Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blazing Trail up Indiana Creek

Sharing hotdogs with Max & Zorro at the trailhead.
They always get hotdogs as a skijoring reward.
As their happy expressions show, this is a HIT!
We set out this morning to skijor up & back on Indiana Creek.

Conditions were beautiful! We have had a few inches of fresh snow in town each of the past few nights and we found that this translated to much more fresh, untouched snow at elevations over 10,500 feet!

The first mile from the Indiana Creek winter trailhead was well-traveled and packed powder. After the first mile there is a junction to either continue up Indiana Creek (towards Dyersville) or fork onto the Pennsylvania Creek trail. The latter (forking onto Pennsylvania Creek) is the more frequently used cross country ski route. As we veered toward the Indiana Creek route we were happily met with ZERO TRACKS - fresh, untouched powder for us to blaze for the next 2 miles!!!!

The conditions slowed us a bit (you try blazing 2 miles of trail through deepening powder) but there was not a complaint from any of us - just huffing, puffing, tail-wagging smiles. The only thing we encountered for this 2 miles up and then 2 miles back were the frequent tracks of snowshoe hares. Some of these tracks must have been fresh as it took all the "listening skills" Max & Zorro have to keep on trail and not follow some of those tracks!

Vital Stats: 6.1 miles; 95 minutes total; 80 minutes moving; 4.5 MPH moving average; 15 MPH top speed.
Our "path" - as you can see (or not see), the trail was covered and ours to blaze.
Good thing we had done this route before and had a feel for the trail!
The only tracks not ours for 4 of the 6 miles today - snowshoe hare tracks!
Max & Zorro's favorite "break activity" - dig, roll & wrestle in the deep snow.
The human, on the other hand, rests during the breaks...

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