Thursday, December 31, 2020

Catching Air

 Happy, happy kids looking up to me during a pause on the trails this morning:

"We are having the BEST time skijoring today!" exclaims the happy pair!

Our outing took us to the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. The trails were pretty tracked up near the trailhead. But, after a couple of miles, most of the humans had turned around and we found ourselves second or third tracks on the recently groomed trails far away from the trailhead. It was perfect conditions for Jack & Rudy to really uncork the skijoring engine and catch some air:

Pretty views to the right, hovering sled dogs down the middle :)

A little further along and second verse, same as the first:

I'm seeing a theme for today :)

The result of "catching air" again and again? Well, the GPS clocked our top speed just over 24 MPH. Come along for a glimpse at the fast and fun outing:

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

The other result of "catching air" again and again? Well, everyone needs to roll in the snow to cool their jets at every pause during the day:

"Ahhh, need to roll around and cool the jets!" declares the fast running duo.

Let's go tell retired Zorro about the fast & fun day:

"I taught them well!" says Zorro proud of the impressive Jack & Rudy he
raised and trained.

Closing out 2020 in style: 9.9 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 45 days on the trails covering 352.9 miles with 32,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


 It was -4 (F) when we started this morning's skijor (yes, 4 BELOW zero). What do you think Jack & Rudy thought of the temperatures?

"So HOT, must roll snow angels to cool off!" demonstrates the snow rolling goofs.
4 degrees below zero and the silly kids need to cool off?!?!?

We started the morning on narrow side trails:

Pretty trail winding through the trees as the morning sun starts to peek through.

Then we eventually transitioned onto wide and fast trails of Gold Run Nordic Center:

Flooring it on a "Zoom Stretch" of trail.

Did I say fast? You bet. Come along and watch on of our favorite sections of trail to really open up the throttle. We topped 23 MPH on this section of trail today. This is the same stretch of trail where Max & Zorro once topped 27 MPH. I keep waiting for Jack & Rudy to hit 25 or 26 MPH on this stretch this season. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

If you've paid attention through the years, you also know that the trails at Gold Run Nordic Center are known for moose. No moose sightings today but we did find a very entertaining trough of moose tracks just off trail:

The kids standing in a trough of moose tracks.
"I think the moose are ahead in the trees!" suggests Rudy.
"No, I think they are across the trail and behind dad!" states Jack.

I was scanning the forest ahead of Rudy for moose and then spun around when Jack gave this stare the opposite direction. I expected to find moose behind me; but, alas, no moose were in sight.

Back to the trailhead for our group 'end of run' ritual with retired Zorro:

Patiently waiting our turn. Zorro, then Jack and then Rudy.

I cut the outing short this morning since I thought it was cold, despite what Jack & Rudy thought: 6.8 miles traveled with 400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 44 days on the trails covering 343.0 miles with 31,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Rudy Birthday

Today is young Rudy's 3rd birthday. Come along all let him tell you all about his birthday skijor:

"I had the BEST birthday skijor ever! Let me tell you all about
" declares ecstatic Rudy :)

I got to lay fresh tracks on untouched side trails on Baldy Mountain!

Fresh snow all to ourselves!

I got to power through the occasional wind blown snow drifts!

Impressive power from Jack & Rudy as they pull me through drifting snow!

I got to play "tag & wrestle" with Jack along the trail!

"It's my birthday, so 'tag & wrestle' on the trail is allowed!" says silly Rudy.

I got to go fast by curious onlookers as I made them smile!

Flying on by! Made you smile!

Did I mention fast? You bet. Come along and watch Jack & I flying along the fast & fun Baldy Mountain Trail. Zoom:

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, I got to celebrate my birthday 'end of run' treats with my whole pack:

"Thanks dad! That was FUN!" Rudy is telling me.

8.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

"I think I had the best birthday ever!" signed Rudy!

2020/2021 Season to Date: 43 days on the trails covering 336.2 miles with 30,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Ready Jack?

