Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rabbit Ears

Gorgeous bluebird morning for a skijor atop Rabbit Ears Pass!

Gorgeous morning, beautiful trail, flying sled dogs! Wheeee!

We spent this morning skijoring around Rabbit Ears Peak. It is an impressive peak that stands out from just about every viewpoint atop the pass. 

Zipping along Jack & Rudy with Rabbit Ears Peak
in the upper left of this shot.

Come along for the fun video counterpart to the prior photo. If you can take your attention off Jack & Rudy, the mountain upper/left from Jack & Rudy is Rabbit Ears Peak. The two rocks atop the peak are the ears for which Rabbit Ears Peak (and Rabbit Ears Pass) gets its name. Nice view of the peak as we cruise along this great trail.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As we continued cruising along, the peak came into view again head-on instead of to our left:

Jack & Rudy still zipping along :)
Rabbit Ears Peak and its "rock formation ears" dead ahead!

Today's comedy moment from the kids is an interesting conjoined snow angel. Here we have Rudy's head and body with Jack's legs. No Jack body or Rudy legs, just a Rudy body with Jack's legs. Silly kids

Rudy's body with Jack's legs from the conjoined
snow angel sillies.

Back to the trailhead and we were able to meet Zorro and Nancy up trail from the Jeep. Time to line up with Zorro and trot back to the Jeep with our original skijor mentor:

Yay, Love to trot with elder Zorro!!!!

A gorgeous morning with lots of fun views of Rabbit Ears Peak: 7.7 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH

2020/2021 Season to Date: 125 days on the trails covering 1019.4 miles with 85,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Powder Day

A wonderful pow, pow, powder day this morning! What a late March treat!

Jack & Rudy plowing through over 8 inches of fresh powder!

The forecast for overnight snow was all over the map with pessimistic estimates of 1 inch and optimistic estimates of 5 inches. Well, what did we get? Over 8 inches of fresh powder!!! Love when the forecast is wrong in our favor!

We started the morning with a powder run in Dry Gulch. Come along for a fun minute of Jack & Rudy plowing and towing me through 8+ inches of powder. Notice about 30 seconds into the clip and Jack & Rudy slow in unison (but do not stop) to catch their breath for about 10 seconds before flooring the powder plow again. Nice coordinated teamwork for a trail breaking treat in late March.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

My plan was to reward Jack & Rudy for their trail breaking work by eventually dropping onto the trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. I was hoping the groomer got to the trails before us so Jack & Rudy could have a fast "groomie zoomie" treat after their trail breaking work. Success!!!

First tracks on the freshly groomed track. Wheeee!

Jack & Rudy are always good for at least one comedic interlude on every skijor outing. Today's entertainment started with Jack doing one of his "rodent lunges" off trail into the deep snow. Once Rudy saw Jack's lunge, he joined right in with one of his beautiful rodent swan dives:

"Whatcha ya got bro? Incoming!!!!" demonstrates Rudy.

What did the comedians come up with off trail? Well, not a rodent but a large stick. Seriously - a rodent lunge and subsequent dive for a silly stick?!?! Oh those three year olds!

Jack showcasing his "big stick" prize.
Rudy broke off a piece of the stick for his prize :)

Rodent, er um stick, dive over and time to get back on trail. Top speed on the groomie zoomie section of trail this morning? 25 MPH!

The fast kids catching air as the sun starts to break
through the clouds for nice shadow effects.

Back to the trailhead to report the day's antics to elder Zorro:

"No, really, a 'stick dive' - those kids?!?" Zorro consoles me :)
"But you should have seen the size of the stick!" contends Jack.
"Don't knock it until you try it!" smirks Rudy.

A trail breaking powder day followed by a groomie zoomie sprint: 7.5 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 124 days on the trails covering 1011.7 miles with 84,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Passing 1000

Jack & Rudy surpassed 1000 miles of skijoring for the season this morning!

