Endless snow covered terrain atop Rabbit Ears Pass all to ourselves this morning!
Cruising with Zorro, Jack & Rudy with snow covered terrain
as far as the eye can see! Woo Hoo!
We did an "out & back" skijor near Dumont Lake at Rabbit Ears to start the morning with Zorro, Jack & Rudy. Of course, you all know what "out & back" leads to :)
The trio testing the limits of my "wide angel" camera lens as the
kids roll snow angels at our turnaround point.
Talk about social distancing :)
We spent today's outing on snowmobile trails at Rabbit Ears. There was a steady wind blowing all morning which lead to a light layer of wind blown powder over the otherwise frozen snowmobile tracks. Perfect conditions to go for an endless glide with my pals. Come along for a short glimpse into the morning's fun tour:
After doing a fun out & back with Zorro, we handed the fun elder off with Nancy so I could continue on with the kids, Jack & Rudy and get some extra exercise for the youngsters. We turned away from the wide open terrain you saw above with Zorro and headed up into the trees with the kids:
Zipping along as we weave through stretch of tree lined trail.
We did an "out & back" with the kids as well. After skijoring up into the trees for a while, it was time to turnaround again. We already rolled snow angels at the turnaround with Zorro, so what else should we do at a turnaround point? Well, Rudy had an idea :)
"WOOOO! We can WOOO instead of stop, drop & roll!" declares Rudy
turning to come wooing back to me.
"Hmmm, I think I prefer 'stop, drop & roll'!" adds happy Jack (Jack is not
a professional woo'er like Rudy ;)
After turning around in the trees, we came back to the wide open terrain where we started the day to meet up with Zorro & Nancy at the trailhead. Check out the following "power speed" shot of Jack & Rudy as we came out of the trees and back to wide open terrain:
Such power! Such speed! These kids are officially skijoring pros!!!
Back with Zorro and time to celebrate another fun day with our 'end of run' pork treats:
"Ready!" declares focused Zorro.
"Us too - what a fun day!" adds cute & smiling Jack & Rudy.
A fun day starting with Zorro and then continuing on to further exercise the endless kids, Jack & Rudy: 7.7 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 136 days on the trails covering 926.9 miles with 84,300 feet of elevation climbed.
I love 'end of run' treat time with my super sled dog pals!
Such happy, patient and attentive boys!
My favorite guys in the world! :)
Today's plan was to start our skijor atop Rabbit Ears Pass with Zorro, do a loop with the fun old Z, then hand him off to Nancy and continue on to give the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, some extra exercise (the kids NEED it :)
It started out just as we planned as we found a light layer of soft snow over set snowmobile tracks:
Off we go from the start zipping along in the soft snowmobile tracks!
Surprisingly, though, as nice as the prior photo looks, the tracks quickly dispersed within a 1/2 mile of our start and fanned left & right uphill into the trees. A fun ride for a snowmobile, but not quite want I wanted for older Zorro. So, we ended up abandoning the set trails and making our own path out & back (instead of making a loop). Look at what transpired at our turnaround point of the out & back - Zorro rolling snow angels!!!
"Head plant and roll!" demonstrates Zorro rolling a rare snow angel.
"Of course I joined in!" adds silly Jack with 3 legs fully extended :)
"Um, I'd like to keep running, are you two done yet?" asks that mature young Rudy (haha).
After the fun start with Zorro, Jack & Rudy took me off towards the ears of Rabbit Ears Pass. Look closely in the photo below at the mountain peak in front and slightly right of Jack & Rudy. You can just make out two large rocks atop the peak - these rocks are the "ears" for which Rabbit Ears Pass is named.
Zoom, zoom - the ears, the ears :)
Come along for today's video fun as we skijor towards the ears. The clip starts out without a view of the ears. Then, about 20 seconds in an the ears come into view and remain there for the remainder of the clip. If you can take your eyes off the ears, watch for the "bumpy trail" from about 10 to 25 seconds in the video as you'll see the camera (and, thus me) bouncing around. If your volume is up you'll also hear me comment, "Whoa, bumpy trail!" until it finally smooths out again as we sprint towards the ears!
