Tale #9: Monkey Sounds by Paul Jones
I guess you can say that this one started just like any other night ride. It was dark. It was late. About 9:30 if i remember correctly. The lower lot was all but empty. In other words, it was us, and a beat to shit car from the 70's that someone may have been living out of. By us, I mean myself, and two other individuals who will remain anonymous. I remember it being cold to the point of feeling a subtle shiver (most plush fork ever), as we prepped our battery packs, and attached our headlamps. It was not a leisurely departure. We needed to get warm on the way to Iverson. As we passed the upper lot, it was completely empty as well. Barring any lost hikers who wandered over from the other side, it was just us and the transient dude. We had the place to ourselves.
Iverson was uneventful. It was probably an hour or so before we started up the logging road. The logging road you ask? This was 6, maybe 7 years ago now. Not too long after the new East Tiger Summit trail had been commissioned. So as most would know, there was no masterlink, predator, otg, etc... Anyway, the climb was especially daunting that night. Maybe because I had done it so many times during normal person riding hours.
After the slog, we stopped at the junction in the road where you would go right, up to predator, or left to ETS. It was getting close to midnight. It was quiet. It was still dark. And our mix of off-brand Chinese, and NiteRider lights, were very bright. I'm really not sure why we decided to stop at this point. Since there was only one possible destination, that being ETS to the left, it wasn't like we were discussing the optimal descent. Maybe one of the guys was lagging. In any case, it doesn't matter why we stopped, but instead what we heard after turning off our lights to appreciate a moment of silence and darkness.
We didn't see anything. We don't know what we heard. All I know is what we heard scared the collective shit out of the 3 of us. It was loud. It was disturbing. It was more than one animal(?). If the news had reported that a troop of chimps or some other type of monkeys had escaped from a zoo and took up residence on Tiger, I would've had a plausible explanation. That didn't happen. So that leaves us with monkey sounds. Not coyote sounds. Not owl sounds. MONKEY SOUNDS!!!! Terrifying fucking monkey sounds. Remember,our lights are off, it's completely silent. Then all of the sudden.....monkey sounds! What we heard had an almost conversational rhythm to it. It was not hard to distinguish from any ambient noise, as you could hear a pin drop. It was also very close. So what did we do? We found a new sense of urgency to absolutely destroy ETS and Preston, hoping that whatever it was wouldn't make an appearance on the thankfully obsolete road traverse to NWT.
Posting this for a friend,