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"The different dialects of the different tribes..."
Galbraith Mt. Trail Names

Purple Heart balloon hung at the top of Purple Heart Trail on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WA, Valentine's Day 2000TRAIL NAME confusion is endemic on Galbraith.

On any given day, you'll find little knots of riders congregated at trail intersections all over the mountain trying to figure out what trail someone is talking about.

"It's a great trail, man. It's right next to the trail with all the rooty drops at the edge of the clearcut. I think some people used to call it Oblivion."

"You mean the trail where Willy endo'd into the nettles?"

"Who's Willy?"

It's amazing how much time is lost in this kind of confusion.

The reason for the confusion is clear, however. Apart for a few weeks in early 2000 when Mountain Bike magazine was working on a profile of Galbraith Mt., there were never any identification signs on any Galbraith trails in the early days, and many trails have always been known by multiple names, and marked with wierd and/or whimsically ephemeral signage, like the purple heart balloon at the top of Purple Heart and the Builder Bob doll at the top of Bob's Trail (pictured ABOVE RIGHT and BELOW LEFT).

AND TO MAKE matters worse, the twisted logic of the original name is often lost in the mists of time. Just about everybody on Galbraith knows the Kaiser, but few know where the name came from. Well, it got it name from early Galbraith Mt. trailblazer Jim Sullivan -- the legendary "Sully" -- who used to say of the trail, "it really rolls." Kaiser rolls -- get it?

Bob's Trail sign on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WAFurthermore, the names of some trails simply evolve. Once upon a time, the Family Fun Center was the Belles Family Fun Center. And  there is a wonderful trail off the Arsenio Loop Rd. that was originally named Pickup Sticks by its creators -- Mark "Tread Mark" Wilkinson, Doug and Keri Demars, Jackie and Brad Wilske and Delaine Olsen -- because they said that's essentially all they had to do to make the trail.

Then on Valentines Day 2000, someone hauled a purple heart helium balloon up to the beginning of the trail, and tied it to a tree. Since then, Pickup Sticks has been called Purple Heart by many, including

For a long time, a marvelous trail that connects to the top of Cedar Dust was known by many riders on Galbraith as the Polka Dot Trail. Huh? Well, it all made perfect, literal and helpful sense at the time, since the trail had been originally flagged with polka dot flagging (pictured in 2005 BELOW RIGHT).

Polka dot flagging on the Polka Dot Trail, AKA Rock 'n Roll, on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WAWHEN YOU SAW the polka dot flagging you knew you were on the Polka Dot Trail. But now, five years later, the flagging is all gone and the trail is known as Rock 'n Roll, which is a good name that has more juice than Polka Dot.

The variation in Galbraith trail name usage really just reflects the different dialects of the different tribes of Galbraith riders, which are many and passionate.

For instance, younger freeriders tend to call a trail that has its top these days on the Tower Rd. / 3000 Rd. right across from the bottom of Lower Scorpion by the name, "Luge."

On the other hand, older cross-country riders (who remember the trail from before it got a berm job from legandary Galbraith trail builder Bill Hawk) tend to call the trail, "Flying Squirrel."

There is no right or wrong here. Both names are good because the name is not the point. The point is the trail, which has still got that killer first face...

For several years, Legendary David fought a valiant battle to put trail name signs on the important Galbraith trails, but the sad fact is that Galbraith trail name signs generally don't seem to last very long.

Here are some alternative Galbraith trail and location names. Happy trails...

-- Mongo
October 30, 2009 usage alternative names
Arsenio Mohawk
Leggo Car Seat, Leggo sculpture
Lower Intestine Pinball Wizard, Two Hour Trail
Cedar Dust New Fun Center, Cedar Muck, Ridge Trail Extender, Temper Tantrum, Redline
Dan's Trail - R.I.P. Dance Trail
187 Old Rick's Trail, Tire Trail
Granny's House Homestead, Log Cabin Trail
Old Up Old School
Purple Heart Pickup Sticks
Prison Love - R.I.P. Darren & Gerry
2 1/2 Trail Happy Hour, Russ's Trail
Flying Squirrel Luge, Higher Power, Next Level
Rock 'n Roll Polka Dot Trail, Meat Grinder
Banjoland Art's Trail
El Pollo Elastico The Elastic Chicken, The Chicken
Mas Pollo Ewoch Village, Lower Chicken
Fire Ring Upper Chicken, Twisted Chicken
Shawn's Trail Shawn's Aneurism, Aneurism, Cheech & Chong's Wild Ride
Not Shawn's Trail Jordan's Trail, Lower Shawn's Trail
12 Monkeys - R.I.P. Shawn's Tower Trail
Refrigerator Door New Scorpion
Kut Korners Cougar, Cut Corners
Jaws Jaws of Death, Tricks Are For Kids
Instant Karma Karma, Good Karma, Kenoyer Connector
Last Call Last Chance
Raymond Park Jump City
Updated October 30, 2009

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Vert Quest, excerpts from Mongo's World Record Journal by Bruce Brown "Mountain In The Clouds" by Bruce Brown