21 November 2010

Days Like These

Around here, we pretty much get excited whenever it starts to snow.  As in always.  But, we get doubly excited when the first snow of the season begins to fall, as it did today.

While it didn't snow-and-stick much in our neighborhood, and we were disappointed to find the road up the mountain closed on our quest to find real snow, we nevertheless were able to locate a pretty decent stash of a couple-three inches of snow to play in out in the woods near Baderville.

As we've done every year for the past several years, we built a snowgirl, watched the dog(s) run and play, and shot a little home video.  Nothing especially notable, except that today was Rubi(the new puppy)'s first time in the snow.  We're pretty sure she enjoyed herself.

Otherwise, what follows is just another four-minute video of us doing what we do.

Life is good.

14 November 2010


A lot's been said, and believe it or not, even more's been done, about wildcat trail-building in Sedona, Arizona.

What's a wildcat trail?  A wildcat trail is a trail that somebody made (or sometimes found) without anyone's permission that goes somewhere (usually somewhere cool or essential) where previously there wasn't a trail.  Often they're pretty well-hidden, like any good secret.  And likewise, information about their location often spreads by word-of-mouth.  Nine times out of ten, they're right where you always thought, "Man, it would be so cool if there was a trail there."

Typically they're not especially well-built, sensible, or sustainable.  Often they simply follow the path-of-least resistance to their destination.  But because they receive far less traffic than sanctioned, system trails, this usually isn't that big a deal.

I'll tell you right now: I, for one, am a proponent of this sort of improvised, experimental, nonsanctioned, nonsystem social trail.  And I don't really care how you feel about them... unless, of course, you are a proponent of them as well.  As you should be.  Because pretty much every trail that you love, if it wasn't built by volunteers in the last 10 years probably began as a wildcat trail.  Or a road.

But, as I've already said, typically wildcat trails are not especially well-built or sustainable. However, some are.

Hangover, in Sedona, is one wildcat trail that's definitely in that latter category.  No mere social trail, Hangover is an unbelievably well-scouted, built, and maintained trail.  It is, in a nutshell, someone's life-work, his (or her) crowning achievement.  Hands-down, it's the most solidly constructed, bold, sustainable, challenging, frightening, thrilling, clever wildcat trail I've ever had the pleasure to ride in all my years on a bike.

I got to ride it today, for the very first time, with my friend Joe (aka Rockman).  He's pretty much famous for his knowledge of the Sedona trail-system and many of its denizens, too.  I maybe could have done this ride without him.  But I'm really glad I didn't.

We did an eight mile loop in just under two-and-a-half hours, with one short stop for snacks. It was a blast riding this incredible trail with Joe today.

An absolute, unmitigated, total blast.

More pictures (Thanks, Rockman!):

Link-to BONUS: Bike Magazine's Morgan Meredith also rode this trail some time ago and took a series of really incredible pictures.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey