Monday, November 30, 2015


Topping 26 MPH as we fly along the trail on Bald Mountain (aka Baldy)!
Sprinting Siberians above, GPS summary below. Zoom!

We typically top 26 MPH a couple of times a season. It takes a combination of 4 things for us to top 26 MPH: (1) a packed powder or groomed trail; (2) a wide trail; (3) a long straightaway on the trail (e.g., you don't want to be going 26 MPH into a blind curve :); and (4) two fast Siberian Huskies. We always have #4; but our route on Baldy today brought us the fun combination of the first 3 criteria and zoooooom we went!

Opening up the throttle on a packed powder trail along Baldy - topping 26 MPH as we go. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A fun addition to our favorite trails developed this past summer. A single track trail was installed to connect the west facing side of Baldy to Sally Barber Mine on the north facing side. As a result, we can now skijor west Baldy, Sally Barber and French Gulch in one outing! Nice!
Trotting along the new single track connector. We have to keep speeds under control as it
is a tight weave through the forest; but well worth it to connect some of our favorite trails into one!

After connecting Baldy to Sally Barber, it is then "zoom again" on the fast Sally Barber Trail:
Flying... wheeee!

A fun & fast day overing 8.6 miles with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH!

2015/2016 Season to Date: 24 days on the trails covering 198.7 miles with 20400 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Moose Gulch

We have officially renamed French Gulch to Moose Gulch as moose sightings are becoming almost guaranteed this skijoring season!
"Can you believe all the moose today?" exclaims happy Max.
"Moose Gulch is FUN!" states happy Zorro.
Max & Zorro are trying to extend our outing following moose tracks deep into the forest. I am
trying convince everyone that it is time to turn around and head back instead :)

Today was a record day for moose sightings as we spotted 5 moose on the outing! Come along for some moosing fun...

Our noses lead us to peek over this snow wall and spot a big male moose in the trees across the
gulch. Moose Count = 1. "We see you!!!" say the intense moose hunters.

1 moose down, 4 to go - onward we go along the trail until...
"Beep, beep, beep - our moose radar says straight ahead!" say my partners as their moose radar
brought them to a halt once again to stare across the meadow.

Time to zoom in on what Max & Zorro are intensely staring at in the previous photo and:
Bingo - moose! Look just below the arrow and you can see the male moose
body and his big basket of antlers against the snow. To the right is actually
another male moose, just more camouflaged. Moose Count = 3.

Continue on in French Gulch until turning around to head back and what to our wondering eyes should appear but a mother moose and little baby too!
"Holy guacamole! 5 moose in one day?!" say the ecstatic pair as they spotted the mother and
offspring in the trees across the way. Too camouflaged for the photo, but we all saw them!
Moose Count = 5.

In between spotting moose, it was flying along the trails to get to the next moose viewpoint!
Zoom we go from one moose overlook to another!

What an entertaining day! 8.3 miles covered with 850 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH (hard to hit our usual 20+ MPH when you keep stopping for moose :)

2015/2016 Season to Date: 23 days on the trails covering 190.1 miles with 19,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Another Day, Another Moose

Another day skijoring French Gulch.
Another day encountering a moose on the trail!
If you look closely, you can see the ski trail going down the center of this photo.
All the holes to the right & left of the trail are moose post holes! The moose tracks were
clearly fresh as Max & Zorro took one sniff and then floored it to find the nearby moose!

This is about as good a shot we are going to get of a moose on the trail. Any closer and our safety would be much more important than getting a photo. We were cruising along the cross-country trail with moose tracks all around us when we came upon a bull moose standing between two trees and staring us down. Uh-oh, put on the brakes and wait for him to move!
Hard to see him in this photo, but we are only about 30 yards away.
Okay, how about we zoom in to where the arrow was in the prior photo:
Zoomed in a little. Now do you see him in the center of this photo? The big
brown object in between the two trees in the center.
Okay, zoom once more and there you go. The brown is his body and the tan
is the big antler basket atop his head. Hello big moose!

He stared at us for a few moments (with Max & Zorro staring right back) and then he decided to move up into the forest:
See his big body moving into the open in the upper center of this shot as he departed from the
two trees of the original photo and sauntered on up into the forest.

A fun moose seeking and then moose spotting outing in French Gulch: 9.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 22 days on the trails covering 181.8 miles with 18750 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Trot

A Siberian Husky take on doing a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot:
Flying Siberians as we top 24 MPH on this morning's Skijor Turkey Trot.

