Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Late March Freshies

Handsome boys, great sled dogs! :)

Nice profile of the handsome kids as we paused to let me turn
my skis onto a fun side trail this morning.

We woke to a nice layer of fresh snow this morning. With new snow in late March, we were able to go back to some of the trails that had been drying & icing up before today. One such network of trails was those around the historic Sally Barber Mine. 

Here come Jack & Rudy gliding by the mine as a jealous cross country skier looks on. "Jealous?" you ask? Well, yes, the skier was quite impressed by Jack & Rudy towing me and he said, "Wow, now that's the way to do it!" as we cruised on by. He probably wanted to chat with us about skijoring; but Jack & Rudy were all business and wanted no part of stopping :)

"Hi! Bye! No time to talk, we've got fresh snow!!!" says the 'on by' kids.

We actually made three passes by the mine; but only one pass on the main trail as you see above. With a nice amount of fresh snow, we abandoned "set trails" most of the morning and made our own path on untouched snow in the backcountry!

Rudy blasting through a hump of powder as Jack zips along by his side.
Rudy Powder Boom!

It was a wonderful day to get off trail and enjoy the powder. You never know when your last powder day is going to occur once we get into late March, April and May...

Breaking trail and zipping through the trees. Wheeee!

Come along for a wonderful glimpse into "backcountry skijoring" with Jack & Rudy as we are making our own path in untouched snow on unmarked side trails (only locals know where this trail is located :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun powder day, especially for late March! Yay for Snow! Time for end of run treats with retired mentor Zorro:

"Hey! There's no treats in that hand yet!" declares inspector Zorro.
"The treats are still in the bag! I see them!" states smart Jack.
"Waiting my turn!" adds mellow Rudy.

Abandoning set trails to make our own way in the backcountry in late March! What a treat: 8.6 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 123 days on the trails covering 1042.5 miles with 97,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, March 28, 2022


Our first "spring crust" skijor of 2022. Wheeee!

Using the crust to "make our own path" up, down and around
Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass.

The arrival of the spring crust is always an exciting event. With hot days and cold nights, the endless "off trail" snow gets soft in the afternoon to then refreeze into a firm crust every night. So much fun to use the crust to make our own path and go every which way for miles and miles.

While the arrival of the crust was exciting for all three of us, Jack & Rudy had a second major event for the outing: rodents moving under the snow!!! Spring also means the rodents are starting to stir and move around more than in the dead of winter. At one point, Jack & Rudy drifted off trail after smelling/hearing rodents they were determined to find them under the snow!

"I smell them RIGHT here!" says inspector Rudy.
"No, no, we have to dive & dig!" declares rodent searching Jack.

Rudy was quick to follow Jack's lead as the rodents must have been deep under the snow :)

"Gotcha! Dive & dig!" says Rudy backing up for a rodent dive/dig
into the snow.

Once through the crust and into the snow, it's time so search for those rodents in your holes!

"Where are they? WHERE are they?!?!?!" says the dunk brothers.

Nobody came up with a rodent; but it was still a very fun exercise to dunk, dig and search :)

With the search for rodents over, it was back to skijoring the spring crust. Wheeee!

The hover huskies "doing their thing" atop the wonderful spring crust.

Technically, the crust was still a bit soft in areas. Whenever that happened, we would slow and/or maneuver around it. But, when it was solid, all three of us "got it" and off we went. Come along for a short glimpse into skijoring the spring crust. We can hardly wait for it to firm up a bit more for endless crust exploring!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, everybody in tight for 'end of run' treats including our favorite retired mentor, Zorro:

"We are all READY!" declares the up close fun trio.

Our first crust skijor of the year with a little rodent hunting mixed in for extra entertainment: 9.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 122 days on the trails covering 1033.9 miles with 97,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Catch the Bike

What's that dot on the trail ahead of us?

"What's that dot ahead of us? We MUST go find out!" declares fast
running Jack & Rudy.