 Nice shot of fast Jack & Rudy as we approach a vast meadow along the trail:


We spent most of the day on snowmobile trails tucked away deep in the forest. Jack and Rudy were having a blast towing me all over the place:

Wheeee again! :)

Today's video highlight gives you a glimpse of goofy Jack. The video starts at our turnaround point of the outing. As you see, since Jack has to wait for me to get turned around, he is doing his usual "stop activity" of rolling snow angels. But, if your volume is up, you'll hear me say, "Are you ready Jack?" That question is all he needs to pop up out of his snow angel and off we go! That Jack, what a goofball!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Along the way we stopped to inspect an old mining cabin. Rudy thinks we should move in:

"Woo! Let's move in!!!" suggests wooing Rudy.

To end the day, we got to do a little trail breaking as I was accidentally on the wrong trail to meet up with Nancy and Zorro. No problem, though, I just instructed the kids to abandon trail and make our own:

Aerobic trail breaking with impressive snow troughs behind
trail breaking Jack and Rudy!

Of course, the highlight of every day: meeting up with elder Zorro for group 'end of run' treats!

Group party!

An enjoyable skijor in the forest with Jack & Rudy this morning: 7.4 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 42 days on the trails covering 328.0 miles with 30,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, December 27, 2020


 Jack & Rudy giving me a fast & fun skijor for my birthday!

Laying fresh tracks as we ZOOM along!

Today is my birthday. I thought laying fresh tracks in 1-2 inches of fresh snow and flying around the trails was Jack & Rudy's present to me. Come along for what I thought was their kind present - zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As much fun as that video looks, it turns out Jack and Rudy had much bigger birthday plans for me.

As we came around a bend in the trail, Jack & Rudy gave me my next present: fresh moose tracks!

"<sniff>, <sniff> - hey dad, these are REALLY fresh!" says the moose track
inspecting pair.

Moose tracks! Nice, what a fun present. But, Jack & Rudy were not done yet... A little further along from the tracks and Jack threw himself off trail into the deep snow in a declaration of "MOOSE! Must Exit Trail Here!"

"Where? Where?" asks Rudy and I.
"MOOSE! Must Exit Trail Here!" declares moose seeking Jack.

As I followed Jack's line of sight into the trees, I did in fact see a mother and child moose in the trees. Nice, a "moose sighting" for my birthday! Way to go Jack :)

But, it gets better... The trail we were on had an upcoming hairpin right that brought us back closer to the trees Jack is gazing into. At least I had warning from Jack as we came back towards the trees after the hairpin right. Sure enough, the moose was still there:

"Hello ma'am!" say Jack, Rudy and I watching the big lady moose
moving just off trail in the trees!
Zoomed in from the photo above. "Hello ma'am!"
The kid is directly uphill from the mother but pretty camouflaged
in the next set of trees.

So, there you have it. My birthday present from Jack & Rudy: an up close moose sighting! What a present!

Back to the trailhead to tell Zorro all about it as we share 'end of run' treats. Today's treat shot is a little different than the usual. There were loose dogs in the parking lot and we did not want annoying fluffy trying to join in with our 'end of run' treats. So, we loaded in the Jeep to enjoy our treats in privacy:

"We're flexible! Treats in Jeep works just fine for us!" says the focused
and flexible trio :)

A lot of fun fresh tracks skijoring for my birthday but the highlight was the moose sighting! 8.7 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 41 days on the trails covering 320.6 miles with 29,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 26, 2020


Cool shot of Jack & Rudy hovering over the trail as the morning sun has just risen over the mountain in front of us:

Pretty sled dogs, beautiful snowmobile trail, awesome sunrise. Trifecta :)
We started today's outing on some pretty thin snow cover with the goal of climbing quickly to (hopefully) better snow cover. As you see in the photo above, success! The conditions were incredible once we got up a bit in elevation. We found some fairly fresh (so not icy) snowmobile tracks to follow for miles and miles! I stopped once to assess our location and determine our path to continue. Well, I stopped, so:

"You stopped, we roll! Hehehe!" demonstrates silly Jack.
"Come on, you KNOW you want to join us!" Rudy is telling me.
The day I "stop, drop & roll" a snow angel too is the day everyone
should really worry about me :)

Location assessed, time to restart. Zoom:

The fast flying skijor team! Wheeee!

