Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birds in the Bush! Birds in the Bush! .... FREE FOOD!!!

Friday morning Max, Zorro & I hit 20mph flying down French Gulch - top speed of the season!

The Siberian Excitement: it was a beautiful, sunny, blue bird day as we headed out skijoring French Gulch. It was a peaceful run as we cruised up the gulch. Gently gliding across the upper meadows, I noticed some wildlife tracks I hadn't seen before. Taking note, I thought, "I'll need to investigate what made those tracks later." Easygoing and focused - on we skied through the meadow. Then... KABOOM!!! Not more than 2 feet to our right, 3 white birds burst out of a bush and took off to the right. 2/3rds of our (once composed) skijoring team also launched to the right - BIRDS IN THE BUSH! FREEEEEE FOOD! At least I discovered what had made all those tracks in the snow...
[click to enlarge] Left: notice ALL the bird tracks in the snow! Zorro says, "Down here! Birds in the bush!"
Right: guess which direction the 3 birds went? Hint: look at Max & Zorro ;-)
My Siberian partners were chomping at the bit - "Gotta go this way! Get the birds! Get the birds!" A team organization meeting was in order to re-introduce all to skijoring...
  • Me: "Max, Zorro - left, the trail is to the left!"
  • Max: "Did someone say something? No... Where'd those birds go?"
  • Zorro: "BIRDS IN THE BUSH!"
  • Me: "Max - focus! Focus! Right turn." (a 360 right was going to work better than a 90 degree left through Zorro ;-)
  • Max: "Focus! Exactly - I'm focused on the BIRDS!"
  • Zorro: "BIRDS IN THE BUSH!"
  • Me: "Max! Focus! Right turn."
  • Max: "Well, ok - but you realize the birds are the other direction!" (as he drags Zorro through a 360)
  • Zorro: "BIRDS IN THE BUSH!"
  • Me: "Good right Max! Good right! Now Forward!" (as he drags Zorro with him forward)
Only Max & Zorro could make hitting 20mph the secondary highlight of an outing!

The Route: BnB trailhead (on the road to French Gulch); to & through the French Gulch winter trailhead; up French Gulch to & past the last private cabin; to the end of the last open meadow in the gulch; (rest the human); sprint back down the gulch to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 8.1 miles; 1hr 40min total; 80min moving time; 6.1 MPH moving average; 20 MPH top speed! Unfortunately: 0 birds caught and devoured...
Lower section of Fench Gulch - plowed "jeep road"
Notice the depth of the snow wall to our left - it's been a good snow season this year!
The "real trail" in the mid area of the gulch (i.e, plowed by humans, not machines).
The "fun trail" in the upper portions of the gulch - visited by very few before us!
Zorro taking a break as we reach the end of the last meadow in the gulch.
You'll be shocked to know that he is facing "due bird" (the "birds in the bush" episode happened 15min earlier in the exact direction he is facing)
Pretty shot of the edge of the final meadow in French Gulch.

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