Saturday, February 29, 2020


Smiles all around during a quick pause on the trail this morning!
"Having a GREAT time!" declares the happy trio.
We went to the trails at Swan Valley this morning and did our usual pattern on these trails. That is, we do a quick out & back on one of the side trails before coming back to the main trail for the real highlights of the outing.

Flying by a silly SLOW sign during our warmup lap :)
"Hey, we are PAST the sign, so it doesn't apply anymore, right?" says the speedy trio.
The highlight of these trails is, of course, running & flirting with the dog sled teams from Good Times Adventures on the main trails. Good Times' contract with the forest service allows them to run sled dog tours through March. So, you can view this year's February 29 as an extra day to run & play with the dog sled teams on the Swan Valley trails!!!

Here we are at a trail intersection as we pause to let an 8 dog team go perpendicular in front of us:
"Hi friends!" says my flirtatious trio.
If you look closely, you can see at least 3 of the team dogs giving flirting
glances back :)
Rudy cracks me up in the following photo. We are at a Y in the trail stopped on one branch of the Y while an oncoming team takes the other branch of the Y. Rudy started out next to Zorro watching the oncoming team. Then, as the team proceeded up the other side of the Y, Rudy backed up, lined himself with the team and tried to get us going parallel with them. It was as if Rudy was saying, "If I line us up with the team, maybe dad will let us go along with them!" Funny Rudy!
"Hi more friends!" says Zorro & Jack watching the team go up the other side of the Y.
You see the two wheel dogs and the dog sled in this photo.
"Lined up to go with you!" adds silly Rudy :)
Watching the teams pass by trail intersections is fun; but the most fun is running with them! Here we are following a team ahead of us on the trail. It helps that the musher is wearing a bright yellow coat. Look in front of the bright yellow to see the dark blobs of the sled dogs in front of the musher.
"Here we come!" says the sprinting trio.
Today's video highlight goes along with the prior photo. We start out FLYING along the fast trail knowing that a dog sled team is far ahead of us. Eventually we come to a bend in the trail and I see the team stopped around the bend so I bring us to a stop too. We always wait and see if the musher group in front is going to wave us "on by" or not (typically, they do and we get to execute perfect passes). But, today the group did not wave us on. So, I cut out the section of video with us paused until the team restarts again and we proceed to fly & follow them on the trail. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

An extra day of "sled dog flirting" this leap year, so we made the most of it! 6 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 109 days on the trails covering 738.6 miles with 67,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Beautiful Morning

Fun trio patiently awaiting their "end of run" treats this morning!
Good thing we all like each other as you could not get much
tighter together as the treats are about to come out! :)
We did a split run again this morning where I took the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, out for a few laps before adding Zorro to the team for an "out & back" stretch of trail.

I checked the GPS just before we met up with Zorro and saw that Jack & Rudy's top speed was 24 MPH this morning. I know which stretch of trail we hit that speed as it was safe to let them open it up and I could feel the speed. The photo below is along the stretch where we topped 24 MPH. Do you notice anything odd about the photo?

How about: my skis are in a SNOWPLOW! Yes, I am going over 24 MPH in a snowplow. That is some impressive pulling strength from Jack & Rudy to propel me 24 MPH in a snowplow!
Dang these kids are powerful!
After doing some speedy loops around the Gluteus Maximus Trail at Breckenridge Nordic Center, we hooked up with Zorro to go higher up & towards treeline at the nordic center. We did an upper elevation out & back with Zorro added in. Nice views at our turnaround point with the usual silly kids and their snow angel turnaround time antics:
Beautiful bluebird morning. Silly snow rolling youngsters.
All business and ready to restart Zorro!
Once you turn around on this particular trail, the views are quite stunning on the way back. Here's a nice shot of the fast running trio with the tops of the peaks of Breckenridge Ski Resort dominating the foreground.
Tightly packed and fast running trio on the perfect nordic trail.
Pretty bluebird morning to get a shot of the peaks of Breckenridge Ski Resort.
After turning a corner from the previous shot and we were "skijoring into the morning sun". Here is a fun shot flying Zorro in the middle with airborne Jack and sprinting Rudy on each side of him as we approach and run on by the Hallelujah Warming Hut on the trail.
Zipping on by - wheeee! Again, what a beautiful morning!
Here we go for the video counterpart of the prior photo. Come along as we fly along the fast nordic trail and zoom past & on by the Hallelujah Hut. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, back to the trailhead to end the day. Unfortunately the trailhead is back down in the trees and heavily shaded this morning. So, not the best "shot from the front", but you can still see the happy faces on the happy, happy sled dogs!
"Fun day, fun day!" says the happy trio.
A fast day snowplowing at 24 MPH with Jack & Rudy and then a beautiful day skijoring near treeline with Zorro, Jack & Rudy: 8 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 108 days on the trails covering 732.6 miles with 67,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, February 27, 2020


