Friday, October 28, 2011


Cruising along Sally Barber Mine trail.
Notice the flowing creek off to the right. Conditions
are not "winter perfect" yet, but enough snow to ski
in predominantly shady areas of the trail.
"What, turnaround and redo the same trail? Huh? Why on earth would you repeat a trail you just conquered? We went up, we went down, what on earth do you expect to find a second time? Dude, you are losing it!" - Today's feedback and sentiment from Max & Zorro.

Second outing of the 2011/2012 season today. Conditions are still pretty sketchy in most areas; but some of the more shady trails have enough snow to go...

The trail from the French Gulch winter trailhead to Sally Barber Mine is one such "shady enough for good snow" trails this time of year. The only problem - well, this is a pretty short trail by Siberian standards (1.35 miles up & then down for a piddly 2.7 mile roundtrip). So, I decided, "Hey, we'll just go up/down turnaround and up/down again to get a short 5.4 mile run in today." All was going well, the first up/down was flying; then we had a hotdog treat before starting the second up/down. Herein was the problem - Max looked at me like, "Turnaround, huh? Dude, that is NOT what we do! We explore the backcountry, we don't do hamster wheel routes!" Zorro contributed, "Turnaround, huh? That doesn't sound fun at all, I think I'll bite my brother instead!"

Great plans gone awry... It is true that we never do repeat/hamster-wheel routes, but I did not expect the shock and disbelief from my partners at suggesting one. After some discussion and coaching, I did convince Max & Zorro that going back up the same route was better than doing nothing - so off we went back up to Sally Barber Mine. At the top, it was time to turnaround (again) and go back down. Zorro, in protest, "Nope, nope, nope - I am NOT a hamster. I'm gonna bite & tackle my brother until you take us on new terrain!" A lot more discussion and coaching and *finally* Zorro was back on board and we flew down the trail to the French Gulch trailhead.

All in, a very entertaining day. Lesson to the musher: Siberians do not do hamster wheels!

Vital Stats: 5.4 miles; 74m total time; 57m moving time; 1100 feet of total elevation gain; top speed of 18 mph. A nice workout skijoring up 1100 feet for such a short outing and route...

Max just finished rolling around in the snow to cool off (the camera man was
not fast enough to get a shot of the snow angel action). Yum, tasty snow!
Max looking over the terrain below. Zorro, in agreement, "You are right!
Yum, tasty snow!
Back at the French Gulch trailhead, sharing hotdog treats that we get at the
conclusion of every skijoring outing. Patient Zorro in the background, "Gimme
" Max in the foreground.

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