Nica-Take 2.

October trips to central america have become quite addictive. And - ten-years later - my Bushy yellow snapper is still going strong. Need to do a lot more surf junkets before heading off for the dirt nap.

Viva Sandino!

Viva Sandino!

Montana's Best Singletrack?

Welcome to griz country - don't forget your bear spray.

 

Montana’s Best Singletrack?

By the time Indian summer rolls around here at the 45th parallel, avid mountain bikers are looking to tick a few big, definitive rides before the snow flies. Definitive, in our circle, equals a full-day outing with lots of mileage and vertical relief. The climb(s) must be sustained, nearly anaerobic lung busters, and yet just barely do-able.  The switchbacks should be tight, yet ride-able without a dab. Not seeing another soul (outside of your carefully chosen posse) accentuates the remote, must-be-self-reliant space we seek. Add an element of primal fear, like the possibility encountering a large toothed, sharp clawed predator, and the allure bumps higher still. Finally, the singletrack must be narrow and buttery. We’re not talking trammeled, double track; we’re talking artfully engineered, sustainably built serpentine trail that flows with the natural landscape. In short, welcome to Mile Creek.

 

Located just north of Raynolds Pass in the Henry Mountains – near the Montana/Idaho border – Mile Creek begins in a lonely grass parking lot at 6800 feet. Built in 1995 by artisan trail builder, Terry Johnson, this section of the iconic Continental Divide Trail heads for a notch in the mountains where the serious ascent begins. Switchback after switchback (50-some in all) winds you upward from the muffled roar of the creek bottom (“here bear, coming through Mr. Bear!”) to an eventual alpine plateau where the altimeter strikes 10 grand.  Assuming you have the juice, you can scramble still higher to tag the summit of Targhee Peak (10,300’). Granted, the ride up is taxing and not for everyone. But the views and the wild, head-clearing alone-ness make it worth it for some of us. Oh, and the ride down is pretty sweet too. 

Not squemish about Squamish

Buttery concrete in the woods behind the elementary school.

Pater noster, qui est in caelis, santificatur nomem tuem. And that, mi hermano, is no dummy copy.Pater noster, qui est in caelis, santificatur nomem tuem. And that, mi hermano, is no dummy copy. Pater noster, qui est in caelis, santificatur nomem tuem. And that, mi hermano, is no dummy copy.Pater noster, qui est in caelis, santificatur nomem tuem. And that, mi hermano, is no dummy copy. 

Source: http://www.spectrum-sk8.com/parks/bc/van/s...

Paradise is NOT for Sale

On a recent surf trip to Costa Rica I was reminded of an important lesson… if you really want a feral experience you’re going to have to travel a bit further than most. Perhaps not a further distance, simply a different compass bearing. When the guidebook says, “go right” I’ve learned I’m better off going left… or, perhaps, splitting the difference.

El paraiso no se vende!

El paraiso no se vende!

Just north of Malpais, Costa Rica, the coastal town of Santa Teresa smells of ripe mangos. It’s a clean little beach community with a dank, jungly rainforest backing up to la playa. And yet, it’s a bit too discovered for my taste. Just a few too many dudes strutting in their skull & crossbones trunks, stylee-branded sunglasses and rooster attitudes. Santa Teresa’s once dusty thoroughfare is now paved.

But, despite my quips, this zone on the southern Nicoya peninsula catches a spectrum of swell angles and the sandbars are known to produce hollow waves when the wind blows offshore. Sure I wanted culture, but I really wanted surf.

Doing our best to settle into an “insta-local” groove, we ‘d gotten word of a farmer’s market held every Saturday afternoon under a sprawling banyan tree. Rolling in search of fresh veggies on my rusty rental cruiser bike, I came upon a real estate sign that distilled my conflicted thoughts. “Want to own a piece of paradise?” it read in a bold, sales-guy font. Below, the spray-painted tag — El paraiso no se vende!!

Travel serves up those aha moments.