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  1. #1
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    Bay Area Trail name origins

    I was riding Demo today and while trying to avoid heat stroke on the climbs, I started thinking about the origins of Bay Area trail names. Some are fairly obvious like Ridge & Sawpit, others not so much. For example, I couldn't think of an obvious reason for why Braille has it's name.

    Out on the trails, I've heard some fellow riders tell some interesting about how trails got their names. One that comes to Mind is Steam Donkey at Skeggs from the steam trains when the placed was being logged. Some of them are probably BS b/c somebody else told a different story, but interesting conversation nonetheless!

    Anybody have some interesting anecdotes / factoids / trivia about the names of our trails?

  2. #2
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    resolution has to be one of the most interesting and tragic: BCPA Flight 304 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    There used to be a trail at Skegg's called 914 because the trail went through the door openings of an old Porsche 914. It was a great trail and disappeared/was heavily sanitized years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atayl0r View Post
    There used to be a trail at Skegg's called 914 because the trail went through the door openings of an old Porsche 914. It was a great trail and disappeared/was heavily sanitized years ago.

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  6. #6
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    Great stuff! Love the incorporation of the Porsche into the trail. Was that IMBA approved construction? Where in Skeggs was that?

    Thanks for the clarification on the Steam Donkey - may favorite part of reading that Wiki entry was learning that a person who operates a Steam Donkey is called a "Donkey Puncher" (look that up on Urban Dictionary if you want to know an alternate meaning)

  7. #7
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    Re: Bay Area Trail name origins

    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    resolution has to be one of the most interesting and tragic: BCPA Flight 304 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    B-17 trail still has an engine near it.

    sent remotely

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    "Someone" once told me that Braille got its name because it gets so dusty that it obscures the trail and you have read the trail by feel.

    It sounds like urban legend to me and it's probably BS, but it does feel true when you're riding in the back of your group.

  9. #9
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    I was told that is was primarily built and ridden at night so you had to use Braille to find your way down. I ran into one of the guys who built it...if I see him again, I'll ask.

    I think most of the clever named trails around here can't really be discussed.

    Anyone remember Moody in LG...wonder how that got it's name.

    Quote Originally Posted by hairylegs View Post
    "Someone" once told me that Braille got its name because it gets so dusty that it obscures the trail and you have read the trail by feel.

    It sounds like urban legend to me and it's probably BS, but it does feel true when you're riding in the back of your group.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    Great stuff! Love the incorporation of the Porsche into the trail. Was that IMBA approved construction? Where in Skeggs was that?
    Methuselah trail

    Sure I remember Moody, maybe because you had to be in the Mood to possibly lose some flesh
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    Cool Thread. Most of the Tam stuff is pretty self explanatory and named after early residents of the mountain or the trail builders. Still, there are a few I'd love to know more about, like:

    Nora Trail: I have not come across anything about Nora in the Tam history stuff I've read.
    HooKooEKoo: I cheated and looked this one up. One of three bands of early coastal Miwoks.
    Kent: Owned almost all of Tam at various points and his family gifted it all back to the state over different periods. Was the original namesake of Muir Woods but rejected the honor and asked that it be named after John Muir.

    China Camp would have some fun ones but maybe best left offline.
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  12. #12
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    Methuselah at skeggs

    [QUOTE=TahoeBC;11254410]Methuselah trail

    I always wondered if Methuselah was named after the biblical character who lived forever. I think Methuselah is the longest trail at Skeggs, and the most horrible climb out for sure!

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    Cinderella trail in JMP named after Cinderella creek, same with Fern Ravine trail. This is probably common knowledge for anyone that's looked at a map of the park though..
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  14. #14
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    Crazy Pete's Trail:
    In One Life, Mine Emma Stolte Garrod recounts her experiences growing up on a subsistence farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, attending a one-room school, and living life in her rural mountaintop community; also recalled Crazy Pete O’Shaunessey

    " One that stands out in my memory was Pete O’Shaunessey ("Crazy Pete") an Irish man, tall and well-built, of amazing strength with piercing black eyes, and high-bridged nose, coal black hair and beard-always too long and uncombed. He went unbathed too, his clothing always in rags and oh-so-dirty. The way he lived and what he cooked in his tumbled-own shanty was beyond description. And his mind was full of vagaries and fancies.

    Pete worked for Father for years clearing land and cutting cordwood. He had to imaginary associates, the Little One who was good and the Big One who was bad. Sometimes he would cut down big pine, four or five feet in diameter and then go home and not touch it again four weeks. If asked about it, he would explain that the Big One had been there and put knots in it and made it too hard.

