Monday, February 10, 2020

Great Until

Such happy sled dogs at our turnaround point in French Gulch this morning!
Smiles all around!
We only had time for a short run this morning and we got 4-8 inches of new snow overnight (depending on your elevation) so our plan was to get on French Gulch while the conditions were still good.

It started out PERFECT. A few pre-existing but still soft tracks and some nice powder in the shoulders and middle. Nice shot of the "tow rope trio" towing me up & out French Gulch:
Beautiful early morning conditions!
After a quick jog up & out French Gulch, it was time to turnaround and fly back. Look at this great shot of the trail with 3 set tracks and one sled dog in each track. Wheeee!
Trio of tracks, trio of sled dogs. Wheeee!
Everything was going according plan UNTIL - UGH the evil awful dirty rotten PLOW! We were almost back to the trailhead when we encountered this demon. If we'd only started 5-10 minutes earlier, we would have avoided it altogether and had a perfect albeit short outing.
"That's just plain EVIL!" express Jack & Rudy.
"Let's go knock it over!" suggests Zorro :)
Come along for the "run to the devil" video clip this morning. We start out on absolutely wonderful conditions having a blast cruising the perfect trail. Until... Well, until we encounter the devil plow on the trail and have to stop.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

To be fair, there are a handful of private cabins in French Gulch and the owners are allowed to contract any plow service they want to access their cabins. BUT.... But, the agreement between the county and the owners is the following: You may plow the access road IF and ONLY IF you leave 4+ inches of snow on the trail for backcountry enthusiasts.

Ok, I can live with that agreement, but here is what we found once we got past the devil plow:
"Um, we might be only 2 years old, but we know this isn't 4 inches of snow on the trail!"
says smart beyond their years Jack & Rudy.
I approached this trail damage slowly until I saw I could probably pass over. I think Zorro was as surprised as me that I could navigate the skis over:
"Really? You can make it?" asks concerned Zorro.
I put all my weight on my left leg and was able to cross cautiously
Oh well, no need to dwell on the evil awful dirty rotten plow. We'll just enjoy toes on snow and plan other trails until fresh snow falls in French Gulch again.
"We can forget about the plow and move on to 'end of run' treats!" says the fun trio.
A quick & short outing that was PERFECT until the last 5ish minutes: 4.2 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 92 days on the trails covering 629.3 miles with 58,150 feet of elevation climbed.

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