Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Planet Z

Max "hamming it up for the camera" as we
approach our finish at the Vail Pass trailhead.
Those who have met Zorro know he is the "court jester" of our pack. Usually a go with the flow character, we all know Zorro is one "flip of the switch" away from operating as the looney court jester.

We affectionately refer to this flip as Zorro operating on Planet Z - he's in his own dimension of lunacy and antics that leave you wondering and scratching your head (read last season's top moment from Planet Z)...

Today's skijoring outing had many intersections with Planet Z. The antic of the day from Planet Z - finding it necessary to frequently decide Max needs a "neck nibble" as we are cruising over the terrain. The 4 I remember clearly (there were more, just ask Max ;-)

(1) Not more than 10 yards from our start, Zorro decides Max's neck looks tasty and takes an affectionate nibble. This nibble escalates into a posturing standoff as I try to regain control of the skijoring vehicle.

(2) Less than 1/2 mile into our outing - repeat of #1...

(3) About 3 miles into our outing we are flying down a small dip and I notice Zorro dipping his head into Max to mess with him. "Kid, we are *flying*, what are you doing?!?!" I think; "Forward Zorro!" I call out to no avail. "I'll show him," I decide and I swing to the left and start passing Zorro as he is pecking at Max. Well, one of the most consistent character traits of Zorro is "NONE Shall Pass!" As soon as he noticed me starting to pass ... Zoom! forward he went in a dead sprint, no more interest in messing with Max. Success (for now)...

(4) About 6 or so miles into our outing we are sprinting down a long downhill stretch and I notice Zorro again dipping into Max to annoy his brother. Well, this time Max finally had enough of Planet Z. Tall Max simply lept into the air and hurdled over the short pest from Planet Z. Unfortunately this led to a complete tangled mess of the gangline and I had to quickly cut to a stop to realign the crew.

Neither Max nor I will ever understand Planet Z - where is this kid coming from?!?! Lunatic :-)

The Route: (1) Start at the Vail Pass winter trailhead and skijor out and up Shrine Pass Rd; (2) Take Shrine Pass Rd for a rolling series of ups/downs for just over 4 miles to Turkey Creek/Lime Creek fork in the road; (3) Hang a right up Lime Creek Rd for about a 1/4 mile and do a 180 turn and fly back down to the Turkey Creek/Lime Creek junction; (4) Take a quick break; (5) Sprint back the same path along Shrine Pass Rd to the Vail Pass trailhead.

Vital Stats: 8.6 miles; 89m total time; 74m skijoring time; 23 MPH top speed; 1100 feet of elevation gain. A pretty fast overall outing, especially when you factor in the distractions from Planet Z!

The Turkey Creek (left)/Lime Creek (right) fork in the trail. We took the right
and sprinted up Lime Creek for about 1/4 mile before sprinting back down to
this same point to take our short break.
An unnamed trail going up and into the forest at our break point. Clearly Max
and Zorro are lining themselves up to explore this path. I, instead, suggested
we return back the same route we arrived on and...
Max and Zorro said, "Boooring - return the same route? Pfft, we'd rather dunk
our heads in the snow than do that!
" After a little negotiating, we agreed to return
on the same path *IF* I agreed to go FAST!

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