    Then would come a day when his ax and saw could be heard hard at work. Pete would explain then that night the Little one had jumped over it, now it was easy to cut.

    In the spring, he would plant gardens here and there and the woods. When some cow came by and ate his vegetables it was alright; "the good Lord told her to"
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  15. #15
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    demonstration forest logging names

    the story i heard about the naming of Braille was that at the time when Demo was only Ridge, Tractor and Sawpit some of the guys would ride down an unnamed skid trail at night with these puny 3w headlamps and even punier suspensions. so one night they were riding down the remnants of said unnamed skid trail and unable to see anything one of the guys exclaimed that he couldn't see anything and something about it feeling like they were "riding by braille." fast forward a bit and one day a little ribbon appeared at the entrance of the trail (placed by Patty perhaps?) and the jig was up - but the trail was eventually opened, with some rerouting (again, Patty would know more) and as a bit of a surprise they not only kept the name but delivered a sign making it official.

    Sawpit is just that, a pit where you saw. a log would lay over the pit and get cut lengthwise into planks by hand. the saw would be operated by two men; one in the pit below the log, the other above him and the log. pretty crappy job as i understand it.

    Tractor speaks to the change in logging practices from the use of steam engines (steam donkeys) in the 19th century to internal combustion (tractors) of the 20th.

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    I too have a mind "full of vagaries".

    Quote Originally Posted by snowjnky View Post
    Crazy Pete's Trail:
    In One Life, Mine Emma Stolte Garrod recounts her experiences growing up on a subsistence farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, attending a one-room school, and living life in her rural mountaintop community; also recalled Crazy Pete O’Shaunessey

    " One that stands out in my memory was Pete O’Shaunessey ("Crazy Pete") an Irish man, tall and well-built, of amazing strength with piercing black eyes, and high-bridged nose, coal black hair and beard-always too long and uncombed. He went unbathed too, his clothing always in rags and oh-so-dirty. The way he lived and what he cooked in his tumbled-own shanty was beyond description. And his mind was full of vagaries and fancies.

    Pete worked for Father for years clearing land and cutting cordwood. He had to imaginary associates, the Little One who was good and the Big One who was bad. Sometimes he would cut down big pine, four or five feet in diameter and then go home and not touch it again four weeks. If asked about it, he would explain that the Big One had been there and put knots in it and made it too hard.

    Then would come a day when his ax and saw could be heard hard at work. Pete would explain then that night the Little one had jumped over it, now it was easy to cut.

    In the spring, he would plant gardens here and there and the woods. When some cow came by and ate his vegetables it was alright; "the good Lord told her to"
    .......
    I'm not sure how this works.

  17. #17
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    Resolution

    Trail at Skeggs is where an airliner called the Resolution crashed in 1953

    BCPA Flight 304 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You can still see pieces if you know where to look.

    Edit: Oops, rox beat me to it.

    Formerly at Skeggs: Devil's Staircase, Nosebreak, and Faceplant.
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  18. #18
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    I remember Moody too. 18 or 19 years ago. It was named after Moody Gulch, at Sierra Azul.
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  19. #19
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    $2 Hill (officially known as Sunset Trail) in Joaquin Miller Park was supposedly the amount that the early pioneers would wager before attempts to climb it. The trail has since been rerouted such that it is twice as easy to climb, thus locals refer to the rerouted portion as Lone Buck.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    I was riding Demo today and while trying to avoid heat stroke on the climbs, I started thinking about the origins of Bay Area trail names. Some are fairly obvious like Ridge & Sawpit, others not so much. For example, I couldn't think of an obvious reason for why Braille has it's name.

    Out on the trails, I've heard some fellow riders tell some interesting about how trails got their names. One that comes to Mind is Steam Donkey at Skeggs from the steam trains when the placed was being logged. Some of them are probably BS b/c somebody else told a different story, but interesting conversation nonetheless!

    Anybody have some interesting anecdotes / factoids / trivia about the names of our trails?
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    Bay Area Trail name origins

    [QUOTE=bchains;11254503]
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Methuselah trail

    I always wondered if Methuselah was named after the biblical character who lived forever. I think Methuselah is the longest trail at Skeggs, and the most horrible climb out for sure!
    Methuselah is an ancient redwood tree just across the street from CM-02 entrance to Skeggs. Go check it out sometime! The girth is massive, but at some point in recent years the top of it blew down.
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    And just to be confusing…Methuselah is also the name of a more famous tree, known for decades as the oldest living tree anywhere, a Bristlecone pine in the White Mountains which is 4,800 years plus old.

