Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fast Packed

 Jack & Rudy aren't much for sightseeing at the historic Sally Barber Mine :)

"You stopped, we 'stop, drop & roll'!" demonstrates the silly kids rolling
snow angels when I paused momentarily at the historic mine.

We spent the majority of this morning's outing shaded by mountains from the rising sun as we did a fast packed skijor up, down and back up the shaded front side of Sally Barber Mine. 

Jack & Rudy catching air as we zip along the fast packed trail.

It was almost too fast packed for me to feel safe on skis. I like to pretend that I could stop behind strong & fast Jack & Rudy if I needed to :) Come along for a peek into the fast packed outing. If you look really close, you can see that Jack & Rudy are each in one fast packed lane on each side of the trail. There is a smidget of soft snow in between their two lanes. Thus, I have my right ski in Jack's lane for speed and my left ski in the bit of soft snow in the middle for control to pretend I could stop... 

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

With such fast packed terrain, we were way ahead of schedule to meet up with Nancy and Zorro. So, we dipped into the backcountry for a bit to ski lesser used and narrow side trails.

Winding through the trees on a trail that is just a bit too narrow to fit
shoulder-to-shoulder. Note that Rudy is backed off a bit to fit while Jack
takes the lead on the narrow trail.

Finally, it was time to complete the outing on the other side of the mine. As you see in the first photo, the sun was out at the mine. As you see in the following, the backside of the mine was out of the mountain shade and in the bright sun of another beautiful bluebird day:

Beautiful morning once we popped out into the sun. Wheeee!

As usual, we ended the day sharing 'end of run' treats with retired Zorro. Such a fun group event:

"Ready!" declares very focused Zorro & Jack.
"I'm having such fun today!" adds smiling Rudy.

A peaceful morning gliding around Sally Barber Mine: 7.4 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 93 days on the trails covering 754.8 miles with 66,000 feet of elevation climbed.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Beautiful Morning

 A beautiful bluebird morning to skijor the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center!

Gorgeous day! Wonderful trail! Incredible skijor partners!

We spend most of the outing near and above 11,000 feet elevation on these trails. As you see above and below, the views from this high are absolutely stunning!

Hovering Jack & Rudy with an awesome panorama of the Rocky
Mountains ahead and to our right.

The views in the prior photo were so nice that we did two laps on this section of trail :)

Almost the same location at the prior photo but Jack & Rudy have
switched positions for this lap.

Come along for a video view into the gorgeous morning. Jack & Rudy were having a great time opening up the throttle on fast trails for this bluebird morning!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

If you recall from this season and last, Rudy has become known for his patented "high arching rodent dives" off trail. He has the perfect form you see from rodent diving foxes. Well, until today, all of Rudy's rodent dives have been for rodents. Today, though, he had another target for his swan dive... Jack!!!!

Incoming! Silly Rudy with Jack as the target for today's rodent dive!
Jack had stepped off trail to roll a snow angel in the deep snow until
incoming Rudy appeared :)

Silly, silly Rudy. Although Jack is smaller than Rudy, he's certainly bigger than a rodent! What was silly Rudy thinking?!?!? Jack did put him "in his place" for rodent diving at him :)

Back to the trailhead and look at the happy, happy trio getting ready for 'end of run' treats:

Smiles all around. Such patience from good Jack & Rudy knowing
Zorro gets his treat first!

A beautiful morning for a 9 mile skijor with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 92 days on the trails covering 747.4 miles with 65,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Catch the Groomer

 Jack & Rudy zooming along as we were first tracks on the freshly groomed trail!

Zooming! Wheeee!

I had a unique route in mind for our outing this morning. But, when we got to the trailhead, Jack & Rudy had other plans. First, they wanted to wrestle while I attempted to put my skis on. When I put a stop to the wrestlefest, they decided pre-run snow angels must be in the plans instead:

My skis are lined up. I am ready to go...
"If we can't wrestle, then we'll roll instead!" demonstrates the
silly kids.

Once I got the goofballs upright, it was time for a unique outing on a variety of conditions.

We started the day in the backcountry and found ourselves breaking trail in 15+ inches of untouched snow for one stretch of the outing!

Trail breaking Jack & Rudy with impressive snow troughs
behind them!

After an aerobic stretch in the backcountry, we dropped onto a quiet and snowpacked road. There are only a handful of houses to be reached on this road, so it is safe to skijor when snowpacked and not run into cars.

Flying along the quiet & snowpacked road.