Cruising by the historic Sally Barber Mine with Jack & Rudy this morning.
Nice shot of the mine to our left. Look closely and you can see snowflakes against the
dark mine and against the grey sky in front and above us.
We did a split run this morning as I took Jack & Rudy on an extended tour of Sally Barber Mine before adding Zorro for a threesome skijor out & back French Gulch.

The main Sally Barber Trail is very wide and makes for a fast & easy "up, over and down" skijor. But, it is less than 3.5 miles to do just the main trail. So, I took Jack & Rudy onto some of the side trails along the way to add some distance. All of the side trails are very narrow single tracks. This makes for a highly technical skijor with a lot of trust in the sled dogs towing you through tight windows!
It doesn't get much tighter than this! You can see all 4 ears of Jack & Rudy, but you
cannot really tell where one body ends and the other starts!
We did an "out & back" on the narrow Trail of Tears near the mine. Well, as you've seen all season, an out & back requires a turnaround stop and, well, the kids and their turnaround stop antics:
"Yes, I am sitting on Rudy while he's rolling a snow angel!" declares happy & proud Jack :)
"No problem, I can still roll under Jack!" adds buried Rudy.
Once we transitioned from Sally Barber to French Gulch, it was time to add Zorro to the team for an out & back in the gulch. Love this shot showing all the snowflakes coming down around us.
Fast & fun trio with flakes all around. You can see snowflakes against their red and black
fur and you can see the flakes speckled all over the gray sky.
An out & back in French Gulch? Well, yes, at least they are consistent :)
"Really dudes, must you do that at EVERY turnaround?" asks Zorro.
"Yes!!! Rolling, rolling, rolling!" adds the goofball kids.
Today's video fun showcases shows our take off after turning around. At the start you see Zorro, Jack & Rudy trying their hardest to patiently wait for me to turn around and give the "ok" release. Waiting, waiting, drifting forward, drifting forward and finally the "ok" and we FLOOR it :)
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun day as we glide to the finish:
"Whee, we are so happy!" says the fun trio!
A nice skijor this morning giving Jack & Rudy some extra distance around the mine before adding Zorro for a fabulous out & back with the full team: 7.7 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 107 days on the trails covering 724.6 miles with 66,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

All Terrain

Celebrating another fun skijor with my sled dog pals :)
"I see the 'end of run' treats in your hands!" says super focused Zorro.
"I had a super fun day!" exclaims happy Jack.
"I'm the 'picture of patience' waiting my turn!' adds Rudy (haha).
We did an "all terrain" skijor with the all terrain youngsters, Jack & Rudy, before adding Zorro for a group finish for the day.

It has been a record February in Breckenridge with over 112 inches of snowfall for the month and 2 feet in just the past 2 days. What does that mean? Well, if you go to the lesser used backcountry trails you find endless powder! We started the day on one such lesser used trail and found ourselves breaking trail in up to 2 feet of powder for roughly 1 mile. What an aerobic mile!
Look at those powder plowing kids!
Love the deep snow troughs behind them as they break trail in 2 feet of snow.
After the trail breaking workout, we transitioned onto a narrow and heavily wooded trail. There were some snowshoe tracks already on the trail and the dense trees kept the trail less deep than our first leg. It was a peaceful glide weaving through the trees for about 2 miles.
So fun to weave through the forest with my pals.
Next, we exited the woods and landed on the freshly groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Jack & Rudy floored it for about 3 miles once we got onto this wide & easy terrain.
Zoom as my partners hover over the trail topping 22 MPH.
Today's video highlight is the groomie zoomie of the prior photo. Come along as we kick it into superdrive on the fast & groomed trail!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, we met up with Nancy & Zorro and hooked the fun elder into the team for a fast group sprint to the finish.
"Hi Mom!' says Rudy flashing a smile towards Nancy on the side of the trail.
"All smiles coming through!" says connected, smiling and forward focused Zorro & Jack.
What a fun all terrain day: breaking trail, weaving through trees and zooming on groomed trails: 6.1 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 106 days on the trails covering 716.9 miles with 66,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Blizzard Skijor

