Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Just Enough Snow

Just enough snow to take the sled for a spin on Vail Pass this morning.
Talking to my pals at our turnaround point of the day...
"Enough snow for me to have a GREAT time!" expresses happy Max.
"I see more snow, let's go!" says Zorro surveying our surroundings.

We got a dusting of new snow at home Tuesday night; but awoke to see more than a dusting on the traffic cams at Vail Pass. So, we all piled into the Jeep quickly and headed up to Vail Pass to make use of the snow. Unfortunately there was only 2-4 inches of new snow and Vail Pass is still open to cars. This meant we had to use the sled instead of skis for our quick morning run. Oh well, the sled on snow is better than no snow!

Our "start point" near the top of Shrine Pass at Vail Pass.
Enough snow for the sled; but not enough for the skis (especially with the tire tracks).
Off we go - wheeee!
A great shaded (and, thus, snow covered & frozen) straightaway to uncork the Siberians.
Still shaded & frozen, but you can see the trucks have been cutting down to dirt in many places. Boo!
And the occasional "UGH!" as the vehicles have destroyed the snow and brought dirt
and mud to the surface!

Our funny encounter of the day... As we were sledding up Lime Creek, Max & Zorro's "wildlife sensors" started firing and you could tell they had the scent of fresh deer or elk. At about the same time, a hunter was coming down the road in his truck (it is "hunting season" on Vail Pass until mid November). I stopped the sled and pulled Max & Zorro off to the shoulder to let the truck pass and the 2 of them happily oriented themselves in the direction of the fresh deer or elk scent. As the hunter passed, we have the following exchange: "Nice dogs, you seen any deer or elk tracks this morning?" ask the hunter. "Thanks and no I have not; but there MUST be deer or elk nearby or these two [pointing at Max & Zorro] would not be this animated." I responded. "Hmmmmm..." he pondered and then put his truck in park, took out his rifle and headed down into the trees in the direction Max & Zorro were intensely pointed and watching. As I started to get Max & Zorro re-oriented back on the trail, I heard two gunshots. Guess the hunter had success, thanks to the fine wildlife tracking and pointing skills of Max & Zorro. What talented sled dogs :)

A nice day (for October) to get the sled out on the trails for a 6.9 mile run with 550 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 4 days on the trails covering 27.6 miles with 3400 feet of elevation climbed.

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