Monday, June 6, 2022

Season Finale

Our final skijor of the 2021/2022 season with a beautiful ride from the top of Buffalo Pass.

1315.4 miles for the season - great job young Jack & Rudy!!!!!

So nice at the top of Buffalo Pass. Yes, this was June 5th with over 5 feet
of snowpack still atop the pass!

Buffalo Pass is always the last pass to have significant snow in Colorado. It is often the location of our last (and sometimes first) skijor of every season. Today was that, a final run up & down Buff Pass to end the season with an impressive 1315.4 miles traveled. 

Once at the top of the pass, we took an opportunity to spread some of Zorro's ashes. Zorro and his love for skijoring and passion for snow is how we discovered Buffalo Pass years ago. Our wonderful mentor and great buddy will appreciated part of him living atop Buff Pass for years to come!

Zorro's ashes coming off my right hand and Jack & Rudy watch the
ashes drift away in the breeze. Miss you Z!!!

Along with great snowpack atop the pass, we also had great stretches of open terrain on the trails near the top. Time to zoom!

Whee we go along an open straightaway near the top of Buff Pass.

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photos. Yes, the camera (and, thus, me) are bouncing around quite a bit on the choppy terrain. But, it's skijoring in June! You can't beat that.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Ok, so, why the last run of the season? Well, it's getting harder & harder to reach this snowpack atop the pass with fast melting happening in every direction. We had to climb over 700-800 feet in elevation before the conditions got as nice as you see above. On the approach (up & down), it was soft, melting and slushy:

Soft slush coming up from Jack & Rudy's feet.
All the white dots against the trees are balls of slush flying off the kids too!

Of course, with warm June temperatures, we had lots of snow angels from the kids to cool off! It was in the 40s! Jack & Rudy were melting! :)

Rub-a-dub-dub demonstrates the snow rolling goofballs.

Time to celebrate the end of a bittersweet albeit very fun & successful 2021/2022 season. The great success was Jack & Rudy surpassing 1300 miles of skijoring (and having their third straight season with over 1200 miles). The bittersweet sorrow was losing our super fun elder and original skijor mentor,  Zorro,  on  May 20, 2022.  We sure miss you Zorro!

"Z would really have appreciated this June 5th on snow!" declares
happy Jack & Rudy.,

The tally from yesterday's last run of the season: 9.3 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

Final 2021/2022 Season Totals: 158 days on the trails covering 1315.4 miles with a top speed of 27 MPH and 123,300 feet of elevation climbed.


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Ashes

We took the opportunity to spread some of Zorro's ashes atop Rabbit Ears Pass this June 1st which would have been Zorro's 14th birthday. We sure miss you special Zorro, Woooo!

The black "cloud of dust" directly up from Jack are some of Zorro's
ashes being sprinkled from my right hand.
"Woo, we sure miss you special Z!!!"

It had become a tradition over the past 13 years: to skijor (or dog sled) on whatever snow we could find to celebrate Zorro's birthday with him. Zorro had a true love and passion for snow, so "toes on snow" in some form of skijor or dog sled outing was always the best present Zorro could receive. Still mourning the recent loss of wonderful Zorro, Jack, Rudy & I decided to keep the tradition alive and celebrate what would  have been Zorro's 14th birthday with a skijor in memory of Zorro and a chance to sprinkle some of his ashes atop Rabbit Ears Pass along the way. 

It is June, though, so conditions are naturally deteriorating. Yet, we did find some nice stretches of snow to open up the skijoring engine. Whee:

Great stretch of snow along the Harrison Creek Trail at Rabbit Ears.

But, for every nice patch of snow, we also encountered an ugly patch of exposed ground! Yuck!

Uh-oh.....

When we did get on a nice stretch of snow, it was the usual "go, go, go" from talented Jack & Rudy. Come along for a video look into one nice stretch near the trailhead as we completed this morning's outing in celebration of Zorro.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Not many people in the northern hemisphere get the chance to celebrate Zorro's June 1st with a skijor and toes on snow - Jack & Rudy really appreciated the day!

"Fun, fun! But we sure miss our mentor Zorro!" says the wonderful kids
awaiting 'end of run' treats.

A short run on deteriorating conditions; but still a wonderful June 1st celebration of Zorro: 3.6 miles traveled with 300 feet of elevation  climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 157 days on the trails covering 1306.1 miles with 122,300 feet of elevation climbed.

We may have one more skijor left this season (on Buffalo Pass this Saturday) or today may have been our last outing. Stay tuned to see if we can squeak out one more skijor run...


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Passing 1300

The kids' (Jack & Rudy) first season surpassing 1300 miles of skijoring!

1302.5 miles and counting...

"Ready for 1300 more!" states always happy Jack.
"WOO!" adds always wooing Rudy (as if you expected him to be
saying something else? :)

We visited the Walton Peak area at Rabbit Ears Pass this morning hoping for conditions that could support a 9+ mile skijor. We were not disappointed as there was a fun layer of about 1/2 inch of new snow over snowmobile trails still packed from the past 6 months of use. Laying fresh tracks in May? Yay!

Cool footprints behind fast running Jack & Rudy.

As long as we stayed on the "established snowmobile trails" it was fast & fun. Come along for a video glimpse into the fun. Whee! Also watch perfect Jack & Rudy listen to my "over to the left" instruction about 25s into the clip as I try to find the smoothest path for my skis to travel. Such great partners!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

But... It is May... What does that mean? Well, there was not enough snowpack to drift off the set trails and into the open meadows. Without enough snowpack, there is not a crust that can support our weight over a meadow of grass & shrubs. Yet, even the set trails are deteriorating in places too. Here is a shot of our "forced turnaround" this morning :)

Yikes, trail ends here! This is actually a hole of open water. The early
morning snow is hiding this fact until the sun comes up to re-expose the water.
"Can we cross to our right?" asks Jack & Rudy.
Unfortunately, no, this water hole extended as far as we could see to the
left and right.

Ok, forced turnaround at the water hole. No problem, let's cruise back the way we came. I love this shot of us gliding back in our "out tracks" - the only tracks we saw all morning were our own.

Whee - what goes out, must come back. Cool "out & back" shot
from this morning :)

But, we did travel roughly 4.7 miles out before hitting the hole that made us turnaround. I knew we had over 9 miles before even checking my GPS. I was giddy that we flew past 1300 miles for the season and was very chatty about this at 'end of run' treats time. What did Jack & Rudy think about my chattiness?

"Yeah, yeah, it was fun - come on dad!" says Jack.
"Are you going to talk FOREVER or dish out the treats?" asks curious Rudy :)

This morning's wonderful outing: 9.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

Young Jack & Rudy have a pretty impressive string of seasons going. 1204.1 miles as 2 year olds, 1253.2 miles as 3 year olds and now 1302.5 miles (and counting) as 4 year olds! We probably have 1-3 more outings we can squeak out before announcing the end of our great 2021/2022 season. Stay tuned...

2021/2022 Season to Date: 156 days on the trails covering 1302.5 miles with 122,000 feet of elevation climbed.