Tuesday, October 11, 2011



It has been two months since I came out of the woods, put on some cufflinks and started riding QWERTY.

I miss the woods. The gin smell of conifers, the freehub squirrels. Grouse thumping. SHUNK goes the mattock into the ground. When it's dry the dust fills the air and beams of light punch through the gaps between the branches like girders in an abandoned construction site. You can hear the cows down by the creek, polluting the watershed with explosive diarrhea. Sorry, didn't mean to paint that picture. Take it down and replace it with a curious chipmunk, darting across my path at the last possible second, tail whipping all about.

I've made a couple of trips out to work the trail since August, and I'll make a couple more before the snow sets in for good. There are a couple of puddles that I need to take care of, a section of trail that needs some smoothification.  I'd be lying if I said it was thankless work.  People thank me all the time as they ride by.  I thank myself when I ride the trail. "This kicks ass", I think. Sometimes I'm overly critical of others' work, but then I give myself a metaphorical boot in the ass and look at all the hard work they put in. Judge not, lest ye be judged, sang Mr. Marley.

I'm already thinking about next year.  I'm thinking about how I can ditch work at the start of June to go build in West Bragg, maybe learn to drive a mini-ex. I don't like diesel fumes, so maybe I'll just swing the mattock.

SHUNK. Smell the earth below the duff. Hold the soil in your hand. See the grains, the pebbles, bits of root. Listen for the wind moving through the forest, one tree at a time. Feel the ping through the handle of the Mcleod when it packs the tread.

See what you have made.