Pike’s Peak, the incline and Uncle Dan…

So i’m about two weeks late posting this, but i’m finally getting this thing off the ground (this blog) and it feels good. i’ve been dreading setting this up for like a month and of course it took me about six minutes to do.

Anyway! two weekends back (Memorial Day weekend) i went into co springs to see my one of my favorite family members, Uncle Dan. The rest of the Steevers are in different places around the US, but for now Dan is here by himself. We had such a great weekend. I came in on a Saturday and he took me out to eat some dinner and we were going to go to a show afterwards, but we wanted to do the incline in the morning so in the end we just went to bed.

Ok so the incline. For you wiki freaks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manitou_Incline. Someone told me it was about 2800 steps up and the consistent grade is about 45%. that’s massive. according to the wiki, which CANNOT LIE, the incline climbs 2,800 feet in about 3/4 of a mile. a mile is 5,280 ft, so that gives you an idea.








as you can see, it was insane. i’m only kind of fit, and uncle Dan is at least better off than I, but we made it up in a little over an hour. that middle picture looks like the top, but it’s a false summit, and it’s a real morale killer. when i was starting i had a goal to just not stop going up the entire time, but that ended up being a joke, i stopped like, 100 times.

this is uncle dan and i at the top of the incline. it was rough...

this is uncle dan and i at the top of the incline. it was rough…

from there we got some great bison burgers at a place called the Keg. great vibe if you’re ever in the manitou springs area. afterwards it was up to pike’s peak, which is the mountain in the united state that one can (safely) drive up to. 101_0363it’s about a 19 mile drive making your way up that beast and takes about an hour. i don’t really feel like doing the math, and i doubt you do either, but mile is 5,280 ft so this mountain in almost three miles high.

the drive up was great, though it was somewhat taxing on your vehicle. a sign at the top of the peak says that 2 inches on the horizon represented 38 miles! that’s kind of hard to comprehend. anyway, even though the day could have been a little clearer, the view was amazing. take a look at colorado sometime and you’ll see the the state is almost split in half between flat lands and mountains. the colorado springs area is right on that border. one side of pike’s peak is mountain chains as far as the eye can see and the other is flat lands.

someone told me later that because of the elevation, one can stick their hand in boiling water. if you’re like HUH?!??! the higher the elevation the lower the boiling point because of the thinner air. i think they said the boiling point was around 116F, which i think is about ten or so degrees hotter than a jacuzzi. also, for some reference, boiling point at sea level is somewhere in the 218F range. i wish i had known that! would have brought up a bunsen burner and done a little experiment:)

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from there we took the long drive home (halfway down there’s a state worker there to check the temperature of your brake pads, b/c the heat builds up so much as you coast down. ours was in the 500F+ range so we had to stop for about 30 minutes and let those things cool off.  if it gets too hot, your brakes can fail. most of the drive (down) you would maybe probably die if your brakes failed.

we came home, got a few beers, made a nice dinner, and watched that Behind the Candelabra HBO movie about Liberace. Michael Douglas plays him and Matt Damon plays his lover. Matt Damon looks younger than me in the movie but it’s really good and i give it like 1000 thumbs up or something.

thanks again to dan for hosting me for the weekend. Great guy!

thanks again to dan for hosting me for the weekend. Great guy!

I’ve escaped!

So after all that talk I made it out on the road. You know when you talk about something for a while, make all those preparations and yard sales and whatever, when you finally make that push for change, it feels good to follow through. Not that I think I’m the type of person to not follow through w/ideas, but not everything gets put into action. I had a new life plan, which changed everything, and heck mang I did it.

So if you’re just joining us, which all of you are, because I just started this blog, then I need to update you that the NM farm didn’t exactly work out. Arvo yelled a lot and I wasn’t really digging it. After more drama than I’m going to divulge here I left in the middle of the night, stayed with a great stranger I met in Chama, NM, named Che, who put a lost soul up for a few days while I decided on what to do next. Never forget that guy, great hospitality. Took me off roading, fed me and was just a nice nice guy. With me from Arvo’s was Rachel and Clemmy, who left on better and different terms than I. We all parted ways within a few days. Cute girls:)

Move two turned out to be Gillian in Ordway, CO. She was pretty nice and the accommodations were, well, interesting. She was an older Kiwi who had a great accent and would say things like, “Huntah, go get the shovel, it’s in the gay-rah-ge”. Nice lady. She had a few motor homes around her house we could stay in and most of the work consisted of livestock jazz and carpentry. Cute animals were everywhere!

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This is actually mostly pictures of Joy’s, who was a great neighbor who let some of us come over and ride horses.

Anyway! While at Gillian’s, there was this cute German girl name Ina. I pretty much liked everything about her. She was very down-to-earth, funny and had never been to the US before, which means she learned her english in England, and had what I thought as a funny way to say things. This is her w/some dog who was terrified of everything, including her…101_0270

Both her and Gillian spoke British English, as opposed to American English. Ina because she learned english in England and Gillian because the British have all kinds of influence (or did) in New Zealand and she’s a Kiwi.

They said things like, flat instead of apartment, petrol instead of gasoline. But the BEST difference was that they pronounced aluminum phonetically. As in, al-oo-min-ee-um. Good stuff.

As was mentioned before, Gillian had a nice neighbor named Joy who let Ina and I come over and ride some horses. This is actually why Ina was here in CO to begin with. She was on a month-long vacation (which she told me is the norm in Europe) and was spending some time here to ride horses. 101_0280Gillian generally lends her helpers out to neighbors so they can get a few afternoons of work as well. So Ina and I would head over there some afternoons and do some work, then get to ride in the afternoon. What’s great is that letting us ride was really good for Joy. Her horses are “broken” to ride, and need all the riding they can get to stay in the groove. In other words, we were doing her as much as a favor as she was doing for us.

This is Ina, Gillian and myself is a great, awkward, just truly me kind of picture:)


So this gig lasted in the two weeks range. I mentioned that Gillian likes to lend out her Help Ex to neighbors, so from here in Ordway I headed to Ellicott to stay with Jim and Darlene at the Springs East Airport. With me was great friend who came biking through Gillian’s name Jin. Great guy, I wish him the best!



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