Second year in a row that the 3 year olds have surpassed 1000 miles! Impressive!

Wheeee! 1000 miles and counting.

We went to the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center with the intent of skijoring 10+ miles to fly on by 1000 miles for the season. Unfortunately, the conditions near the trailheads were VERY tracked up and icy from busy weekend traffic. The groomer goes out to cleanup the trails on Monday mornings; but we unfortunately were out before the groomer. But, once we got far from the trailheads, the conditions were much better; enough to open up the skijoring engine:

Jack & Rudy catching air flying along the better
conditions far from the trailhead!

Here we are approaching a fork in the trail. I paused momentarily to assess whether to go left or right. Well, I paused...

"Stop, Drop and Roll!" demonstrates the snow angel sillies.

Despite sketchy conditions near the trailheads, we were able to get in some nice skijoring once we got far away (i.e., not many humans make it this far to overuse the trails). Come along for today's video highlight as we surpassed 1000 miles for the season somewhere along the way in this video. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What do Jack & Rudy think of the 1000+ mile achievement?

"Ready for 1000 more! Let's go!" says the happy pair.

Back to the trailhead to report the milestone to elder Zorro:

"Been there, done that! How about those 'end of run' treats?" says Zorro.
"I enjoyed EVERY single mile!" asserts Jack.
"Piece of cake, we could do 1000 more!" adds 'all business' Rudy :)

Slowed by some sketchy conditions near the trailheads today, but still a long enough outing to surpass 1000 miles for the season: 8.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 123 days on the trails covering 1004.2 miles with 84300 feet of elevation climbed.

1000 miles and counting. How far will we make it before the snow dries up? Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 28, 2021

All Terrain

The "all terrain vehicle" (Jack & Rudy) cooling the engine at a turnaround point on the trails this morning.

"Aahh!" demonstrates the silly kids as we pause momentarily
to cool the engines before starting up again :)

All terrain vehicle? Yep, it was an all terrain morning skijoring with Jack & Rudy. 

We started the morning in a vast meadow following snowmobile tracks. In a few weeks or even days, this snow in this meadow will develop into a solid spring crust allowing us to travel any direction we want. But, for now we stuck to snowmobile tracks for most of the tour in and around this meadow:

Zipping along in the snowmobile track taking
us across the meadow. Wheeee!

Eventually, though, we had to abandon the snowmobile tracks to get to our target trail to take us towards Gold Run Nordic Center. Here is the difference this morning between running in the snowmobile track versus breaking trail to make your own track!

Powder plowing Jack & Rudy breaking trail in
over 15 inches of untouched snow! Impressive.

We only had to break trail for a short distance, but it was still an impressive plow through the deep snow by the powder kids. The result was to connect onto a moderately used backcountry trail:

Out of the deep, 15+ inches of breaking trail, and onto the
established, thus somewhat packed, backcountry trail.

Finally, the reward for all that technical work in the meadows and backcountry? Dropping onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. We were second tracks on the freshly groomed trails this morning!

Catching air on the fast groomie zoomie trail!

The prior photo is cool because of the sun and shadows to showcase airborne Jack & Rudy and the nicely groomed trail. But, our favorite part of the nordic center is a bit before this photo when we are still tucked in the forest. Come along for the fast & wild skijor along our favorite section of groomed trail at Gold Run. Top speed in this clip? 25 MPH! Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Let's go tell elder Zorro about the fun all terrain day!

"I hope they listened! I taught them best I could!" Zorro tells me.
"Hey, we listened! (mostly :)!" replies happy Jack & Rudy.

A fun "all terrain day" for late March: 7.4 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 122 days on the trails covering 995.5 miles with 83,500 feet of elevation cimbed.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

You Said

Jack & Rudy kicking up powder in the morning's 3+ inches of fresh snow! Wheeee!

Wonderful untouched trail of snow in front of us.
Great powder flying up around us. 
Fresh Tracks Fun!!!

