Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bear Tracks

We had a few stretches to "open it up today"; but most of the day involved trail creativity...
Zoom we go along one of the open straightaways of the day!

We went to our favorite "fast trail" at Rabbit Ears Pass this morning. This trail is completely sun exposed, so we knew it would die sometime in May. But, this trail also gets heavy snowmobile use so the machines pack the main trail to give it some resistance to the sun exposure.

Well, today was the day we had to announce this trail as "closed for the season" as, after about 2 miles, the trail had succumbed to the melting snow and underlying creek...
"Dang! No way to proceed!" states water averse Zorro stopping well before the creek to
tell me about the water hazard.
"I'm trying to find a way to cross; but it looks to be open water everywhere!' reports Max
surveying the opening for some way to cross.
Notice how deep the snowpack really is in front of Max. Such a shame that the
flowing water eroded the snow bridge and brought this trail to a close!

Once our intended route was aborted due to open water, we turned around and then got creative following various snowmobile trails that were still packed enough to keep us from punching through the soft snow. We would go for a while until it got too soft, then turn around and go another "packed direction" until it got soft, etc. etc...

Our creativity, though, did lead to a first for us in skijoring - fresh bear tracks!!!! I have always said that only fresh moose tracks can bring Max & Zorro to a stop on the trail as they will give other animal tracks only a passing glance. Well, I stand corrected: only fresh moose and bear tracks can bring them to a halt! The three of us have skijored over 5000 miles as a team and today was the first encounter with fresh bear tracks (thankfully they are hibernating most of our season).
"Sniff, sniff - what a fun & unique smell - fresh bear tracks!" state the track inspectors.
Notice the noses each in a footprint and the prints on each side of Max.
If you are having trouble seeing and identifying the bear prints in the previous shot, try this one:
Look at Max's back right foot in a bear print - his foot looks so small compared to a bear!
Notice the big print in front of Max and just to the right of Zorro - oh my!

The day's outing was cut short by deteriorating conditions; but that did not stop us from having a great time:
"Toes on Snow and Bears in the Nose! We had fun!" declare the happy pair!

A shorter than usual run at Rabbit Ears due to conditions... 7.6 miles with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 142 days on the trails covering 1223.8 miles with 128,600 feet of elevation climbed.

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