Nice photos of fast Jack & Rudy, huh? Come along for an impressive video counterpart:

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I stopped a second time to send Nancy a text to change our pickup point to meet up with her and Zorro. Since the goofballs had already rolled snow angels at the previous stop, it was time to search for rodents during the second stop. Jack was convinced there were rodents to be had, Rudy did a quick dunk and declared the mission should be aborted:

"Where are the rodents?" asks buried Jack.
"False alarm, coming back to skijor instead!" says happy Rudy plowing
back onto the trail to restart.

Sometimes the lighting isn't be best, but we have to have our "photo with elder Zorro" in every blog:

"Front & center!" says focused Zorro.

Great day following endless snowmobile tracks once we got up high enough in elevation: 7.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 40 days on the trails covering 311.9 miles with 28,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

 Jack can get some of the silliest and most comical facial expressions while rolling snow angels:

Goofy look from goofy Jack :)

We started this morning's Christmas skijor on narrow trails winding through the trees:

Zipping along through the forest. Wheeee!

After some winding through the trees, we eventually dropped onto on of our favorite "groom loops" that is part of Gold Run Nordic Center. While a bit blurry (since we are going so fast :), I still love this photo of out-stretched and FLYING Jack & Rudy as they launch me along the trail:


Due to some early season issues, the nordic center is not able to get the snowcat groomer out on this section of trail yet. So, instead, they are using a snowmobile towing a "groomer sled" to make passes over the trail and give it some grooming. The only downside of the snowmobile groomer is that it is not heavy enough to flatten out rises or bumps in the trail. The result? Come along for today's video clip and notice the frequent "rises" in the trail that Jack & Rudy launch me up & over (I kept expecting to "catch air" over one of the rises)! There are 10 such rises in this 45 seconds of skijoring. Talk about giving the human's legs a workout!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Now on to our annual Christmas tradition: getting a shot of the "sled dog elves" towing me in my Santa hat to the finish of the day's outing:

Happy kids towing Santa to the finish :)

Finally, let's add in elder Zorro to complete the Christmas tradition:

Merry Christmas!

A "ho, ho, ho" fun time on the trails this morning: 8.7 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 39 days on the trails covering 304.8 miles with 28,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 24, 2020


 Great shot of Jack & Rudy FLYING along the freshly groomed trail!

Love the "snow poofs" behind Jack and Rudy as the FLY along. Zoom!

Every once in a while, Jack & Rudy need to remind us that they are only 3 and 2 years old. Today's reminder started as follows when we paused for a moment on the trail:

"Tag! You're it!" performs Jack interrupting Rudy's snow angel to tag him :)

Well, you can imagine what this impromptu tag from Jack lead to from Rudy....

"Oh my! Here we go..." was all I could think as the play bows and
then subsequent wrestle broke out after Jack's tag :)

Oh those silly young kids!

In between the impromptu play session, we found ourselves on PERFECT conditions at Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. The trails had been groomed just minutes before we got out and we found ourselves first or second tracks on the perfect trail all morning long! In the first photo above, we are second tracks to ourselves. The ski track you see to the left of Jack is from my skis when we came the other direction on this trail. (you can also see Jack & Rudy's footprints on each side of my track). What beautiful conditions:

Zooming along again with more "snow poofs" coming off the fast kids.

Come along for some of the fast, fast, fast fun as we top 24 MPH skijoring by the Kathy's Viewpoint warming hut. Wheeee

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun morning, let's go tell elder Zorro all about it:

"Jack started it!" declares Rudy.
"Hehe, I won the game of tag!" adds Jack.
"Kids, such kids!" concludes Zorro :)

A fast day on beautiful trails with comical reminder that Jack & Rudy really are still only 3 and 2 years old :)  9.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 38 days on the trails covering 296.1 miles with 27,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rare Treat

 The usual "trail occurrence" - Jack & Rudy putting smiles on skiers we encounter :)

"Hi! Bye! Made you smile!" declares flying on by Jack & Rudy.

