The People's Chemist

Wife Bucked Off Horse!

It was 6am in Telluride. Damn cold despite being Aug 1…I opened the door to our balcony. The gondola was already charging up the mountain and carrying mountain bikers to the top. I had to wake up the kids.

Our plane was in Montrose, an hour and a half away. We had to be in the air within two hours.  Otherwise, heavy storms forming over the AZ desert would keep us away.  We’d be forced to land short of home…

Everyone wanted to get home. But, nobody wanted to wake up.

It’s hard enough getting kids into a car. Getting four kids into an airplane is an art. It’s part reverse psychology and part Jedi mind tricks.

“Blair, I need your help getting the babies ready to fly. You’re the co-pilot here, let them know how fun it is…”

Blair’s my Captain America. You can wake him up and he’d be ready to wrestle a monster 3 minutes later…heart rate always slow and steady at 40 BPM, not much gets him anxious or nervous.

Some coffee, some yerba, some yelling and eventually, everyone was in the SUV driving to the airport. I checked the weather again. Our window was still closing.

The kids had no idea that we might not make it. Lily was excited to drive her car and visit her friends.  Skyler and Aubrey wanted their beds.  Mom wanted her car…

With the San Juan Mountains falling further behind us, we reflected on the last 6 weeks of summer. We had spent it flying all over Colorado. Each destination offered its own adventure.

Silverton, CO brought us horseback riding. I stayed back with the little ones.  An hour into the ride, my wife’s horse took off past the group. Charging through a meadow, she held tight and pulled back.

No response.

Apparently, the horse just ran faster…and started bucking. Lily watched from behind. In an instant, “mom was in the air…then rolled swiftly after hitting the ground and was back up. It was pretty graceful.”

The only injury she came back with was a sprained ankle. Limping back into ‘camp,’ Lea-Ann wanted Joint FX.

Our family hasn’t had Tylenol, Ibuprofen, aspirin or any OTC pain killer in over 20 years. Don’t need it. Joint FX blocks pain and fixes the problem! And it’s free of side effects!

At the airport, the kids piled out of the SUV. My 3 year old Skyler insisted on helping me fly. I told him I was really hoping he could!

“You can strap your headset on bud and talk to me from the back…look for other airplanes in the sky.”

He was officially my co-captain in training. Blair’s look to me screamed, “what a dirty trick, sitting in the back is lame.”

One more bathroom break and everyone was strapped in. Aubrey and Skyler had their ‘blankies’, babies and a fruit strip to keep them quite.

We rushed down the taxi-way to be number one departure.

I really wanted to beat that storm brewing south…

Lined up, I ran through my checklist and was ready to go.

Winds favored my direction for takeoff.  But, just as I was rolling out to the active runway, a plane called in to say they were landing straight on.

I slammed on the brakes. We would wait…

The fruit strips already gone, Skyler was asking, “Why did you stop so hard dad?”

I used the wait time to check everything once again for takeoff…

My left fuel tank was reading empty!


I had done a visual check 10 minutes prior.

I flipped my tanks to the left side to see if my engine would quit.  It ran fine, which was a confirmation of a broken gauge.  I went to my right tanks to get us in the air, as a precaution.

Off we went. Tearing down the runway, we caught a breeze and sailed straight up to 14,500ft.

Once level, I snapped the above shot. Just over Cortez, CO, it was my last look at summer over the mountains for the season.

We sat content in the cool air. I opened a window to enjoy the the fresh mountain breeze.

I took the time to show Lily a few features of the plane. “This knob controls how much fuel and air is delivered into the engine. Up high, we need less fuel due to increased pressure…”

She was somewhat impressed as I pulled back the fuel so she could see how the engine increased its output, then slowly sputtered as it got too lean…

I switched to the left fuel tank and ran my calculations. We had enough fuel to get to Winslow.  The right tank, with the correct gauge, would get us the rest of the way home from there.

I pulled up the weather to check on the developing storms ahead. Not good. Radar showed it getting more swollen with water and lightening.  But it was still not big enough to turn us around…I was going to have to nudge up against it and make the call myself.

As we progressed, the terrain got higher and the clouds got lower. I had to descend. Silvery white tops, the clouds took on a sinister dark grey on the bottom.

Still closer, Lea-Ann tapped me on the shoulder from behind. “Are we gonna make it.”

“I don’t know, but Winslow is clear so we may turn back for the night…”

I called for flight following so someone could help escort us to an alternate airport if needed.

Albuquerque tower answered.

“N456U go ahead.”

“N456U is 20 miles north of Payson, would like to request flight following for visual flight rules, please advise on weather…”

“No heavy winds, thunderstorm activity expected in 2 hours.”

I only needed 15 minutes.

Burning a hole in my windshield, I looked ahead and saw the peaks that marked clear sky. We would make it…and the kids would get to see that the plane still flies great with a little rain!

Flying doesn’t look like much to the casual observer. That’s because most of what it takes is unseen. It’s a series of invisible decision making. You’re always deciding on the best plan of action…the best way to avoid invisible dangers.

Mistakes are rarely forgiven.

Same in health.

One bad move and your kidney can be gone…your memory erased by cholesterol meds…or your liver trashed by Tylenol.

There’s no going back with bad decisions.

That’s why we always use Joint FX for pain and healing. For a limited time, save 15% on a three-pack at

Here’s to many more summers and living young!

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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Information provided by The People’s Chemist is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. If you want more detailed information, read Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded. Also, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or emergency.

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