Saturday, January 14, 2012

THE E-I-L TRAIL

The late Ron Wisner and I loved to explore new terrain on our trail runs.  Our good friend Luis Lowe would often accompany us as our designated whiner - but that's another story.  We logged many satisfying hours on Barr Trail, the Santa Fe Regional Trail / American Discovery Trail, Waldo Canyon, Section 16, and the trails at Mount Saint Francis, the Air Force Academy and Austin Bluffs, to name a few.  For some time, Ron had been talking about running on Trail 713, and so one weekend we headed out in search of the trail-head.

Disclaimer - What follows is a re-creation of our adventure, and anyone who knew Ron as a runner or tennis player will certainly recognize that the legs shown are not Ron's!   As a gift to Ron, my friend and colleague Jeff Jasperse from Pepperdine helped me recreate this outing, with photography by Steven McClurg.  Click on the pictures for enlarged versions.

In Search of the 713

A typical beginning of a trail run - Ron leading and no doubt chatting while I focus on keeping up.  We had followed the not-so-straightforward directions to the trail head, but saw no signs or markers.


It was not very long before we came to a fork in the trail - decision time!


Well, the EIL was not what we were looking for, nor was it anything that we had ever heard of before, so after a moment, we jumped the rock in the middle of the right fork and headed out.


Well, after about 500 feet and a couple of turns, the trail ended.  Note that Ron would not concede that this was leading nowhere and that I was ready to turn back!  After a bit of bushwacking, Ron agreed that perhaps the EIL trail was going nowhere.


So, we returned to the original fork in the trail, and within a few moments, we were both laughing out loud.


The mystery of the EIL Trail was solved!!  And we headed out on the 713 for a memorable run that will always be referred to as "The E-I-L."

12 comments:

Randy said...

Great story. Sounds just like Ron. Boy, do I miss him.

Hope all is well.

Bizzy Brain said...

So, what does EIL stand for?

hoosierdaddy said...

C'mon BB - get bizzy with that brain! Turn EIL upside down!!

BB said...

Backwards it spells LIE, but I didn't see the connection, which is why I asked. Oh, well, let me think about it some more.

hoosierdaddy said...

I did not say backwards - I said upside down!!! Your weekend was obviously too long!!!!!

BB said...

Okay, I get it now. But why would they make a 3 look like the letter E?

Dr S said...

Bizzy - I understand your perspective. Look at the very last picture. It's not that the 3 was made to look like an E but rather than making curved numbers, block numbers were used. Since this is a 're-creation' of the original event, I cannot for sure say how the original 3 was laid out - but for sure both Ron and I saw EIL when we looked at the stones :-)

Phil L. said...

Biz, has anyone mentioned the "D" word to you? D as in dotage? How plain can it be? The 713 appears about four times in the post and the EIL about five. Didn't something click somewhere in your brain? I didn't think so.

Dr S said...

Phil - I suppose we shouldn't be too hard on the 'old man' since he probably is getting a bit long in the tooth :-)

Bizzy Brain said...

LOL! You guys make my day!

Jeff said...

Hi Doug,

I finally took the time today to read the blog and follow some of the links to read more about Ron. Thanks for the note and for including the link, as I enjoyed reading about Ron even though I never knew him. It also included a little nostalgia for me, as I ran and rode horses in Austin Bluffs and swam in and skated on the ponds there as a teenager - long before much of the development that surrounds that area now. JJ

Dr S said...

Jeff – thanks for taking the time to read a bit on the blog. As you well know, losing a very good friend is difficult, but keeping the memories alive helps. Re the Austin Bluffs – it indeed certainly has changed a lot over the past 30 years [I started at UCCS in 1982] – if you are back in COS, you should wander around the campus a bit.