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Sierra de la Norte

4 Nov

A snowy day in Whitehorse is the perfect time to finish looking through bikecation photos.  After playing in Colorado, Heidi hit the road and headed toward Santa Fe.   En route, we spent a night in Durango, a cute town, with a couple beautiful trails.  We decided on Hermosa, which because of time constraints was an out and back early in the morning.  I’d like to come back someday and check out the Colorado trail – maybe as a bikepacking adventure.

High Colorado


From our Durango pit stop, we headed to Santa Fe, land of red dirt and killer margaritas.   I was in town for a mountain biking conference, which meant I had plenty of sources to learn about the best trails.   On the first day of riding, I headed to the Dale Ball trails, which is a fun in-town trail system.  I found a kindred spirit in Kate, a local guide, who was as keen as me when it came to riding.  The planned, 1.5 hour group ride, became Kate and I, racing a setting sun after 3 hours of awesome single track.  My ride with Kate, also gave Heidi a rest.  After a whole season of 0 mountain bike rides, she’d been on 4 rides in 3 days and was feeling a bit tired.

My plan to use the bikecation to convince Heidi that mountain biking was where she should be focusing her fun times seemed to be succeeding.  In fact, I was pretty sure that I’d leave Heidi fully infected by the bike bug by the time I flew out of Santa Fe.  Our last ride, was supposed to be the whipping cream atop a glorious sundae of awesome rides.  Unfortunately, a combination of self-made mistakes and basic bad trail planning conspired against us.
Cold Windsor

Our ride was supposed to be a 20 km shuttle from 12,000 ft elevation into the downtown of Santa Fe, estimated time was 2 hours.   What did our ride end up being?  A 50 km shuttle from 12,000 ft to 9000 ft to 12,000 ft to 7000 ft to 8000 ft to… actual time was 7 hours.  How did things go so horribly awry?

Mistake #1 – When there is a group ride option, you should take it.  Being selfish, and avoiding the group ride because you don’t want to get stuck behind 150 other cyclists will equal karma kicking your ass. (my fault)

Mistake #2 – When you are marking a trail use the same trail names, the same maps and the same markings.  Our misadventure started because the first trailhead sign said Winsor Trail (which was our planned adventure), and the second trailhead gave directions for 150 and 162.  Apparently, we were supposed to know what number corresponded with each trail name.  Because we didn’t, we ended up 3000 ft and 8 km down the wrong trail.    Three hours into the ride, we actually started down the correct trail, but once again found that the trailheads didn’t correspond with our map.  Even worse, was that every trailhead  map we got to had a different set of trail names.  We thought we were saved when we ran into some hikers who also had a map, but instead of making it easier, it just added a third set of trail names into the already confusing batch.  With food and water running out, we finally got another set of cyclists to direct us to the road – not my favorite way of ending a shuttle, but at least it meant we didn’t die, lost in the forest.

Mistake #3 – When trying to convince your sister she should love bike riding, don’t get her lost without food or water – it might tarnish the experience.

In the end, Heidi and I made it back to Santa Fe, and I’m guessing that I didn’t completely destroy her feelings about mountain biking, as I’ve heard she’s back in Fruita this weekend.


The Fruita Facts

19 Oct

I went to Fruita 2 years ago on the first annual Bikecation. At the time it was more of a stop on the way to Moab. This time, it was a destination. The great thing about Fruita is the variety of trails, and the quality of after-ride burritos.

18 Road (aka the Bookcliffs)

This is a section of fast, flowy, trails.  Somehow the 18 Road has defied the normal rules of physics – for every foot you climb, it seems you get three times the amount in descent.  The only problem with the Bookcliffs is that you can easily do every trail in about 3 hours.  But, every trail is awesome enough that it doesn’t really matter.  This year they added a new trail called PBR (Pumps, Berms and Rollers) which is even more fun than my previous favorite Kessel’s Run.

Highlight of my 18 Road day was rolling up to groups of men climbing the access, then flying past them with a cheerful hello.

Best Route (so far): Uppity Down, Chutes and Ladders, PBR



Kokopelli Trails

After riding the Kokopelli trail network, I have a hankering to make the full trek from Fruita to Moab.  I remember riding these trails on the original bikecation, and being shocked (and admittedly a little scared) by the stone steps.  Now, after two extra years of riding, the steps were pure entertainment and the views of the Colorado river were incredible.

