Thursday, August 18, 2016

tops and bottoms and stuff in between!

It's been a FUN and productive week... and it's only Thursday!

P.E.O. is quite busy right now with gearing up for Oktoberfest.  So with that, and all the strenuousness of sitting on the couch and watching Olympics in the evenings, it seems like there's no downtime!

And much to my glee, Shadowrun300 came a-visiting!  She and two of her bright and handsome sons came out to our fair city for a little vacay.

I managed to meet up with them for a short hike on Tuesday.  See, here's the backs/sides of them on the trail!

Since my family won't pose nicely for me,
I'm used to just snapping at random

I soon had to leave them to continue on their merry adventures, but I'd set aside Wednesday as a day to play.

Wednesday started out dark and early as Shadowrun wanted to do the Incline.  After "rescuing" her from her mysteriously out-of-power hotel, we headed on over to Manitou Springs, and arrived as the sun began to peek over the horizon.

We took a  moment for grainy photos at the base among a few others preparing to head up, then we began going upstairs.  

Shadowrun  indicated to me that she didn't plan to do a slow stop-and-smell-roses type of climb.  She had actually prepared to do the Incline leading up to this trip.  I had no doubts about her level of fitness, but the altitude seems to effect people differently in ways I know nothing about.  I told her I would just follow her lead.

And that's what we did - all the way to the top without stopping.  She was awesome!  I stayed literally on her heels, watching as her blue running shoes just kept on a-going.  

At one  point, she asked, "Is THAT the top?", indicating the top, "because I thought  THAT was the top", indicating the "false summit" that we had just passed and looks like the top when looking up from the start.  I assured her that the top was the top and that she was making great time - all the while, the blue shoes never stopped... until the top! (how many times can  you say "top" in one paragraph?)  I will let her share her own reflections at her blog, and in the meantime...

Grainy Shadowrun photo from the... well, you know

There was quite a large group of young guys hanging out at the mouth of the stairs.  Upon observing them a bit, I'm pretty sure they were a group of army guys, with a few army women included too.  As we took in the sights,  I turned around to see a strange thing.  On a level patch of ground were four other, supposedly army, guys taking turns lifting a huge barbell?!

I remembered a guy at the base saying something about "those guys with the barbell".  Now I realized what he was referring to.  It seems this group of four carried that large bar along with two 45-pound iron plates up the Incline!  They soon packed up, and two guys carried the bar between them while the other two each hoisted a 45-pound plate over their shoulders and headed down the trail.  

Shadowrun and I headed down the trail soon afterward.  We never saw the barbell boys again.  They probably ran down.  

After hearty breakfasts and much needed showers, we still had the rest of the day to play.  Shadowrun had sent Chip and Amp on up to the top of Pikes Peak on the train, so it would be a while before they returned.

Seven Falls is a pretty area I hadn't been to in quite a while, and Shadowrun said she'd never been, so we headed on over.  To have falls requires heights.  Now, y'all know I don't like those (i.e. I have paralyzing acrophobia).  To get to the scenic top of the falls means climbing a very long and steep set of stairs that is scarier than the Incline.  But I figured it would be good for me.

The sign instructs to "take your time and use the handrails"  As if they need to tell ME that!

How can she look so calm?! --->

But I made it up, and we enjoyed nice views and trails as our reward.  Of course, eventually we'd have to go back down...

I asked Shadowrun to go in front of me as we ascended into hell made our way down the staircase, and not to worry if I sounded in distress. It would just be me utilizing my Lamaze breathing.  She did a great job.

By then, it was about time for the guys to be arriving back at the train depot.  We headed over and spotted them just after they'd "detrained".  Couldn't have timed it better if we tried.  I quickly dropped her off in front of the depot as she was relieved that her sons would not be a story on the evening news.

What a great day!  Thanks to Mother Nature for not raining/hailing/striking us dead by lightning!

And thanks, Shadowrun!  Good times!



Marcy said...

I always marvel at your Incline stories--awesome job! I would definitely take the stop and smell the roses approach myself. Or, more likely, stop. It sounds really tough.

ShadowRun300 said...

I had THE MOST fun that day! Thanks so much for joining me on my bucket list check-off expedition.
I really didn't sympathize much with your fear of heights though, did I? Just kinda forced you up those fire escape stairs. And made ya pay to do it! Wait'll I make you go to the top of Pike's Peak....

Abby said...

I know you would do just fine, Marcy a.k.a. survivor of "Dead Woman's Pass". If you're ever in town...

Abby said...

What some call "stairs", I call "rungs". There's a difference.
And for the next climb, you wanna carry the bar or the cast iron?

agg79 said...

Great to see you two back out on the trails again and tackling some real challenges. Did you get your sub 30 time? I would have figured the incline would be enough for most people, but leave it to Shadow and you to hit the "stairs" again. The stairs seen to be a really spectacular trail, even if it is all uphill (one way). Another one I need to add to my list. Nice job playing tour guide for the local sites to ShadowRun and her crew.

Abby said...

The awful stairs of Seven Falls are a necessary evil that I'm willing to grit my teeth through. But they freak me out too much to remind me that they might be tiring. Shadowrun showed no signs of distress either way, and her visit was a nice reason to get out and play!

Tee said...

Look at you two, all matchy-matchy in your coordinating outfits! (Can't help but notice your fitness fashion! You look good!) How fun that you got to meet up and spend the day together! I'm so happy for both of you. Great photos and it sounds like an incredible time.

Abby said...

Our matchy fluorescence was totally unplanned, but could've come in handy if we didn't make it back down! Either way, it was a nice way to wrap up summer.