After the interesting jaunts in the backcountry and snowpacked roads, we dropped onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. We then got to play one of Jack & Rudy's favorite games: Catch the Groomer. The groomer was out on the trails just ahead of us and we had fun continually catching the groomer, stopping to give the groomer a head start and then catching the groomer again. Jack & Rudy are faster than a groomer on flat, downhill or gradual uphill trails. Eventually the groomer got to a wide point in the trail where he could stop and wave to us that it was ok to pass. 

Catch the Groomer! Wheeee

Of course, if we caught the groomer, you know what that means! It means we were first tracks on the newly groomed trail just behind the groomer. Come along as Jack & Rudy top 24 MPH skijoring the freshly groomed trail. We did not know we were going to catch the groomer at this point yet. Zoom.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to the trailhead to enjoy 'end of run' treats with retired Zorro. Cute shot of Jack who is the "big kisser" in our pack and loves to give out affectionate licks.

"Ready!" says focused Zorro.
"Lick, smack!" performs kissy Jack.
"Just waiting my turn!" adds mellow Rudy.

A little bit of everything for Jack & Rudy on this morning's outing - breaking trail, snowpacked roads and freshly groomed trails! 9.3 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 91 days on the trails covering 738.4 miles with 64,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Finish Trot

 When the human stops for "no apparent reason"... :)

"Bring it on little bro!" proposes play bowing Jack.
"Bringing it!" declares 'never back down' Rudy.

Technically, I had a reason to stop - I needed to adjust my sunglasses. But, Jack & Rudy saw "no apparent reason" to stop and, as a result, decide to wrestle to determine just whose fault it was that we stopped in the middle of the trail. When there is a reason to stop (typically turnaround points), Jack and Rudy will roll snow angels waiting for the slow human to turn his skis around. But, "no apparent reason" to stop brings out wrestling, not snow angels, from the goofy kids. Oh those three year olds :)

When I was ready to go (slow human :) we did two very fast laps around Baldy Mountain. There was just enough fresh snow for me to feel comfortable letting Jack & Rudy floor it on steep Baldy. Here we are flying along during our first lap:

Lap 1: Zoom!

Second lap had Jack & Rudy switching sides. Second lap had the same result: Zoom!

Roughly the same location as the prior photo.
Switch positions, still zooming.

Come along and watch the fast & wild fun on Baldy from the first lap. Jack & Rudy LOVE to open it up on this particular trail. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After 2 laps on Baldy, we dipped into the backcountry and then dropped onto the fast & wide Sally Barber Mine Trail. Once again, it was zooming Jack & Rudy:

Wheeee!

We had a super fun group trot to finish the morning's outing. Nancy and Zorro met us on the road near where they parked the Jeep. With enough snow on the road, I was able to keep my skis on. Zorro lined up next to his brothers and we all did a gentle (retired Zorro speed :) trot back to the Jeep. 

Yay! Zorro trotting alongside Jack & Rudy for a short jog back
to the Jeep!

Zorro is ALWAYS ready for 'end of run' treats, sometimes I have to remind Jack and/or Rudy about the finale event :)

"Just give all the treats to me, I'm ready!" declares always focused Zorro.
"La la, la la la land!" from those silly kids :)

2 laps on Baldy, 1 lap on Sally Barber Mine and a wonderful little trot with Zorro to end the day: 9.1 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 90 days on the trails covering 729.1 miles with 63,900 feet of elevation climbed


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Fresh Tracks

 Jack & Rudy chilling in the snow off trail at our turnaround point of the morning:

"Aaahh, cooling off in the deep side snow!" demonstrates the
happy kids.

We started this morning's outing on a lesser used but very wide trail. I was thrilled to see we would be laying fresh tracks in 1-2 inches of fresh snow on this trail. Jack & Rudy, on the other hand, were thrilled to see they could roll snow angels in the untouched snow before we got started. Silly kids!

"Rub a dub dub!" says the silly kids.
"Uh, excuse me, can we get going?" I asked :)

Once I finally got my partners upright and going, oh boy did we have fun on this trail! Fresh tracks out and back!

Catching air as we lay fresh tracks on the way back with our
"fresh out tracks" to our left. Wheeee!

After laying fresh tracks on that fun side trail, we dropped onto the trails of Gold Run Nordic Center and found ourselves first tracks on the recently groomed speed track!

The airborne kids making full use of a newly groomed trail!