    It's no longer the oldest though - last year they documented another Bristlecone in the same area which is over 5,000 years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    the story i heard about the naming of Braille was that at the time when Demo was only Ridge, Tractor and Sawpit some of the guys would ride down an unnamed skid trail at night with these puny 3w headlamps and even punier suspensions. so one night they were riding down the remnants of said unnamed skid trail and unable to see anything one of the guys exclaimed that he couldn't see anything and something about it feeling like they were "riding by braille." fast forward a bit and one day a little ribbon appeared at the entrance of the trail (placed by Patty perhaps?) and the jig was up - but the trail was eventually opened, with some rerouting (again, Patty would know more) and as a bit of a surprise they not only kept the name but delivered a sign making it official.
    Same story I heard.

    I also heard that Dead Campers was literally named for some murders that took place in that area in the late 70s early 80s (or something like that).

  24. #24
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    Bay Area Trail name origins-felling_a_gumtree_c1884-1917_powerhouse_museum.jpg
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  25. #25
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    Fremont and Cora Older
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esses View Post
    Same story I heard.

    I also heard that Dead Campers was literally named for some murders that took place in that area in the late 70s early 80s (or something like that).
    in early February 1973, Herb Mullin was wandering around Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park where he saw four teenage boys out camping. He walked over to them, engaged in a brief conversation and claimed to be a park ranger. He ordered them to leave because they were "polluting" the forest, but they refused. He told them he would return the next day. The boys, who were armed with a .22 rifle, did not take this seriously. Mullin did return, shot them to death, and abandoned their bodies, which were not found until the next week.
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    ^^ Dang. I looked him up on the interwebs, and he killed 13 people over a period over a few months.

    A local trail/IPA expert, Hoser, told me that an old name for a section of that trail is called "Ring of Fire"--possibly the scene of the crime?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Nice pic Empty! Memories - riding all that on a fully rigid. There were some stupid-hard trails around there back then. Made Leaf Trail look like a stroll.

  29. #29
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    An insight to how my brain works:

    I heard the story about the Dead Campers and immediately thought how that is a terrible area to camp because it's so steep with very few flat spots. I suppose that a normal person would have immediately thought how sad and tragic it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post

    I think most of the clever named trails around here can't really be discussed.

    Anyone remember Moody in LG...wonder how that got it's name.
    Haha, true. Emma McCrary is a pretty obvious naming convention.


    Oh man, I grew up riding Moody in the early 90s. Brutal even after I got my super cutting edge Rock Shox Mag20 fork!
    I'm not sure it was ever cleaned gracefully (not by me anyway).

    Do you remember Steps at Jones then? Or the drop in wall at the clearing and the steep direct route to the top?
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    A local trail/IPA expert, Hoser, told me that an old name for a section of that trail is called "Ring of Fire"--possibly the scene of the crime?
    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    I heard the story about the Dead Campers and immediately thought how that is a terrible area to camp because it's so steep with very few flat spots. I suppose that a normal person would have immediately thought how sad and tragic it was.


    this would be the on the east side of 9 near the "garden of eden" (added creepiness, police responded to the scene just before dark so some of those guys in the picture would have had to camp out there the first night!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post


    this would be the on the east side of 9 near the "garden of eden" (added creepiness, police responded to the scene just before dark so some of those guys in the picture would have had to camp out there the first night!)
    Ah - so this happened on the east side of 9 - probably near the river? - so it really wasn't near the trail?

  33. #33
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    At Tamarancho, Alchemist is named so because it connects Iron Springs to Goldman.
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    Delete
    Last edited by Dpca10; 06-12-2014 at 11:45 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by splatworldwide View Post
    At Tamarancho, Alchemist is named so because it connects Iron Springs to Goldman.
    Nice! I never would have put that together

  36. #36
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    Bay Area Trail name origins

    Back in the early 90's I attended UCSC. I brought my steel stump jumper, upgraded with a mag21, with me my freshman year. There weren't a whole lot of Mtn bikers up there at the time (and even fewer student ones) and it was common to ride around on upper campus for a few hrs in the evening and never see another biker (also, to cross into gray whale back then meant quietly hopping a big gate at twin gates and riding for your life past some crazy dogs).

    At the time there was only one main trail going down the backside of campus: dead campers. But there were quite a few narrow hiking trails and deer trails being ridden, many of which would dead end at one of the many encampments hidden out there. One trail in particular, a few buddies and I really put our time into: meeting there after class, removing branches, foot-tamping turns while stopped for a fire safety break, etc. The trail had no name at the time that we were aware of, but with v-brakes fairly new on the market and freshly installed, we were sliding through the deep redwood duff. For obvious reasons we began to refer to it as Lock 'em Ups...

