Sunday, December 8, 2019

First and Second

Fun "shot from the front" of the happy sled dogs towing me to the end of this morning's skijor run!
7 miles later and smiles all around :) Happy, happy boys!
We were first tracks on a light layer of new snow almost all morning long (a trace to an inch or so of new snow). I love how safe the trails feel with a light layer of new snow!
Laying fresh tracks in a 1/4 inch or so along this section of trail.
As I said, we were first tracks ALMOST all morning long. We were second tracks for one stretch of trail. Who was first? A MOOSE or two or three!!!!!
Look directly left of my ski tips - that is a moose footprint in the snow.
You can follow that print up the trail and see the moose tracks next to and in front of Zorro.
There was another set of tracks in front of Jack & Rudy and a third set to the left of
the tracks going by Zorro.
I could tell by the intensity of my trio that these tracks were pretty fresh. We continued cautiously along the trail following the moose prints for a while. Well, ok, I continued cautiously, my partners wanted to floor it following the moose prints :)  Then we came around a bend and the trail was completely tracked up by moose footprints. Clearly a group of moose had congregated here recently having a party on the trail. Then Zorro snapped his head to the left and I put on the brakes preparing to encounter a moose (or 2 or 3). But, alas, we did not see any despite Zorro locking into the trees to our left!
"Beep beep - I detect moose to the left!!!" says moose detector Zorro.
Look at all the prints on the trail here - moose party!
Ok, moose excitement over without a sighting (phew), back to laying fresh tracks all morning long. Come along for a peaceful glide along the trail with my three partners.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We did an "out & back" outing this morning. So, that meant we had to turnaround at one point. Well, turnaround time from the kids :)
"Turnaround - roll around!" demonstrates goofy Jack.
"I love turnaround antics!!!!!" exclaims cute little happy Rudy.
"Well, if you two are going to roll around, I might as well eat a snowcone!" adds Zorro.
Finally the kids got up and we turned around :)  With a wide trail, everyone moved to the right to continue laying fresh tracks all the way back:
Our "out tracks" to the left. Our "fresh tracks path" on the right. Fun time!
A fun day laying first tracks almost all morning long with one stretch of "second tracks to a group of moose": 7.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 36 days on the trails covering 238.9 miles with 24,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 7, 2019


With a day full of chores to do, we had to get out on the trails early this morning. We started at about sunrise for a fun run; as a result, most of today's photos are pretty dark. But, a fun time was had by all!
Cresting on the trail at Sally Barber Mine.
We gave Zorro most of the day off this morning as 11.5 year old Zorro did a big 8 mile run yesterday.

We started on the Sally Barber Mine Trail and did an up, over and down to French Gulch. Come along as we crest at the mine and then take off heading down to French Gulch. Zoom!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Once down from the mine, we turned right to go out French Gulch. Within a few hundred yards and Jack's moose sensor went off and drew his attention off trail. Rudy eventually joined to take in the moose search:
"I smell moose!" declares moosing Jack.
"What, really? Oh, I smell them too!" adds Rudy.
I did see one moose far across the gulch moving in the trees. It was too far away to show up in a photo, but clearly close enough to tickle a Siberian Husky nose :)

Done moosing and time to run out & back the gulch:
Flying along in French Gulch - wheeee!
Doing and "out & back" meant we stopped to turn around at one point. Well, today's turnaround entertainment is rodent dunks & dives :)
"About to dunk, I smell rodents!" says Jack.
"Really? Wait for me - incoming!" adds rodent diving Rudy.
After doing most of French Gulch with just Jack & Rudy, we added Zorro in for a short sprint to the finish. I couldn't decided which front shot I like better, so you get two:
Happy, happy and fast running trio!

