Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pest

Beautiful backcountry trail to lay fresh tracks this morning!

Beautiful trail, beautiful sled dogs! Zoom!

When we were getting ready this morning, Rudy was acting like a loco nut. Ok, well, Rudy is always a loco nut; but this morning he was on nut overdrive. As he was bouncing around the house, I said to Jack & Nancy, "I wonder how much of this is going to spill onto the trails?" Nancy laughed, Jack rolled his eyes. The answer was, "It's RUDY, it's all going to spill onto the trail!" :) We had a least 4 pauses on the trail (all within the first 1-2 miles) to get Rudy to stop pestering Jack and me! What a pest!!!

What would make you want to stop trotting to suddenly rodent dive
onto your brother? Oh Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!

After about the 4th pause to deal with the pest, I was thinking, "Maybe I should flip the kid upside down and bite him! That'd teach him!" Well, Jack read my mind and did a flip and bite of his own. Good boy Jack!

"Stop bothering us!" says Jack atop Rudy.
"Yay, Jack flipped me! Whee!" responds loco Rudy.

Apparently all Rudy wanted was to be flipped and gnawed on for a bit as he stopped bothering Jack & I for the rest of the outing after Jack's flip. What a weirdo.

Anyway, Jack & my plan was to skijor the backcountry around Dry Gulch and then eventually drop onto the fast trails of Gold Run Nordic Center to end the day. Gold Run just recently opened for the season, so I was not sure they would be grooming the upper elevation trails yet; but they had!!! When we first dropped onto the trails, you could see signs a groomer had run yesterday and then there was 2-3 inches of fresh snow atop the groomed trail. Fresh tracks fun!

Wheeee! Laying fresh tracks over a groomed trail.
Oh, and look, Rudy is participating!!! :)

Finally, as we got to our last stretch of trail, the groomer had just come by minutes before us (I heard it from the trail we were on). Oh boy, a groomed sprint track to finish the outing. Zoom!

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

What did Jack & Rudy think of the groomed sprint track? Ha, ZOOM is their favorite word. Come along for a video glimpse of the fun as we topped 23 MPH skijoring along this stretch of trail.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, arriving at the trailhead behind my happy, happy pals. You wouldn't know Rudy started the day as a super pest from this cute & mellow glide to the finish :)

Whee!

Fun in the backcountry, fun in the groomed country and a little red pest to deal with along the way: 9.4 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 33 days on the trails covering 267.1 miles with 23,200 feet of elevation climbed.


Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Spreading Z

Can you spot Zorro's ashes in the following photo?

Look straight up from Jack and you'll find the spray of ashes
spreading through the air in the top of this photo.

One of our goals this season was to get out to French Gulch once to spread Zorro's ashes. Wonderful Z passed away last May and I really wanted to honor his memory by distributing some of his ashes in French Gulch. Why French Gulch? Well, it was one of Zorro's favorite trails as he, Max & I skijored this trail more than any other trail from 2010-2017. But, starting around 2017, this trail has been converted from a backcountry heaven to a plowed road leading to newly developed houses. As a result, our use of French Gulch dwindled starting in 2017 until we just plain stopped trying the trail from 2020 on. But, I was still determined to get one outing this season to honor Zorro.

How did we do it today? Well, a perfect combination of conditions. There was only light snowfall overnight (maybe 2 inches or so), so plows appeared to be taking the morning off. But, it snowed heavily and steadily from 5am-7am, dropping maybe 4-5 inches of surprise morning snow. So, we headed out to French Gulch just after sunrise, knowing the plows were still asleep not knowing what had happened in the early morning hours. Well, it was perfect!!!

Whee, look at these great conditions on what has turned into
a plowed road recently!!!

Jack, Rudy and I had a blast skijoring out French Gulch for the first time in years (we did skijor French Gulch a little in 2018/2019 as Zorro was training young Jack & Rudy). So much fun!

More great conditions. But, notice that "plow wall" to the right of Jack.
This trail will be plowed down to dirt again by tomorrow :(

At our turnaround point, Jack & Rudy were fascinated at my saying Zorro's name and then taking some ashes out of my backpack to spread around. They both patiently sat and watched as I spread their mentor's ashes around us.

Both wonderful kids focused on the line of black ashes you see starting
above my ski and going to the top of the photo.

We all miss the wonderful old man soooo much!!!

The black in the bottom right are some of Zorro's ashes resting
on the snow. What a wonderful tribute spent with my pals!

Ok, back to skijoring. Come along for what has now become a rare skijor in French Gulch. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

The unexpected early morning snow was such a surprise that even the main road leading to French Gulch had not been plowed yet. Fun!

So much fun to beat the plows to the roads :)

What a wonderful morning to honor wonderful Zorro, right guys?

"So much fun to relive our time with Z!!!!" says the happy kids.

For the record, Zorro's lifetime stats on French Gulch (again, most with Max & I and a few with Jack & Rudy): 220 outings covering 1737.7 miles!!! Impressive Z!

Today's tribute skijor: 9.6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 32 days on the trails covering 257.7 miles with 22,300 feet of elevation climbed.


Monday, December 5, 2022

Monday Freshies

Happy Jack & Rudy trotting along as I glide behind to conclude another great skijor morning.

All smiles from my Siberian Tow Rope :)

As I mentioned yesterday, we are finally starting to collect enough snow to open up more & more trails for our skijoring pleasure! Yesterday was Dry Gulch and today brought us our first skijor on Prospect Hill of this season! Yay!

We spent the majority of the day laying fresh tracks in a shallow layer of new snow (2-4 inches) with light snow falling around us. 

Fresh tracks for Jack & Rudy.
Snowflakes sprinkling around us (notice the snowflake blob covering
Rudy's right side of his head :)

The most fun, though, was when we got far away from the trailhead. Very few, if any, people had been this far from the trailhead so far this season. The result? We found ourselves breaking trail in 10+ inches of fresh powder all to ourselves!!!

It was only a mile or so of "powder cache"; but it was fun fun fun
to have Jack & Rudy tow me through breaking trail!

Then it was time to turnaround and head back the same path we came. Well, we turned around...

"Turnaround... Roll around!!!!" demonstrates the snow rolling goofs.

We were almost all the way back to the trailhead when the snow stopped and the skies started to clear. How nice of Mother Nature to put a pause in the morning storm to give us a postcard shot of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from us :)

Cruising along when, oooh, ahhh, look at that sudden postcard shot
as the skies started to clear!

First day on Prospect Hill this season, let's celebrate with end of run treats!!!

"I agree!" says focused Jack.
"YES!" adds intense Rudy :)

Laying fresh tracks most of the day with a little stretch of breaking trail for added aerobic exercise: 8.4 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 31 days on the trails covering 248.1 miles with 21,600 feet of elevation climbed.