I only have time for a quick recap of this morning's fun skijor. But the "catch the bike" section was so much fun that I had to share :)

So, what was that dot in front of us in the last photo? Well, it was a fat bike cruising along in front of us. Jack & Rudy LOVE to chase and catch ANYTHING on the trail in front of them. Put anything in front of us and they will try their hardest to catch it. See for yourself below:

The "dot" was a fat bike as Jack & Rudy have closed the gap and are right
on the heels of the biker to catch :)

This is great to watch live. Come along as this video clip starts with a small dot on the trail in front of us and then Jack & Rudy kick it into fast gear to close the gap until we are right on the heels of the fat biker. Fun kids to play "chase & catch" on the trail with :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Catching bikes ahead of you is a great way to earn 'end of run' treats, right guys?

"Sounds like we earned our treats today!" says Zorro :)
"Whee! That was fun - can't outrun (or out pedal) us!" adds fun Jack & Rudy.

Short outing today but a ton of fun playing "catch the bike" - 7.7 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 121 days on the trails covering 1024.5 miles with 96,200 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, March 25, 2022


Picture perfect shot of Jack, Rudy and the pristine groomed trail at Gold Run Nordic Center!

Picture perfect! :)

Today's blog, as the title suggests, features our favorite retired mentor, Zorro. Every outing, Zorro & Nancy take us to the trailhead to send us off and then meet us at the finish to celebrate a fun run. Unfortunately, we do not get a lot of footage of the "meet at the finish" as trailheads are often busy, crowded, icy, muddy or a whole variety of reasons why a group "meet/greet" finish photo is not always possible. But, today we were able meet the fun old man free of distractions. How fun!!!

First we have a nice shot of Zorro looking on, approvingly, as Jack, Rudy & I glide to the finish:

"Looking good kids, I taught you well!" says coach Zorro.

I always give Zorro a big/loud, "Hi Zorro!!!!" when we arrive. He always appreciates this great interaction we get to conclude the day:

"Hi Zorro!" I exclaimed!
"Hi Dad!!!" happy Z answers back
Meanwhile, Jack & Rudy are finishing the glide to the absolute end of
the trail :)

Once at the end of trail, we get the goofy antics from the silly kids. Zorro taught Jack & Rudy everything they know about skijoring; but he did not teach "daily snow angels". In his skijoring years, Zorro would roll a snow angel a few times a season whereas Jack rolls snow angels EVERY outing and Rudy is right behind rolling snow angels on at least 90% of all outings. This is clearly Jack's addition to what Zorro taught us :)

"Hmmm, I did NOT teach this!" states bewildered Zorro.
"Rub-a-dub-dub, this is my addition to the art of skijoring!" says goofy Jack.
"Just following Jack's lead!' adds silly Rudy.

What fun to get such distraction free trailhead footage with cool Zorro!

Anyway, back to the rest of the outing. Jack & Rudy were in speed mode today on the freshly groomed trails at Gold Run Nordic Center. Come along for a "zippy clip" as the GPS clocked us topping 25 MPH skijoring along this stretch of trail. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, as usual, once we arrive to meet Zorro, we are always able to move out of the crowds and find our own private area to share & enjoy 'end of run' treats!

"I deserve treats for teaching them how to skijor!" declares focused Zorro.
Meanwhile, the silly kids are off playing "King of the Mountain" again
until I get the treats out and ready to serve.

A zippy fast day on the groomed trails followed by a surprisingly quiet trailhead to enjoy lots of "finish photos" with cool Zorro: 8.2 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 119 days on the trails covering 1008.3 miles with 94,700 feet of elevation climbed.


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

1000 Miles

Jack & Rudy are both 4 years old. Today the impressive kids surpassed 1000 miles of skijoring for the 3rd straight season. Quite a feat!!!

"Ready for 1000 more!" says always smiling Jack.
"Woo! How about 1000 more woos?" adds always wooing Rudy :)

Not only did we surpass 1000 miles of skijoring for the season; but today was our earliest date (March 23rd) that we've ever passed this milestone! Our previous "earliest date" was March 26, 2014 with Max and Zorro. I'd say the 4 year olds have officially matured into professional sled dogs!

