S’quatch received a call a couple of days ago that would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing. It seems someone has been cutting new trail through the recently clear-cut forest out by our old grandpa trail, Munson Hills. Chainsaw, flagging, the whole chimichanga of trail cutting. I really don’t understand the concern, seeing as how they will be dropping a Lowe’s Superstore on the site, or something similar. The Forest Service is watching the area and they are apparently hungry for blood. They really want this Zorro of the wilderness, this Robin Hood who dares steal lines in the sand and give them to the people for the pleasure of rolling-slowly-in the forest.

This call came from the inner cabal of our local trail advocacy group Fat of the Land, a group dedicated to… well, it is really hard to say what they are dedicated to, but by God they are dedicated!

It seems S’quatch had been tried and convicted en absentia and was being given the opportunity to come clean, cease and desist, before-you know- things had to get ugly. Seeing as how we have one trail outlaw trying to stay one step ahead of the law regarding the Fern Trail stand-off, this new accusation has me thinking Pogrom?

S’quatch assured Kenneth Starr that he most certainly did not have relations with that trail, but he did applaud the outlaw’s effort and looked forward to riding the renegade trail in the near future, like maybe after it has rained for a week. (Who in the hell wants to be in the forest in these conditions anyway?)

Kenneth Starr then informed S’quatch that he respectfully did not believe him, as he and the rest of the secret tribunal were absolutely certain they had their man. Mr. Starr continued in his admonishment, encouraging S’quatch to come in from the cold and assume the legitmate role of trail steward since he himself was a family man, with a career, and had no time to commit to this nonsense. S’quatch, sensing some common ground at last, related “Yes, I understand, I have a career and a family too.” To which Mr. Starr replied with a disturbing, “No you don’t.” Hmmmmmmm. A threat or merely an oversight? Although it is damaging to the mythos of the Big Ring Circus to acknowledge such things, S’quatch actually does have two fun and clever children and a lovely wife (Squawtch). He is employed in a position where people call him “Doctor”.

So, just for the record, since the resurrection of our local trail advocacy group we have a total of (0) new trails completed, one trail lost entirely, and one succesful character assasination.

Not a bad day’s work.


7 Responses to

  1. For the record, this Ken Starr fellow has cut way more than his share of MUCH appreciated trail around here, and will take up the outlaw trail builder’s kit if he thinks the coast is clear, which, apparently, it’s not at this time.

    I was sincerely flattered he thought it was me. I’ll take that brand of character assassination (I know you’re the guy taking initiative, working hard, taking risks, and actually TOILING for your fun) any day.

    I only wish I had the time and ambition to cut any trail, anywhere. I don’t even have enough civic spirit left to interrupt my flow to stop and move a freshly fallen branch off the trail I’m riding.

    However, KUDOS to whoever is trying to clean up the mess out at Munson and get us from the parking lot to the main trail without getting hopelessly lost. I’ll take real outlaw trail any day over fictitious legal trail.

  2. I’m guilty of more than my share of commando trail work and I realize this blog is for entertainment purposes (and by jove it is that), but I don’t mind going on the record to say that much of the “user created” trails around these parts are, relatively speaking, shit. And that includes a fair amount of the crap I cut.

    Allow me to explain…I enjoy riding the Cadillac, Live Oak, Pedrick, and I’m glad they make a link, Computer Tutors, Fern, and I appreciate that if it was not for fine grass and big roots, I mean grassroot efforts, that in most of these corridors we would not have a trail for many years to come, if ever. But the fact is, most of these trails could be so, so much better if they were built with true expertise and planning. Better as in way frigging funner and better as in more sustainable/less environmentally impacting.

    Expert design is the key point. Many of the legitimate process trails in these parts suck too (can you say Lines Tract?).

    It would be one thing if the local land managers had closed doors and were totally unreasonable. But the fact is, most of these public stewards are begging us fat tires to come in from the cold and help create legit trails. Sure, we’ve got to play by the rules and be willing to stay with the game for years and years in many cases before loppers can lop. But so do the horsies and motorbikes and sierra club hikers and… thank god all those user groups aren’t allowed free reign on that little patch of woods.

    All I’m saying is…

    – land owner permission granted legitimate public process created trails is not what makes a good trail. Expertise, vision, imagination, best practices and innovation are required to get the best possible single-track out of a given chunk of land. But most of the corridors that have the most potential are going to require both of these elements or we’ll get sh$t or zip instead.

    – when a particular public land is under an intensive review process with many user groups vying for the pie including our fledgling trail advocacy group, don’t be a BONE HEAD and PISS OFF the people with the POWER of CLOSURE (that comment is not a nod toward Squatch as I 100% believe in his innocence). Rather, in times of scrutiny, we must play by the rules or at least lay low.

  3. The Gorilla builders solved a problem daddy-O:
    Plumb up the shattered Munson trail system so you can ride from the front parking lot and get on the ol” Hare Scramble, (not part of the ANF trail system plan) ride to the lake, or tie in to the Munson Hill loop.

    I believe they are novices outside our circles of trail advocacy and mtb friends and with out a trail handbook; i.e.:
    1) they chopped the logs (only beginners fear logs)
    2) They raked a beautiful ancient motorcycle run clear of it’s packed vegetation (duh)
    3) they cut trail 24” from a gopher turtle hole (stupid)

    As a member of FOTL, it’s too bad that we failed to get the word out to the community at large that we are working with the Forest and there is a plan for the Munson sector.

    Sorry Juancho for hijacking your fun forum, but it’s a more vocal place for this than the FOTL web site.


  4. hmmm seems like thar’s a lot in common between Ken and Juancho.
    Lots o smoke but no fire.

    FOTL is mostly dead, and I blame you both.

    Better luck next trai.

  5. No problem Bill-O, that’s what it is here for. FOTL was a zombie from day one. It’s still staggering around out there I think.