Monday, January 31, 2022

Keystone Again

Another fun, fun day skijoring Keystone Gulch Road, right guys?

"Yes!!!!!" agrees the happy, happy kids.

We skijored Keystone Gulch Road recently and, in that post, I was describing how rare it is for us to be over in Keystone to skijor. Well, here we are two weeks later and on Keystone Gulch again! It just happened that we had to be on the other side of the county for a second time this month. Well, when chores dictate, we'll use Keystone Gulch Road whenever we have to be that way. I cannot imagine another outing on Keystone Gulch this season; but I also never imagined two such outings in the same season! Come along for the photo & video highlights.

The lower portion of Keystone Gulch Road doubles as a service road for Keystone Ski Resort. As a result, you get a nice wide trail with plenty of snowmobile tracks to soften the terrain for fast going. When Jack & Rudy really get going, they become so aerodynamic. Check out the aerodynamics with their ears in this cool shot:

All four ears tucked in tightly to avoid any drag! Smart & fast guys!

Eventually this path transitions from a "snowmobile used service road" to an actual ski run on Keystone Ski Resort to connect the base of two lifts. This section of the trail is groomed daily for ski resort operations. Well, Jack & Rudy know what to do with a groomed zoom track:

Zooming along the fast & wide sprint track.

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. Here we go, go, go! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Despite fast going in the prior video clip, you'll notice Jack's ears are not as aerodynamic tucked in as the prior photo. Rudy, on the other hand, is the aerodynamic speed master and has his ears tucked in tightly for most of the video. What was keeping Jack from tucking his ears? Well, sometimes you want to listen in on the activities going on around you. In this case, we were skijoring in between the base of two lifts and Jack seemed to have his ears up to listen to the nearby people and lift operations. Nosey kid :) But, he was right to be nosey:

"Hey, a ski lift! Look at those silly people riding up. Why not ride up
behind a sled dog instead?
" asks curious & nosey Jack & Rudy.

Yet another fun, fun day to go report to retired mentor Zorro. I have 'end of run' treats in my hand, everybody ready?

"Check! Me first!" says cute, focused Zorro.
"I see them, I seem them!" adds locked in Jack.
"Where, where? I'm over here!" declares Rudy.

A beautiful day for a nice long skijor out & back on Keystone Gulch Road: 11.9 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 75 days on the trails covering 612.8 miles with 58,050 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, January 30, 2022


Hi! Bye! Coming through! Thanks for holding your dogs!!!

A polite group of skiers pausing to hold their loose dogs so that Jack,
Rudy and I can cruise on by! We love good people!!!!

We love when people are responsible and courteous on the trails! So polite when a group sees us coming (at "Jack & Rudy speeds") and they pause to hold their loose dogs so we can proceed on by. Not everyone knows it is polite to hold your dogs from jumping into the middle of our skijor configuration, sigh! But, this group was great. Notice that Rudy is more interested in flirting with the people than acknowledging the dogs. That is cute Rudy's "people loving" personality :)

For today's skijor, we'll take you on a tour of a bit of history near Breckenridge. Come along for the highlights.

Highlight One: zipping by the remnants of an old mining cabin in what was once the mining town of Preston in the 1800s.

"Not enough walls to move in, keep going!" says Jack & Rudy.

Highlight Two: a leftover huge wheel from a belting system that was part of the Jumbo Mine. It may not look big in the photo, but this belt wheel is about 15 feet tall!!!

Snow covered belt wheel to our right.
Jack & Rudy zipping around a corner without interest in the belt wheel :)

Highlight Three: stopping to take in a view of the remnants of the old Jessie Mine in Gold Run Gulch (one of the most lucrative mines in the area back in the 1800s).

Obviously I am the only one on the team that was into history today :)
"You stopped, we 'stop, drop & ROLL!' declares snow rolling Jack & Rudy.

Ok, so my partners were not as into the historic relics as me. But, they were into the fast & fun trails of Gold Run Nordic Center along the way. Come watch a fun "two pass" video clip from this morning's skijor. Pass 1: first tracks on the freshly groomed trail! Pass 2: topping 25 MPH skijoring. Note Jack giving Rudy a "let's go" look at the beginning of pass 2 until Rudy gets the signal from Jack, floors it and OFF we GO!!! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Nice history for the humans to see; fast trails for the kids to enjoy; end of run treats for retired mentor Zorro to join - something for everyone today!