Best Route (so far): Mary’s Loop to Horsethief, to Wranglers

View break


Rabbit Valley

I had never visited Rabbit Valley before, but looking for at least one new ride, I headed there with my sister.  What we found was an awesome cliff-side ride that wove above a green Colorado River valley.  Even those with slight vertigo should try this out.  There is only a small section that is close to the edge, the rest is a comfortable 3-5 meters away from the side.

Best Route (so far): #2 to Western Rim


Overlooking the Colorado


Grand Junction

I am a Junction junkie.  I spent 4.5 hours riding the Tabeguache trails with a huge grin on my face.   These trails are fun, technical and well marked.  Definitely the highlight of my Fruita riding.  For the first 2.5 hours I rode solo, retrying the trails from 2 years earlier and being thrilled at how much more I could get through.  For the last 2 hours I rode with my sister, a new mountain biker, on a long fun downhill.

Best Route (so far): Pet-e-kes to Holy Cross to Ali to Kurt’s

A Selfie that worked

Racing the Sunset


Now I’m back in Whitehorse, riding on a soft bed of snow and wishing for some red rock and hot desert sun.  At least I still have burritos.

Streets Paved with Gold

18 Oct

Sunny Side Up

How do you know you are in Aspen, Colorado?

1.  You only recognize the store names because of Sex and the City.

2.   50% of people you see can’t move their foreheads.

3.  There is an equal number of BMWs and funky cruiser bikes.

4.  You can not afford to buy anything.  At all.  Period.


Aspen would be one of those amazing places I could never, ever afford to go – except for one thing, my sister lives there.  There are two important things you need to know about my sister:  she’s way cuter than me, and way nicer than me.  Thanks to these two things, she is the perfect travel companion.   She somehow finds you a $30 room in a hotel with a $900 rack rate.  She gets you a table beside Cindy Crawford at the busiest restaurant, and the cheque is always missing most of the meal.  She knows everyone, and everyone adores her.

I went to Aspen to visit Heidi, but had full intentions of doing some bike riding while I was there.  Although I’ve heard rumor of bike trails, my previous visits have been small stopovers en route to bigger biking meccas such as Fruita or Moab.  Heidi’s boss and good friend John assured me there were places to ride and even offered to guide us around.

Riding in Aspen is always a challenge no matter what the route.  With a starting elevation around 8000 ft, your lungs can barely handle the 500 m walk between Gucci and Dior – let alone climbing up one of the many nearby mountains.  But, once you get up, the views are spectacular.   The mountains are coated in golden aspens, enjoying the last weeks of silence before the snow flies, and the tourists arrive.  Not a bad way to start my bikecation.

Aspen Climb


After my intro to the ride, I decided to tackle a more ambitious tour of the area.

Good Night and Good Luck

3 Oct

It’s been a busy couple weeks, and while blog posts have bubbled up in my brain, a lack of functional computer makes them difficult to get in type.  About three weeks ago, Starbuck sat on my computer screen, and it turns out that screens are an essential part of the computer equation.  This has been frustrating, and normally I’d begrudge the puppy, but Starbuck has suffered his own disaster this week;

An allergic reaction to unknown substances has made given my precious a balloon face.  Although it’s recovering now, thanks to Benadryl, I have been distracted with trying to spoil the dog in his time of crisis.  This is partially precipitated by the fact that I am leaving my doggy in his time of need.  In 20 minutes, I jump in the car for a 10 day adventure in the States.

October is the perfect time to head out of town.   With the weather getting colder, and the sun setting faster, it’s getting harder to get outside.  The spectacular fall colors have been largely replaced with nothingness.  Trees are bare, flowers are dead, and many of the higher trails are coated in snow.

In addition to any limitations put in place by environment, the truth is that I’m also getting a little bored.  I’ve ridden the Whitehorse trails so much that I’m losing a bit of excitement.  To try and reignite the spark, I’ve been trying night riding. a clever way of disguising a old trail in new clothes.


But now it’s time to go out and explore.  I can’t wait for big sun, flip flops, chicken fried steak and red rocks.  And so I bid adieu to the Mr., the dog, and the beautiful North.  See you soon!



The Chilkoot Adventure: Day 3

23 Sep

Day 2 is here

Day 3 of our Chilkoot adventure started with an imaginary snooze button.   We only had 12 km from Lindemann to Bennett, where we were being picked up by float plane.  Our plane was scheduled for 2:00 pm, which meant we had loads of time to get ourselves out of a sleeping bag and onto the trail.   Thanks to my new Skagway purchased alcohol flask, I got to enjoy my Sunday morning coffee and Bailey’s from the shores of Lindemann Lake.  Eventually, we got bags on backs and started on our way.