  37. #37
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    Rumor has it that Finch Trail and Berry Trail in Waterdog are named after two of the people who were very involved with building the trails there (John Finch and Berry Stevens), and not after birds and fruits that happen to be found in the area. Of course, this could only be rumor, as the park district has a rule saying that trails can't be named after living people.
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  38. #38
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    Moody was an awesome trail. Back then Jones Trail was a ripping single track with some nice berm turns. Not 100% certain, but I believe Moody's was originally cut by a guy named Mike Moody who was one of the original ROMP members and a really nice guy.

  39. #39
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    Supposedly, Horse Heaven in Mission Peak was named that way because that's where the ranchers would take their old horses to put them down.
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    You can find an old wagon wheel off the side of wagon wheel at Tamarancho if you know where to look. You can also see the old wagon route if you look uphill after riding the main rock garden on wagon wheel going clockwise.

  41. #41
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    Bay Area Trail name origins

    $2 hill in Oakland Hills was named for the women of the night who used to do their jobs in the woods , atop that trail.
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    +10 for historical context...thats a cool story
    Quote Originally Posted by plantdude View Post
    Back in the early 90's I attended UCSC. I brought my steel stump jumper, upgraded with a mag21, with me my freshman year. There weren't a whole lot of Mtn bikers up there at the time (and even fewer student ones) and it was common to ride around on upper campus for a few hrs in the evening and never see another biker (also, to cross into gray whale back then meant quietly hopping a big gate at twin gates and riding for your life past some crazy dogs).

    At the time there was only one main trail going down the backside of campus: dead campers. But there were quite a few narrow hiking trails and deer trails being ridden, many of which would dead end at one of the many encampments hidden out there. One trail in particular, a few buddies and I really put our time into: meeting there after class, removing branches, foot-tamping turns while stopped for a fire safety break, etc. The trail had no name at the time that we were aware of, but with v-brakes fairly new on the market and freshly installed, we were sliding through the deep redwood duff. For obvious reasons we began to refer to it as Lock 'em Ups...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by American Flyer View Post
    Moody was an awesome trail. Back then Jones Trail was a ripping single track with some nice berm turns. Not 100% certain, but I believe Moody's was originally cut by a guy named Mike Moody who was one of the original ROMP members and a really nice guy.
    Moody still is an awesome trail.

    It gets cleared out & maintained every once in a while by a dedicated few.
    If you know where it is, check it out!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider View Post
    Moody still is an awesome trail.

    It gets cleared out & maintained every once in a while by a dedicated few.
    If you know where it is, check it out!
    Funny. I was rebuilding that thing year over year but gave up a couple years back. Those evil plants grow like crazy and the PO was horrible. Glad to hear someone else took up the reigns. We are talking about Moody in Santa Teresa of course. Move along.
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Bay Area Trail name origins

    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Funny. I was rebuilding that thing year over year but gave up a couple years back. Those evil plants grow like crazy and the PO was horrible. Glad to hear someone else took up the reigns. We are talking about Moody in Santa Teresa of course. Move along.
    What were the evil plants? Was it French or Scots broom? That's the scourge of Marin and San Mateo Counties.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I was told that is was primarily built and ridden at night so you had to use Braille to find your way down. I ran into one of the guys who built it...if I see him again, I'll ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    What were the evil plants? Was it French or Scots broom? That's the scourge of Marin and San Mateo Counties.
    I'm no plantaculturalist but there are all kinds of skin/tire puncturing varieties up here in the LG hills. Grows insanely fast and nowhere near brittle...and PO up the ying yang.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  49. #49
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    No one has mentioned the most famous MTB trail ever, "Repack," named in coaster brake days of the '70s for what you had to do to your hub after one trip down it.

    We call one short branch trail near Tamarancho the "Broken Hand" after what I did on it in 1976. Another trail, now closed to mountain bikes, was the "Lost Lens" trail, after my friend lost his very expensive Nikon lens there.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    No one has mentioned the most famous MTB trail ever, "Repack," named in coaster brake days of the '70s for what you had to do to your hub after one trip down it.

    We call one short branch trail near Tamarancho the "Broken Hand" after what I did on it in 1976. Another trail, now closed to mountain bikes, was the "Lost Lens" trail, after my friend lost his very expensive Nikon lens there.
    Everybody know Repack was named for the many "smokables" incinerated by local hippies who frequently went on nature hikes in that area.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Mike Vandeman Sucks Dong

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