Back to the day's outing. We did a fun mix of trails by starting in the backcountry and laying fresh tracks in a light layer of fresh snow on single track trails.

Laying fresh tracks on one side trail.

Further along and still laying fresh tracks but now in a narrow single track trail:

Still zooming along :)

After touring the backcountry for a bit; we dropped onto the groomed trails at Gold Run Nordic Center. I knew we needed at least 9.3 miles to surpass 1000 today, so making use of the fast groomie zoomie trails was the perfect addition to the outing to make sure we passed our goal.

Flying kids on the fast nordic groom. Zoom!

Yesterday, we had the excitement of mountain lion + coyote + fox tracks all simultaneously on the trail. What could top that, you wonder? Well, moose tracks upstage all other forms of wildlife tracks, hands down :) Today we came across a pair of fresh moose tracks on the groomed nordic trail. Wow!

Big moose print in the lower center of this photo.
Tons of moose tracks in front of us. Lots of moose tracks to Jack's right
as the moose apparently paused to snack on shrubs to the right.

Oh those distracting moose tracks! Come along for today's skijor highlight as we start being first tracks on the freshly groomed nordic trail. But, seconds into this clip and suddenly there are footprints all over the trail. Who made those tracks? Well, a pair of moose!!!! Watch as Jack & Rudy are a bit distracted by these very fresh moose tracks but keep powering forward. Then, just as the moose tracks exit the trail, we encounter a pair of skiers coming up trail. So, abandon the disappearing moose tracks and go flirt on by the skiers! Fun kids :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Remember that we were first tracks on the nordic trail until the moose beat us to this section of trail. Now, do the math on when the groomer ran this trail (after sunrise) and the moose had been on this trail at most 45 minutes before us (if not sooner). No wonder they were SOOOO distracting to Jack & Rudy - especially Jack, who LOVES to dip his nose in fresh tracks. If your volume is up, you can hear me talking about the moose a bit during the video too :)

1000 miles & counting for the season in addition to fresh moose tracks ON the trail. What highlight to report to retired mentor Zorro? Maybe all of them :)

"Cool! I taught those kids well!" says cool Zorro.
"So much fun today!" declares happy Jack.
"I'm King of the Mountain today!" adds goofy Rudy.

The perfect outing to surpass 1000 miles for the season: 9.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 118 days on the trails covering 1000.1 miles with 94,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

topping 24 MPH skijoring yet another day!

Rudy the missile next to Jack the cannonball. Zip-a-dee Zoom!

We had a blast skijoring around the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center. We were all in a real "skijoring groove" as we were flying all over the place all morning long.

But, at one point, I had to stop the team to make sure what I was seeing on the trail was real. What did I see? Well, THREE sets of different wildlife tracks all going up the trail in front of us. After pausing to inspect, I was really seeing this cool trifecta. In this cool shot we have the following: 1) a set of mountain lion tracks behind & in front of Rudy; 2) a set of coyote tracks behind & in front of Jack; and 3) a set of fox tracks to the far right. Wow! I was hoping the following photo would come out better; but I still had to show it. I have put arrows to show the 3 different sets of tracks on the same trail!

1) Large mountain lion prints behind Rudy (notice the HUGE print at
the arrow MUCH bigger than Rudy's own prints).
2) Coyote prints behind Jack (again, the arrow shows the "bigger than
Jack/Rudy" but "smaller than mountain lion" coyote track).
3) Little bitty fox tracks along the right side of the trail.

This trifecta of tracks made for some very juiced kids on the trail. Eventually all three tracks left the trail (at different points) and we had to inspect the exit path each time :)

"Coyote went this way! Can we too?" asks the coyote searchers.
"Ha, no kids, we are not following coyote tracks into deep snow!" I instructed.

Wow, those tracks sure were entertaining! Once all the wildlife cleared from the trail, we had nothing left to do but floor it and lay fresh tracks in the light layer of new snow all morning long. Wheeee!

Fresh tracks fun!