Here we go with Max & Zorro doing their idea of a Turkey Trot as we zip along the fast packed Sally Barber Trail, topping 24 MPH along the way - wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Spreading good cheer as we fly along the trails...
"Hi, Happy Thanksgiving, Bye!" says out-stretched Zorro.
"Made you smile! Happy Thanksgiving!" states fun Max.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us...
"Hope you have a great day! I sure did!" exclaims happy Max.
"I can almost taste the turkey already!" says cute Zorro.

A fun & fast Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with skijoring partners: 8.4 miles traveled with 950 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 21 days on the trails covering 172.5 miles with 17850 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Moose Sighting

A fun couple of moose sightings on the trail today!
Our noses lead us to peek over the snow wall to our right and sure enough, we saw a female
moose sauntering across French Creek and up into the forest!
We thought the distant moose sighting in the previous photo was going to be the highlight of our outing this morning. But, the further we went into French Gulch, the more animated Max & Zorro's "moose radar" became! When they get extra moose animated, my eyes start playing tricks on me and I think every big brown object in the forest is a moose! We kept going further and further into French Gulch until we were breaking trail. Then, as we came around a corner.... Two Bull Moose!!!! Big antlers atop their heads and all! Wow. Unfortunately, moose are so camouflaged to their surroundings they hardly show up in the clips below. But, we were close!!!
Breaking trail as we come around a corner and find two bull moose "in our way"!
They are soooo hard to see due to their coloring. I have circled them in the photo above and,
if you look really close you can kind of make out one of the big brown bodies. But, look
how close we are - yikes! I put on the brakes (too much disagreement from my partners) and
made us pause until the moose wandered off the trail.
Zoomed in from the photo above. The two brown bodies are a little easier to
see. Wow.
Two bull moose is an extremely rare, if not unheard of, sighting - especially two standing side by side. Based on our past years skijoring French Gulch, I believe these two are twin brothers and still adolescents. That is, they have not matured enough yet to get in an argument over a girl and part ways forever :)

Oh yeah, we were skijoring today... The conditions of French Gulch:
Packed, fast and wide down low - zoom!
Single snowmobile width in the middle sections.
Single track (to eventually breaking trail) in the upper sections.

Two moose sightings with an up close of two bull twins - what a day: 8.8 miles covered with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 20 days on the trails covering 164.1 miles with 16900 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, November 23, 2015


The terrain on the Wilder Gulch Trail at Vail Pass is almost set for the season.
Beautiful wide angle shot of the beginning of the outing. Bright sun, blue sky, wide packed
trail and sprinting sled dogs. It sure started perfect!

We usually will not try the Wilder Gulch Trail until later in December as it is typically the last trail on Vail Pass that gets full snow coverage. But, when we arrived at the trailhead today, we saw groomer and snowmobile tracks heading out the Wilder trail. "We should try it!" we all declared. Besides, looking at that previous photo of the conditions at the trailhead, how could we be wrong? Famous last words as here is what most of the day looked like:

The "wide & groomed" trail at the start quickly turned into a single, bumpy snowmobile trail.
"Not a problem, just keep the speeds in check and ride the narrower trail!" we all thought.
Oops! The first of many cautious mud & water crossing we encountered in Wilder Gulch.
"Oh yeah, this is why we usually wail until mid/late December for this trail!" is what came back
to us. Look closely in this shot and you see we are crossing the exposed mud/water via a large,
flat boulder laid over the crossing. Many scenes like this today. Oops!

But, the Wilder Gulch Trail climbs quickly and the upper elevations are always extraordinary even in November - you just have to have the patience to get there!
Now this is more like it! This is the Wilder Gulch Trail we are used to!
Zoom, zoom, zoom we go once we finally got onto good snow coverage up high.

A tricky trail for most of the way, but still a skijoring blast:
"I'm having a great time!" declares happy Max at our turnaround point.
"Down in front! I'm having fun too!" declares happy little Zorro eclipsed by tall Max.
I could see Zorro's big smile myself, but the GoPro (attached to my chest) could not see over Max.

