Monday, November 24, 2014

Moose Sighting

Our first moose sighting of this season. It is always so fun to see moose (from a distance!)
She's far away and on the other side of French Creek from our location.
But, Max & Zorro caught the scent (or heard the movement) and aligned themselves directly
at the moose for me to join in watching her meander away from us and up into the trees.

We have had plenty of fresh moose tracks to sniff so far this season; but today was the first actual sighting. I love to see moose from afar - they are such beautiful creatures. Yet, trust me, there is nothing scarier than encountering a moose too close - absolutely terrifying! Today's sighting was a full grown female who must have heard or smelled us coming and meandered away from us and into the forest as we all watched intensely.

We enjoyed two contrasting sets of trail conditions on the outing: laying fresh tracks on 1-2 inches of powder on the fast Sally Barber Trail and laying fresh tracks in 2-5 inches of fresh powder on the narrow French Gulch Trail.

The Sally Barber Trail is very popular with cross country skiers, so it is always quickly packed and packed wide after any new snowfall. The trail got about 1-2 inches of fresh snow overnight and we were the first on the trail to enjoy this shallow new layer - wheeee!
Nice cornering by Max & Zorro as we lean into a left along the fast trail.
Happily laying fresh tracks in 1-2 inches as we climb to Sally Barber Mine.

The second leg of our outing involved an out & back on the French Gulch Trail. This trail is infrequently used (especially compared to Sally Barber) and typically has narrow single tracks with deep snow on the shoulders if you step out of the track. Max & Zorro will naturally align themselves into single file skijoring when we encounter such terrain. We slow down a little in this configuration; but are still able to maintain a nice jog along the trail.
Max's turn to jog in lead as the set track is too narrow to run shoulder to shoulder.
Everyone shares time in front as Zorro now runs lead while Max takes a break in second slot.
Notice the single track is almost as deep as Max! If you step out of the track you sink in about
a foot and a half of snow!

Fast along Sally Barber and a little slower along the French Gulch single track lead to an 8.1 mile outing with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 23 days on the trails covering 183.1 miles with 20,050 feet of elevation climbed.

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