Wednesday, April 20, 2011

350 - miles, rabbits, pounds...

Cruising up Indiana Creek. Fun, tight trail weaving
through the trees.
We surpassed 350 miles skijoring for the season today!

We encountered (at least) 350 rabbit tracks on the trail & crossing the trail all day long. Active day for the snowshoe hares!

Not sure which of these events was more impressive. The guy with 2 legs on skis was pretty impressed at passing the 350 mile mark. The guys with 4 legs were more impressed by the number of rabbit tracks on the trails today. Once I started counting the tracks, I got to 350 before we were done (and there was probably 100 or more before I started counting).

We did one of our favorite routes today: start at the Indiana Creek winter trailhead; tour up & about in Indiana Creek until connecting with Boreas Pass Rd; skijor down Boreas Pass Rd to the Boreas winter trailhead.

I skijor with a very "sticky" set of cross country skis. This is usually a good equipment choice as it is highly advisable to have a ski that can help you keep speeds under control when you are attached to two Siberian Sprinters. We had a very heavy, wet & sticky snowfall on Tuesday that was fresh on the trails for us Wed morning. Sticky skis + heavy/sticky snow = STUCK :-)  Seriously, it was quite the exercise event (for all 3 of us) to keep my skis going on the trails today. A few times the stickiness between the skis and snow was so much that I had to high step jog (while on skis) to keep going with Max & Zorro. When the skis were gliding, it was still a rough surface requiring a lot of husky pulling and human pushing. Max & Zorro must have thought I weighed 350 pounds today with the stickiness they were pulling against!

The sheer volume of snowshoe hare tracks was truly amazing. They were crisscrossing across the trails all day - on both Indiana Creek and Boreas Pass. They would occasionally go along the trail for a short stretch before diving off into the trees again. I started counting the tracks halfway up Indiana Creek as a joke - I could not believe it when I surpassed 350 tracks on our way down Boreas!

Vital Stats: 8.9 miles; 2h 25m total time; 2h moving time; 4.5 MPH moving average; 12 MPH top speed; 1,200 feet of elevation gain (and loss). Like I said, very rough & sticky conditions - tough to get your speeds up when the skis won't glide!
Snowshoe hare tracks - you cannot believe how many of these tracks were
on the trails today! 
Max & Zorro inspecting some rabbit tracks. To the right (going between the
2 trees) you can see a ton of snowshoe hare prints in the snow.
Normally we do not stop to sniff tracks; but I needed a breather from
skiing in the heavy snow, so I let Max & Zorro enjoy some snowshoe prints.
Taking a break after we climbed out of Indiana Creek and onto Boreas Pass Rd.
This is a picture of our path down Boreas. As you can see - zero tracks, it was
up to Max & Zorro to power the human down this sticky trail.
Max & Zorro, "Whew! That human was quite a haul uphill today!
Must roll around in the snow to cool off before starting down."

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