Monday, December 15, 2014

300 and Counting

Laying fresh tracks most of the day in French Gulch!
We surpassed 300 miles of skijoring for this 2014/2015 Season Today - 300 and counting...
"Yes, we are having a great time!" answered happy Max & Zorro when I called out "Everyone
having fun and ready to turn around?"

We skijored through 3 types of terrain in French Gulch today...

(1) Laying fresh tracks on the road leading to the French Gulch Trailhead. If you get to the road early after a night of snowfall, you can often beat the plows to the road and add this easy intro to your skijor outing:
An easy start to the outing as we glide up French Gulch Road.

(2) Taking turns playing "tow truck" with the set single track and shallow shoulders. If the shoulder next to a single track is shallow (less than 4 inches of snow), then Max & Zorro will typically take turns with one trotting in the track and the other laying fresh tracks in the shoulder. Since the guy in the shoulder is working harder, his gangline will be looser and the gangline to the guy "in track" will be taut working as the tow truck (to tow me). About 1/2 our outing on the French Gulch Trail was along this type of terrain...
Max as Tow Truck.
Zorro as Shallow Powder Truck.
Flip... Zorro as Tow Truck and Max as Shallow Powder Truck.

(3) As we got further back into French Gulch, the shoulder snow kept getting deeper and deeper. Eventually it was too deep for either Max or Zorro to plow through the snow out of the track and be able to keep up with the guy in track. So, this 1/2 of the outing the French Gulch Trail was single file skijoring as they took turns running in lead along the narrow single track:
Max in lead, Zorro in "rest position second". You can see the snow wall of the single track
is as tall as Zorro's shoulders - too deep to run out of the single track and keep up.
Flip - Zorro in lead and Max in "rest position second". Notice the snow wall is up to tall Max's
shoulders at this point - that's deep!

And, finally, no trip to French Gulch is complete without a quick hop off the trail to survey the gulch for moose (a thing we frequently see)...
"Quick break for moose scanning!" say the moose seeking pair hopping off the trail at one of
our previous moose sighting points. Both there noses shot in the air before hopping off trail
to the right - the scent of moose must have been very strong!

A nice range of conditions to lay fresh tracks most of the day in French Gulch: 8.2 miles with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 15 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 37 days on the trails covering 303.1 miles with 33,250 feet of elevation climbed.

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