I didn’t expect much from our last day on the trail.  In my own head, the real Chilkoot was over the pass to Lindemann City.  After that, you were just “getting out”.  I was pleasantly surprised by our final hours en route.  Lindemann City turned out to be quite spectacular from the top viewpoint – especially when comparing the Gold Rush era photograph, with its current – more natural look.   No matter how many archival photos we passed, the idea that once upon a time the trail was packed with gold-seeking adventurers is still difficult to imagine.

Adding to the disbelief were little treats like this cabin, which next to the Mr. looks like it might be inhabited by the Snow White’s good friends.


By noon, we had made it to Bennett Lake and a still-warm cabin.  Inside there was a 1986 copy of Ranger Rick, which I’m pretty sure I owned as a  5 year old with big dreams of becoming a Park Ranger.   There was also a cribbage set, and enough National Geographic magazines to keep us amused until 2:00 pm.

Unfortunately, 2:00 pm came and went without the arrival of a float plane.  Outside the cabin windows, low clouds hanging over the lake suggested that our flight could easily have been delayed.  But, with no satellite phone, the only thing we could do is speculate.  Eventually (aka 2 minutes later) boredom set in, and I decided on a quick walk to the White Pass station.  There, I was lucky enough to find our old Chilkoot Pass friends Don and Dorothy, who happened to have a sat. phone, and happened to be calling the very same company to get a flight out of Bennett.   Don was able to get word that flights had been slightly delayed out of Whitehorse, and I was happy to have company while we waited.

After Starbuck’s slight freak-out on the Pass, we were a bit worried about his first trip in the air.   Turns out that he’s not smart enough to differentiate between on the ground and in the air travel, and treated our flight like any other car ride home.  This should not be confused with Starbuck being well behaved – all it means is that we was no more annoying than usual.


The float plane base is only a few kilometers from our house, and we were able to get off the plane, into our car and back into the house in short time.   After ordering some pizza, it was time to check out the damage from 50-odd kilometers of walking.


There was some hope that my half-ass attempt to protect my feet from the mean-spirited attacks of my hiking shoes would be successful. Alas that was not the case, with both sides suffering some major damage.



Not sure what exactly the problem was. I’m thinking it could have been that the hiking shoes are a size too small for me. May have also been that I’ve only ever worn them one other time. Or it might have had something to do with the fact that the first time I wore them I got them really wet, then created the world’s greatest shoe drying stand, which was so amazingly efficient that it completely burnt off the backs of the shoes. Apparently shoe backs do serve a purpose.



The Chilkoot Adventure: Day 2

23 Sep

Day 1 adventure is here.

We adopted Starbuck as a 9 month old puppy from the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter.  He had originally been rescued from Ross River, a small Yukon community, when his litter was found underfed and under-loved.  He, along with his brothers and sisters were adopted quickly.  Starbuck was the only one returned to the shelter.

Had Starbuck stayed in Ross River, he may have been in a dog team – and he would have almost certainly lived outside.  But, Starbuck ended up with two professional yuppies with no kids.  What does this mean?  Instead of running around the Yukon surviving on fish scraps and fighting for a dry corner – his owners carry a dog sized blue sleeping foam and mini-tarp across the Chilkoot, before paying for him to join them a float plane home.  Life is tough.

For a brief period of time it appeared as though, we would at the very least make Starbuck carry his own food.  Food, which he was too excited to eat.  In the end, he much preferred the hot dinners we packed, who wants kibble when you can eat beef stew.

On Day 2 a wet Starbuck woke up, eager to hit the road.  So eager, that he squirmed around like a lunatic when we tried to get his pack on.  Despite his insistence that we start at the crack of dawn, he started the day with a bit of a limp.  It took us 3 km to realize, that the pack was on wrong, and rubbing against his front limb – an action that automatically meant unlimited cheese treats for Starbuck, supplied by guilt.  I had hoped to enjoy a couple Babybel, but whatever…


We made it to the Scales in good time – possibly helped by the fact I was carrying 1980 lbs less than my gold rush counterparts.  There we met the only other hikers we would see all weekend – Dorothy and Don and their dog Sammy.  One of the few problems with hiking off season is the markers that are normally found leading up the Golden Stairs.   The Parks Canada staff had kindly sent me the GPS coordinates for the pass, but the GPS was broken and I was – as usual – overconfident when it came to memory.


