"Sh*t, did you bring sunscreen?"
"I always forget to bring the f&%*ing sunscreen"
"*GASP* Don't forget the water. Last time, I forgot water and I got halfway up and was like, 'Omigawd!'"
"Yeah, I remember that. I thought you were going to pass out".
"SHHhhh! Don't say that!! This is Cheryl's first time!"
Two years ago and beyond, I thought The Incline was silly. Then last year, I let the universe talk me into doing it. Now, this morning, I found myself on it again for the second time in as many weeks.
I posted a pic on facebook after Chaco and Wolfgang and I were there a coupla weeks ago. One of my friends was all,
"What!? I thought it was closed!"
And so I was all, "It's closing in August (for repairs after last year's floods), so better get you some now!"
So she was all, "Thank goodness, I can do it this summer!" (She's a teacher)
Then a few days ago, she put out a call on facebook, "Anyone wanna do the Incline with me Wednesday morning?", and some people were all,
"Can't get a babysitter"
"Eww, gross (her sister)"
I don't have any tutees scheduled today. Weather looked good, so I said, "Hey, I'll go".
I'm starting to become one of these Incline fanatics, it seems. But really, it is going to close in August for repairs and general cleanup, so might as well pack 'em in.
And as always, it was a good time. We planned to meet at the base at 7 a.m., but she called and said she was running late and showed up closer to 7:30. So I chatted with a few others waiting for their climbing partners too.
"First time I did this, I had only been in Colorado for two days. I felt awful, but stopping only made me feel worse..."
"This time, I'm going to make it to the top. Last time I had to bail out and it's bothered me ever since!"
"Back when I was younger, I could do it in under thirty"
My friend's dad also joined us. I'd never met him before and he's quite a character, but a pretty fit late 50s. He kept saying things to the other hikers like, "here let me stick an ice pick in your achilles!" and my friend would have to reign him in while I'd be explaining that I only just met the guy.
She'd warned me she was "slow", but I said I didn't care about speed, just happy to hang out on the Incline with her. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes of slow and steady. And it was HOT.
One guy near the top didn't look so good. He was young, like college aged, really struggling with each step, and I was a bit worried for him. This is actually a common scene, and those people are usually with someone, as this guy was.
But I was worried that he'd try to be all macho and not want to slow down his friend. In the end, he gratefully finished and the two of them did the customary selfies at the top.
So, good times. There are some concerns about the repair work - that it will make the Incline less rugged, yet that's what people like about it. I share that concern. I hope to get in at least one more climb before August, maybe a "real" one to see how fast I can do it.
But today, no clocks.