What happens when Jack & Rudy are first tracks on a groomed speed track? Well, we topped 23 MPH skijoring this morning. Come along for a peek into the fast & fun groomie zoomie!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, to end the day we transitioned onto the narrow Upper Flume single track trail. It was single file jogging to end the outing:

Trotting along the single file single track. Lead on Jack :)

Back to the trailhead with elder Zorro. Does anyone remember who gets the 'end of run' treats first?

"I DO! I DO!" declares Zorro :)
"Me second!" adds happy Jack.
"Chilling, waiting for third serving!" says mellow Rudy.

Fresh tracks to first tracks to single file jogging - all in one outing! 8.4 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 89 days on the trails covering 720.0 miles with 62,900 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Views

 Nothing says happiness like a Siberian Husky with a face full of snow!!!

"Aaahhh, pure pleasure!" says Rudy with a face full of snow.
"I agree, let me dunk my head in the snow next!" adds approving Jack.

It was a day full of great views from the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. There was a cool layer of clouds being illuminated by the morning sun with the snow capped mountains highlighted in every direction. Here's a fun wide angle shot of the clouds, sun and peaks:

Jack & Rudy zipping along with a nice view of snow capped peaks
to our right.

At one point we get to a stretch with awesome endless views of the Rocky Mountains:

Jack & Rudy still zipping along the trail as a stunning panorama of
the rockies unfolds to our right.

Onward we continue as we are now flying by the Hallelujah Warming Hut with more snow capped peaks in the background:

Zoom, zoom (that was Jack & Rudy's theme all day).

Trail conditions were absolutely perfect this morning with a light layer of new snow atop groomed terrain. With temperatures below 10 F, Jack & Rudy were ready to go on forever. Come along and watch a minute of our endless galloping fun. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

At one point, I paused the team momentarily to decide whether we should go right or left at a fork in the trails. Well, I stopped... :)

"You stop, we 'stop, drop and roll'!" declares the snow rolling goofs.

Even back at the trailhead for 'end of run' treats with Zorro and the mountains were still provided cool views:

Full attention from the trio but notice the profile of another peak
in the upper left of this shot.

We only had time for a short outing, but Jack & Rudy sure made use of all the time we had out on the trails! 7.9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 88 days on the trails covering 711.6 miles with 62,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Kids

Oh those silly three year old kids starting unauthorized "tag & wrestle" on the trails this morning:

"Hey bro, let's wrestle!!!!" says play bowing Rudy.
"We all know I can take him!" adds Jack glancing back up at me before
accepting Rudy's challenge :)

Jack may be smaller than Rudy, but he is also more wily and can certainly flip Rudy in a game of wrestle. Big Rudy, on the other hand, only has one basic wrestle move, the lunge. Either the lunge works or Rudy misses and gets flipped by the wily Jack :)

Aside from unauthorized trail wrestling, we had a great time skijoring around the Sally Barber Mine this morning.

We did two laps on the front side of the mine - a fast and wide trail. Zoom!

Flying along the front side of Sally Barber Mine.

In between the laps on the wide front trail, we did two laps on the narrow Trail of Tears backcountry connector. As you can tell by all the snow on the trees, it has been snowing almost every day recently. We have not had any big dumps, but a few inches a day will still add up. As a result, the backcountry trails have been getting narrower from daily snow. This morning, we could only fit single file on these trails. Still a great time jogging along narrow backcountry terrain:

The usual "single file configuration" - Jack in lead.

After 2 laps on the front and 2 laps in the backcountry, it was time for a final lap on the lesser used, but still wide backside of Sally Barber Mine:

Zooming again on the backside of Sally Barber Mine. Wheeee!

Today's video highlight: a fun section of the Sally Barber Mine Trail as we start out cruising along a straightaway, then cut left & right around two corners and then finally put the pedal to the metal on the next open straightaway. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Fun, fun day - let's tell Zorro all about it:

"We had a blast!" says happy Jack.
"Cruising day!" adds chilling Rudy.
"Sounds like 'end of run' treats are in order!" suggests focused Zorro.

Some fast time on wide trails and some technical time on narrow trails: 8.1 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 87 days on the trails covering 703.7 miles with 61,600 feet of elevation climbed.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Laps

Entertaining and flirting with curious onlookers along the trails this morning :)

One of many curious onlookers to entertain today.
Rudy is such a flirt. Notice how he's backed off the gangline a bit as he
is looking at & flirting with the skier on the side of the trail.
Meanwhile, it's a consistent "onward" from Jack :)

We skijored three laps around Iowa Mill at Baldy Mountain this morning. The first lap was "fast & fun" on the front side of Iowa Mill:

Zooming along!

