I have noticed a change in Kenny. Perhaps the Spell of the Yukon has been seeping into his pores as we ride eloquent singletrack with views to die for. There seems to have been a perceptible shift in his personality. He seems calmer, collected. Perhaps the hustle and bustle of his hometown of Whistler has become a distant memory. As we traverse along a trail that is too wonderful for words, the Yukon River meandering peacefully beneath us, the evening light shines upon us in a blissful glow. But it is not easy to forget the unyielding hydraulic force of that water below. Our guide, Sylvain, paints us a picture of the late 1890’s, when fevered gold seekers paddled furiously up this river in canoes, rafts, and on logs: Whatever it took to bring them closer to the gold fields. And he informs us of the misfortunes of many, the drownings, roiling rapids sucking entire parties under, the whitewater snapping boats in half like matchsticks. As Sylvan tells us these ghastly tales, I witness the calmness in Kenny’s eyes fade. I see a smoldering heat rise in them at the mention of chaos and wreckage. He pushes off, his pedal strokes fervent despite the constricted trail, never mind the exposure to the water far below. He is off like a rocket, and once again his riding has become hostile. James and I do our best to keep up. The Trembling Aspens and wandering water course frame the moment as we hurtle downhill.
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I have noticed a change in Kenny. Perhaps the Spell of the Yukon has been seeping into his pores as we ride eloquent singletrack with views to die for. There seems to have been a perceptible shift in his personality. He seems calmer, collected. Perhaps the hustle and bustle of his hometown of Whistler has become a distant memory. As we traverse along a trail that is too wonderful for words, the Yukon River meandering peacefully beneath us, the evening light shines upon us in a blissful glow. But it is not easy to forget the unyielding hydraulic force of that water below. Our guide, Sylvain, paints us a picture of the late 1890’s, when fevered gold seekers paddled furiously up this river in canoes, rafts, and on logs: Whatever it took to bring them closer to the gold fields. And he informs us of the misfortunes of many, the drownings, roiling rapids sucking entire parties under, the whitewater snapping boats in half like matchsticks. As Sylvan tells us these ghastly tales, I witness the calmness in Kenny’s eyes fade. I see a smoldering heat rise in them at the mention of chaos and wreckage. He pushes off, his pedal strokes fervent despite the constricted trail, never mind the exposure to the water far below. He is off like a rocket, and once again his riding has become hostile. James and I do our best to keep up. The Trembling Aspens and wandering water course frame the moment as we hurtle downhill.

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