Today was another incredible "fresh tracks" morning. We are now on 2 weeks straight of almost daily fresh snow! It's been a great run for the end of March. Unfortunately, this streak is about to end as the forecast only has one day with a chance for snow in the next 10 days. 

With an end to the "daily freshies" in sight, we had to make the most of this morning! We did three different laps in the backcountry before transitioning onto the trails at Gold Run Nordic Center to end the day. Here's a fun shot of the powder kids on our lap through Dry Gulch:

My ski tip in the bottom center.
Jack & Rudy kicking up powder again.
Wonderful trail of untouched snow in front of us!

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. Laying fresh tracks on March 27th, it does not get much better than this!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Once we transitioned onto the nordic center trails, the silly kids decided to start dorking with each other and wrestling and rolling around in the middle of the trail. I separated the goofballs and called a Team Organization Meeting to re-discuss the object of skijoring and point out that we do not "wrestle on trail". I got the usual "Uh-huh, got it!" look from Jack & Rudy. We then started up trail again and the following happened:

The goofs jumping off trail to wrestle in the snow.
"You said 'no wrestling on trail', so we took it off trail!" declares
the smart alecks! 

I then got the goofs back on trail to go over the Team Organization Meeting again and got this from them:

"We did listen! You said 'not on trail'!!!!" confirms
the smart alecks.

Oh those silly kids. But, they sure caught me in my mistake. I did say "not on trail" - I need to revised my Team Organization Meeting points of discussion :)

Aside from the silliness in the prior two photos, do you notice anything else? Well, I said we were on the trails of the nordic center by this point. But, as you see, we were fresh tracks on these trails too! The groomer appeared to have run the trails before sunrise this morning and a layer of fresh snow sat atop the newly groomed trails. As a result, we found ourselves laying fresh tracks our entire outing! Fun!

Laying fresh tracks in light layer of new snow atop
the recently groomed nordic track.

Back to the trailhead to report on the smart alecks to Zorro:

"Kids these days! What to do with them?!?!" Zorro consoles me :)
"Hey, I'm quite proud of how we outsmarted you!" declares silly Rudy.
"Don't forget me over here!" adds Jack.

Fresh tracks all morning with a pair of smart alecks along the way: 9 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 121 days on the trails covering 988.1 miles with 83,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Fast Packed

At the trailhead putting my skis on, "I'm coming Jack!"

"Hey dad, got those skis on yet? I'm ready to go!" asks happy Jack.
"I wish we were going!" adds forward looking Rudy.

We did some fun skijor laps around Sally Barber Mine this morning. 

The trail was fast, packed and wide on the popular front side of Sally Barber Mine:

Zipping along the fast, packed and wide trail. Wheeee!

The backside of Sally Barber gets a lot less usage than the front. But, it was still fast & packed on the back, just a little tighter and narrower than the front:

Zipping along the narrower but still very
fast & packed backside of the min.

Sally Barber is known moose territory. At one point, Jack & Rudy abandoned trail to lock their focus into the forest. We did not actually see a moose, but I know only the "scent of moose" can draw them off trail with this much focus and intensity!

"We smell you, where are you?!?" asks the moose seekers!

Outside of this one momentary "scent of moose" distraction, it was fast & packed skijoring all morning long. Come along for a fun section of trail where we start with a couple of corners and then floor it on a wide open straightaway. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if  no video loads below]

Back to the trailhead and we met Zorro & Nancy around the corner from where they parked. Zorro joined in next to the crew for us all to trot gently back to the Jeep with our favorite retired elder!

A gentle glide back to the Jeep with Zorro by our side!!!

A fast packed fun morning with a little moose entertainment along the way: 7.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 120 days on the trails covering 979.1 miles with 82,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, March 25, 2021


 Love the happy faces on those happy, happy sled dogs!

"We love snow! We love skijoring!" exclaims happy Jack & Rudy!