Now come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. Having a blast laying fresh tracks until we eventually hang a right and reconnect with the more popular "main trail" to continue along. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Mountain lions & coyotes & foxes, oh my! Let's tell Zorro all about it:

"I'd rather hear about that chunk of pork in your right hand!" declares
Zorro totally focused on the 'end of run' treats in my hand :)
"Mountain lions & coyotes & foxes, oh boy!" says Jack & Rudy.

A zippy day with a little bit of wildlife juice to add to Jack & Rudy's tank! 11.2 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 117 days on the trails covering 990.7 miles with 93,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, March 21, 2022


Cresting on the trail at the historic Sally Barber Mine.

Laying fresh tracks in a light layer of new snow as we gallop
on by the mine.

It has been snowing lightly since we got up this morning. As a result, we headed out to the popular Sally Barber Mine trails knowing that the morning's little bit of fresh snow would make the terrain a lot of fun. Much to our surprise and pleasure, we were the first tracks on the morning's fresh snow! 

Whee! Zipping along laying fresh tracks in the new snow!

We skijored multiple laps around the historic mine on both the wide main trail and a few of the single track side trails. Much to our surprise and pleasure again, the only tracks we encountered all day were our own tracks from previous laps! Amazing!

Roughly the same location as the prior photo. The ski (and dog print) tracks
are our own from the first pass by in the prior photo. Fun!

Back to the first pass... Come along for the "fresh tracks fun" in this video clip as we start by leaning into a hard left, then lean into a gentle right and finally floor it on a wide open straightaway. 

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As I mentioned, we made multiple passes by the historic mine. On the final pass, I paused momentarily, expecting Jack & Rudy to roll snow angels before we got restarted. But, no snow angels today, just happy & approving Jack and 'always something to say' Rudy :)

"See, I can stop without the 'drop & roll' - sometimes!" says giddy Jack.
"WOO! Why'd you stop??? I said WOOOO!" adds talkative wooing Ruy.

Oh, and don't worry, Jack did roll a snow angel at one of our turnaround points on a side trail. Phew, his streak of rolling a snow angel on EVERY skijor outing of his life is still intact :)

Done with today's quick outing and enjoying time with the whole pack for 'end of run' treats!

"Pat, pat, me first!" says Zorro poking my leg with his right paw.
"I can see the treats! Ready!" adds focused Jack.
"Need me to woo again?" asks goofy Rudy.

A quick, but fun, outing enjoying the day's light layer of fresh snow: 6.8 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 116 days on the trails covering 979.5 miles with 92,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Flying Reindeer

Rudy the Flying Reindeer!!!!

Nice lift from Rudy the Flying Reindeer!

Rudy has had the nickname "flying reindeer" since he was roughly 6 months old. Why reindeer? Well, he was born on December 29th and he has a red nose. With his birthday so close to Christmas, he is named after Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Why flying? Well, Rudy has an absolutely beautiful running stride and when he gets going, well, he's practically flying as you see above. Thus, Rudy the Flying Reindeer!

Now, Jack is no slouch, he is just barely out of sync with Rudy in the prior photo. Plus, Jack does not tend to get as much lift as Rudy when out-stretched sprinting. On the other hand, Jack is almost always hovering over the trail when in a sprint tuck. See for yourself:

The hover huskies doing what they do :)

Put it all together and you get the following fun video clip. Jack & Rudy topping 23 MPH as they propel me along the great trails at Gold Run Nordic Center. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

At our midpoint of the outing, we had a choice between going right, left, forward or upside down. Jack chose upside down :)

"You paused, I 'stopped, dropped & rolled'!" demonstrates silly Jack.
"He's really my 'older brother and mentor'?" asks cute little Rudy.
Note, Rudy just finished rolling a snow angel himself; Jack just rolls his
for longer given that Jack is the Snow Angel Professional.

Done rolling snow angels and we are once again zipping along the fast trails. Here's a nice piece of history to go along with the impressive sled dogs:

Fast running Jack & Rudy. Wheeee!
The historic Jessie Mine & Mill to the far right - one of the more lucrative
gold mines of the mining heydays of Breckenridge in the 1800s.