We will be back on Wilder Gulch in a month or so and sprint some impressive mileage. But, today's tricky terrain kept us to 7.8 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 19 days on the trails covering 155.3 miles with 16000 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 20, 2015


This morning's skijor outing was slowed by breaking trail in 8-12 inches of fresh powder!
What a fun workout!
About 10 inches of fresh powder as far as the eye can see. Most of the day looked like this
photo as we found a forest full of fresh, untouched snow!

We spent about a 1/2 mile following moose tracks until the tracks went down a steep ravine. The "scent of moose" was clearly strong as Max & Zorro's "moose radar" was in full operation. We never spotted the big stinky, but it was great nose entertainment!
"We smell him, we smell him - where is he?" say the moose seeking pair pausing at the ravine
and staring intensely into the grove of trees in front of us. He must have been in these trees,
just too camouflaged to see.

After about 4.5 miles of trail breaking work, we eventually descended onto a popular XC ski trail that had just a small layer of fresh snow. Time to open up the throttle...
"Trail breaking was a workout, but we still have plenty of gas in the tanks!" say the sprinting
pair once we transitioned onto easy terrain.

A fun day had by all:
"Love using these long legs to break trail!" declares happy Max.
"Whew, what a fun workout!" expresses Zorro.

An aerobic day slowed by miles & miles of breaking trail: 6.6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 18 days on the trails covering 147.5 miles with 15100 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sally Barber Fun

Our first run of the season on the fun & fast Sally Barber Mine Trail - wheeee!
Flying along the trail as Max & Zorro have each taken one set track for themselves while
I glide down the middle powder. Such fun!

As I said - the Sally Barber Mine Trail is fun & fast - watch for yourself. Nice cornering to start the video and then into an open straightaway as we put the pedal to the metal!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

While Sally Barber is fun & fast, it is also short (for sled dogs), so we typically connect this trail to French Gulch and do an out & back in the gulch. French Gulch is much less popular with XC skiers than Sally Barber, so we typically out-ski any existing tracks and find ourselves breaking trail far back in the gulch:
What a difference - from "sally barber fast" to "french gulch trail breaking!"

I had to pause for a quick equipment adjustment and...
"You are stopped, so I'll roll a snow angel to cool off!" demonstrates silly Max.
"Geez you two, the things I must put up with to get some exercise!" says serious Zorro.

Fast on Sally Barber and then slowed by breaking trail in French Gulch: 8.2 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 17 days on the trails covering 140.9 miles with 14400 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why Not

"Why not fly today?" was the skijor question of the day...
You can see Zorro is clearly flying as I am aligned behind and to the left of Max. Max is also
flying - wheeee! "Yes indeed, why not fly today?" demonstrate the flying Siberian pair.
Actually, the title of today's blog ("Why Not") is the main trail of the day. We skijored up and down the Why Not Ski Run of Steamboat Ski Resort. We were planning a 3 day skijor party at Rabbit Ears Pass for Sun through Tue. But, the storm Mon morning and into Tue morning was much more intense than anticipated and driving from Steamboat to Rabbit Ears this morning was near impossible.

"Snowed-in in Steamboat, hmmmm - did you say snow? Then what is the problem?" asked my skijor partners. No problem at all, we realized. A better than anticipated snowstorm meant there was enough snow to skijor the Steamboat Ski Resort instead of heading up to Rabbit Ears.

For the curious.... Steamboat Ski Resort is not open for the season yet as it rarely has enough snow in mid November whereas Rabbit Ears is 2400 feet higher in elevation so it regularly has snow in mid November. But, the huge storm that rolled through Mon-Tue delivered enough snow to to use the ski resort!

So here we go, watch us skijoring the Why Not Ski Run at Steamboat. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Lots of others got the same idea as us as we passed many skiers on the way up (skijorers go up much faster than skiers) and flew by many on the way down.
"Hi - passing through!" say Max & Zorro as people always love to move to the side and watch
the flying Siberians run by them towing the suicidal human.

For a moment on the way up, Max & Zorro's "moose radar" went off and we had to pause to scan for moose:
"We smell you... Where are you?!?" ask the moose seeking pair

A fun time making use of a larger than expected snowstorm on Steamboat Ski Resort before it is open for the season. We actually did the Why Not trail and two others for more distance: 8.3 miles traveled with 1700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 16 days on the trails covering 132.7 miles with 13600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Snowed Out

Steady snow falling all around us this morning on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Out-stretched sled dogs hauling me along the trail - wheeee!