We were back to our amazing streak of most of the past 10+ days: laying fresh tracks on side trails and then first tracks on groomed nordic trails. What a stretch we have been in with the daily snow!

We started in Dry Gulch and had a fresh tracks party all along this trail!

Whee we go laying fresh tracks in Dry Gulch!

Come along for the video counterpart of the prior photo. Jack, Rudy and I had a blast skijoring the morning's fresh snow. What wonderful late March conditions!!!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Our "fresh tracks to first tracks" sequence was a little different this morning. After fresh tracks in Dry Gulch, we dropped into the trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. But, we found ourselves on the nordic trails before the morning groomer had woke up:

Still laying fresh tracks on the nordic center trails.

But, after doing a loop on the upper nordic trail, look what we encountered. The groomer had woke up and was grooming the trails just behind us!

"Hi!!!!!" says Jack flirting with the smiling groomer driver.
"Nice work!" adds Rudy inspecting the trail that was just groomed
to our right.

After watching the groomer drift off down trail, we repeated the loop we just completed; but, now, we were first tracks instead of fresh tracks on the fast nordic trails. Fun!

First tracks fun. 
This photo is the same location as the fresh tracks photo

Finally, back to the trailhead as I got to spend a moment with my favorite senior citizen, Zorro, while the giggle twins (Jack & Rudy) looked on from the side.

"Thanks for coming to get us!" I am telling Zorro.
"Hehe, haha, tell us when to come down for 'end of run' treats!" adds
the giggle twins.

Another amazing day of "fresh tracks to first tracks" skijoring: 9.9 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 119 days on the trails covering 971.7 miles with 81,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Happy, happy kids at one of our turnaround points on the trails this morning!

"Having a BLAST!" exclaims the happy kids!

This particular trail ended just on the other side of Jack & Rudy, so we stopped to turnaround. Notice that Jack started drifting to the side powder to roll his patented snow angels. But, I was talking and asking if everyone was having a good time and interrupted Jack's snow roll and got Rudy's FULL happy attention!

We started this morning as has been the patten for almost every one of the last 10 days - laying fresh tracks in the morning's 1-2 inches of fresh snow:

Fresh tracks flying! Wheeee!

We have been in this incredible run of being first on the lesser used trails to lay fresh tracks and then first on the newly groomed nordic trails to lay first tracks. Could we continue the daily "fresh tracks to first tracks" run?

Well, almost... It turns out we were second tracks on the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center this morning. "Fresh tracks to second tracks" - that's almost as good as "fresh tracks to first tracks"!

Literally flying Jack & Rudy on the fast groomed track.
Love the "snow poofs" flying up behind these two!

If you look closely in the prior photo, you can see the "skate ski tracks" to the left of Jack of the person on the trail before us. On the other side of the skate ski tracks are dog footprints as this person had a dog with him too. So close to "first tracks" but being second is pretty much just as good!

Come along for a fun combo video from the morning. For the first 30 seconds, you get Jack & Rudy laying fresh tracks along an untouched side trail. For the last 30 seconds, you get Jack & Rudy flying along a fast groomed trail once we transitioned onto the nordic center. Great combination of conditions this morning!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I mentioned I interrupted Jack's snow angel in the first photo above. Well, we had a second turnaround point on this morning's outing. You cannot pause twice and not get snow angels from these two at least once!!!

Rub a dub dub, the snow rolling goofy kids!

Finally, happy to share 'end of run' treats with retired Zorro back at the trailhead!

Such a happy and focused trio!

A fun "fresh tracks to second tracks" outing on what has been daily new snow for almost every one of the last 10 days: 7.6 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 118 days on the trails covering 961.8 miles with 81,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Laying fresh tracks on an early morning sunrise skijor.

Fresh tracks for Jack & Rudy.
Cool orange tinted sunrise clouds.

We had some appointments to make this morning so only had time for a quick & early skijor. How early? Well, we started pretty much exactly at sunrise.

