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Several weeks ago I was invited to ride a new, not-quite-ready-for-public-consumption chunk&nbsp;trail.</div>
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Being the chunk-addict that I am, I couldn't decline. &nbsp;The bad news is that I didn't bring my 'A' game that day, and took an awkward slow speed tumble that resulted in this:</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iyp6bT7yhjLXeozWIyz1YJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RgjTEhSmyVQ/UhGQfHnOJvI/AAAAAAAAkck/V0QOH6NOqZA/s800/4A4B1185.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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I dealt with it in full-male-denial mode for a few weeks before coming to grips with the fact that it simply wasn't going to heal on it's own. &nbsp;One word: Surgery.</div>
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The good news is that a <a href="http://www.ericnelsonmd.com/Home.html">friend</a>&nbsp;of mine specializes in taking care of dimwitted dullards like myself. &nbsp;Or at least their detached digits. &nbsp;An hour on the table, three pins pushed in, and I was sent away with sage advice: "<i>Don't do anything stupid</i>".</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cKjDdBWAk7_G7T_UcTbbBpBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="603" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-raOsc-C-gs0/UjkwGVrgMVI/AAAAAAAAk88/AsL0eAARk-8/s800/photo%25203.JPG" width="800" /></a></div>
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Hard to argue with instructions like that. &nbsp;Thanks Eric!</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2ZfXnirtTjTKVd-7v34WDpBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite"><i mg height="455" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-G7ypT8I8clA/UjotAo5wZAI/AAAAAAAAk98/Rk99sRIbKfU/s800/4A4B3507.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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Fast forward a few bikeless weeks: Pins are now out and it's time to ride.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/d3U7LsMj7jCGyJtw3cuObJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="455" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-FOTmUN3KZJ4/UjotBYBkwbI/AAAAAAAAk-E/8cIGjG8K6cw/s800/4A4B4360.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/uNpTLH_r_Kj2CwE3lvLWm5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uIt9z-lk8lY/UjotB32F75I/AAAAAAAAk-M/5Mz0lFJsREA/s1600/4A4B4508.jpg" /></a></div>
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I hopped in the car and drove east, Scott moseyed north, while Jeny headed south and west. &nbsp;We met in a little town with a <i>really</i>&nbsp;Good View, disgorged bikes from cars, and rode.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/m5mVb8d3W1RbGo3Ntsqm5pBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UnE7L1VCX8/UjkwB5R-BtI/AAAAAAAAk8U/DHunVSzMMrs/s800/4A4B6136.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Kt3T6qkRW3nGNSdaXsvrKJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="455" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wf4RJqWop3g/UjkvfjM6wJI/AAAAAAAAk4k/QNu9Pw4oNZw/s800/4A4B5212.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_knc6dvOm7wpKpMysgiRuJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-syCxdfJdfWk/UjkvetOelcI/AAAAAAAAk4c/ycDfqFY4Coc/s1600/4A4B5145.jpg" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YoqmvNk6nhLSpf4agMzia5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-14gAtfDWovo/UjkvY7BElrI/AAAAAAAAk38/YwnYGtS239E/s800/4A4B5000.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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It is a fantastically chunky trail, with creative line options every few minutes. </div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VE3_6m25aKt_qAbVMXLT2pBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lEqO3UcTZcE/Ujkv8PgR-qI/AAAAAAAAk7s/sCKdKlxVBVM/s800/4A4B6041.jpg" width="800" /></a><br />
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Only once were all three of us foiled--unable to discover a means for getting through this oddball squeeze, even if hopping were 'legal'.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CxHOQx0dxYbqCRH65sgLr5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-H5yE67Gp8fk/UjkvaSkNZ9I/AAAAAAAAk4E/u0bBeUuyeho/s800/4A4B5100.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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Light for photogeeking never really presented itself, not that I ever stopped looking for it. &nbsp;That aside, we were all just tickled that the rain held off til late in the day.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/POXGGZoSoJIjr6w4_kJ1ppBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zd37u_vLzbc/UjkvdMIj3xI/AAAAAAAAk4U/OK5UyJc3ucg/s800/4A4B5127.jpg" width="636" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OSQi_zO1xT8ElcqTK303bJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7aU68tBN2BI/Ujkvgh612TI/AAAAAAAAk4s/WMyTfs64cYg/s1600/4A4B5231.jpg" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QJ8OlSEjd9O_RK-wAtDSS5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite"><i mg height="800" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AeBqqwk_fOk/Ujkvh3YJexI/AAAAAAAAk40/SKQ48E87JGE/s800/4A4B5251.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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Me: <i>"No really--it goes clean..."</i><br />
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Scott: &nbsp;<i>"Hmmmm."</i><br />
<i><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zWHNS-nZurB04qbnk8uBfJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwe bsite"><img height="455" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-e8stPglXviM/UjkwCj81QCI/AAAAAAAAk8c/tK3cHFX6yic/s800/P9150241.JPG" width="800" /></a></i><br />
