Showing posts from January, 2014

The Incline: 2000 ft in one mile

Coming to Colorado Springs to work has some great fringe benefits. One of my favorites is tackling a climb known simply as the "Incline". It's an old cog railbed that climbs straight up one of the mountains below Pikes Peak. There are no turns, or switchbacks...just straight up and up and up. It's only a mile in length but you start at around 6500 FT and finish at 8500! If you've never gained that much altitude in a mile, it's not one you'll ever forget. 
The air is thin and for a flatlander it's a daunting challenge to make it in under an hour. What amazes me the most are the locals. I met a guy today that hikes it almost every day with his parakeet riding atop his shoulder. I also met a gentleman named Greg that went to the top 610 times last year and today I caught him going up for his third And his 3rd ascent he did in 38 minutes. And oh by the way....Greg is probably 60 years old. Pretty amazing. 
Special Forces teams climb it in bod…

Apathy and Amnesia

I recently had the honor of welcoming home a group of soldiers returning from a combat deployment. I stood at the bottom of the stairs of their transport aircraft shaking hands with a cadre of tired men who had been gone for nearly 9 months. There were no days off for them, no long weekends, just hard dangerous work every day. Their eyes spoke volumes, weariness, relief and many other emotions. Also along with us were several Vietnam vetereans that come to greet every single flight that returns. They simply offer a quiet thank you.
Before our guys landed I spoke with some of those older vets and they told stories of how they came home back in 69 and 72. As you might imagine their story was much different than today. They came home to vitriolic abuse, people protesting and spitting on them. Shame on us as a nation. 
In recent days you may have read of budget cuts for military retirees and I'm afraid that this is just the beginning. Then this morning I see the headline below that incr…

Born to hunt!

I had the real privilege this past weekend of going on my first pheasant hunt with a couple of soldiers from here at FT Carson at a preserve called Rocky Mountain Roosters. It's out in the prairie an hour northeast of Colorado Springs. 
I've been deer hunting for years and done a lot of dove hunting back in NC, but this was a totally different animal if you'll excuse the pun.  I was blessed with some descent shots and brought home enough meat for a great meal.  But the most amazing thing about the hunt wasn't the shooting or even the eating, it was the dog. 
Our guide Tony, had the most amazing Llewellen Setter. The Llewellen is a hybrid of the English setter or so I'm told because I'm no dog expert. But this dog, I've always loved dogs, was something special. Her name was Nandi. When she jumped out of her cage and stretched a little, I thought that she didn't really look all that like a great hunter. But, I was sorely mistaken. 
That dog lit out like she wa…

Dude, where have you been?

By all accounts I have dropped the ball. It has been some 14 months since I last posted on this blog. I went back through the whole thing today and ran across so many memories and things recorded that a push of motivation welled up in me to jot some things down. I'm writing from Colorado Springs where I'm serving for the next few weeks here at FT Carson. This in an amazing part of our country with the front range of the Rockies jutting up out of the plains. Pikes Peak towers high above this town and is breathtaking to view especially in the mornings. Today the winds rose up and blew tumble weeds across the prairie as I watched from my office window. I'd never seen tumble weeds before. I guess you really do get to see something new everyday if you are looking.
The picture below is from an overlook above the Garden of the Gods with Pikes in the background. It was about 4 degrees when I took this last Sunday. Sometimes I find it difficult to drive here because I'm always l…