Friday, May 30, 2014

one does not simply...

Like The Incline, the story doesn't necessarily end when you reach the top.  It's all...

"Yay, we made it!"
"Look how purdy!"

and soon becomes...

"Okay, now we gotta get back down"

But, what to do?  Because...

Incline people are typically a courteous bunch, watching out for each other because of the common bond formed from climbing over piles of trash together.  One unwritten rule is that, you climb up, but you don't climb down The Incline.  It's just common courtesy to the suffering souls going up.  

The way down is the Barr Trail, which is the trail that leads to the summit of Pikes Peak.  The top of The Incline hooks up with the Barr Trail, and there is also an outlet about two thirds of the way up The Incline for bailing out, for those who are so inclined (see what I did there?)

So the process of cancelling out all of the gain in elevation of The Incline is going down a three-mile stretch of loose gravel switchback trail.  Many Incliners like to run back down the trail.  That's kinda what we were doing, peppered in with some walking, chit chatting, and enjoying the views.

Halfway down Barr Trail
Chaco says, "Take our pic, the more Mom smiles the bigger I will frown!"

We were about two feet from the end of the trail with Ellie Mae in sight - me in the lead, Chaco behind me, and Wolfgang bringing up the rear.  We were strangely discussing anesthesia and pain killers (foreshadowing?) when I sense this slight ruckus behind me.  

I turned to see Chaco writhing on the ground, gripping his ankle.  Wolfgang explains, "Yeah, he rolled it", showing me the side of the trail that fell away making for perfect ankle-rolling.  

So I'm thinking, "Great, we make it UP The Incline, DOWN Barr Trail, and he breaks his ankle in the parking lot"

But he didn't.  Break it, that is.  Just a sprain leaving him a bit of a gimp. 

And it didn't foil his photography skills.  He got more nice shots of the Thunderbirds later that day during USAFA graduation. 

I put together this little video which features some of his photos, the YouTubization of which doesn't do them justice.  There's also some shaky video coverage of graduation practice that I take full blame for.  I mean, I could totally make a blooper video from the footage, but it would run twice as long at least.

Turn up your volume, Sound o' Freedom!



  1. Yeah - I'm a little dizzy after that video, but it was well worth it. :)
    And if the ankle roll was going to happen, it's probably best it happened in the parking lot. It'd been a difficult trip down otherwise.
    Wonder how hard it would be to build a "chute" to come down on. Ya know, like Chutes and Ladders?

    1. Yeah, we were joking about how, after all the peril he'd been through, how did he roll his ankle in the parking lot!? But at the same time, glad it wasn't earlier!

      You have the best ideas. I big vacuum to suck travelers across Kansas and now a chute for The Incline. Brilliant!

  2. When the music started I thought it was going to be Jump around by House of pain, I have to say I was slightly disappointed. :D

    Love the video and the photos!

    1. HA! There's certainly a homemade video out there somewhere that Jump Around would fit!

  3. Isn't that the way it typically goes? You spend all your energy and effort getting to the top only to have problems when you heading back down. Hope the sprain isn't too bad and he is not laid up.

    Cool video. Love the accompanying music. It's always impressive to watch those kinds of aerobatics. And you get the added benefit of being in the flight path so you get to see all the practice runs. Reminds me of a few of the flyovers we get at our football games in the fall.

    1. That's probably what did it - resting on the laurels before true laurel resting time. He's back to about at 80% now.

      It's always fun when the tbirds are in town, even from the cheap seats.

  4. Well I'm glad to know that Chaco didn't actually break anything, but those ankle rolls are nasty. (Brad rolled his playing basketball once. He had a baseball size lump that looked really disgusting!)

    I like ShadowRun's idea for a chute. I think people would be HIGHLY motivated to climb the incline if there were a chute for getting back down. Better yet - make it a waterslide!

    Awesome video!

    1. I'm also glad the damage wasn't worse. He just needs to take it easy - camp out in front of the computer for a few days. Oh, wait, that's what he'd normally be doing anyway!

      A chute for The Incline. Repairs are about to begin after last year's flooding. Maybe I'll make a suggestion!

  5. Ouch! Glad it wasn't a break, but still, ouch. I've done that too many times. Nothing as noble as hiking though - more like falling down the stairs, tripping on the sidewalk, and falling down in front of a group of public officials when I was a reporter. Classy.