A little closer but still a happy, happy and fast running trio!
A sunrise run for young Jack & Rudy with a short sprint to the finish with Zorro to end the day: 7.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 35 days on the trails covering 231.8 miles with 23,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, December 6, 2019


"Really, you have to 'drop & roll' right in front of me? Where's my personal space?!?" asks mature Zorro looking at the goofball kids rolling snow angels around and next to him :)
"What's 'personal space'? Rolling - wheeee!" demonstrates the goofs.
We spent most of the morning on terrain like that below: a light layer of new snow with a few pre-existing tracks over what is the groomed trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center underneath the new snow.
Flying along with light powder poofs behind Zorro & Jack as Rudy rides along the
existing track down the middle.
Another fun shot similar to the prior as we fly along in the light layer of new snow as we cruise by the Kathy's Viewpoint warming hut. Zorro, Jack & Rudy love to fly by the huts :)
"Warming hut? How silly - on we go!" demonstrates the fast trio.
Here we go with the video counterpart to the prior photo. Running fast and flying by the hut. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As I mentioned, we were on the trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center. So, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a freshly groomed trail with only a single other track! With three fast sled dogs so lively and quick, I knew in a moment we'd be flying so quick. On Zorro, on Jack, on Rudy - a zoom, zoom, zoom we go!
Fresh groomie!!!! Zoomie!
Finally, we end the day with the happy trio towing me to the finish.
Not the best shot due to the heavy shading, but you can still see 3 happy faces!

A fast day around Breckenridge Nordic Center with a "groomie surprise" to finish off the outing: 7.9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 34 days on the trails covering 224.4 miles with 22,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Where Are You?

Yoo Hoo, Mr. Moose - we smell you, where are you?!?
Expert moose detectors Zorro & Jack shoulder to shoulder looking into the trees.
"Hey, I smell it too! Yum!" adds last to the scene Rudy :)
Note the falling snowflakes you can make out against the trees.
Zorro & Jack have very reliable moose detecting noses. You can tell by their body language when they have caught the scent of moose (as opposed to any other type of wildlife). As you see above, youngest Rudy is still perfecting his "moose nose" and still needs Zorro & Jack to point out the delicious scent of moose over all other wildlife. He'll get there eventually, they all do :)

We never actually saw any moose, but I did see moose tracks leading into the trees at the exact point Zorro & Jack are looking. One was here recently and was not far away according to Zorro & Jack's sensors.

We had a fun day laying fresh tracks in a light layer of new snow around Sally Barber Mine and then French Gulch. We started out with Jack & Rudy towing me up, over and down Sally Barber Mine:
Laying fresh tracks as we crest at Sally Barber Mine before cutting right to head down
the other side of the trail. We were first tracks up the "quiet side" of the Sally Barber Mine
Trail and only seconds tracks on the "busy side" of the trail!
After the "up/over/down" of Sally Barber, we added in Zorro to do an out & back in French Gulch. We were laying fresh tracks all the way out on the right side of the trail. Look closely and you can see everyone has snow covered backs from the light snowfall coming down all morning.
Fresh tracks with fresh snow on our backs. Siberian Husky Heaven!
Once we turned around in French Gulch, everyone moved to the right side of the trail again to continue laying freshies all the way back:
Zipping along laying fresh tracks as you can see our "out tracks" to the left.
Today's video showcases the light falling snowfall as we cruise along in French Gulch. It was not snowing hard, but any snow is better than no snow. Having fun amidst the lightly falling flakes.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Time for those 'end of run' treats and look at polite & patient Rudy waiting his turn behind his brothers. "Polite & Patient Rudy", never thought I'd see those words together ;)
"My turn first!" says happy Zorro.
"Me next!" adds happy Jack.
"I'll politely and patiently wait back here for 3rd in line." adds happy Rudy.
Fun day laying fresh tracks almost the entire outing with a entertaining scent of moose distraction: 7.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 33 days on the trails covering 216.5 miles with 22,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

All Terrain

It was back to "rodent dunks & dives" for Jack & Rudy's comic interlude on the trails today :)
"DUNK!" demonstrates rodent hunting Jack.
"Incoming!!!!" demonstrates rodent diving Rudy.
The goofs took yesterday off from the rodent dunk/dive antics; but returned to the fun
this morning :)
It was a day experiencing all sorts of terrain with my all terrain vehicles (Jack & Rudy).

