Thursday, April 19, 2018

Just Enough

All smiles looking back to me at one of our break points on this morning's skijor!
"So fun being a 2 husky team again!" declares satisfied Zorro.
"I'm really getting the hang of this and LOVING it!" declares happy young Jack.
We went to the trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning hoping that they would be freshly groomed for one of our last "groomie zoomie" outings of this season (the nordic center closes on Sunday). Unfortunately, the groomers had not been out on the trails yet today. But, not to be deterred, Zorro, Jack and I found a way to have a great outing anyway.

Our solution? Well, stick to the lesser used of the nordic trails and hope they were not too tracked up. The result? Success! Look at the following shot.... You can see some existing tracks in the middle of the trail; but the shoulders are pristine and/or barely touched! Now, look closely as the shininess of the set tracks - this is ICE! You cannot skijor on ice as the human becomes frictionless and the sled dogs take "lack of friction" as a signal to floor it. Well, "floor it" and "ice" rarely combine into a happy ending :) But, notice the angle of this photo and you see that I am on the shoulder with my skis while Jack is sprinting the easy set track with Zorro straddling the shoulder and track.
Fast & flying Siberian Huskies with just enough untouched shoulder for the human to
safely come along.
Today's short video clip goes with the prior photo. Come along and watch as I am able to safely ride the "just wide enough" shoulder and avoid the icy middle track as we top 16 MPH skijoring with Zorro and young Jack. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We are still taking 2 breaks during our short skijors as we train and grow young Jack. The breaks are good practice for him to learn to listen and stop on command and they are also good to give him a couple of chances to rest and catch his breath during the outing. Zorro, of course, could do these short runs with no rest; but that would only serve to discourage Jack as he could not keep up.
"Stop again? Ok! Did I mention I am having so much fun!" declares happy Jack.
"If I point us to the right, can we get started again?" asks Zorro.
Everybody loves puppy photos. So here's your closing shot for the day as little Rudy joins us for "end of run" pork treats.
"Here I come, here I come! Save some for me!" states cute little Rudy.

Another fun, fast albeit short "start to finish" run with Jack joining Zorro: 2.1 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 16 MPH.

2017/2018 Season to Date: 47 days on the trails covering 318.4 miles with 29,600 feet of elevation climbed.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Freshies

Young Jack's first skijor run laying fresh tracks all morning long!!! Whee!
Great view of sprinting Zorro & Jack laying fresh tracks in about 2 inches of new powder.
Great view of the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort on the mountains across the valley
from us.
This morning was Jack's second "start to finish" skijor with Zorro and I. He was having a blast laying fresh tracks in the morning's new snow. Come along and watch as I have spliced together 2 fun video excerpts from the outing. First, you'll see us laying fresh tracks on a trail covered in wonderful untouched snow. Second, you'll see us running alongside our "out tracks" on a section of Prospect Hill where we did and out & back. Fun, fun, fun....
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As with our first "start to finish" skijor with young Jack, we took multiple breaks and kept the distance 2 miles. Jack really understands what to do with a break:
"Hehehehe, so much fun rolling snow angels to cool off!" declares giddy Jack.
"Kid, you are a goof!" declares Zorro.
After skijoring a little more, time for our second break as I stopped and knelt down to give my partners some pats and hugs...
"Stop again? Ok, here we come for some group hugs!" says the happy pair circling around
to come back to me.
Finally we end the day connecting with puppy Rudy at the trailhead as we all share "end of run" pork treats:
"Fun day!" states happy Jack.
"I see the treats!" smirks Zorro.
"You came back, you came back! Yay!" declares silly Rudy.
Laying fresh tracks with young Jack on his second "start to finish" skijor with Zorro and I: 2 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 16 MPH.

2017/2018 Season to Date: 46 days on the trails covering 316.3 miles with 29,200 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Team

Zorro and I are thrilled that young Jack has grown to the point that we are now a "2 dog skijor team" once again!!!
Nice form as Zorro and Jack are in a synchronized sprint tuck as we fly along the top
of Rabbit Ears Pass.
Yesterday morning was a HUGE milestone for young Jack. First off, we skijored for two miles - his longest outing of his young life! Second, he started the day with Zorro. To date, Zorro and I had been doing skijor runs before hooking up Jack to finish. We did this so that Zorro could get some exercise and be ready to "go easy" with Jack for the finish (i.e., we did not want Jack to be discouraged trying to keep up with a fresh and rested Zorro). But, we decided that yesterday was the day to see if Jack could start with the big boys. Well, SUCCESS!!! Jack did fantastic. He actually surprised Zorro and I a few times with his speed as we were expecting a gentle jog all outing but had to pick it up to keep with Jack's pace a few times! Zorro, of course, can still go faster than Jack; but he is so excited to have a skijor partner again that he has no problem slowing to Jack's pace to have a partner.

Come along for a short excerpt from yesterday morning's skijor atop Rabbit Ears Pass. So proud of Jack's performance and so proud of Zorro's metering himself to match Jack's pace. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Being Jack's longest outing, we stopped twice to take rest breaks before restarting. Here we are approaching the official Rabbit Ears Pass Marker as I call out "time to stop" to my team:
"Okey dokey! No real reason to stop, but we are happy to listen!" declare the happy
pair glancing back at me as we glide to a rest break.
Jack has the whole "rest break" figured out. If you are taking a break, you might as well roll snow angels to cool off :)
"Nice form, kid. You remind me of Max!" says onlooking Zorro.
"Rub a dub dub, need to cool my jets!" demonstrates silly Jack.
Speaking of Max... He was famous for his snow angels that he would typically to roll during any skijor break. Jack has certainly inherited that trait from Max. In honor of Max, we took a chance to sprinkle a few of his ashes atop Rabbit Ears Pass during our second rest break. Zorro kept a solemn watch on Max's ashes blowing in the wind while Jack gave me a beautiful happy smile:
"Miss you Max; but happy to have Jack!" says solemn Zorro.
"I wish I had known him as Zorro speaks to highly of Max!" says happy Jack.
Done with our break and back to the trails. Go Jack Go!
Once again, nice synchronized form from the sled dog pair!
How was your first big outing young Jack?
"Oh my, that was FUN!" declares ecstatic Jack.
"Nice, kid, VERY nice!" states approving Zorro.
We have reached our pinnacle of skijoring with Jack for this season. Starting with a fresh & rested Zorro and going 1.5 to 2 miles will be our pattern for the rest of this season. Zorro and I are happy to go these shorter distances if it means we are a skijor team again! Yay Jack!

2.1 miles traveled with 2 rest stops for young Jack. A top speed of 16 MPH and 300 feet of elevation climbed.

2017/2018 Season to Date: 45 days on the trails covering 314.3 miles with 28,800 feet of elevation climbed.