Skijoring Baldy Mountain this morning amidst heavy falling to blizzard scale snowfall!
Start of the day's outing and you can see the heavy falling snow against
the backdrop of trees in front of us.
Is that a house in the prior photo? Well, not exactly - it is the shell of an old, abandoned mining cabin from the 1800s or early 1900s. Baldy Mountain has tons of these old, abandoned mining structures in various states of stability or decay.

As I said in the introduction, the snow was DUMPING all outing long. We had the occasional stretches of blizzard scale whiteouts!!!!
You can barely see Jack & Rudy 6 feet in front of me and you certainly
cannot make out the trail in front of us! Blizzard!
Our outing had us laying fresh tracks to breaking trail up steep Baldy Mountain. We decided to do a short run given the conditions. Time to turn around, everyone having a good time? Love snow covered Rudy in this shot (Jack had just shook the same amount of snow off his body too). Love the happy faces on the fun kids.
"You bet - but WE could keep going!" says the happy pair.
What does skijoring amidst heavy snowfall look like? Well, come along and watch. The tracks you see are the tracks we laid on the way up. As you can see, nobody else was out on the trail this morning. With just one set of "up tracks" and heavy falling snow, you see Jack & Rudy really bouncing and plowing through the powder. Impressive kids! Oh yeah, look at that snowfall dumping around us!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Ok, now watch the video again and pause it at around 27-28 seconds in. I said the tracks you see were our "out tracks", but what is the huge mess in the snow to our right at 27-28 seconds? Well, it was the rodent hunters silly antics on the way up, as you see below:
Hopping off trail momentarily to dunk and search for rodents.
Rudy is thoroughly immersed in his rodent hunt.
Jack is coming up for air after a deep dunk of his own :)
Now, here is what was amazing about this morning. In the video you see our "out tracks" as the video clip was immediately after our turnaround. 5 minutes after our turnaround and you get what I show below. Do you see any "out tracks"? Nope, they were completely buried by fresh falling snow in roughly 5 minutes! Wow!
Our "out tracks" are completely buried, so it's breaking trail again!
Breaking trail all the way up and most of the way down - what a aerobic outing!
Look at all the snowflakes coming down around us.
If you thought the prior was an impressive "5 minutes later" for the heavy falling snow, take a look at the following photo. This photo is about "20 minutes later" as we set fresh tracks on this section of trail just 20 minutes ago. There is no evidence anybody had been on the trail recently! Blizzard!
Kicking up powder and breaking trail in deep snow despite
the fact that we had come up this trail just 20 minutes earlier!
This was young Jack & Rudy's first "blizzard skijor". They have had a couple of "heavy falling snow" skijors, but today was another level! The only downside was that it was snowing too hard to add Zorro the team to end the day. He came to the trailhead with us but was happier remaining behind with Nancy in the Jeep and skipping the blizzard day.

Oh well, Zorro will be out again with us soon once the snow lets up. As for Jack & Rudy, an impressive day of powder plowing: 4.6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 105 days on the trails covering 710.8 miles with 65,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Home Start

A rare "home start" as we began (and ended) this morning's skijor from our garage!!!
The rare "home start" as you see our garage in the background as we
began and ended this morning's skijor from home!
Our typical outing consists of driving 10-15 minutes to the edge of town and then skijoring trails in the national forest. But, every once in a while we get the magical conditions to allow a start from home. The first condition is that it is snowing so hard that the town plows cannot keep pace with the snow. The second condition is that it is early morning (before 8am) so the town & streets are still pretty quiet. When these magical conditions occur, we can start and end our skijor straight from the garage!!!! We will skijor quiet side streets nearby home and venture onto the sidewalks of busier streets and tour around the town. Such a fun & unique skijor outing!

