Saturday, March 21, 2020

Early Road Fun

We started this morning's skijor at sunrise, we finished with the sun just barely over the mountains and bright & low in the sky!
The human barely visible against the low & bright sun.
The Siberians in the usual "all smiles" as we conclude today's skijor run.
We found one positive in the COVID-19 situation this morning. Typically the plows in & around Breckenridge try to get through all the major roads before school starts or most businesses open. Well, schools are closed and restaurants as well as all non-essential businesses are closed throughout Summit County. So, it appeared this morning that the county is letting the plow drivers sleep in and get out whenever they get to it :)

The result? Well, we had 3-5 inches of new snow overnight and, without the county plows out yet, we were able to skijor French Gulch Road "out & back" from where it transitions from town to county service. As I said, on a typical day the plows would have been on the road before we could get started a 1/2 hour after sunrise!
Whee - riding up French Gulch Road in MARCH behind my power trio.
What a rare treat!
We did a short skijor this morning as we wanted to keep Zorro in the team for the entire outing. As he is approaching 12 years old, the distance he can go is shrinking but he definitely still wants to go (he is ALL SMILES and power while out on the trails). We love having the elder leader with us the entire time so we are willing to do a short skijor now and then to enjoy his company the entire outing!

As I alluded to above, we did an "out & back" on French Gulch Road. We started down the road before the French Gulch Trailhead Parking Lot and skijored up & past the lot onto the beginning of the French Gulch Trail. We turned around just a 100 yards or so past the parking lot as we wanted to skijor back down the road before the plows woke up.

Ok, a short "out & back", what do you think Jack did at the turnaround point?
"Distance, shmistance - you stop, I ROLL!" demonstrates goofy snow rolling Jack.
"At least *I* am mature enough to reserve snow angels for long runs!" adds cute Rudy.
"I smell moose!" declares moose sniffing Zorro (which I'm certain he
did as French Gulch is moose territory).
Once we got Jack upright, it was time to head back down French Gulch Road. As we turned around a group of backcountry skiers was coming up the trail from the parking lot. We flirted & glided by the first 3 in the group. But the last member stopped and took out his camera to get a video of the cool sled dogs. Well, Zorro stopped to flirt & pose while Jack continued on by and Rudy slowed to give him a big "WOO!" for his video collection :)
"Hi sir, shall I pose for a happy face shot?" asks mellow Zorro.
"Camera, shmamera, coming through!" says all-business Jack.
"WOOOOOOOO!" adds Rudy the Woo.
Once past the "flirt & woo" point and here we go. Come along as we start on the very edge of the French Gulch Trail and then pass through the trailhead parking lot until committing to sprint down the road. Note how Zorro & Jack slow slightly through the parking lot as this is where we typically stop (they are checking the cars for Nancy). Rudy, on the other hand, wants to get THROUGH the parking lot before we get any silly ideas about stopping before getting more exercise :)
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A little further down the road and sun has finally risen over the mountains behind us. Love the poofs behind Zorro as he is running in shallow powder in a tire track. Love the big poofs behind Jack as Powder Jack has found the deepest part of the available snow to frolic in. Meanwhile, monster Rudy takes the set tire track to go FAST!
Whee, poofs for the cool blacks
and set tracks for the fast red.
What a fun & unique morning making some use of the COVID-19 shutdowns to get on some fresh powder on usually unusable terrain!
"YES - that was FUN!" as we have smiles all around from the
happy trio at our end of run group meeting :)
Not to worry, Jack & Rudy will get another walk today as reward for letting us do a short run with Zorro in the team the entire outing (believe me, they would drive Nancy & I CRAZY otherwise :).

Unique terrain for a full outing with fun Zorro: 4 miles traveled with 250 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 127 days on the trails covering 859.9 miles with 78,650 feet of elevation climbed.

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