We found ourselves laying fresh tracks in 4ish inches of untouched snow in the backcountry:
Laying freshies as the pair tows me up an untouched side trail.
We found ourselves laying fresh tracks in narrow backcountry single tracks:
Almost 2 Siberians wide. Rudy is in the single track but only Jack's left side is in track.
That's ok, powder Jack had fun dipping his right legs in the deep snow next to the track.
We opened the throttle on miles of snowmobile tracks:
Zoom - packed but not icy, perfect snowmobile track!
Eventually we dropped out of the backcountry and onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. For the second time this season Jack & Rudy topped 24 MPH. That was their fastest last year when both were new to skijoring. I expect a 25 or 26 MPH outing this season since they have hit 24 twice in early season conditions!
Groomie Zoomie! Zoooom!
Finally, we completed the day adding Zorro for a short & fast completion. The intent was to give Zorro most of the day off as he's skijored the last 4 days in a row. He was happy to sit out the long run Jack & Rudy did while joining in for a fast 1/4 mile to end the day:
Whee we go with Zorro to end the day!
But, my favorite part of the all terrain day is today's video clip. Come along as we are going at a pretty fast pace on a snowmobile trail until we approach a winter gate. Now realize two things: first, Jack & Rudy could fit under this gate (but not me) and second, this is only the second time Jack & Rudy have ever been on this section of trail. But watch as my youngsters are PERFECT! I only need to mutter a few "easy" commands for them to slow down and then an "over to the right" to get them through the opening I can fit. Finally, once past the gate, both remain patient until I pass through and give an "ok" to take off again (as they immediately do). Quite impressive for a just under 2 years old Rudy and almost 2.5 year old Jack!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Riding the "Jack & Rudy All Terrain Vehicle" through all terrains this morning before adding Zorro for a quick finish to the outing: 9.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 32 days on the trails covering 209.3 miles with 21,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

First Tracks, First Groom

First tracks on our first nordic groomed trail of the 2019/2020 season. Groomie Zoomie :)
A freshly groomed nordic trail for us to lay first tracks! What fun!
We had a great time on our first outing of the season at Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge. This nordic center just opened last weekend and I was thrilled to learn that some of the "dogs allowed" trails had been groomed and were ready to use. We were even more thrilled to arrive at the trailhead to find the groomer had gone up the trail just minutes before us. What a treat to be first tracks on our first freshly groomed nordic trail of the season!

The only drawback to the outing was that not very much terrain was open (we need on really good storm to open up all the trails). The groomed trail we were on was less than 4.4 miles "out & back" and we did the first 2.2 miles out extremely fast. Out of trail, what now?
"That was a fast & fun 2.2 miles, but we are not ready to turnaround!" declares the happy
trio looking back to me for guidance.
Luckily, we found a snowmobile track adjacent to the nordic trails and were able to go a little under 2 miles out & back on this trail too. Phew, a disaster of under-exercised sled dogs avoided!
Zoom we go getting just under 2 miles of additional exercise on the snowmobile trail.
Done with the snowmobile "out & back" and onto the groomie zoomie again. Zoom!
Love the "groom puffs" you see flying up behind everyone's feet!
Here we go with a fun little clip of our first nordic groom of the season. Zorro, Jack & Rudy were having a blast sprinting the trail while you see I was having a fun time slaloming behind them. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After 3 days in a row of "rodent dives" for Jack & Rudy's comical interlude, we were back to the old standby today - rolling snow angels to add comedy to the morning :)
"Rub a dub dub!" demonstrates silly Jack.
"Dunk - about to roll!" shows silly Rudy.
"It's constant comedy with these silly children!" adds Zorro.
Finally, the usual end of the day shot as we have happy & focused sled dogs awaiting their end of run treats.
"READY!" declares the happy trio.
First tracks on our first nordic groom of the season with some side snowmobile trails to add a little extra distance: 6.1 miles traveled with 550 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 31 days on the trails covering 199.9 miles with 20,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 2, 2019