The four hikers and 2 canines headed up the pass.  The wet boulders were a challenge for Starbuck’s paws, but he made his way up the rocks, with only the occasional slip into a crevice.  Without the markers, we picked our own way up the rocks, with every other route looking 20X better than the one we were on.  We got most of the way up the summit before realizing that we were too far to the right and that we had some big boulders to climb around to get back on course.  This wasn’t a big deal for us bipedal, tall humanoids, but turned out to be more than Starbuck could handle.

Golden Stairs

The worst punishment in the world for a spoiled little black dog, is to be apart from his owners/supply of babybel cheese.  Each time we’d climb across boulders too big for the dog, he would start to cry and shake and cry some more.  We tried to find an alternate route, but there was no way to get across.   After 15 minutes of looking around, the Mr. had resigned our fate to a return to Skagway.  I had not carried a freaking dog foamie 25 km just to turn around again.  So, we crawled on the rocks, and through the power of teamwork (aka Mr. shoving the dog into my hands and me lifting him over the biggest boulders) we managed to get the dog onto the right trail.

This adventure was not without emotional scars.  The 15 minutes of dog crying was enough to give up $20 worth of homemade beef jerky from the Deli.  It was also the end of Starbuck having to carry anything.  All this in spite of the fact that the minute we hit snow, he was in puppy heaven with any residual trauma clearly forgotten.


From the summit, we made great time to Happy Camp, where I enjoyed a delicious lunch of crackers, that would have been very tasty with some cheese and meat.  All day, we had narrowly avoided the rain, watching it creep behind us and limiting any prolonged breaks.

Hiking the Chilkoot Trail

The views on the Canadian side of the trail are phenomenal, and while we were entertained by vistas of mountain lakes, Starbuck was entertained by fat ground squirrels with limited dog experience.   We passed through Deep Lake campground, a beautiful space to pitch a tent in nicer weather, but the rain was quickly approaching and a warming tent was worth some extra hours of walking.

Finally we got to Upper Lindemann and an amazing little cabin with a strong stove and dry wood.  After 10 hours, and 25 km of walking I was ready to get warm and dry.   Starbuck wasn’t as convinced that we should end the day, but eventually agreed upon promise of Beef Stroganoff.   At least if something happened on Day 3, we’d have plenty of kibble to eat.



The Chilkoot Adventure: Day 1

23 Sep

The first time I hiked the Chilkoot was with my friend Lisa and my parents.   It was 25-30 degrees Celsius the entire time.  We hiked in shorts and t-shirts, which weren’t always deemed necessary, replaced with only sports bras.  The entire time the sun shone in a big blue sky – weather could not be more perfect.  For that reason, I thought that it might be best to never, ever dare to repeat the trail.  It simply couldn’t be better, so why mar a good memory?

But a couple weeks ago, when Jenn and Julie were planning their Chilkoot hike, the Mr’s interest was piqued.  Fifteen years ago, he’d come to the Yukon with a plan to hike, but it never happened.  Interest quickly turned into a plan, and on Friday, September 7th  we found ourselves driving towards a rainy Alaskan coast.

The Chilkoot officially closes the first week in September, this means no wardens, no wood, no markers, questionable weather and very few hikers.  We figured that last bit makes up for all the rest.

We arrived in Skagway just past noon.  The steady, cold rain, didn’t exactly inspire a speedy departure.  Instead, we used our time in Skagway to buy essentials: a down coat and alcohol flask; and eat a huge lunch at the Brew Pub.


Finally, at around 3:00 pm, we made our way to Dyea and the start of the trail head.  We took out every piece of rain gear we had packed – put it on, and set down the muddy trail.

Our trail plan was simple: go fast, go light.  Tony had the biggest/heaviest bag at about 30 lbs, I carried just under 20 lbs, and Starbuck got off easy with 5 lbs of kibble in his new pack.  Day 1 would take us from Skagway to Pleasant Camp, approximately 17 km down the path.  We rolled into Pleasant at around 7:00 pm, perfect time to start a fire in the warming hut and make some dinner.


