So today was so awesome, and so horrible, all in one. Micky, Beth, Jenni and I set out early this morning to do Elk Park to Barr Camp then up to the Summit. In the car we were all cracking up because Micky had brought us free doughnut coupons for the restaurant up at the Summit -I was joking saying that I needed to safty-pin my coupon to my shirt so that when they called search and rescue to help find me after I wandered off the trail...they'd know it was me thanks to the alert of the free doughnut flapping from my chest!
The 6 mile run from Elk Park (the 14mile marker on the pikes peak hwy) to Barr Camp was absolutely beautiful...soft ground, surrounded by shade and trees, wonderful smells, and mostly downhill with a few rolling. After about an hour we arrived at Barr Camp. Happily we enjoyed the quick break...bathrooms, sport beans, water...a nice time. The calm before the storm was more like it. I new it was 6.5 miles from Barr Camp to the top of Pikes Peak...but because I hadn't been up there before (even by car)...I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the distance and the travel time. So... 2 hrs and 30 minutes into this adventure (1 1/2 hrs after we had left Barr Camp)...I was about done. Mentally and physically in my mind that is. Once we had reached A-Frame (timberline)...all of a sudden I could see all the runners ahead, and way above me on the trail...this was no good for my mental status. I was out of beans, sweaty, and ready to be done. Micky was so encouraging...telling us how great we were doing, letting us know how hard or easy it would be up ahead. About 2 miles from the top I started to hear this bird (or some type of crazy animal) chirping one time, really loud...and as soon as the echo of the sound disappeared, the dang thing would blare it out again. It was like clock work, every time the sound faded, it did it again. I couldn't believe it...In my mind I was thinking that the elevation and lack of oxygen made this poor thing go insane. It was lost and all it had was the sound of it's own voice. Soon after I had these thoughts I realized how annoying the sound was...and oh yeah and how annoyed I was that I was still walking- arg!!
Here are some pics from today's adventure. Even though it was super tough...I'm so glad that I did it...and so glad I got to do it with friends!
Notice how close the clouds are to my head...it started raining right after that.
The square plate on the rock, is a memorial for a woman that died at timberline, she was 88.
The guy in the yellow is our good friend Fred, he's 73 and a total stud. He also does BTMR. :)