Heritage Meets the Dirt
Last Saturday was National Trails Day. The MTF crew and I met with 54 eager, gloved and sunscreened volunteers. Each with a tool in hand, we walked to the work site, chatting along the way. At 53, I was by far an elder in the group so naturally fell into conversation with others of the older guard. Among those were a few of my favorites and some of the original pirate trail builders. Nick Calas, Dennis McCormick, Craig Williams and Greg Libecci told stories of the ol’ days of mountain bike racing and trail building, before MTF was even a twinkle in Jan Wilking’s eye.
Stories about trail legends Rich Perrier, as in Perrier’s Pass, Cyndi Schwandt honored by CynCity, John Gunthier as in John’s Trail and Sam Wolfe of, you guessed it, Sam’s Trail, were recounted among others. Laughter resounded and a few hushed moments ticked by as we walked on silently remembering those who’ve already passed.
Who knows how embellished the stories have become over the decades – or what has already been lost. The way I figure, the stories that survive are only growing better with age – like the people telling them. These are the stories that add rich color to the fabric of our local culture. They are the oral traditions of the Trail Tribe.
That day, as I dug along, listening to the youthful banter of high school mountain bike kids, I pondered the importance and impacts of the old guard. The wisdom they harbor and the perspective they lend. They were/are the men and women who planted the seeds that became Park City’s trail culture. These trail pioneers left, and continue to leave, an impact on our trails, our hearts and our heritage.
Thirty years from now, I hope trail users of the future will look back upon the work being done today by MTF’s trail crew and volunteers and hold for them a heart-felt appreciation – and a few good stories!
Thanks to everybody who shows up in support of trails.
See you out there,