By the time I was finished wandering Woodland Park, I’d lost interest in continuing the snaky haul southwest through the Rockies to Cripple Creek, and decided to head back east toward Colorado Springs. I was tired of driving but, to my surprise, still in the mood for high-altitude walking.
Despite my appearance, I’ve come to like the sensation of walking in and of itself, as long as the surroundings don’t bore me and especially if I can walk at my own speed. Years of discreetly running from class to class in both junior high and high school, followed by twelve years of restaurant work in which speed was essential to both service and survival, conditioned me for an above-average pace when left to my own devices. It’s rare that I really get to cut loose back home. If I do, my wife’s cute tiny legs struggle to keep up. I’ve never actually seen my son hurry, and my mom decided in her forties that she’s officially elderly, a few decades ahead of schedule. If I indulge myself, I leave my loved ones eating my dust.
(Please note these sentiments apply to walking only. Jogging and running are a different story. My enthusiasm has its boundaries.)
US 24 took me through Manitou Springs and to the perfect spot to push myself: Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Curious natural sights, varied terrains, and the Rockies for a backdrop. Much more stimulating than the average treadmill grind.