Final shot of the morning's outing at take a look at "sprinting & hunting" Rudy. Today was the first time Jack & Rudy have been on this stretch of trail at Rabbit Ears without Zorro along. Now, years ago, we (Max, Zorro & myself) have seen moose from this stretch (3 different times). Jack & Rudy have never seen a moose along this stretch. But, in the kids' young skijoring career, they have been on this stretch with Zorro many times and Zorro ALWAYS kicks it up a notch in speed & intensity as this is a known moose stretch. Now, take a look at Rudy, sprinting while glancing to the right. I think Rudy has been listening to Zorro! Despite no visible moose today, Rudy took on Zorro's persona on today's moose stretch!
"I've never seen one, but Zorro always said, 'be moose aware' along this path before!' says
sprint & hunt Rudy!
"I'm waiting for the real thing!" adds forward focused Jack.
A gentle early run with snow rolling Zorro to start today and then a run to & from the ears with Jack & Rudy: 6.9 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 135 days on the trails covering 919.2 miles with 83,600 feet of elevation climbed.
Getting everyone's attention before dishing out the end of run treats this morning:
"I smell them in your hands - dish them out!" says intense Zorro.
"Ready!" adds happy Jack.
"Oh yeah, end of run treats - I'm in tune now!" says la-la-land Rudy who
is *finally* joining the group for the treats :)
We did a fast & fun sprint through the dense forest trails to start this morning with Zorro. It was a wild ride flying through the forest, whipping around corners, behind my powerful trio on fast packed trails!
Approaching a "left whip" in the trail as Zorro and Rudy are beginning their
"left lean" to whip around the bend.
Hang on human!
All smiles as we come out of another weave in the trail and find Nancy waiting on the side for us. Look at Power Rudy taking the lead as Jack is on the outside of the recent corner and Zorro is lining up to give mom a big smile.
Power Rudy in the lead!!!
Cool Jack just off the lead as he is on the outside of the recent corner.
"Hi Mom - having a blast!" adds happy Zorro.
Here we go for a glimpse of the wild ride whipping around the forest. I am flying behind the power trio trying my hardest to keep the skis in pace with their tight & fast cornering! Whew, what a workout for the human!
Laying fresh tracks in a couple of inches of new snow this morning.
Late March Freshies - Wow!
Whee - the late Mach freshies!!!!!
You don't see conditions much nicer than this on March 28th!!!
We split up this morning's into 2 halves. The first half with young Jack & Rudy and the second half adding elder Zorro into the team.
There was a couple of inches of fresh snow on the set trails as you see in the prior photo. But, the youngsters and I abandoned set trails for a while and found ourselves breaking trail plowing through deep, untouched powder off the beaten path. Go kids go!!!!
Beautiful shot of trail breaking Jack & Rudy as we plow through
deep snow off the beaten path!
After doing an off trail loop through the forest with Jack & Rudy, we added Zorro into the mix for an on trail romp with the cool old guy. What did we find with Zorro? Well, untouched fresh snow for as far as the eye could see (and a far as we wanted to skijor) - perfect conditions!
Come along for a fun ride of the late March freshies. My partners were having a blast laying fresh tracks all morning long! Wheeee!
If you looked closely in the video, you should have noticed a short stretch of wildlife tracks on the trail before us. The only time we were not first tracks on the trails this morning was when we encountered the occasional fox tracks on the trail before us. Fresh snow all to ourselves with the occasional fox out before us!
Fresh tracks behind Zorro, Jack & Rudy (look closely in my shadow so see Zorro's :)
At first I did not know if we were encountering the occasional fox or coyote tracks.
But, once you look at the size of Rudy's print next to the tracks, you know it
was a fox. A coyote track would have been as big or bigger than Rudy's
At a quick break on the trail while I checked our progress. Love this shot of happy Zorro & Jack; but, hey, where's Rudy?
LOVE the happy faces on these two!!!!
Don't worry, we did not drop Rudy ;)
Look behind Zorro and you see his back leg as he was
rolling a snow angel instead of giving me this WONDERFUL
attention I got from Zorro & Jack!
Oh, and don't worry, Jack rolled his daily snow angel too; just at a different turnaround point of the day!
How much fun did we have this morning? Well, just look at those happy faces above and those happy faces below!
Whee - laying fresh tracks ALL morning long!!!!
A beautiful late March morning with deep snow for the youngsters and then laying fresh tracks with elder Zorro for miles & miles: 6.8 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 133 days on the trails covering 902.5 miles with 82,100 feet of elevation climbed.