"I see the treats! Ready!" declares focused Zorro.
"We liked the fast trail much more than the silly history!" adds Jack & Rudy.

Another fast & furious day from with impressive Jack & Rudy: 10.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 74 days on the trails covering 600.9 miles with 57,050 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, January 29, 2022


Rudy was "chilling" at our two breakpoints of this morning's fast, fast skijor outing :)

Rudy chilling at the Hallelujah Warming Hut.
As usual, Jack rolling snow angels to cool off at the warming hut!

Today was a beautiful bluebird morning to get out early, beat the weekend crowds, and fly, fly, fly all over the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. Jack & Rudy were REALLY in a speed groove this morning as we were flying all over the terrain. Zoom!

Flying Jack & Rudy with pretty snow-capped mountains and bluebird
skies to provide additional entertainment!

Cool shot of out-stretched & airborne Jack & Rudy with panoramic views of the snow covered Rocky Mountains to our right. 

Flying! Literally Flying!

You get the theme by now... Flying sled dogs and awesome bluebird morning views:

Flying again! Views again :)

Occasionally we dipped below treeline to skijor amongst the trees. With no panoramic views, we might as well take in the views of impressive running Jack & Rudy. Come along for a video glimpse into the awesome outing. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We took two quick breaks along the way. As I mentioned above, Rudy was in a very chill mood this morning. Jack, as is his lifelong history, of course rolled snow angels at any & every pause on the trail. Chilling Rudy and goofy snow rolling Jack:

"Sometimes you just want to 'chill' during a quick break!" says chilling Rudy.
"Never! Stop, drop and ROLL - ALWAYS!" declares Jack the snow angel master.

Such a beautiful morning, let's go report in with retired mentor Zorro:

"Glad you had fun, glad you came back!" says my favorite retired gentleman.
"So much fun this morning!" adds the patient kids awaiting 'end of run' treats.

Another zipping, zooming day with Jack & Rudy: 11.4 miles traveled with 1150 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 73 days on the trails covering 590.5 miles with 56,250 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Quick Run

Using the "sun & shadows" to capture everyone and everything on this morning's skijor!

The usual: flying Jack & Rudy!
Oh look - me! Using the shadows to show I really am on skis behind
the crazy kids ;)
Poof - using the sun to show the snow poofs flying up behind fast
running Jack & Rudy!

We only had time for a quick run up & down Baldy Mountain this morning. Well, Jack & Rudy clearly "got the memo" as they were all business towing me as fast as they could up, down and around the mountain. 

Nice shot using the sun poking through the trees to show impressive Jack & Rudy along with a nice view of the mountains in the distance in front of us.


Another nice use of the sun through the trees to capture the fast flying kids zooming along the trail:


Come along for a nice extended video to see just how much fun it is to skijor Baldy. We are cruising along the trail to start the video. About 45-50s into the clip and we approach a busy intersection of trails. I am (trying to) slow us a bit as we cruise through the intersection. Then, once through, I put my skis back together and off we go FLYING along the trail again. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Now that's the way to get the most out of a quick morning run, right guys?

"Yep, I'm ready for 'end of run' treats already!" says focused Zorro.
"You bet! What fun!" declares ecstatic Jack.
"Yum, yum, yum!" adds tongue slurping Rudy.

As I said, a quick (but very fast & fun) outing this morning: 5.8 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 72 days on the trails covering 579.1 miles with 55,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Great morning to get out on the trails before the crowds! Right guys?

"I'm giddy with excitement & pleasure!" exclaims giddy Rudy.
"Great indeed, but what a silly younger brother (Rudy)!" adds cool Jack.

We did our usual "mix of trails" this morning near Gold Run Nordic Center. The location of the nordic center is such that we can do a few laps around the backcountry on more technical trails before eventually dropping onto the easy & fast trails of the nordic center. A really fun mix for all of us :)

Zipping along in the backcountry on well packed trails with
plenty of side powder (my) safety!

Today's video highlight is the fun you see in the photo above. Come along as we cruising at a very high speed along one of our favorite backcountry trails. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As I said, we eventually drop out of the forest and onto the groomie zoomie nordic trails. Today's "groom result"? Well, the GPS clocked us at a top speed of 25 MPH. Zoom!