Leaving in the arid climate of Whitehorse, we weren’t completely prepared the high humidity of coastal Alaska.  I learned some very important lessons.  Lesson #1: wet wood does not burn well.  Lesson #2:  a wet wood fire does not produce much eat.  Lesson #3:  hanging wet clothes over a wet wood fire, produces slightly warmer wet clothes.  Lesson #4: a wet dog sleeping next to a wet wood fire makes a slightly smellier wet dog.


But, despite the wet weather, the company made up for everything.  We had some delicious dinner, waited until it got dark, and determined that no more hikers would be staying at Pleasant that night, pulled out our thermarest and had a nice snooze in a semi-warm, semi-dry shelter.


Last Call

3 Sep

With the dusting of snow on Grey Mountain, and scraping of frost on Hart Crescent – the Yukon officially announced “last call” on Tuesday.   It was warning time for all us hedonists who have been drinking up the good times that summer has to offer.  Not only was this inevitable, any attentive person would have already noticed the shrinking days and yellowing leaves.  It should have been no great surprise when the snow made an appearance.  And yet, last call always seems a bit unexpected – couldn’t they see we were having a good time?  Why would anyone want it to end?

There’s very few options when it’s last call.  If you are my backyard begonia or an 18 year old girl on her first night out, last call is the end of your evening.  You are limp and hanging lifelessly over the edge of the pot; it’s time to get pulled out.  For those that don’t surrender quite as quickly, there are essentially two options:


Option 1:  Accept it

It’s last call, and while the happily buzzed scramble to the bar, you just accept it as a natural sign that the night is over.  It’s time to move on, drink some water, and start making plans for the rest of the week.   Time to get the Fatback ready for winter – last call just means the end of one night, and the start of a new – slightly colder – day.  With open minds and fat tires, accept  the inevitability of it all.


Option 2: Cram it all in!

It’s last call, and your only real challenge is figuring out how many drinks you can carry back to the table.  It’s time to get it all in, there’s only a few more hours until the lights go out and the evening is officially done, so chug – chug – chug.  Yes, you will probably end up in significant pain tomorrow.  Yes, you will probably overindulge to the point that you have to swear it off altogether for a couple weeks.  But, everything is so much fun right now, that the only real option is to keep the party going.  Ignore all those naysayers telling you that you are going to injure or exhaust yourself and get on your bike.

Thursday: Blinglespeed with Monika


Friday: Grey Mtn adventure with Starbuck


Saturday: Dawn of the Tread Cyclocross


Sunday: Mountain Hero


Monday:  TBD


You’ll just have to guess what option I’ve picked…


Of Mice and Marigolds

22 Aug

As difficult as it is to believe, I do have other hobbies besides biking.  They are few and far between, but they exist.  Most of them have fallen to the wayside as my love of cycling as grown.  Thankfully gardening outlasted personal hygiene and general cleanliness in the race for my spare time.


Although the Yukon’s season is short, years of failure have left me with reasonable expectations for summer vegetables.  Perennials planted in my first year at the house, have established strong roots and produce big flowers with limited work.  And I’ve figure out exactly what to put in my annual deck pots.



If not for the mice, this might have been the perfect year.

The mouse problem started early.  After the snow melted, I went to examine my precious lily bed; a section of garden that had taken 4 years of faithful bulb planting to finally get consistent flowers in the summer.  When I went to add some compost, the entire bed dropped 2 inches.  Apparently during the summer, some rodents realized that lily beds could be an easily accessed treat.   I might have some sympathy for these hungry little vermin, if not for the fact that I have been generously feeding them compost for many years.  I can not imagine that old lily bulbs are tastier the constant stream of strawberries, potatoes and Midnight Sun coffee grounds that I literally dump into their kitchen.  I resolved to destroy my enemy.



Unfortunately my second encounter with the mice weakened my battle position.  I was removing compost from the bottom of the bin, when suddenly a section of dirt dropped, revealing an entire mouse nest.  In it, was 8 squirmy, pinkish baby mice.  This was my opportunity to eradicate an entire family, but I was weak and they were cute.  So instead of killing them – or even leaving them to potentially die from exposure, I replaced their nest, closed up the compost and walked away.

For a while I felt good about my compassion.  Then the mice ate my cauliflower.  And my carrot tops.  And my cilantro.  And my broccoli.  I hoped that by showing some compassion, the mice would respect my hard work, but instead they took every opportunity to indulge on a midnight snack.  I tried a live trap – they ate all the peanut butter and ran.  I tried a bucket trap,  they seemed to prefer to fresh vegetables.  Finally, I gave up and took out the traps.  For a week, I set all the traps, and most of the time the mice were able to extract the peanut butter without consequence.  Finally, I got one.