Fun day, I'm sure retired mentor Zorro will approve:

"Approved! How about those 'end of run' treats now?" asks focused Zorro.
"Hehe, haha, playing King of the Mountain again!" adds silly Jack & Rudy.

A great "fast action day" on the trails this morning with a cool shot of Rudy the Flying Reindeer along the way: 9.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 115 days on the trails covering 972.7 miles with 91,700 feet of elevation climbed.


Saturday, March 19, 2022


Smiles all around from the happy, happy kids on this morning's skijor!

"Having a great time! Let's go dad!" says the happy pair as they look back
waiting for me and my skis to get behind them on the trail this morning.

It was a beautiful bluebird morning today as Jack, Rudy & I got out to enjoy the bright sun.

We started the day away from well-published trails and found a solo snowmobile track to follow for miles & miles away from any crowds. What a gorgeous start to the day:

Following a solo snowmobile track as the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski
Resort are visible across the valley. All the "Saturday crowds" are way over
there on the ski runs :)

We followed this snowmobile track for quite a ways until it came close to the trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. At that point, we dropped off the snowmobile track and onto the freshly groomed nordic trails. We were delighted to find ourselves to be first tracks on the nordic groom! Wheeee!

Catching air as we are first tracks on the groomie zoomie.

The shade in the prior photo does not do justice to our first tracks delight. So, here you go with a "sun shot" to showcase the perfect groom as Jack & Rudy tow me along. 

First tracks on the groomie zoomie for my and my partners delight!

So much fun footage to showcase! For today's video highlight, we'll return to the beginning of the outing. Come along as we are having a blast cruising in the solo snowmobile track as you also get entertained with the views of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley to our right. So peaceful away from the crowds!!!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Zorro would have really appreciated today's fun. Let's go celebrate the day by sharing our 'end of run' treats with cool, retired mentor, Zorro:

"Me first!" declares cool Zorro.
"Me second!" adds cool Jack.
"Hi Mom - waiting my turn!" says cute Rudy flashing Nancy with
the camera a smile :)

From solo snowmobile tracks to wide nordic trails, what a fun morning: 9.6 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 114 days on the trails covering 963.0 miles with 90,900 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, March 18, 2022


Never at a loss for words Rudy on the trail this morning :)

"Woo! I ALWAYS have something to say! Woo!" declares wooing Rudy.
"Sigh, just wait for him to finish...." says Jack & I (we know, from experience,
that you cannot ask him to 'stop talking' :)

What was always talkative Rudy talking about? Well, I paused to ask if everyone was having a good time today. As usual, I got a glowing smile of agreement from Jack and a wooing burst of happiness from Rudy! At least he's consistent.

Anyway, after two days of clouds and on/off snow Wed & Thu, we were treated to the return of the sun on this morning's skijor. With two days of fresh snowfall behind us, the trail conditions were wonderful and the bluebird morning was awesome. Such pretty photos today...

Zooming along with snow poofs behind Jack & Rudy and great views
along with the bright morning sun!

We were skijoring the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. So, as a result, we were near treeline most of the outing. Once you get up this high, the trees thin and the views are great!

Zipping along again as the panorama of Rocky Mountains to our
front and right is incredible.

Opposite direction from the previous photo (notice the shadows are reversed). Different direction, same result: incredible views of snow-covered mountains all around us1


Of course, all this work towing me around means you need to really roll snow angels to "cool your jets" at the turnaround point of the outing :)

"Ahh, cooling!!!" demonstrates the silly snow rolling kids.

Eventually we had to head back towards the trailhead to finish the outing. This meant coming back down from treeline and into the thicker forest. I love this section of trail in the video. Come along as we are cruising along a wide nordic trail that gently winds through the trees and forest. Such a peaceful trail to glide behind Jack & Rudy!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Done for the day and time for 'end of run' treats with retired mentor Zorro. The kids are in "silly mode" while Zorro is wonderfully focused on me :)

"Ready!" says super focused Zorro.
"Slurp, smack! We can taste them already!" shows the silly slurping kids!

Another fun, fun day! 9.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 113 days on the trails covering 953.4 miles with 90,100 feet of elevation climbed.