Zooming on the groomie zoomie!

Finally, the usual highlight of the outing meeting up with retired mentor Zorro for 'end of run' treats!

"Ready!" declares always focused Zorro.
"Whee - we'll be off in the side powder until our turn!" adds silly Jack & Rudy.

Great day with my super fun skijor partners: 8.2 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 71 days on the trails covering 573.3 miles with 54,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, January 24, 2022

You Said

You said...

"You said 'no wrestling ON trail'! Ha, touchè!' declares 'smarter than me'
Jack & Rudy :)

Smarter than me? Well, yes. The kids were about to start a tag & wrestle fest on the trail when I stopped to tell them, "No wresting on trail!" So, as you see above, the kids jumped off trail and started a wrestlefest. They showed me!

We started the day with actual skijoring on backcountry side trails near Gold Run Nordic Center. The trail was fast packed down the middle (for my right leg/ski) with a bit of side powder for control with my left leg/ski. Wheeee!

Cruising along the nice side trail.

Come along for the video fun to go along with the prior photo. If you watch my skis, you'll see the right "in track for speed" and the left "out of track for control". Most of my weight is on the right leg to go with Jack & Rudy. The left leg is hanging out in the side powder in case I need to shift weight for control. Fun time following Jack & Rudy in the backcountry!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Our eventual goal was to drop onto the fast & groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. What did Jack & Rudy make of my plan? Well, the nordic center is in established moose territory; so....

"We smell moose!!!!" declares moose seeking Jack & Rudy.
We did not actually see a moose; but only the scent (or sight) of moose
can pull them off trail with this much intensity!

We did two laps on the upper most loop at the nordic center before heading down to the trailhead. On the first pass, the trail was slightly used from recent traffic. But, once we came around to start the loop again, it was freshly groomed! This means two things. First, we got to play 'catch the groomer' with the groomer out on the trail in front of us:

Caught the groomer!!! We had to slow to a trot behind the big, slow
groomer until the driver noticed us and stopped to wave us on by.

Second, once on by the groomer, we finished the upper loop to then follow the freshly groomed trail back to the trailhead (the groomer had come up this trail before doing the upper loop). First tracks on a fresh groom? Yep, zoom as the GPS registered our top speed at 25 MPH!


Back to the trail head with retired mentor Zorro. We all know the rules :)

"Rule 1: me first!" says focused Zorro awaiting 'end of run' treats.
"Yep, we know, Zorro first!' adds very patient and well-behaved Jack & Rudy
yielding to their elder!

A great morning for a zippy fast skijor! 9.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 69 days on the trails covering 560.6 miles with 53,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, January 23, 2022


How many goofy kids can you find in this snow angel?

I count 6 legs but only 1 body. Hmmm, that is definitely a truly
conjoined snow angel from Jack & Rudy!!!

Comedy from the comics aside, it was a beautiful bluebird morning to get out on the trails today. The trails were in great shape and the views were stunning. Come along for the ride...

Great bluebird shot of fast moving Jack & Rudy and beautiful views all around!

Rudy the fast shooting cannonball next to Jack the fast
flying missile. Wheeee!

Our last new snow was Friday night, so, naturally, there were plenty of existing tracks near the trailhead. But, once we got out a few miles, the trail was untouched since the Friday snow. Laying fresh tracks in an inch or so of soft powder!

Fresh tracks & zooming kids! What a nice & bright sun too!

Of course, a bluebird morning goes along perfectly with a shot of the mountains and ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from us!

Ski Resort Postcard Shot.
On this busy weekend morning, all the tourists are "way over there" on the
ski runs while we are on backcountry trails all to ourselves! Sweet!

How about a video counterpart to the prior photo. In this cool clip, we start out in a gentle jog as Jack & Rudy are politely towing me around a bend in the trail. Then, once the trail straightens out, we floor it and go zoom, zoom, zoom! If you can take your eyes off Jack & Rudy look up at the beautiful mountain views, including nice shots of the ski resort across the valley. 

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Time for 'end of run' treats with retired mentor Zorro. Jack, is that you? You look like "la-la-land Rudy" perched atop that snow pile and looking at who knows what!!!