The one downside, though, is that the camera on my chest gets continually covered and blocked by the heavy falling snow. I try to wipe it clear frequently, but it gets covered, blurred and blocked within seconds of me wiping it clear. So, most of the footage from my camera looks like the following and typically much worse!
Snow covered camera with Zorro, Jack & Rudy barely visible. Within 2 seconds of this
frame and you could not see any of them!
Notice the person ahead of us in the prior clip. That is Nancy waiting for us as we completed a loop of side streets. Luckily, Nancy has a camera too and since she is standing still, it does not get buried by the heavy falling snow. So, here is the happy trio towing me in deep snow as we approach and go on by Nancy.
Such happy, happy sled dogs!
After doing "side street tours" with Zorro, we handed the fun elder off to Nancy and I continued on with Jack & Rudy to skijor more of the town. We ventured to the sidewalks of busier streets and eventually dropped down onto Breckenridge Main Street. It was snowing so hard that town plows could not even keep up with Main Street (they try really hard to keep the street and sidewalks of Main plowed as that is where all the tourists congregate). Come along for our first ever skijor on the sidewalks of Breckenridge Main Street!
Cruising Main Street. Wheeee!
I am pretty sure we became the highlight of many people's Breckenridge vacation. Every time I looked at a car on Main Street, there was at least one person with the window down videoing the crazy guy being towed around town by two sled dogs :)
Another fun clip of my pals taking me on a tour of Main Street.
Today's video highlight is a combination of two short video clips. The first is Zorro, Jack, Rudy & I skijoring side streets near home. As you'll see, it takes less than 10 seconds for the camera to become buried in snow. We then transition to Jack, Rudy & I touring Main Street until, once again, the camera is blurred by snow.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back home and time for the snow covered trio to get their 'end of run' treats from the snow covered musher :)
All four of us covered in snow with heavy flakes falling around us.
A truly unique skijor this morning on quiet side streets and sidewalks of busy streets: 5.2 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 104 days on the trails covering 706.2 miles with 64,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bridge Crossing

Fun clip of the trio towing me across a bridge on the groomed Blue River Recreation Path connecting Breckenridge, CO to Frisco, CO.
Over the bridge we go - wheeee!
As the intro above implies, we skijored the Blue River Recreation Path today. This is a bike & jogging trail in the Spring, Summer and Fall but is then transformed into a beautiful groomed trail in the Winter. We started the day with the skijor trio and took off on the fast groomed trail:
I'm pretty sure all 12 feet are off the ground here although Jack's feet are
somewhat obscured, I am pretty certain they are all off the ground like
Zorro and Rudy :)
The nice thing about the rec path, for Zorro, is that there are lots of points where the path intersects with perpendicular roads. As a result, we have many opportunities to drop elder Zorro of with Nancy while continuing on to give the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, more exercise. We dropped Zorro with Nancy at the first road intersection this morning and then I continued and out & back on the rec path with the kids.

The rec path parallels the Blue River on one side and Highway 9 (between Breckenridge and Frisco) on the other side. A few times the path swerves close enough to the highway for cars to see my pals towing me quickly along the trail. We always get approving honks or cheers from open windows and frequently see people hanging out the windows with phones videoing us!
Flying along the fast groomie zoomie as we entertain all the oncoming
cars to our right.
While the many intersections give us option to drop and/or add Zorro in the team, it also causes us to stop frequently (I have to take my skis off to cross the road). I am pretty fast and putting the ski off and on, but not fast enough for Jack & Rudy. A stop is a stop...
The conjoined snow angel twins at it again. If you can tell which legs
are Jack's and which are Rudy's, I'm impressed :)
After an extended out & back on the rec path to exercise Jack & Rudy, we had the opportunity to load Zorro back in the team again for a sprint to the finish:
LOVE the smiles on all the faces!!!!
Today's video highlight is unique in that is shows our skijor over a bridge. Come along as we cruise by Nancy in the start of the clip and then cross the bridge cautiously but still quickly until we come out the other side to floor it to the finish.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, some well-earned 'end of run' pork treats to celebrate the day's fun outing:
"Ready! Dish them out!" says the focused trio.
A fun trail where we have many options to drop & add Zorro in & out of the team to give him a gentle outing while I add distance to exercise the kids: 6.9 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 103 days on the trails covering 701.0 miles with 64,500 feet of elevation climbed. Oh boy - we've surpassed 700 miles of skijoring for the season. 700 and counting!!!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Groomer Treads

Beautiful bluebird morning for a fast skijor on groomed trails!
Beautiful shot of the beautiful morning and pretty sled dogs :)
We skijored a loop on the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. As you see in the prior photo, conditions were darn near perfect close to the trailhead where the trail gets lots of use.

