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Changing tracks with the seasons

Howdy. What’s that you say? What have I been up to? Well, saying good bye to winter and hello to sweet spring. And what better way to do so than bluebird days spent in the backcountry. A weekend ago, Sean Sweeney and I made the most of the tailend of a dump in Alpental’s backcountry, savoring some of the only pow we received in the Cascades this season. A week out from the local resorts’ last day we slashed and dropped, floated and charged through field and chute until our legs gave out and our hearts grew wings: A perfectly fulfilling ending to a meager season. Winter may have given it one last puff of a cold front, but now what’s left is bounty for hikers and splitboarders. Here’s to praying all summer for a white winter.

But in the meantime, with spring snaking winter it’s back to the hills, this time on two wheels. Billy and I welcomed the warm fresh air on singletrack out at Tokul. The conditions were: “hero dirt,” sun-sliced trees, cool breeze and bright green ferns and canopy. The rain’s been good to the woods and April showers will bring May shreds on fast, solid trails. With the trails to ourselves (though the parking lot was packed), we ripped, stopped for pictures, repeated, as the afternoon rolled away and our legs grew weary. Baseball and frisbees may sing spring to most, but out here we can’t hear anything but nobby tires chattering down through the rocks and over roots, and the spray of roostertails cascading lightly to the ground.

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