10 March 2016

Archival footage: My ghosts are engraved on this landscape

The following post was originally published in-part at FlagstaffBiking.org in March 2004.

Out in the woods, there is a long climbing section of singletrack that always reminds me of Wade. There's a difficult rock trap that recalls Chris to my mind and a log that always bears Lyle's name. There are also various overlooks, well-kept secret trails, twisty paths through widely spaced trees, and remote waypoints as well, all of which awaken long dormant but distinct memories of longtime and mostly long-gone friends like Ken, Shawn, Scotty, Mark, Huge, T-roy, Hils and the Bens. 

The recollection of friends, the ghostly apparitions these places and trails conjure, is profound and impressed upon me repeatedly, whenever I ride them.

Some rides have special moments, you see, where we become awestruck and imprinted. That's what I believe. Like images in a photo album, memorable passages from a familiar story, or notes jotted indelibly on the palm of my hand -- I will not, cannot forget these memories. Almost daily, I find myself both humbled by and grateful for their powerful influence on my life. 

They are my ghosts and they are engraved on this landscape.


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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey