Last week my good friend Levi and I planned a short canoe trip down the Elk River. I couldn’t find my waterproof speaker so therein lay a difficult decision: do we bring his speaker? It was a lot more expensive than mine and not waterproof. He asked if we would flip and I said that it’s one of those things, like crashing your bike, you never plan on it but it can happen at anytime. So I left the decision up to him. We are both DJ’s and music is engrained in us, so he decided it was worth the risk to have music on the float.
We put the boat in the water at the Hosmer bridge and the first bit of rapids were the largest of the whole trip. We narrowly avoided the biggest part, took on water and almost flipped but held on and made it through.
It’s amazing how much the river changes after every winter. Often at each corner there are two options you can take, and we only chose wrong once, and almost got wrecked. The way we went the river took a 90 degree corner and there was a log sticking out over the river. We couldn’t cut the corner short and got sent into the bank. Luckily there was a stump that I was able to grab on to, and halt our movement. If I hadn’t, we would have gotten squashed under the log between the canoe. While holding onto the stump we turned the front end of the canoe then I let go and we laughed as we went by the log.
“That was a close one!” we said at the same time.
On another corner we hit the bottom with the front of the canoe and ended up backwards, we did a full 360 and came out of the corner facing forwards but after that and a few more rapid sections we got to the East Fernie bridge and the rest of the way was fairly calm. A lot of the time we wouldn’t paddle, we would just sit and enjoy the views and of course, the music.
The best move of the day was our exit. We nailed it! Came in perfectly, spun around and hit the shore, almost like we meant to. Levi then looked at me and said,
“Should we go on a bike ride now?” Levi just got a mountain bike and takes any opportunity he can to ride it. After we dumped the canoe, we switched to our bikes.
Most trails in the area are new to Levi. Riding a trail with someone who has never ridden it before, is like watching a movie you know with someone that hasn’t; the experience is almost as exciting as your first time.
I was excited to show Levi a trail I had secretly built on the ski hill after I stopped working there.
Here’s a little background.
While working there, a few friends and I who worked on trail crew would go up to the resort after last chair and work until it got dark.
We had started the construction of this new trail, but were never able to finish it. Almost a year later, someone from the ski hill contacted me, asking if I new anything about a trail in the tree island beside Siberia Ridge. This area appeared to be long-since abandonded, so the trail and its creators were no longer a secret.
I was excited to hear that the trail crew wanted to connect our unfinished trail onto an existing one, and add it to the resort map. All I asked was for the ability to name it. This request was granted, and we called it ‘Neverland.’
When Levi and I reached the top of the trail we were exhausted. It had been a long day canoeing in the sun but riding Neverland was going to be the perfect way to end it. When we reached the bottom, we sat and observed one of the best sunsets I have seen in a while.
Note: Building trails without permission is prohibited.