From the reasoning of the Dawg name to the best comic book authors, from the history of the Hot to a timeline of industrial music, Cory has the trivia, and the opinions to mouth off about it.
“You met me at a very strange time in my life.” If mountain bike destinations could talk, I imagine that Galbraith here in Bellingham would utter this final line from Fight Club.
That great, funny, sad line from the movie popped into my head the other night as I was riding up on the hill that made me fall in love with Bellingham. Eight years ago when I got here, there were a couple clearcut areas, but almost the entire mountain was a lush forest. Now I go up, and trees fall like the buildings (and brawlers) in Fight Club, taking trails with them. Last night I was shut out of half the trails I wanted to ride, because they simply didn’t exist any longer.
I should clarify and say that Galbraith isn’t some idyllic, virginal forest. (Even though I always felt that way up there, moving from Midwestern suburban sprawl) It’s been logging land for a long time now, but the company that owned it wasn’t really logging it. After ownership changed hands, the new owners weren’t interested in mountain bikers and interested in logging as much as they could as quickly as they could… but that’s another story.
It’s very disconcerting to be on a trail you’ve ridden literally hundreds of times only to round the corner and find the remainder of the trail decimated with a giant… machine sitting in your path. I’m not talking some wood chipper, either. Think 50 feet long, treads sitting chest high, and an arm that would be comfortable in a Skinny Puppy music video. Ropes are strung across trails, downed trees and deep treads lie in the way of others, with shredded limbs and brush everywhere, slowing your path and reminding you that this isn’t your hill.
Here’s the catch that keeps this from just being another whine fest – trails are coming back. Some are better, some are worse, but the kill is going to be better off in the long run. Some of the areas were overgrown, marshy, and never saw sunlight. Most areas still have some trees, just thinner. This allows flowers to come in, sun to hit and dry our rainforest-soaked dirt more quickly, and outdated trail designs to get updated. Sure, things kinda suck this year, and there’s a hell of a lot of destruction right now, but it’s temporary. The Cabin trail has already been punched back through, as has 187. Unemployment line is next to get trashed, but it will be back.
The WHIMPS and the Whatcom Trails Co-op are absolutely amazing, and getting things rolling faster than anyone expected. Galbraith will be back, and just as awesome (if not a little moreso) as it’s always been.
Until then, we can hum the Pixies and contemplate the desire “to destroy something beautiful.”