and wished I took it.
I then said to my self Jenn you have given birth 8 times you held your son in your arms as he died Climbing the incline is nothing.
So I continued on.
All the sudden I heard my name being called and I looked up and realized I am almost there.
I can do this.
4 of 6 girls I went with were already at the top their cheers meant more than they could ever imagine.
I was so relived to have made it to the top all the pain and sickness was worth it I felt happy and proud of myself.
Here is me and the girls minus one Sandy was smart and took the bail out.
I wont say it was a lot of fun this time around don't be shocked when you read what I am going to write next.
I am going again next Tuesday.
The reason I am going again is because I feel like I cheated my self out of a good experiences .
I started the hike at 615 am and it was already 76 an hour and twenty minutes later it was 86 I was just to hot.
I had not eaten prior to the hike and did not bring enough water and I was wearing to much clothing.
When I go next Tuesday I will be well prepared.
I will let you know how it goes next week :)