Friday, April 20, 2012

Eulogy for Grave Ridge


I had a very emotional experience yesterday riding along what used to be one of my favorite trails in Michaux. I am sure many of you agree that Grave Ridge had features and technical sections that were challenging and entertaining. It's gone -- literally, irretrievably, totally gone. I was hoping to see that some consideration would have been given to the trail. There was obviously none. 99% of the ridge is flattened. 99% of the rocks and features are gone. I realize that forestry is the reason for our amazing resource, but shouldn't established, recognized trails have some significance in the process? I will post photos once I figure out how.


--edit by brett--

These two pics are taken near the beginning, after the climb up the new logging road that goes in across from Dead Woman Hollow.


17 comments:

Howard said...

Agreed. I too had a very emotional experience the first time I rode Grave Ridge since it's destruction.
All of the tombstone-like rocks from which the ridge aquired it's namesake have been pulverised.I'm sure it's been logged at least once, if not a few times in the past without being destroyed. This is very, very sad. Please post the pics DRW.

-Couldn't someone at least come up with an answer as to why they had to go to this extent, just to harvest timber?

brett said...

Mind if I add a couple pics to your post, dave? I have two from our last ride on it.

drw said...

Post pics as you wish.

Anonymous said...

dirt rag wants me to do a follow-up on the piece that was published last winter on grave. i'll be in town over memorial day weekend. let's talk. i'm super saddened by this. back in the mid 90s, grave was THE tech trail for me, one of the few that i knew how to find then. maybe we can turn this into some kind of learning moment...a lesson, somehow? DR said a short update, but maybe this could be a bigger story. thoughts? if you want/would rather, you can email me at james_murren at yahoo dot com

my last ride on grave, with photos of the rocks/tombstones:

http://vagoscribe.com/tag/grave-ridge/

jim

ray said...

when i started riding in 1990, Grave Ridge was the infamous trail everyone talked about. from my first time riding it, to my first time clearing it, to racing the iron masters on it in the pouring down rain, to taking riders on their maiden traverse of it...great memories are forever etched in my mind. have the flow and it was beautiful....loose the flow and it was grisly. even years later with all the "alt lines", grave ridge was always the majestic trail that helped define michaux. sadly, it will never be the same.

prophet said...

Many thanks to Jim for posting the link to the pics and his Grave Ridge story! I came to mountain biking in Michaux four years ago and only got to ride Grave Ridge once, probably in my first year of riding. As you can imagine I was not up to the task but I remember the trail well because I was still being amazed by what you can ride a bike over at that time. I don't know why I never got back to such an amazing trail. Four years later my skills and stamina could do the trail justice but it will not be. How I'd like to put on my "no dabs" sock and pedal up there for a rematch! RIP Grave Ridge.

Zee Pirate' said...

Grave Ridge was singletrack in the 90's. Was a truly glorious trail. It was in terrible shape the last couple years. I was thinking this whole logging might good for it, give it a refresh. Sadly it looks like the loggers ran a muck and DCNR was asleep at the wheel...the geological features have disheveled forever..

Anonymous said...

Such a bitter discovery on a throwback new years day ride in the norshow. If you had know it in the 90's the sight of it now will turn you into a furry of emotion as did everyone on our ride asking DCNR "What the ____" Greatly disappointing in the judgment shown here by the so called conservation authority. At least I have some old film photos of the glory days.

DI

Jeremiah Bishop said...

RIP>>> A Michaux classic. We need to protect our trails. Attend forestry meetings and always keep our interests covered.

Zee Pirate' said...

Grave Ridge was a marked ATV trail when i first rode it. But in the 90's ATV's could not really traverse it. It was only in the early 2000's that ATV's could begin to navigate it on a regular basis, which is fine. Now it is there for no one to enjoy.

DCNR - Department of Consternation and Natural Reticence.

bucsexy said...

It's a sad day. I've been riding GR since the early 1990s. That was my favorite trail and the only one to send me to the ER. My two worst crashes happened at the same spot at the end of GR as Don Pagano watch me fly up and over the bars. And it was a great trail for leading my beginner rides! ;-)

trainwreck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i could clean it both directions @ speed faster than anyone... No shit...

Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tractor said...

Well now I know. Every time I look at a rock line, I always thought if it got cut, the rocks would still be there.I guess that doesn't hold true.
Awesome pics.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about it for me is I can see no reason this needed to be done. The ridge itself was the timber sale boundry. What advantage was it for the loggers to cut a road across the top of the ridge on the logging boundry? To go across the ridge and cut trees down, drag them up to the top of the ridge to a logging road only to drag them back down??? This was the timber sale boundry a few years back when they logged from Graves ridge to 233 and they didn't need a road up there then so why now?

bigE said...

I figured last week some reason why the logger cut alot out for clearing a road.

time is money. Meaning dcnr may told them they could doser it out. The faster they can get trucks load and moving means more profit for them.

I'm from coal region and trucks would get 10 to 12 loads in a day about $100 a truck to driver.

Remember the logger only gets a permit to cut the trees out 60 or 90 days (I don't know what contract is but using this as example). So at $50/hour to dozer (a days work to pay operator) it and get 20 or 50 more loads of trees is going to make a better profit for the logger.

They're trying to get the trees out quicker and take more in the time they're allow to timber.

We had the same problem down rocky ridge when they cut their a year back. Logger had to pay for permit extension to get his timbering out since he went pass the permit time.

Im sure alot of members are contractors and understand the terms. There is not clean way to logging. As long they plant trees again afterward in few years the place going to look different.

Just my 2 cents.