Of course, my desire for vengeance was premature.  Although I managed to get one, I didn’t have the resolve to actually confront my victim and had to beg a friend to dispose of the evidence.  Turns out that as much as I want the mice to die, I don’t really want to be the one to kill them.

Now, I’m trying to find ways of sharing the vegetables – and I’m hoping the random influx of peanut butter in the compost will curb late night munchies.



A Trail for a Trail Makes the Whole World….Bare?

14 Aug

This week, I hit my frustration threshold when news broke that McIntyre Creek, a local recreation area, had been destroyed by vandals.  It wasn’t so much the destruction, which was obviously horrible, but the motivation (brought to light following the vandalism) that angered me.  The vandals thought that trees planted as part of the restoration project were spikes, meant to injure motorists.  This wasn’t true, but for me illustrated just how dangerous it is when user groups think they are in conflict.

It’s crazy to imagine that in such a huge place like the Yukon with all it’s space and extensive trail networks, there would be any conflict at all.  But the idea of sharing can be hard – for everyone.  Sharing trail means that sometimes you have to pull over mid-way through your greatest Bouncing Bunny downhill EVER because a family and their puppy is hiking up.  And maybe for a split second, that’s infuriating, but then you remember that the family is just trying to enjoy the trail as much as you are – and that the puppy is just a puppy.  Sharing trail can mean hoof prints and foot prints and wheel prints and bigger wheel prints.  Sharing trail can also mean meeting up with pretty cool people doing things you think are completely insane (but don’t worry they think the same thing about you).

In an attempt to put my trail sharing thoughts into words, I wrote this letter, which is my Pollyanna plea for everyone to try to find the ways to work together – or at the very least find ways to tolerate each other without hurting others or the trails.

Last week, a very sad act of vandalism took place in McIntyre Creek, when the restoration site was destroyed after someone pulled out all the willow stakes meant to promote re-growth, and prevent erosion of the bank.  The worst part about the destruction was that it appears to have been motivated by misinformation.  Individuals believed they were being targeted, that the stakes were there to hurt them, and they retaliated.  While this was simply untrue in this case, there is no denying that similar acts of vigilantism aren’t unheard of on the trails in the Yukon. 

In my summers of adventuring I’ve encountered: broken glass under log rolls (presumably designed to puncture bike tires); spikes under ladders and jumps (to hurt a fly-by dirt jumper);  cords and ropes strung across trees (to clothesline speeding motorists) and more.   

I hope that this action is a lesson to us all, that it is time to work together.  The large number of people who enjoy the Yukon’s great outdoors should be finding ways to come together to protect our wildlife against development, not fabricating civil wars against each other.  The only way that we can do this is by showing respect and tolerance to other users and to the trails themselves. 

So next time someone comes down the trail towards you, try a smile and a wave.  Take the first step off the trail to let someone get by.  Ask someone how their day is going.  Pick up some garbage that someone dropped along the route.  Move a hanging tree that could fall at any time.  Don’t destroy trails and if you do, find a way to fix them.  Respect trail access rules, even when you don’t agree with them.

Show some tolerance for those who experience the outdoors in a different way.  Assume the best of them, instead of the worst.  Maybe the spikes are trees, planted to restore the creek.  Maybe a tree was moved, because someone thought it was a hazard.  Maybe the dirt biker didn’t know he’d throw up so much dust. 

There are jerks in this world.  They are everywhere, not just on the trails.  But, when someone’s rude to you at the Superstore, do you block the aisle to stop the next shopper?  Do you ram the next person over with your cart?  Of course not – so don’t do the same on a trail. 

Multi-use means that we all have to compromise a little bit. If we can’t do that, we risk hurting people or destroying trails.  And if that’s the plan, we might as well just pave it over now.

I hope that people reading the letter will think a little bit before they get upset at their fellow trail user.  We can all be jerks – myself included – but maybe if we work hard, we can all be a little bit nicer to each other.  And the very least, we can try not to injure each other, or destroy the trails.

I know it’s not just a Pollyanna idea, because the first person who sent me a note after the letter came out was someone who wanted to tell me that they are a hiker who moves logs out of the way because they are worried about bikers.   Another person (ATV-er)  sent me a note saying they helped some stranded hikers out of the trails last weekend.   We can all be jerks – but let’s face it, we are pretty awesome most of the time.