A rare day with la-la-land Jack instead of the typical la-la-land Rudy :)
"Silly kids! How about them treats?!?" suggests perfectly focused Zorro.
"Who's the mature kid paying attention today?!?!?" declares Rudy.
"La, la, la!" adds 'out of character' Jack :)

Beautiful morning to skijor for miles and take in the views: 9.1 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 68 days on the trails covering 550.9 miles with 52,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, January 22, 2022


It was 6 degrees F when we started this morning's skijor and colder as we went up Baldy Mountain.

What do Jack & Rudy think of 6F?

"So hot, must roll snow angels to cool our jets!!!" demonstrates the
silly, silly kids.

Obviously 6F meant nothing to Jack & Rudy. The human (me :) on the other hand was dressed in my warmest skijor clothing. I was never tempted to drop & roll myself in the snow to cool off!!!

Back to skijoring, we did some "sunrise laps" around Iowa Mill on Baldy Mountain this morning. This route kept us on the west face of Baldy, so the mountain was blocking the rising sun from hitting us. But, we could see the bright morning sun hitting the east side of the mountains across the valley from us.

A fun part about sunrise skijors is getting a few views of the moon still in the sky:

Jack & Rudy cruising in the shade of Baldy Mountain.
Sun soaked peaks far across the valley in front of us.
A fun little "moon dot" in the upper right of this shot. Hi Moon!

20 minutes later and the same stretch of trail as the moon is starting to fade in favor of the sun.

The moon barely visible in the upper right on this pass along the trail.
Hi Moon, don't go away so soon!

How about a video counterpart of the prior photos. Come along for a glimpse into the our sunrise skijor on Baldy Mountain. We are in the morning shadow of Baldy but, as the video progresses, you can start to see the sun covered mountains across the valley. We also get a cool shot of the "morning moon" in the upper right of the clip for the last 15-20s of the clip. Fun "Sunrise Moon View" :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, back to the trailhead to meet up with retired Zorro as the sun finally pokes itself over the top of Baldy Mountain:

"Moon, right, seen it - how about 'end of run' treats?" asks focused Zorro.
"Cool day! So much fun!" says happy Jack.
"Oh yeah, treats! Coming!!!" adds la-la-land Rudy suddenly realizing
it's worth coming forward into the pack for treats :)

A peaceful sunrise with moon views skijor on Baldy this morning: 7.5 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 67 days on the trails covering 541.8 miles with 51,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Trail Juncture

Trail juncture... Goofy kids... 

Shall we go left, right or "stop, drop & roll"?
Did you know there are three options at every fork in the road: left, right or roll?

The difference between myself and Jack & Rudy at a trail juncture? Human at the trail juncture, "Let's pause to check our 'time on trail' to decide which way to go." Goofballs (or silly kids or cracker boxes or 4 year olds :) at the trail juncture, "You paused! Stop, drop and roll!!!!!" That pretty much sums up the difference :)

From the GPS, our top speed on the trail this morning: 25 MPH. Zoom!

Zippy Zoom! Wheeee!

We had a great morning flying around the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center. With a 1/2 to 1 inch of new snow, the conditions were absolutely perfect. We were not first on the trails after the fresh snow, but were 2nd or 3rd tracks most of the day. With such fast & fun conditions, we made multiple passes on various stretches of trail to get the most out of the outing.

Pass 1: fast going Jack & Rudy with the town of Breckenridge far down to our right.

Zooming again!

Pass 2: flip the order from Jack & Rudy to Rudy & Jack. But, second pass, same as the first: zoom!

Still zooming, still peeking at Breck far down below us to our right.

Today's video highlight is a nice "glide to the finish" of today's skijor with Jack & Rudy. The video might not look like much; but it makes me proud to watch my teammates. Keep in mind that we are approaching an often busy trailhead (busy with people and dogs), so Jack & Rudy need to listen to my commands to slow or accelerate through the potentially busy terrain. Also notice the perfect transition to the narrow finish lane and the perfect STOP on my "wait" command to end the day. What great skijor partners!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Such a fun team, let's report back to retired mentor Zorro:

"I taught them well, huh?" asks focused Zorro.
"We LOVE behaving while zooming!" adds my perfect teammates!

Fun times on fast trails! 9.4 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 66 days on the trails covering 534.3 miles with 50,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


The trails around Sally Barber Mine were VERY hard & fast packed this morning!

