Under the Hunter's Moon

Autumn - the days get shorter and the riding weather turns crisp. And that means it's time to break out the lights and find some friends to ride with! Tracy, Kristi and I met up for a fun ride up Buckhorn and down Jacks on Wednesday, looking forward to some tight and fun trails - thanks to all the rain and snow from last weekend. Meeting at the main Stratton parking lot, we meandered up the single track to Goldcamp road under the light of the setting sun. There weren't many clouds, but the ones that lingered were tinged with fuchsia and gold. The line of the horizon out east was deepening into a rich purple as the sun vanished behind the mountains. And the the moon peaked up from the edge of the earth - gleaming orange and huge over the city below. A beautiful start to the ride!

We hit Gold Camp and set our sights on Buckhorn. There was hardly any traffic on the road at that hour - meaning we could take up the entire road and ride in the smoothest part. I still had my annoying tail light set to blink - just in case. We turned lights on just after the parking lot, the white beams illuminating the darkness. The full moon was still hidden behind the mountains, so we couldn't take advantage of natural light. As usual, there was the normal adjustment to the narrow focus of the lights and we started up the single track. I love riding Buckhorn at night - the trail seems so narrow and the mountain falls away on the side into emptiness. We had a steady, comfortable pace up the trail, enjoying the solitude but making enough noise to scare away any hunters... A quick stop at the top to get some warmer clothes on, then time for the fun.

Me and Tracy - at the bottom of Jacks. That was fun!!
Photo - Kristi O
 And Jacks was in great shape. Combined with the moisture in the air and the rain from the weekend, it was awesome. And by now, we were making so much noise we were probably terrified all the animals around! But it was good noise - hooting, hollering, the sound of tires launching off rocks... Watching Tracy and Kristi's lights bouncing up and down on the whoops was funny - like a disco show behind me! No other riders out on the trail meant we could go as fast as we wanted. Something we all took advantage of coming down Chutes! Then the ride was over and it was time to head for home. All three of us were sporting huge grins and looking forward to next week!


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