As clear as the previous photo looks, we are happy to report that the majority of the footage from today's outing looked like the following photo... Snow & water spots blurring just about all of the camera. In the following photo you get a slight glimpse of running Max & Zorro in between the snow & water spots; but most of the footage had one or both blurred out. No complaints here, this heavy snowstorm is just what we need to set all of our trails for the remainder of the winter - yay!
Blurred to the right, blurred to the left and a quick glimpse of Max & Zorro in between the blur.

Whenever I noticed the GoPro completely covered by snow & water spots, I would give it a quick wipe and then I would get some clear footage for the next 1-2 minutes. Here's a fun clip right after I cleared the lens. Watch funny Zorro in his patented "hunt and jog" in the beginning of the clip before giving up on hunting and deciding to put the pedal to the metal with Max.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Here is a great "visual effect" of a water & snow blurred camera. How many sled dogs do you see in the photo? I see a red Max tail to the left and 2 (TWO!!!) Zorro bodies to the right. Omigod, did we pickup another Zorro on the trail today? Skijoring with three?
The water blurred camera has given us "Zorro Double Vision" as it has created this neat
illusion that looks like we have 2 Zorros!

A day happily "blurred by snow" covering 8.1 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 15 days on the trails covering 124.4 miles with 11900 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gorgeous Day

A Gorgeous Bluebird Day on Rabbit Ears Pass this morning!
Wow! Blue sky as far as the eye can see, white terrain as far as the eye can see and fast
packed snowmobile trail as far as the eye can see!

We did our favorite "easy trail" this morning at Rabbit Ears. This particular trail has little elevation gain (or loss), it is pretty much endless flat terrain for miles and miles and miles! This is rare, of course, as most trails in the Colorado Rocky Mountains have lots of elevation gains & losses to deal with. But, not this trail - Max & Zorro get into their "endless gallop" and go forever!
Catching air as we gallop along - wheeee!

It was 10 miles of "endless gallop" with the exception of one interruption...
"Wait! Moose tracks leading off the tail! Must inspect for freshness!" say the moose sniffing pair.

After a freshness check with the noses and....
"It was fresh! Can we to this way?" ask the moose seekers staring down the moose
tracks leading off into the forest.

What a gorgeous day to run 9.9 miles with 500 feet of elevation climbed (that is "Colorado Flat") and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 14 days on the trail covering 116.3 miles with 11000 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 13, 2015


A day of "moosing" (moose seeking) in French Gulch!
End of the trail far back in French Gulch when we ran into an exposed French Creek.
By early/mid December the snow will cover the creek and we'll be able to ski to the end
of the gulch!

Why is French Gulch one of our favorite trails? Moose!!!! We are almost guaranteed to get either the scent or tracks (or both) of moose on each outing and are often treated with a moose sighting as well. Today added another moose treat - Moose Fur! What fun...
Far back in French Gulch - we have out-skied all "human tracks" and are now alone with a set
of moose tracks we are intensely following along the trail. "So fresh, so fresh - they smell so
fresh!" exclaim the moose seeking pair.

As I mentioned, today's unique treat was tufts of moose fur on the tail!
"Wait, what is this? Tuft of Moose! We must be on the right track!" declares Max as he slightly
breaks stride to inspect the brown tuft of moose hair to his right.
"Whoa! Tuft of Moose!" declares Zorro as he breaks stride to dip his nose to the left (note the
brown/black dot in front of his nose - tuft of moose). Silly Zorro proceeded to pick it up and
swoosh it around in his mouth before spitting out, "Smells good, but needs meat!" says Zorro.

Finally, our "moose radar" steered us just off the trail to stare across the meadow. It does not show up in the photo, but we did see a big, brown moose butt saunter up into the trees across the way.
Ding, ding, ding - moose sighting (albeit from afar, but still fun)!

After a fun time moosing around the upper portions of French Gulch, it was back down into civilization. No more moose scent, tracks or tufts so we might as well put the pedal to the metal and fly along the fast packed trail. Fast & fun until we come upon a pair of skiers with five loose dogs and have to stop. It is not possible to pass loose dogs as one will most certainly jump into Max & Zorro and send me flying into a tree or worse.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Moosing far back and flying close down. What a day!
"Perfect, just perfect!" exclaim the happy pair when I asked if everyone was having a fun day.

So fun to have the snow back in French Gulch: 8.9 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 13 days on the trails covering 106.4 miles with 10500 feet of elevation climbed.