Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Season Opener

 Starting the 2020/2021 Skijoring Season on September 9th!!!! Woo Hoo!

Flying across Carter Park early in the morning of September 9th!

We have had 3 skijor outings in September in past seasons (2013 and 2 in 2016), but all of those were in the September 20s. But, here we are this morning with our first ever skijor in the single digits of Sept to start our 2020/2021 season! We had 3-4 inches of new snow overnight with very cold temps to start the morning. So, we rushed over to Carter Park for a quick little skijor to start the season. We went to the park since it is relatively flat and "snow on grass" is easy to glide across. There was not enough snow to be on any real trail; but enough to do a few laps in the park!

We did one lap with 12 year old Zorro. We know he is not going to do much, if any, skijoring this season as he is slowing down with age. But we were thrilled he came along for one quick lap around the park!

All smiles as we complete our first lap with elder Zorro.

After one lap with Zorro, the kids (Jack & Rudy) and I did two more laps around the park. At 3 years old (Jack) and 2.5 years old (Rudy), I expect this to be a monster skijor year with them. Wheeee!

Flying behind the mature youngsters.

In case you were wondering about the kids.... Well, they are still the kids. Jack continued his streak of rolling at least one snow angel on EVERY skijor of his life! Rudy did not roll snow angels his first few outings of his career; but once he started, he's joined Jack with at least one snow roll every skijor since. What goofs :)

"Oh children! Will they ever grow up?" asks onlooking Zorro.
"Rub a dub dub, wheeee!" demonstrate the snow rolling goofs.

It may have been a short outing doing laps around the park; but all skijors of any length deserve end of run pork treats!

"We remember 'end of run treats' - serve them up!" says the focused trio.

Another fun fact about this morning. This was Zorro's 144th straight month with 'toes on snow'. He first touched snow in October 2008 and has had his toes on snow at least one a month for 12 straight years since. Impressive!

Short & fun laps in Carter Park for our earliest start to a skijor season: 0.15 miles for Zorro and 0.5 miles for Jack & Rudy.

Bring it On!
Pray for Snow!


Monday, June 1, 2020

Birthday Finale

Our final skijor of the 2019/2020 Season this morning, June 1st, for Zorro's 12th birthday!
"Happy 12th Birthday Zorro!" say Jack, Rudy and myself to happy
Zorro awaiting today's 'end of run' treats!
Our goal every year is to skijor in some way on Zorro's June 1st birthday. Some years we have had wonderful extended skijors on June 1st while other years we have been hiking over dirt/mud as we search for extended patches of snow to ski. It all depends on what snow conditions are still available on June 1st.

Today was a slightly less than average June 1st outing. We were able to find a nice extended patch of snow atop Rabbit Ears Pass to skijor but the patch was only about 1/2 mile long. We did an "out & back" on this 1/2 mile stretch with the trio, Zorro, Jack and Rudy. We then dropped elder Zorro off with Nancy with the intent of going further with the kids, Jack & Rudy. But, we were confined to the same 1/2 mile stretch as we ran out of snow and into wide, fast running creeks and rivers on all sides. So, the day's total outing was an "out & back" with the threesome and then another "out & back" with the kids.

Oh well, it was still Toes on Snow on June 1st for Zorro's 12th Birthday! Yay!
Starting the outing on what looks like a pretty nice stretch for June 1st!
We were on one of the main snowmobile trails at Rabbit Ears. So, as you see above, the trail was more packed and smooth than the bumpy snow off trail. But, we still had our share of "hole obstacles" along the way.
Approaching a hole obstacle in front of us as Rudy takes the left of
the hole while Zorro & Jack go right. I went right too :)
A little further along and now Zorro & Rudy go left of another hole obstacle while Jack goes right. I went left with Zorro & Rudy too.
A little bumpy on the remains of the snowmobile trail; but
look at how bumpy it is off trail to our right and left!
Here we go for today's video highlight. It is not the prettiest skijor video ever; but it is Toes on Snow on June 1st for Zorro's 12th Birthday! Yay!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, a shot of the happy trio ending our initial "out & back" with the entire team:
All the smiles are visible despite the bright sun right behind us!

A fun little 2 mile skijor to celebrate Zorro's 12th birthday with a skijor in June!