Woo Hoo - surpassing 900 miles for the season! 1000 is a given, will we reach 1100 or 1200? Stay tuned....
I was having trouble getting the bag of 'end of run' treats open this morning, Zorro had a solution :)
"Just give me the whole bag - I'll fix it!" suggests ultra-focused Zorro trying
to help me open the bag :)
It was a beautiful bluebird morning to skijor the endless spring crust off the beaten path for miles and miles. What incredible social distancing!
Here's a fun shot of Zorro & Jack synchronized with flying Rudy to the left and endless spring crust as far as the eye can see. We did 3 laps around this vast meadow all to ourselves!
Hovering Zorro & Jack as flying Rudy kicks it into overdrive to the left.
Doing 3 laps around the same meadow means we had a couple of pauses to reset our direction. Well, a pause is a pause...
"Stopped, rolling!" demonstrates snow rolling Rudy.
"Snow angel acrobatics!" declares somersaulting Jack.
(yes, Jack often somersaults into his snow angels - what a goof)
"Kids, we've got ENDLESS crust - get up and go!" says all business Zorro.
After 3 laps around the meadow, we turned off into a slight narrower meadow to meet up with Nancy to handoff Zorro to end his part of the day's outing. A little narrower, but same results: endless crust:
Whee - we could go on forever!
Come along for our final stint of the outing with Zorro. We start out on the super fun crust until we eventually transition onto a short stretch of groomed terrain. Then we follow a left in the groom until finally passing Nancy and stopping to let elder Zorro off the team for the day.
Once Zorro was done with his share of the outing, I took the youngsters up & down the crust on Prospect Hill. We get such incredible views from at/above treeline on Prospect Hill!
Cool kids zooming along the Prospect Hill crust.
Magnificent view of the mountains and ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort
across the valley!
As I said, a beautiful bluebird morning to go "crust skijoring" for miles & miles. Elder Zorro came along for the 1/3 of the outing and the the kids did an fast up/down Prospect Hill: 6.8 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 132 days on the trails covering 895.7 miles with 81,700 feet of elevation climbed.
Zorro, who's not the biggest kisser (unlike Jack), giving me a little
peck as we dish out the 'end of run' treats today.
We had a wild day on almost "too fast packed" trails in & around Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. We went from one trailhead to another with Zorro and then I took the kids, Jack & Rudy, for another out & back on higher elevation trails. A fun time had by all and a real workout on the human's legs to keep us under control on the almost too fast packed trails!
Zorro came with for the first 1/3rd of the outing. Here we are flying along the fast packed terrain:
Flying Zorro in the middle with sprint-tucked Jack & Rudy on each side
(and the 'hanging on for dear life' human behind :)
Here we are approaching the second trailhead to hand Zorro off to Nancy. A few things to note. First, polite Jack knows we are approaching a stop point and is nicely backing off to preserve the human. Rudy is in his "flirt with mom" mood as he is focused & flirting with Nancy on the side of the trail. Meanwhile, Zorro is still 'pedal to the metal', full throttle ahead. Where happened to my polite veteran Zorro?
"We should be slowing to preserve the human!" declares trotting Jack.
"HI MOM!" exclaims flirting Rudy.
"Let's keep it going! Floor it!" adds monster Zorro :)
Come along for the video counterpart of the prior photo. We start out cruising along the fast packed Peaks Trail. If your volume is on/up, you will really hear my skis scraping against the hard packed surface as I try to maintain some control behind the power trio. Finally, as we approach the trailhead and Nancy on the side of the trail, you'll see polite Jack slowing. Zorro & Rudy are still full speed ahead; but notice how perfect they are as they shutoff and stop on a dime once I say, "Wait!" Good boys.
After handing elder Zorro off to Nancy, I took the kids on an out & back on the upper elevation trails. We always get some nice views from up high:
Hovering Jack & Rudy as we approach the Hallelujah Warming Hut.
Nice view of the mountains behind the hut!
At our turnaround point and isn't this about the most adorable shot of happy Jack & Rudy?
"Hi Dad - we are having a BLAST!" declares the happy, happy pair!
A workout day for the human trying to maintain control on fast packed trails. A fun 1st 1/3 with elder Zorro and then second 2/3 with the fast & happy kids: 8.6 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 131 days on the trails covering 888.9 miles with 81,000 feet of elevation climbed.
Turnaround point on the trail with Jack & Rudy, everyone having a good time?
