pic;  today after completing my Trail Crew Leadership certification with my Teacher, Patch.

sure, of course, i love running, snowshoeing, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and nowadays taking my daughter along the sinewy sweetness of the massive network and drop-to-your-knees beauty of our Four Corners trails!  doh!  who doesn’t?!

but, what only a few of you know?

i love creating and maintaining trails even more!


the seduction.

that’s right…
i love the seduction; vinyasa-like trails which beckon us further, higher…toward more pure terrain…purer Prana!

Trails are metaphors for our own life journeys.
many fizzle out; no waterfalls, no lakes, no nothing ‘cept mosquitos and painful blisters.
arrives that ONE trail…oooh!!!   right under your nose all this time!  perfect gradient either up, down, or across svelte mineral soil with a perfectly cultivated cross slope armored by a strong, supportive critical edge which undulates in long, sexy stretches within a veritable forest of intoxicating wildflowers.   what began as a trail becomes a monumental,  serpentine line into your spiritual cells which you’ll recall across lifetimes!  yes, indeed…a well created and maintained singletrack can be for many of us an ignition switch firing up our Highest Self…and more importantly, the spiritual cells of our children’s generation and beyond…

i used the word, ‘vinyasa’ up there because that is the current keyword in pro trail creation and maintenance; Flow.   Vinyasa is a yogic, Sanskrit word which means, ‘a flow sequence,’ and whether you are a hiker, trail runner, horse rider, and perhaps most viscerally; a mountain biker?   you know what a great ‘flow’ trail feels like…ooooohhh!   so sweet!  full of undulations which makes your tummy go, “WEEEE!”  with sprinklings of (perhaps optional) technical drops, jumps, and obstacles to spike that healthy, life-enhancing, Kundalini ignition of Fear-based Focus!

see, in my h(om)etown of Durango – which is slowly becoming a showcase of community-embraced and maintained trails?   we used to – as a bunch of kids with dirt motorcycles – just rip around various hillsides and drainages and…BOOM!  we got ourselves a trail!   i’ve forgotten how many trails around here first took semblance from beneath the rubber of our dirt bikes;  Sailing Hawks (now called, Dalla Mountain Something), Logchutes, Church Camp, Test Tracks (now called, Overend Mountain Park, i think…i don’t even know if Ned knows what is the official name!),  Jones Creek, Hermosa Creek, Animas City Mountain, and we pretty much ripped in most of the lower CO Trail to High Point and beyond.

that was then.

things changed and probably…for the Higher.   when me and B. Balliger tried to rip a trail to connect Turtle Lake to the Animas Valley down the obvious east draw?

we got shot at.  still recall the sound of bullets ricocheting while i was throttling;  talk about feeling Kundalini shards up my spine!!!

Flash Forward to now:
sure,  i know there are kids/folks creating illegal bandit trails (some with superb flow!) around here.  kinda hard not too.  yet, feeble ilg has chosen to purify my karma of past illegal trail creation to work within the System.  that’s right.  you might want to sit down:  today i got certified through Trails 2,000 as a Trail Crew Leader.

i know….i know…

to put ME in charge of six or more Pulsaski-toting civilians in the backwoods!??!

see, the thing is…and sure, i can say this now in my elder years cuz i’ve had my footloose and fancy free trail building fun – times have changed. Mother Earth is grossly pregnant with an exploding population of nature-ignorant folks compounded by an equally large denizen frantically grasping for an outdoor experience;  can’t blame them!   gotta accommodate them as best as possible, right?

okay, so go ahead and ridicule when you see me and my Pulaski-swingin’, McLeod-scraping crew maintaining upper Hoffeins and making terrain changes that you feel might be too sanitizing…cuz you know what?

before you were born?   i and my friends helped create these precious trails within this Nirvanic gem of a mountain hamlet and i for one?   have chosen to stop the bandit trail building which – if you understand the science of trail creation/maintenance – only destructs the terrain and causes biologic/geologic serial distortion for all generations ahead of us..

including my daughters.


head bowed,
mountain spirit vowed,

feeble ilg

One Response to “another feather in my cap, err…dirt clod in my boot?”

  1. Kit Johaneson says:

    I am volunteering at a 50K trail run which is being held in the Provincial Park which is literally just out my back door. It has some of the sweetest trails anywhere. Still have to get you to visit Vernon.
    Your description of a flowing trail is right on.
    Ai Imawa,
    Fit Kit

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