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iwzufnXkyLT8iZSzR2X1i5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iYklxNI2QE0/UjkvjYI5F4I/AAAAAAAAk48/cjKVsGYFTBs/s1600/4A4B5268.jpg" /></a></div>
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<i>"Oh. &nbsp;Yep, this one goes."</i></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CFjHHPhJLrQ6iuAhnQwB8JBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-JlqbF-onh9k/Ujkvkc05JSI/AAAAAAAAk5E/rMJF8PI-j-0/s800/4A4B5276.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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Indeed.<br />
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/T1ij5_SmUMsp1n8ncSEO1pBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wxRNAeO8Gq4/Ujkvl-Ip9kI/AAAAAAAAk5M/pvmHo4LRq6c/s800/4A4B5286.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/etZyMmd_T-xgGbl4VHhippBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsit e"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hdLo3nt-6qY/UjkvnC3VJeI/AAAAAAAAk5U/ku9TTZX5C0c/s1600/4A4B5297.jpg" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0Qwi6Ol6Lob8Xq4Kx0vVBZBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ecnr8uaiZUE/UjkvoYzWEuI/AAAAAAAAk5c/sqY7Nth8kD0/s800/4A4B5319.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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What I love most about this trail is how little of it was actually 'constructed'. &nbsp;The builder(s) had obviously walked the rough route many, many times before settling on their basic alignment, and had clearly spent lots of mental energy in making things flow without need for hours of manual labor, nor really tools of any sort. &nbsp;They worked <i>with</i> the terrain instead of against it, and that's an apt description for how the trail rides, too.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/c-yju0IM2qD8Cr8tBTA8GJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=emb edwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0fa7dzj1Oq8/Ujkvqm0stQI/AAAAAAAAk5s/CkeKl4KqxXA/s800/4A4B5460.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/faP60q_Cadu3b-3BBx_4hZBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite">< img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I28Inj4UVEU/Ujkvtse_7KI/AAAAAAAAk58/8VxeRmQZzgE/s1600/4A4B5598.jpg" /></a></div>
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An errant chockstone or log placed to prevent front wheel stuffage was about as industrious as they got. &nbsp;I love trails like this, and wish there were more builders like these.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cplNV--2ZpVqADq-iFK7MJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite"><im g src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jrRTh_3YT1A/UjkvpbIsCWI/AAAAAAAAk5k/ycLS7YsDs08/s1600/4A4B5395.jpg" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/UzKTSKD13o4yQQXuQz-JM5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img height="508" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mNegE3M1448/Ujkvvqa4HZI/AAAAAAAAk6M/5S3IBgRerbU/s800/4A4B5646.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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Scott, lichen what he sees.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XrVx_niNAJ739NdsjiSMwpBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sgdBTP9ZiGQ/UjkvwonkAII/AAAAAAAAk6U/Q_gFwQnlzgA/s800/4A4B5660.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bebe7Sn7XofHIUS454gIkJBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="446" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mq2iNH6Tjwo/Ujkvzrir0lI/AAAAAAAAk6s/Fz5VNekiehw/s800/4A4B5786.jpg" width="800" /></a></div>
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Little Miss Manual.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/frLGRi9CNCAOJDxuNjCjspBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TXTsXHdVki4/Ujkv2WKXYpI/AAAAAAAAk7E/VbQvp8zPPDI/s800/4A4B5855.jpg" width="535" /></a></div>
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It became evident early on that the three of us were in our element--solving each chunky, committing 'problem' in our own unique way. &nbsp;And as the day wound ever onward we found ourselves clicking and laughing as each successive problem 'went'.</div>
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gsYDkYoSUez48Jn347m5k5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xBQ_2h9FaYI/Ujkvu_xAHvI/AAAAAAAAk6E/MT_7ffdXcxM/s800/4A4B5637.jpg" width="674" /></a></div>
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I *love* rides like this. &nbsp;It is not a stretch to say that I *live* for rides like this.<br />
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OuTL0f04rl2FHW6XKSZ4-5BwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b068oFZIA_Y/Ujkv3XUud2I/AAAAAAAAk7M/58h2J_UJz7o/s800/4A4B5897.jpg" width="800" /></a><br />
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I might not be the only one.<br />
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4NDpIKHsUx3akYvaqMdxxZBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="537" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-LLw4N5ToTv4/Ujkv5rk2M5I/AAAAAAAAk7c/606KoirbQjM/s800/4A4B5908.jpg" width="800" /></a><br />
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<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dLO7tApVgMVyyKrmBq_jppBwdAAQH5ysi3U6JKwTWgQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img height="800" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-e6lIw8iVYLQ/Ujkv_-XI_-I/AAAAAAAAk8E/kwOKII47BrQ/s800/4A4B6115.jpg" width="594" /></a></div>
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As I motored homeward that evening, moving slowly through a driving rain, I made a mental toast to good friends, good weather, good health, good bikes, and great trails to bring them all together.<br />
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