This was my first time clear up on Barr Trail since the race last year, as is the case most years. This year was different due to complete lack of any snow whatsoever. Some years we were post-holing through snow up to our knees this time of year!
When we where younger, this was a family affair—me, my mom, my brother Jim, all with dad rallying as our main support. He supported eveyone, He loved that mountain and Pikes Peak so much, and it was quite nice to have someone who enjoyed driving to the top top pick me up after Ascents on the mountain!
I went easy most of the way, connecting with an informal group of gals from Denver for some nice company much of the way. The foliage was lovely, especially after the switchbacks —columbines, wild geraniums, wild roses, and then the tundra flowers. This is one trail where the scenery is great even when you’re just looking down!
Trying to outpace the rain, I made it to the top and adjusted from the calmness of the trail to the mob scene of the summit house on father’s day...luckily the much needed rain in the forecast didn’t start till the evening and continued all night.
My body was recovering as well as could be expected from the Garden of the Gods run, and the new system of riding the shuttle down wasn’t too horrific as I rode it down to devils playground and then got a ride down to Manitou with a nice couple who had also run the Garden of Gods 10 k/ 10 mile.
Once my father reached a certain age, I had to start fending for myself with these types of logistics on Pikes Peak, and soon learned that I’d never end up stranded at the top of Pikes Peak after a training jaunt! In fact, very often you find someone you know up there to get a ride down with, and this is part of what makes Pikes Peak so special! I can go out my back door, climb a 14er, not have to turn back down that mountain, and still get home before my teenager is out of bed in the morning!(yes that has really happened, though when I got home this day I’d found out my husband received an omelette in bed for Father’s Day from that now 20- year old!)