As has been the fun pattern for over the last week, we had a light snow overnight so as to find ourselves laying fresh tracks in the morning's new snow. We should have a few more days of the "daily fresh tracks" before this nice pattern of daily snow dries up.

Come along for the video counterpart of the prior photo: laying fresh tracks in Dry Gulch. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We did an "out & back" on one side trail in Dry Gulch. Well, this meant we had to stop and turnaround. Today's turnaround comedy was Jack tickling snow rolling Rudy :)

"Tickle, tickle!" goes Jack.
"Hehe, haha, that tickles!" laughs Rudy :)

We have been skijoring around and on the trails of Gold Run Nordic Center frequently in this week of daily snow. As a result, we have been laying fresh tracks near the nordic center and then finding ourselves first tracks on the daily groomed nordic trails. Well, the groomer tends to go out around 9am most days (give or take 30ish minutes). So, with a sunrise start this morning, there was no chance of a first tracks counterpart to our fresh tracks start. Or, so we thought...

Well, WOW, to our surprise the groomer went out at sunrise this morning too! It's as if the groomer knew we were going to be out early and wanted to preserve our "fresh tracks to first tracks" streak!

Whoa, first tracks on freshly groomed trails despite a sunrise start! Wow!

Fun thing to notice in the prior photo. Look at Rudy's ears: left ear tucked for aerodynamics but right ear up. Typically Rudy has both ears tucked when we are going really fast as he is quite the aerodynamic pro. But, in the prior photo we are skijoring in well populated moose territory. I'm convinced Rudy's "outside ear" is up as he is listening for moose as we traverse this established moose territory. No reason to keep the inside ear up to listen for moose so might as well tuck that one in for partial aerodynamics :) Funny kid.

Back to the trailhead to report yet another "fresh tracks to first tracks" surprise this morning!

Amazing day, now let's get to those end of run treats!

Quick sunrise skijor: 4.3 miles traveled with a top speed of 22 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 117 days on the trails covering 954.2 miles with 80,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, March 22, 2021


Fresh Tracks Monday on the trails this morning! Wheeee!

Laying fresh tracks in 2ish inches of new snow in Dry Gulch!

We have been in a really nice cycle the past week (and forecast for the upcoming week) where we have been getting 1-5 inches of new snow almost every day. The result? Well, if you have noticed, we have had a "fresh tracks" photo in almost every outing the past week and hope for that to continue through at least Thursday this week! What a nice cycle of Spring snow we are experiencing! Our best section of new snow this morning was 3-4 inches along the Extension Mill Trail!

Laying fresh tracks in 3+ inches along Extension Mill. Fun!

Remember when you were a kid and you always wanted to know if you were taller or shorter than your siblings and/or friends? Well, Jack & Rudy are kids...

Checking who is taller. Looks like Jack, right?

Oh that wily Jack - notice he is on an incline to give himself a few bonus inches over Rudy. Technically, Jack is shorter, but the wily three year old figured out how to win today's measurement contest :)

Ok, "height test" over and back to the fresh tracks theme of the day. Come along for a fun fresh tracks video along a fast section of trail. Jack & Rudy were in a fresh tracks groove!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Wait, what was that at the end of the video? Did we transition onto a freshly groomed zoom track? You bet, after touring through the forest laying fresh tracks most of the morning, we eventually dropped onto the trails at Gold Run Nordic Center and surprisingly found ourselves first tracks on the morning's fresh groom. The result? 24 MPH skijoring - zoom!

The flying kids on a pristine groomed track.

Back to the trailhead to share 'end of run' treats with our favorite retired gentleman, Zorro!

"How'd the silly kids do today?" Zorro awaits my report :)
"Wheee!" adds happy Jack.
"Look who's taller now!!!!" states Rudy.

Another great day of "fresh tracks" to "first tracks", a theme we've been getting a lot lately: 7.6 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 116 days on the trails covering 949.9 miles with 80,600 feet of elevation climbed.