"Yep, but turning so we can get going again!' says all business Rudy.
"Ha, yes, but did you know you stopped?" smirks 'about to roll a snow angel' Jack.
Just after the prior photo, I started turning with Rudy until I felt a tug to the gangline left of me. Yes, Jack had dropped to roll a snow angel, but the GoPro on my chest was already turned with Rudy and missed capturing the "always rolling" Jack :)
We started the day with the kids, Jack & Rudy, and eventually added Zorro to the team for the last 1/3 of the outing.
Fun sequence to show that young Jack & Rudy have learned the concept of "preserve the human" because if I get hurt, the skijoring fun is all over! Here is a nice capture of both looking back to check on me after an almost mishap:
"Whoa - you ok back there? We need the human to keep the season going!" says the
What happened? Well come along and watch. We start the clip cruising along until my skis hit something under the snow. If your volume is up, you can hear it, but even without volume you can see my "stumble" as the ski hit something. It was probably a piece of ice or small rock since I was able to keep upright; but it was enough to interrupt our glide. You'll then notice my perfect partners slow and glance back to check on me. I utter a simple "sorry" as I am recovered and upright, so off we go. But, seriously, if I had said "wait" or "ow" or some accidental profanity (or fallen), you can tell by Jack & Rudy's glance that they were prepared to stop. I know this from experience, they will stop on a dime if they think the human is in trouble! Impressive kids!
As you see in the video, all they needed was to hear my "sorry" and feel me back in the proper upright position. The human is ok, so we go, go, go!
"Yay, the human is upright - floor it!" says the fun kids.
If you are wondering about the darkness of all the photos above & below, well we started our outing this morning before sunrise and ended just after sunrise but with the sun still behind the mountains around us.
Anyway, done giving the kids a warmup lap and time to meet up with Zorro & Nancy to add Zorro in the team. The fun elder gentleman hooked in and here we go flying to & on by Nancy and further for a nice extended finish with Zorro:
"Hi mom - coming through!" says the happy trio flying to & by Nancy.
On by, so nothing to stop for now :)
"Bye mom! Hope you can catch us!" says the fast pair cruising on by.
We raced Nancy from one trailhead to another. Zorro, Jack, Rudy & I on skis and Nancy in the Jeep. We won!!!!
"Can't catch this!!!!" demonstrates the fast flying trio
beating Nancy from one trailhead to another :)
A nice sunrise skijor going 2/3 of the outing with Jack & Rudy and finishing the final 1/3 with elder Zorro along for the ride: 6.4 miles traveled with 300 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 130 days on the trails covering 880.3 miles with 80,100 feet of elevation climbed.
"Just in case you forgot, PIN - I get the 'end of run' treats FIRST!" says Zorro
pinning himself to my chest at the end of this morning's run.
"Funny big brother!' adds cute & patient Jack & Rudy :)
We started this morning with the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, on "new" backcountry trails before adding elder Zorro for a fast & fun sprint to the finish.
What do I mean by "new"? Well, technically we spent most of the morning on the upper elevation trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. But, the nordic center stopped grooming the trails over 1 week ago and we've received upwards of 12 inches of snow since then. So, what is usually groomed & fast trails was, instead, fresh powder backcountry-like trails. There was only one set of existing tracks in the new snow on these trails. Jack & Rudy took one look at the set track and said, "Pfft, we don't need no stinking set track - fresh tracks for us!"
The solitary set track in the past week's new snow to our right
as Jack & Rudy lay fresh tracks powering along the untouched
powder down the middle!
We were cruising along in the fresh snow when all of a sudden the photo below happened. Jack & Rudy stopped on a dime and spun their heads back to the right. "Uh oh, Moose!" I thought as we were in known moose territory. I have commented this year how young Jack & Rudy have matured to separate moose from every other form of wildlife and their "moose detectors" are quite refined. But, the kids are still both young 2 year olds and, as you see, other wildlife still draws their attention. I should have known that, since they stopped and glanced instead of stopped and launched right that it was not moose. Yet, I still stopped on a dime with them given their attention off trail. What did I find when I turned to look right. Two squirrels playing chase in a tree to our right. Squirrels!?!?!? Oh you silly 2 year olds :)
"One for you, one for me!" says the squirrely kids.
