Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Climb-n-Cruise

Having a great morning touring around the top of Brewery Hill!
"Oh yes. We are having a BLAST!" say my super happy partners at a turnaround point on the trail.
There are so many mountains that rise above treeline in & around Breckenridge that things that would be a mountain elsewhere are simply hills here. For example, the top elevation of our outing today was around 11,500 feet on top of Brewery Hill. But, since we never rose above treeline, an 11,500 foot "mountain" only gets the title "hill" in this area - thus Brewery Hill which would be Brewery Mountain in most of the country :)

Anyway, it was a warm start to the morning (especially for February), so we decided to climb quickly to get to higher & cooler elevations and then tour around the rolling terrain atop Brewery Hill. It was an excellent decision as we found not only cooler temperatures but also 2-3 inches of fresh snow all to ourselves!
Laying fresh tracks in 2-3 inches of fresh snow as we cruise around the rolling terrain atop
Brewery Hill.
The only tracks we saw all day were our own tracks when we repeated sections of trail:
Zipping along one of our many out/back side trails atop Brewery Hill.
As you glide around Brewery Hill, you encounter many relics from the mining days of the 1800s. Here we are inspecting an old cabin. Note that the gangline is very taut - Max & Zorro wanted to get closeup to the cabin whereas I wanted to look from a distance and not get caught in a "cabin well" by getting too close ("cabin well" is basically same thing as a "tree well" but with a cabin instead of a tree :)
"What wonderful accommodations! Can we stay the night?" asks curious Max.
"I want to get CLOSER!!!" says trying to move me closer as hard as he can Zorro.
Love when I get a quick & happy glance from Max or Zorro as we are cruising along!
"Did I mention I am having a great time today?!?" says Zorro looking back as we go along.
"You are funny kid!" smirks Max to Zorro.

A steep climb day to get to fresh snow and cooler temperatures at higher elevations: 8.3 miles traveled with 1400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 87 days on the trails covering 714.1 miles with 77,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hello Moose

Look who we ran into at the French Gulch Trailhead this morning!
"Hello mother & child moose! Yikes!"
Needless to say, I took this photo from inside the Jeep!
We actually ran into this mother & child moose on French Gulch Road as we were driving to the trailhead. They then slowly sauntered up the road, with us driving slowly behind, until arriving at the trailhead parking lot. Then, finally, mother & child meandered out of the parking lot and into the woods. Needless to say, Max & Zorro were kept inside the Jeep (much to their PROTESTS) until the moose were gone!

Once it was safe to get out of the car, we were thrilled to find miles of untouched fresh snow on the popular French Gulch Trail. Such a treat to get the chance to lay fresh tracks on this trail!
Wheeee - laying fresh tracks on French Gulch. The prints down the trail in front of us are
fox tracks. Nothing but us and a fox on the morning's fresh snow!
Far back in French Gulch and we were shaded from the morning sun by the mountains to our left as we continued to lay fresh tracks the entire "out direction"! What fun!
Laying freshies in the morning shade. So peaceful.
Once we turned around, we ran back in our own tracks until getting into lower French Gulch where at least one group had been out/back while we were skijoring to the far end of the gulch. This means the trail was getting a little more packed and this means Max & Zorro go fast. Come along for a short video excerpt of our peaceful glide in French Gulch:
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I turned us around earlier than normal in the gulch so that we could skijor the road. Knowing we'd been out in the gulch long enough for the moose to be gone, we got to skijor the road and sniff fairly recent moose prints. Yum!
"Oooh, these ARE fresh smelling!" say Max & Zorro dipping their noses into the moose
tracks all around us. Look at the size of that moose footprint in the lower left of this photo.
What big & beautiful animals (from a distance :)

Moose at the trailhead, fresh tracks in the gulch and then moose prints to finish off the day: 9.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 86 days on the trails covering 705.8 miles with 76,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chase Fun

Having a blast playing "dog sled chase" on the trail with teams from Good Times Adventures.
Zooming along as you can just barely make out a dog sled team on the trail in front of
us leaning into a left turn.
Today's fun video clip is "dog sled chase". Watch as we do the following: chase the team on the trail in front of us, get too close, slow down/back off for a bit, restart the chase, catch the team paused and finally pass the stopped team. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Two fun things to note about the prior video clip. First, you cannot even hear me uttering "slow down", "easy" and then "let's go" to Max & Zorro during the "back off then restart" part of the video. I am talking but do not need to be loud as Max & Zorro are actually feeling my resistance and then lack of resistance to meter their speed. Smart boys! Second, as we catch the team to pass, we settle into our usual "pass mode": Max backs off the gangline to flirt as he trots by while Zorro floors it to zoom by :)

More fun from the day... Pausing on the side of the trail to let a team pass by.
"Hi buds!" say flirting Max & Zorro.
Seeing a team go along the main while we paused to watch them from a side trail. Max & I are patiently watching. Zorro, in true "zorro form", is trying to get us to hop onto the main trail and run with the team.
"Wait for me, wait for me! Let's go!" says silly Zorro.
"Silly kid, we are watching, not going." says mature Max.
Finally, zoom we go along a fast straightaway:
Zoom!

A fun day of "dog sled chase": 9.7 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 85 days on the trails covering 696.7 miles with 75,400 feet of elevation climbed.