A beautiful bluebird morning with great snow atop Rabbit Ears Pass!
Flying Zorro alongside sprinting Jack and Rudy.
Flying Z!!!!!
It makes us so happy to see photos like the prior with 11.5 year old Zorro. Beautiful shot of the elder Flying Z!

I had a slight problem getting my boots into the ski bindings at the trailhead. This meant the youngsters were DYING waiting to get going - impatient little kids! As a result, today's video clip is a "take off start" to the day. Watch closely at the start of the video and see polite Zorro is starting gently with me while the monster kids are shot out of a cannon! Zorro quickly gets in the group as I get going and OFF we go!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We followed snowmobile tracks out & back going fast, fast, fast all morning long. There is one stretch of this trail where we have seen moose three times. Although it has been years since our last moose sighting on this trail (with Max & Zorro, before Jack & Rudy were even born), I can always feel Zorro kick it into overdrive along this moose stretch.
Flying Z again as he is getting the kids to join in and pick up the pace along moose alley :)
Third day in a row with Jack & Rudy doing their new antic: rodent dives & dunks. They are still rolling snow angels at any pause on the trail but they have now added rodent dives/dunks to their repertoire of silly antics. They may be silly; but they are consistent :)
Headless Jack searching for rodents in the snow.
"Here I come!!!!" adds Rudy with his third straight rodent swan dive on a skijor outing.
"Oh jeez, what will they add next?" says Zorro unable to watch.
At least one of my partners listens to the "turnaround" command. Thanks Zorro!
"I'm coming, I don't know about those strange kids!" says happy Zorro.
"Hold on. Still diving, still dunking!" demonstrate the goofball twins.
Finally, some well earned treats after a fast day on great trails!
"Ready!" says the happy & focused trio.

Beautiful morning for a 6.3 mile run with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 30 days on the trails covering 193.8 miles with 20,050 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Dive and Dunk

Fun shot from the front of the happy sled dogs towing me through the powder to end this morning's run!
Happy, hard-working sled dogs!
Rudy heard that people were impressed with his "rodent swan dive" yesterday, so he decided to give everyone another today :) We were gliding along the trail when Jack suddenly launched himself into the deep snow to search for rodents. As soon as Rudy saw what Jack was doing he turned and launched himself into the rodent search party too.
"What did you find Jack?!?!?!" asks Rudy as he dives to join the rodent hunt.
What happens when you dive into deep snow? Well, you get submerged :)  Can you find Jack & Rudy in the following photo?
"Kids, kids, kids - what to do with them?" asks Zorro not falling for the silly rodent hunt.
If you look closely you see Jack's black head just above the snow and behind him is a small piece of Rudy's back from the otherwise buried rodent diving Rudy.

Ok, silly rodent diving from the kids done, now back to skijoring. We did an out & back on the Harrison Creek Trail at Rabbit Ears Pass. There was 8+ inches of new snow on the trails and a single snowmobile had gone up the trail before us. Here's a nice shot of the trio towing me along:
Fast trio having fun towing me along - wheeee!
A single snowmobile track over a lot of new snow makes for a fun albeit very soft trail. Come along and watch as the trio tows me along the soft trail. Nice work by Zorro, Jack & Rudy!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

At our turnaround point of the outing - everyone having a good time?
"YES - a BLAST!" declares the happy sled dogs. Smiles all around!
The soft terrain made for a somewhat short (distance-wise) but very aerobic (energy-wise) day: 5.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 29 days on the trails covering 187.5 miles with 19,350 feet of elevation climbed.