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An outsider's view
6/7/2007 2:17:31 PM
I am an Easterner who twice attempted the hike up Pike's Peak. The first time, in the early 1970s, I was unaware of the incline and walked the crooked path to the top of that ridge. I was not successful in getting too far past the spot on the Barr Trail where it opens to the base of the summit (it took me too long to walk to the top of Manitou Mountain). The second time -- better prepared, with some research done in advance -- I had the awesome experience of riding the incline (1977). I made it to the top of Pike's Peak (incidentally, if I ever meet the person who named them "The Seven Steps to Heaven" at the very top of the peak, I will have a few words for them -- counting at least 15 major boulders near the top). Anyway, I will never forget the words of the incline operator going up. At the half-way point, where they stopped (and those who live locally already know the outcome), I asked curiously, "What would stop this car if the brakes gave way?" To which the operator replied dryly: "There are two gigantic springs that would stop it: Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs." In closing, I am bringing my family back to Colorado Springs in July, and was surfing the Internet to find the driving directions to the incline -- and am saddened beyond words to hear it is no longer in operation. I have no idea how the local land battles will be played out. It's not for me to say. I must say, however, that I feel as if yet another piece of wonderful history has slipped into oblivion. I hope there's ultimately an amicable solution.
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