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  • (A blog post originally written a year ago. However with summer once again upon us I thought it could be appropriate here as well.)

    Twenty three miles of gravel road has brought me to a small, solitary camping spot on the western edge of the Kaibab Plateau. Sitting alongside the trail, coffee is on the menu and the birds and bugs make the only discernable sounds as morning slowly spills over the trees and down into the Grand Canyon before me. Sunlight chases away the shadows of night revealing the mile deep, burgundy toned geological maze that has been a couple billion years in the making.
    I’ve been here for a couple days now riding the Rainbow Rim MTB trail. Eighteen miles of singletrack that weaves in and out of the canyons and follows the contours of five different points that jut out into the Grand Canyon itself. I’ve been reading bits of info about this trail for years and have finally made it here to sample some of its awesomeness. And it is pretty dam cool.
    One of the drawbacks of spending so much time working alongside people who know how to properly construct MTB trails is now while riding I can’t help but notice how the trails are put together. This particular trail has a few issues, I can’t help think that in just a few years it’s going to be in need of a lot of repairs. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself getting so concerned over how a trail was built that it diminished the joy of actually riding it. Not to mention that I was so focused on it that I didn’t much notice the country I was riding through. Many people who have had training at just about anything can probably relate to this in one way or another.

    Through my travels I have found several natural wonders that have the ability to more or less put me in my place, to remind me just how small I really am. A hike through the Redwoods of N. Cal is one, the ocean or even standing before and looking straight up at the face of El Capitan is another. Back alongside the trail I take a few more sips of coffee while the sun paints more of the canyon a dark red as the morning light dives deeper inside. The Grand Canyon is surely on that list as well. It’s big. No that’s not right, it is mind boggling immense. But more than the size of it for me is the essence of ‘old’. Just how long did it take some running water to erode something so amazingly, complex and huge?
    How long ago was it just a river running through a valley?
    The answers to these questions in relation to the amount of time most of us are present here is another mind boggling equation. The average human lifespan is such an insignificant blip on the timeline of the overall picture. And yet we take so much of it so incredibly serious. It’s times like this I am reminded that so many of the things I take so seriously on a daily basis are just as insignificant on the big timeline. I need these reminders.
    This post was originally going to include observations of some of the stupid crap we take way too serious collectively as a society. But after writing and reading just a little bit of that it was all just too negative for where I’d like this to go. So let me just say It’s my hope that everyone out there has the opportunities and desire to find their Grand Canyon, hike through the Redwoods, starring into a campfire, walk on the beach or whatever your particular ‘Reset Button’ is these days. I think we all need these reminders of just what we should be taking serious. For me, within an hour and another cup of coffee I will be clipped into a set of SPD’s on a kick ass mountain bike riding a trail that although isn’t perfect, is pretty dam awesome. And the view is, well, quite impressive to say the least.
    See you on the trail-
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