Diamondback Team Rider Mike Hopkins:
Sometimes you just gotta go. Ride, hike, day, night, trail or not, sometimes it's just about that pursuit of 'different.' A chance to explore the alien. Walk into the unknown, apply a handful of physical and/or emotional investment and make yourself a memory. For some, the unknown of hitting the beach for a week of mojitos is worth its weight in gold. But for others, it's about the beat of a different drum. A drum that grows louder in unforgiving environments, one where the experience balances on exhausted excitement. Like someone once said ''Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.'' Weave the foundation with natural beauty, fresh social situations, and have yourself the backbone of a trip worth traveling. After all, the joy is in the journey.
These old growth relics of the Duncan Valley were cut in the 1960's before the area was flooded upon completion of the Duncan Dam. Each spring, the dam fills with the collective meltwaters of the Selkirk and Purcell mountains, submerging the remnants of this once great forest. As the landscape sheds its winter coat there is a small window where one is given access to the alien. Empty, the lake lies cracked and sun scorched. A post apocalyptic valley flanked by forests. A landscape of contrasting environments like no other. We spent two days riding a portion of the valley's 45km length. No trails, just an experience in the middle of nowhere. Camping beneath the stars, in the company of fallen giants and white peaks.
words: Mike Hopkins
photos: Paris Gore