The second lap took us on a lesser used trail on the backside of Iowa Mill. The first picture above is from that lap. The third lap took us on the front side of Iowa Mill again. Third lap same as the first? Almost:

Pretty much the exact same location as the prior photo.
The only difference? Well, Jack & Rudy have switched positions.
Switched positions, same result: zoom :)

Jack & Rudy really love to open the throttle on fun Baldy. Come along for a fast & fun skijor minute from the first lap of the morning. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Passing by the historic Iowa Mill THREE times did not go unnoticed by Jack & Rudy. You cannot pass by the same building three times without at least one "stop, drop & roll":

Our third pass by Iowa Mill and Jack & Rudy declared,
"Enough, we HAVE to stop, drop & roll at least once!

Funny moment on our second lap (when we were on lesser used trails). Jack did one of his "Moose, Must Exit Trail Here" moves and drifted into the deep snow off trail. I always pay attention to Jack's moose detector as it is very accurate. I quickly turned to scan the forest with Jack and did not notice at first that Rudy originally missed Jack's moose declaration. Suddenly, as I was scanning the trees with Jack, Rudy got the memo and came launching off trail to join in the search for moose.

Jack & I scanning the trees for moose.
"Wait, what? Moose?!? Here I come to help!" declares 'late to the game'
Rudy suddenly launching himself off trail to join Jack.

Despite Jack's intensity, we never spotted a moose. They are very camouflaged when in thick trees. Oh well, it was entertaining for the kids to smell and scan for moose anyway :)

Finally, such focus back at the trailhead to share end of run treats with retired Zorro:

Such focused attention!

A series of three fun laps on steep Baldy Mountain: 7.2 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 86 days on the trails covering 695.4 miles with 61,000 feet of elevation climbed


Monday, February 15, 2021

26 MPH

Our annual tradition: topping 26 MPH skijoring! Zoom!

Zooming Jack & Rudy as the GPS clocked us at 26.3 MPH. Wow!

As I said, it has become an annual tradition. We typically top 26 MPH skijoring once or at most twice a season. Today was the day Jack & Rudy topped 26 MPH for the 2020/2021 skijor season. We had hit 25 MPH once before this season and had hit 23 and 24 MPH regularly. I kept waiting for the 26 MPH BOOM to happen and this morning was it. Look at that beautiful trail in the photo above. We were first on the freshly groomed trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center and temperatures were just under 10 F. What happens with a perfect trail and wonderful temperatures for Jack and Rudy? Well, 26 MPH!!!

When we got to the trailhead, I was thrilled and astonished to see we were first on the groomed trail especially given that it is a holiday Monday! Jack & Rudy saw the fresh groomie zoomie and decided to do some serious pre-workout stretches to get ready to zoom! Of course, their stretches are, as with everything they do, quite comical:

"Rolling snow angels gets all your muscles and joints ready to go!"
demonstrates the pre-run rolling goofballs.

How about a video clip of our 26 MPH sprint. Here we go flying along the highest elevation trail at Breckenridge Nordic Center. Great high elevation views and astonishingly fast Jack & Rudy :) If your volume is up high, you'll hear a boom at about 35-36 seconds into the video and see Jack & Rudy glance right. It was just one of the "avalanche booms" from the nearby ski resort (they use dynamite for avalanche mitigation). You'll note that Jack & Rudy are quite used to the avalanche booms as it only gets a quick glance in the boom direction from them and they do not even break stride.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

It wasn't just the high elevation trail, we were first on the freshly groomed trail at mid-elevation too:

The hover huskies laying first tracks at mid-mountain.

In fact, it wasn't just high and mid mountain, we were first tracks on all the low elevation trails we traversed too! What an incredible way to spend what we expected to be a busy holiday Monday on the trails!

Whipping around the corners at low-mountain as we are still
first tracks on the groomie zoomie! Wheeee!

Zorro isn't going to believe we were first tracks low, mid and high on a holiday Monday!

"Really? Cool! You three sure hit the jackpot today!" surmises elder Zorro.
"We did, we did hit the jackpot!" declares the happy kids.

A fast, first tracks day all over Breckenridge Nordic Center: 10.2 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 85 days on the trails covering 688.2 miles with 60,000 feet of elevation climbed.