Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Look what we found early this May 26th - a GROOMED TRACK near Walton Peak atop Rabbit Ears Pass! Wow!
Yes - that is a freshly groomed trail on May 26th! Wow!!!!
How did this groomed surprise happen? Well, the snowmobile trails on Rabbit Ears are groomed by the local snowmobile club, Routt Powder Riders, of which we are members. Now, technically the snowmobile season is over so the official trail grooming has ended. But, the actual snowcat groomer is still parked atop the pass as more snow has to melt before they can load the groomer onto a flatbed to be transported to its summer home. Well, it is healthy for a groomer to be run now and then. So, as a result, the groomer is taken out unannounced occasionally until the flatbed arrives. As I said, the grooming is not announced at this time of year as you do not want to draw crowds of 100s or 1000s onto the pass with little & fragile amount of snow left (plus this would violate COVID-19 protocols this year). So, if you are lucky, you happen upon the pass on a day when they took the groomer out for some exercise. As you see in the photo above, today was one such magical day when we happened upon the trails after the groomer had been out! Wow - what a treat!!!

What did this magic groom enable? Well, young Jack & Rudy ran the longest skijor of their careers this morning: 11.7 miles. If you told me Jack & Rudy's longest run of the year would come on May 26th, I would have snorted and asked what you'd been smoking :)  But, today it happened. Amazing!

Did we really have 11.7 miles of groomed terrain? Well, no, the groomer had been out for a few miles, but not 12. But, what happened when the groomed track ended? Well, we found a solo snowmobile track to continue following for miles and miles and miles. This was also a product of Routt Powder Riders as they had been out on the pass yesterday collecting trailmarkers as the official end of snowmobiling at Rabbit Ears this season. So, this solo snowmobile had gone on for miles yesterday collecting markers and giving us a wonderful packed track to follow as well!
Not as nice as the perfect & wide groomie zoomie above, but still a comfortable
and welcome snowmobile track to follow for miles and miles!
How much more entertaining could the morning have become? Well, how about some fresh smelling bear tracks to inspect?
Jack & Rudy's noses in bear tracks as you see another huge bear footprint to
the left of Rudy's left foot. Big!
Not to fear, though, we were in a vast meadow when we encountered the bear tracks. So, I could see all around us and verify there was no bear in sight. But, still fun for the kids to sniff.

Anyway, back to the groomie zoomie. If you are part of the "grooming team", then of course you know when the groomer has been taken out for some exercise. There was a group of about 6 who were "in the know" and enjoying the groomed track they had built this morning. We encountered them, one by one, as we cruised around the perfect terrain:
Passing by and entertaining one of the recipients of this morning's
perfect trail!
Finally, we came upon 4 of the skiers meeting to run the trail together. Jack & Rudy had a blast following this group for a few miles. We would give them a big headstart and then run and catch them from behind. Once we got close, we'd pause, give another headstart and repeat the fun follow and chase :)
There's four of our kindred spirits out this morning.
"Here we come!" demonstrate fast following Jack & Rudy.
Today's video highlight is one of our fun "follow & chase" moments. Come along as we have given the group ahead of us a headstart and are running fast to close the gap on them in front of us. These guys were VERY talented skate skiers. The video demonstrates just how (more) impressive Jack & Rudy are at running the groomed terrain!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Almost done with the incredible May 26th outing for Jack & Rudy and time add elder Zorro on to the team for a short finish to enjoy the groomie zoomie. Here we come, wheeee!
All smiles as we fly by Nancy with super happy Zorro leading the way!
"Hi mom, bye mom!" as we fly on by and continue the fast & final lap of the morning:
Flying on by we go. Zoom!
What an incredible May 26th. Finding the perfect "exercise the groomer" track atop Rabbit Ears, finding perfect snowmobile track to continue far past the groomed track, sniffing a delicious set of bear tracks and putting smiles on our faces to end the day on the perfect track with Zorro: 11.7 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH!!!!

2019/2020 Season to Date: 174 days on the trails covering 1193.2 miles with 109,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Look at that - 1193.2 miles for the season. I did not think we had a chance of hitting 1200 given the recent warm temperatures. But, here we are at 1193.2 with a real chance of surpassing 1200 tomorrow. Stay Tuned!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment