A while back on a typically gloomy fall day in Whistler, I experienced my first day of trail building. My man, Steve Storey, invited me along to help him and Danny Martins in the construction of their latest creation. After hearing many times about their days spent ‘digging’, I thought I knew what to expect. The process ended up being much more rewarding than I ever imagined.
Being out in the rain digging in the dirt, hauling buckets of loam, and moving rocks felt therapeutic. It was peaceful, an escape from the mundane on what would have normally been an office day. I realized then that there was an ongoing story, something to be captured and translated through photos. I love to shoot details and saw endless possibilities in the trail building process. Dirty hands, worn tools, a beer with friends at the end of the day. I was so inspired by what I saw that I brought my camera gear with me on our next few dig days.
Here is that story
“A winding path only tells a part of the story that goes on in the construction of a trail. Beyond the worn out chains, battered shovels, and broken mattocks is a drawn out tale of obsession, fulfillment, and reflection."
The obsession begins well before the pick axes scrape duff. Walking a line over and over again, envisioning what could be. Wild ideas bounce around in our heads. Some seemingly impossible and others not befitting of the wondrous forest around us. As newcomers to a raw and natural forest we want to complement our surroundings, not pave and force our ideas through.
Fulfillment starts as each feature and section is completed. Pride in the accomplishment of creating lines of varying colours, textures, and contours. Pieces that are easy on the eyes and a hell of a lot of fun to ride. It’s what keeps the obsession growing and pushing the trail closer to completion.
And finally, reflection. At the end of a long day moulding and moving earth’s most basic materials, a chance to gaze or sit upon our latest creation and enjoy the fruits of our labour. An opportunity to raise a beer to quality time in the woods with our friends and all the future rides we look forward to escaping on.”
Captions by Steve Storey.