Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hello - My Name is Zorro

Zorro rubbing his entire body in the snow.
"Gotta cool off, Gotta cool off! So hot!"
Today's blog entry is brought to you by Zorro - from the eyes & mind of Zorro...

Hello - my name is Zorro. My dad told me today that I must have SSHD (Siberian Selective Hearing Disorder) - also referred to as "cauliflower ears", "screw loose", "no screws", "puppy brain", "loco looney", "no marbles" and a few other affectionate terms. Truth be told, he is just jealous that I won today's backcountry games (and he came in last).

We set out to the backcountry from Indiana Creek this morning and I was today's activity coordinator. Here are the activities I setup for Max, dad and myself:

(1) Sprint & Tackle: a very fun game. All 3 of us take off as fast as we can - as we hit a good sprint speed, someone attempts to take the legs out of someone else and tackle into the powder just off the packed trail. I won 2 rounds of "sprint & tackle" and even took Max & dad out in one tackle! Neither Max nor dad had any successful tackles. Score: Zorro 2.5 (an extra 0.5 for the double takeout), Max 0, Dad 0.

(2) Squirrel Agility: another backcountry classic. Get the threesome going at a good rate (8-10 MPH) and then cut hard, precise & 90-180 degree dives towards a squirrel just off the trail. I won 2 rounds of "squirrel agility". The first round was a hard 90 degree dive to the left - my precision was excellent (1 point), Max did more of a swooping turn than a precise dive (0.5 points), dad moved zero degrees left (0 points). The second round was a difficult 180 spin to reverse direction into a squirrel chase - I hit this move spot on! (1 point), Max totally failed (0 points), dumb dad moved zero degrees again (0 points). Score: Zorro 2.0, Max 0.5, Dad 0.

(3) Team Organization Meetings: we stopped 3 times to have long discussions about why Max & dad were doing so bad at "sprint & tackle" and "squirrel agility". I even heard dad mumbling something about "too bad there aren't checkpoints on this trail to drop a dog" - poor Max, he didn't deserve to be dropped. At least he scored 0.5 in "squirrel agility" - if anyone needed to be dropped it was the last place human!

(4) Skijoring: after about 20-25 minutes of "sprint & tackle" and "squirrel agility" it appeared these 2 were not up to my skill level - despite all the team organization meetings, I was leaving these 2 in the dust. I decided to toss out skijoring as the next activity. Phew, finally something Max & dad could do! We were all perfect climbing up to Boreas Pass Rd for the first round of this activity (1 point each). On the down sprint I will give Max 1 point too - to show I am fair, I docked myself 0.1 points for giving Max an affectionate "neck nibble" during one sprint straightaway. Dad, on the other hand, gets docked 0.5 points for failing on an SLDO (Stupid Loose Dog Obstacle). There was Fluffy, standing in the middle of the trail and we were coming head-on fast! Everyone knows SLD's are too stupid to move and the point of the game is to run them over! Dumb dad veered far out to the left and, thus, we flew by without trampling Fluffy - darn! Score: Max 2, Zorro 1.9, Dad 1.5.

Final Score: (1) Zorro with 6.4; (2) Max with 2.5; and last place, old slow dad with only 1.5. I think dad has the "hearing disorder" - how else could he score soooo low on my well thought out backcountry games? I even had 3 organization meetings to re-explain the rules to him - I do not think he heard me!

Vital Stats: 9.5 miles; 1h 53m total time; 90m moving time; 6.3 MPH moving average; 15 MPH top speed; 1400 feet of elevation gain. 23 minutes of stoppage to explain the rules of "sprint & tackle" and "squirrel agility" to Max & dad - embarrassing! Also, we do not have any good uphill pictures as once I finally got Max & dad going on one activity (skijoring), nobody wanted to slow down and take the camera out...
A look back at the path we ascended out of Indiana Creek and onto Boreas Pass Rd.
On Boreas Pass Rd - Max & Zorro ready to go!


  1. SSHD! I was wondering if it had a name! I just had to chase Gus through untracked snow behind my house due to this SSHD and not wanting to come inside. Gus 1 Whitney (waist high and stuck in the snow) 0

  2. It gets even better when Gus gives you a "woooo" and dances around you stuck in the snow! Max has licked my face and then danced & darted around me as I sit there stuck in waist deep snow :-)