We had three different terrain events skijor on Baldy Mountain this morning. We started out on the popular main trail on Baldy Mountain. A few people had been out before us, so we found ourselves going up and then down this section of trail running fast in set tracks (as you see above).

Partway up Baldy, though, you approach treeline. As the trees thin, people fork off every which direction to make their own trails up/down the mountain. Jack, Rudy and I picked our own unused path and found ourselves laying fresh tracks in 4+ inches of snow early and then breaking trail in 10+ inches higher up in elevation! Along the way we got our first ever "synchronized rodent dive":

Beautifully synchronized rodent dive!

Rudy is, of course, known for his patented and high arching rodent dives. Jack will do the occasional dive too; yet, as you see, Jack does not get near the high arch as Rudy. But, still impressive to capture our first ever synchronized rodent dive :)

The treat of breaking our own trail up the higher elevations of Baldy was that we got to run in the tracks we set on the way back down:

Running in the narrow track we set on the way up. If you look really close,
you can barely make out the set track in front of us we are squeezing back
in on the way down.

Ok, so that is two terrain events: (1) up/down set tracks on the lower Baldy main trail and (2) up/down breaking trail on our own upper trail. Our third and final event was turning off primary network of trails on Baldy and dipping into the trails in Laurium Open Space. We were thrilled to find ourselves FIRST on the snow in Laurium this morning. What a treat:

Laying fresh tracks in 4-5 inches of untouched snow!

Today's video highlight is a rare treat. The final descent out of Laurium is a very steep trail through the forest. I am usually slaloming back & forth on this trail to keep us under control and myself upright! But, today we had fresh snow on this steep section of trail. Come along for a rare look at skijoring the steep Laurium trail without having to constantly slalom to stay under control. Love the control we get in fresh snow!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun video and what a fun time we had on the trails this morning! We need to tell Zorro all about it:

"Yea, yea, we'll tell Zorro later! How about those end of run treats?" says tightly
aligned and very focused trio.

A wonderful combination of terrain events on steep Baldy this morning: 6.4 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 37 days on the trails covering 287.0 miles with 26,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 21, 2020


 Fast flying Jack & Rudy on the trail this morning. Zoom!


We spent the morning skijoring on and around Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass. Along the way, we encountered quite the distraction for a while: MOOSE tracks in the middle of the trail!

The tracks are not as clear in the photo as they were in real life.
The bottom/center of the photo has a moose print with more prints just to the
left of and behind Rudy. There was another set of tracks to the right of Jack that
are not very clear in the photo. But we all saw and smelled them!

Come along to watch Jack, Rudy and I skijoring amongst the moose track distractions! Look closely to our left at the beginning for one set of moose tracks. We lose the tracks in a short wind blown section of trail (you can hear me saying "Where are the tracks?"). We then rediscover the tracks after the short wind blown patch. Jack & Rudy give the rediscovered tracks a quick sniff (while running) and off we go in search of moose! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We never found the moose and the tracks eventually left the trail and went off into the deep snow and trees. Can't find the moose, so we might as well entertain all others on the trail :)

"Made you smile!" says Rudy to the oncoming skier who paused
to take in the pretty sled dogs :)

Fun shot of happy Rudy next to snow exploring Jack at our turnaround point:

"Hi dad! I'm having a BLAST today!" says happy, happy Rudy.
"Searching for rodents in the snow!" demonstrates silly Jack.

I'm not completely sure what had Jack so distracted in the snow. It certainly was not rodents or Rudy would have been dunking and digging with him! Jack eventually came up with nothing in his mouth, so I guess we'll never know what was distracting him :)

Back to the trailhead and Zorro is reminding me that he gets the 'end of run' treats first!

"Poke, poke - remember me first!" Zorro is reminding me.
Yes, Zorro, we all know you get everything first :)

Fun day with lots of entertaining moose tracks and other distractions! 9 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 36 days on the trails covering 280.6 miles with 25,600 feet of elevation climbed.