Cresting by the historic mine on hard packed snow.

It was an interesting outing around Sally Barber Mine today primarily because I had NO brakes all day long! My usual brake is to snowplow in loose or soft snow or to take myself into deep snow. Well, the trails were hard packed from lots of recent use while the shoulders were punchy from warm days/cold nights. As a result, well, I had no brakes! Good thing Jack & Rudy listen to my verbal cues!

The less popular back side of Sally Barber Mine - hard & fast packed terrain!

The popular, front side of Sally Barber Mine - SUPER hard & fast packed! No brakes today!

Whew, this hard packed surface sure gave my legs a workout!

We did multiple laps up, down & around Sally Barber Mine this morning. Laps often involve stopping and turning around. Turning around often involves goofy Jack & Rudy :)

Turnaround = Roll Around! demonstrates the goofy kids.

Come along for some "hard packed, no brakes" skijoring in today's video highlight. Good thing Jack & Rudy are such good partners and listeners. It's also a good thing we did not run into the one thing that causes them to NOT listen - moose! These trails in are in moose country, so I was on high alert rounding every blind corner as I had no brakes for moose emergencies (except to throw my body down :) Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Whew, that was a fun albeit wild day on super packed terrain. Let's go report in with retired mentor Zorro:

"Glad they kept you alive!" says focused Zorro.
"Hey, we listened and slowed when you asked!!!" reports good, good
Jack & Rudy!

A day of working the human's legs to try and keep under control on super packed trails! 8.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 65 days on the trails covering 524.9 miles with 49,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Keystone Gulch

Watching a chairlift at Keystone Ski Resort from Keystone Gulch Road!

"Interesting! Why not use sled dogs to tow you up instead?" asks curious
Jack & Rudy inspecting the chairlift running people up the mountain.

This morning was brand new for Jack & Rudy as we skijored Keystone Gulch Road at the edge of Keystone Ski Resort. Normally, we are never as far away from Breckenridge as Keystone. But, we had some errands to run on the other side of the county, so found ourselves near Keystone once done with our chores. Well, since we were in Keystone, we might as well skijor Keystone Gulch Road!

Keystone Gulch Road serves two purposes (in winter). First, it is a service road for Keystone Ski Resort to run snowcats and snowmobiles up the edge of the resort with supplies and other jobs. Second, it is a recreation road for cross country skiers and snowshoers. Therefore, it was a wide & snowmobile packed trail for the majority of our outing. Jack & Rudy know what to do on wide & fast packed trails!

Zooming along Keystone Gulch Road.

What is really cool, though, is the upper section of Keystone Gulch. Eventually this road turns into part of Keystone Ski Resort as a trail connecting the base of two different chairlifts. As a result, they groom this section of the road for skiers on the resort to connect between lifts & trails. Well, Jack & Rudy know what to do on a freshly groomed trail - ZOOM!

Flying on by an uphill skier as we are now on groomed Keystone Gulch Road
that is serving as part of the ski resort too!

Today's video highlight goes along with the prior photo - groomie zoomie trail. The clip starts with us around a corner watching the chairlift you see in the first photo. Since we cannot ski up into the lift area, I instruct Jack & Rudy to turnaround. Well, they turn and suddenly it is a groomie zoomie so Jack & Rudy literally take off to sprint the groomie. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Today was the first time young Jack & Rudy have ever been on (or even near) Keystone Gulch Road. I have skijored it once with Max & Zorro in the past (last time we had chores to do near Keystone in the winter :) and I've hiked it a handful of time in summer with Max & Zorro. Well, Jack & Rudy fully approved of Keystone Gulch Road. From fast snowmobile packed to resort groomed, it was perfect. In case you were wondering, the snow in Keystone is just as nice for snow angels as the snow in Breckenridge :)

"Yep, we can 'stop, drop & roll' in Keystone too!" declares the
snow rolling goofballs.

A fun day showing Jack & Rudy some new terrain, right Zorro?

"Ah yes, Max & I loved the occasional trip to Keystone too!" says focused Zorro.
"New terrain, same results! Wheeee!' declares Rudy.
"Hey, don't forget me back here!" adds patient Jack.

A fun & zippy new outing for Jack & Rudy: 7.2 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 64 days on the trails covering 516.5 miles with 48,500 feet of elevation climbed.