But, these particular trails are pretty steep, so the further you get from the trailhead, the less use they get from cross country skiers having to power themselves. In addition, we have had the snowiest February on record in Breckenridge (and it's not over yet). So, despite the trail being groomed, it was surprisingly punchy down the middle. Zorro, Jack & Rudy each tried to run in the middle once and moved out of the middle immediately after punching through the snow. So, what to do? Well, my smart partners quickly found the pieces of the trail where the treads from the groomer machine would have traveled. The "groomer treads" were a very solid track but only 2 Siberians wide. Still not a problem, as the team quickly organized themselves into Zorro in one groomer tread and Jack & Rudy in the other groomer tread. Perfect, nobody punching through so we could go fast! I could ride in the soft middle as my skis would not punch through since I was being towed. Such smart guys!

Here's a quick look at the perfect configuration. You can see a cut in the middle of the trail from a skate ski that punched through coming the other direction on this trail. If any of my trio stepped out of their "groomer tread", they would have punched through too. But, the smart guys never drifted out of their groomer treads!
Zorro on one firm groomer tread line and Jack & Rudy on the other.
How do I know they would have punched through if they left their groomer treads (which they never did)? Well, there was a lot of evidence of "not as smart" dogs out before us that kept drifting into the middle and punching through!
Smart Zorro still in his groomer tread as well as smart Jack & Rudy.
Punch holes in the middle of the trail from the "not too smart" drifting
dogs that had been on the trail before us :)
Here we go with the video summary of the last two photos. Come along as the smart sled dogs stay in their groomer tread lines so we can go, go, goooo!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We were ahead of schedule doing our planned loop. So we did a short out & back on one of the adjacent side trails. Well, "out & back" requires turning around, turning around requires stopping and stopping is, well, Jack & Rudy antics.
"Ah, cooling my jets!" demonstrates snow rolling Rudy.
"Whee, I'm a goofy roller!" displays silly Jack.
"I'm going to move over here until you two are done!" adds 'moving out of the way' Zorro.
One more fun shot of the trio in their groomer treads with some pretty views of the snow covered Colorado Rockies far in front of us.
Finally, we got back to the trailhead before Nancy had a chance to get out and video our arrival. So, our "front shot" of the day is me coming to a stop and Zorro, Jack & Rudy gently exit the groomed trail with me. Not the best front shot, but still fun to show the happy, happy trio!
"We have such fun skijoring!" says the happy trio.
An interesting day on the highest elevation sections of trails but also a great day to show how smart my pals are in adjusting to trail conditions: 6.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 102 days on the trails covering 694.1 miles with 64,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, February 20, 2020


What a beautiful shot of Jack & Rudy laying fresh tracks in 4-5 inches of fresh powder on a perfect trail along with a beautiful bluebird morning!
What a beautiful shot!
Sometimes just watching the video is better than me trying to describe it. Come along for the fun laying fresh tracks on a perfect trail with a beautiful bluebird morning. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After a big & impressive outing with Zorro yesterday; we gave the elder most of today off as I took Jack & Rudy backcountry cruising in fresh powder.

I was thinking to myself the other day that it has been a while since we got a "rodent dive" from either Jack or Rudy. I should say a while since a rodent dive from Jack AND Rudy as one doing it typically entices the other to join in. Well, the wait is over, here we go with Jack starting the fun with his "lower angle" dive off the trail:
"I smell rodents - INCOMING!" demonstrate shallow diving Jack.
It doesn't take much for Rudy to join in the fun. Here we go with dive master Rudy. He gets such incredible high lift in his swan dives off trail!
"INCOMING number two!!!!!" demonstrates the dive master.
Ok, back to skijoring. We had a blast laying fresh tracks up the steep terrain around Prospect Hill and then riding back down the tracks we laid on the way up. Time for a nice view shot on the way back:
Trucking Jack & Rudy riding in our "up tracks" as the ski runs
of Breckenridge Ski Resort come into view across the valley.
Finally, even when we give Zorro most of the day off, he always joins for at least a fun sprint to the finish with his brothers. You cannot get much happier or tightly packed together than this photo:
All smiles on the conjoined skijoring triplet :)
We only had time for a short run today; but Jack & Rudy made the most of the steep fresh tracks outing: 5.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 101 days on the trails covering 688.0 miles with 63,400 feet of elevation climbed.