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!