Sunday, March 27, 2016


Fast terrain + scent of moose = zoom!
Flying along behind my "moose juiced" skijor partners.
We went to Swan Valley this morning with the intent of skijoring alongside the dog sled team from Good Times Adventures. We were quite let down when we got to the parking lot to find no cars. Oh my, is Good Times already closed for the season?!? We figured that must be the case. Yet the terrain was perfect, so we decided to skijor the trails with the hopes of eventually running into a dog sled team.

Well, no such luck - not a dog sled team to be found on the trails. So, we turned to our second favorite activity at Swan Valley - moose seeking! Moose are prevalent in this area but you rarely see them once all the dog teams and snowmobiles from Good Times are out on the trails. No dog teams, no snowmobiles and just quiet Max & Zorro. So.... MOOSE!!! We did not actually see one, but the "scent of moose" was everywhere!
"Sniff - I KNOW there is one in the trees to the right!" declares moose seeking Max.
"I believe you, I'm looking, I'm looking!" states moose scanning Zorro.

A little further along the trail and...
"I smell them to the left this time!" declares Max.
"Really? really? Let me see!" says Zorro.
"You are right! You are right! Moose scent to the left!" exclaims Zorro.

Ok, so seeing moose from a distance is fun; but closeup moose encounters are NOT. Max & Zorro have a distinct behavior when the scent of moose is prevalent. I can see it in their actions. Now, the trails at Swan Valley have lots of blind corners. Nobody (except Max & Zorro :) wants to come around a corner and find a closeup moose. So, what to do? Well, I learned this trick from Iditarod mushers... If you sense moose nearby (from the actions of your sled dogs), start to sing really loud as moose want nothing to do with humans and will move off the trail when they hear you.

My favorite "moose go away" song to sing is "Henry the 8th". So, here you go, turn up the volume and listen to me belting out the first verse of Henry the 8th as we fly along the trail. An interesting side effect to my singing? Well, Max & Zorro know I only sing this song when moose are nearby. I start singing when I see their moose intensity; but the two of them add extra juice to the moose engine when I start singing. To them it is, "Oh my, nose impaired dad can smell it too! Moose MUST be nearby!"
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

No dog sled teams to run with today so we did the next best thing and filled our noses with the scent of moose. A fun replacement activity:
"Yes! Love scent of moose! And glad you smelled it too and started singing!" declare
my happy partners.

A day of moosing... 9.2 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 105 days on the trails covering 890.5 miles with 97100 feet of elevation climbed.

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