I should have read the body language as "just wildlife, not moose", but I
was still on guard when they first stopped like this :)
Back to skijoring... As I showed above, we were laying fresh tracks all morning on the upper elevation trails. At times we even got into some deep powder, maybe 8-10 inches (or more). Fun shot of Jack & Rudy "kicking up powder" in 10 or so inches of snow:
POW go the powder twins as we continue to make our
own trail and ignore the silly set track to our left :)
Today's video highlight goes along with the prior photo. Come along as we are kicking up powder powering through the morning's untouched snow. Powder Power!
Eventually we came down from the upper elevation trails and onto the lower trails near trailheads and parking lots. As expected, the lower trails had seen a lot of traffic the last few days. No more fresh tracks but instead a packed trail to uncork the skijoring engine.
Packed & fast - off we go!
Of course, the reason we dropped onto the lower trails was to meet up with Zorro & Nancy. Once we met, time to add Zorro into the team and go back up the trail a bit and then turnaround and fly back to the trailhead.
Whee - the happy skijoring power three!
A fun day of "backcountry fresh tracks & breaking trail" for the youngsters with a packed & fast trail to end the day with Zorro: 6.6 miles traveled with 450 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.
2019/2020 Season to Date: 129 days on the trails covering 873.9 miles with 79,800 feet of elevation climbed.
Starting the day laying fresh tracks in 3+ inches of powder with Jack & Rudy!
Zooming along as we lay fresh tracks in 3+ inches of powder. Wheeee!
The plan for the morning was to skijor the trails on & around Breckenridge Nordic Center starting the day with Jack & Rudy and then adding Zorro about 2/3rds of the way through the outing.
It was a beautiful morning with 3 and up to 5 inches of fresh snow on the trails (3 inches lower and upwards of 5 inches as we climbed). The skies were overcast with the promise of more snow to fall. But, we started the day with clear conditions laying fresh tracks.
About 1/3 of the way into the outing and it started snowing lightly. Rudy decided to give us a beautiful rodent dive to showcase the lightly falling snowflakes against his long body :)
"Dunking for rodents!" demonstrates silly Jack.
"Incoming - here's my WHOLE profile to showcase the snowflakes!" says Rudy.
Notice the flakes you can make out against his red fur and purple harness.
Then, about 1/2 way through our outing and it started DUMPING!!!! How hard? Well, I kept having to wipe the camera clear of snow. But, the flakes were small & light, so very hard to make out against the white terrain around us. So, we'll use some skiers we passed on the trail to show the snowfall (and entertain those passing by :)
You cannot really make out the snowflakes all around us until you look
at them against the dark outfit of the guy to our left.
"Hi... bye!" says Jack & Rudy cruising by and bringing smiles to the faces.
By the time we picked up Zorro, it was really coming down. We are happy to report that just about all of our footage with Zorro was blurry from constant falling snow!
I would wipe the camera and get a partially clear shot of the fun trio:
Flying Zorro on the right.
Hovering Jack in the middle.
Slightly blurred, but fast running Rudy to the left.
But within 10s of seconds of wiping the camera clear and the footage was blurred again:
Blurred, but flying, Zorro on the right.
Blurred and sprint-tucked Jack in the middle.
Clearest and most visible Rudy to the left.
Snow spots all over the camera - yay for snow!
Come along for today's video clip to showcase the active falling snow. We start at our turnaround point with Zorro (note veteran Zorro paying attention to me while Jack & Rudy are looking the other way just waiting for my "GO"). I have just wiped the camera clear before this video starts. Then, off we go as the camera gets blurrier and blurrier as we go. But you can see the active snow falling all around us. Yay for Snow!
Finally, coming around the final bend in the trail as Nancy was just on the other side. You can see my pals cutting the corning tight (as they always do) as I am trying to swing wide and keep this crazy vehicle under control :)
Tight cornering, all smiles and more snowflakes
visible against everyone's fur.
A fun day from laying fresh tracks to running in active to heavy falling snow: 7.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.
Fun note for the season. If you've followed along you know Zorro has been on all but 2 of our outings this year; but he does partial runs most of the time as he is approaching 12 years old. Well, the impressive "11 approaching 12 year old" just surpassed 500 miles for himself on the season. Zorro's total miles: 500.2. Impressive for his age!!!!!
2019/2020 Season to Date: 128 days on the trails covering 867.3 miles with 79,350 feet of elevation climbed.