That brings us to a conclusion of the 2019/2020 Skijor Season. We had an interesting and entertaining season balancing Zorro approaching 12 years old with Jack & Rudy maturing into professionals in the prime of their lives. A great time was had by all as Jack & Rudy eclipsed 1200 miles of skijoring for the season. Meanwhile Zorro came along for every outing but only participated in a portion of most runs as he happily hung with Nancy before and/or after his stint while the kids and I went out for more exercise. As you witnessed from the happy, happy faces in the posts all season long, a great time was had by all!!!

2019/2020 Final Season Stats: 176 days on the trails covering 1204.1 miles with 110,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Elder Zorro's 2019/2020 Final Season Stats: 176 days on the trails covering 626.4 miles with 57,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pros

Young Jack & Rudy's first season with over 1200 miles skijoring (1202.1 miles as of this morning). Woo Hoo!
The flying kids surprising me and pulling out a 1200 mile season!
I expected 1000 miles from the kids this season, I entertained thoughts of 1100, but I never thought we'd surpass 1200! Keep in mind this is Jack & Rudy's FIRST season skijoring without training wheels (i.e., we held them back for training and growth in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons). Wow, these youngsters have grown into quite the professionals!!!

We returned to the same groomed track as yesterday near Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass. We figured the trail could not deteriorate too much in 24 hours and we got to the trail early in the morning. What did we find? PERFECT (especially given that it is May 27th)!

We started the day doing a short & fast lap with elder Zorro. Catching air with the threesome:
Whee - the triple hover huskies.
Look closely at the shadows to see that all 12 feet are off the ground in unison!
As usual, all smiles as we completed the initial leg with Zorro to then drop him off with Nancy:
All smiles, all power! Wheeee!
After dropping Zorro, the kids and I went out for an extended run with the goal of surpassing 1200 miles for the season. The groomed trail from yesterday was still in excellent condition; but we could not leave the set trail as the conditions "off trail" were too bumpy to ski safely (for ME especially). So, I was wondering how I was going to convince Jack & Rudy to repeat the same trail multiple times. Well, all it took was a little flirting to keep them entertained.

We encountered a handful of other kindred spirits doing laps on this same perfect trail. There were about 8 people doing laps with us on the same trail. Few enough people to keep our social distance but enough people for Jack & Rudy to have a ball play "chase, follow & pass" with all the other skiers :)
Flying along as we flirt with and entertain an oncoming skier.
But, here is the most impressive story from the morning. One of the other skiers we encountered was wearing a "U.S. Ski Team" jacket. As I watched this guy skate ski, I said to myself, "Wow! He is GOOD! That jacket is real!" Seriously, this guy flew over the trails with absolute perfect and effortless looking strides. He looked just like what you watch in the Winter Olympics!

Now, here's the real impressive part. We got behind this pro for 4 laps on the trail (out, back, out and back). Whenever the trail was flat, Jack & Rudy would match his pace. Whenever the trail had an uphill grade, Jack & Rudy would close the gap on the pro!!! Whenever we hit a downhill dip, he would open up space between us as downhill skis are faster than dogs can run. But, with the flats & uphills mixed in, we kept pace with a member of the U.S. Ski Team for 4 laps! He even looked back at us a few times (on the uphills) and smiled and shook his head in disbelief that he could not shake us. He was lapping all the other people on the trail repeatedly while Jack & Rudy simple kept pace. Wow, these kids are impressive!
Uphill grade so we are closing the gap on the U.S. Ski Team pro in front of us!!!!
Now on to today's video highlight. We have a fun "combo video" for your viewing pleasure today. Come along as we start the clip with Zorro as the team tows me to the finish of Zorro's leg of the outing. Then the video transitions to fast Jack & Rudy propelling me along the beautiful terrain as we also come upon a skier to "on by" in the oncoming direction.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Besides showing they are professional athletes this morning, Jack & Rudy had other talents to showcase:
Deer prints in the trail (look next to my right ski for one of the prints).
"Smells DELICIOUS!" states print inspecting Rudy.
"We roll in deer prints, right?" demonstrates goofy and always rolling Jack :)
Finally, reconnecting with elder Zorro to dish out the 'end of run' treats to all my hard working partners:
"Happy and READY!" says the focused trio.
Quite an impressive day from Jack & Rudy as they showcased their professional endurance skills as we flew on by 1200 miles for the season: 8.9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 175 days on the trails covering 1202.1 miles with 110,700 feet of elevation climbed.