Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Cruising by Sallie Barber Mine on what looks like a beautiful morning.

Zipping by the historic mine.

What did I mean by "what looks like a beautiful morning"? Well, it was -9 F when we started our skijor this morning (yes, that's 9 below zero)! What did Jack & Rudy think of such cold temperatures? Well, they LOVED it!

Flying along the backside of the Sallie Barber Mine Trail. Going 20+ MPH
at 9 below zero sure put a chill on my face!!!

Any sign that this was cold to the kids? Ha, not a chance! We did a lap on the backside of Sallie Barber before skijoring the frontside. Doing a lap means a turnaround point...

"Rub a dub dub!" goes Jack rolling snow angels at 9 below.
"WOO! Beautiful morning!" woos Rudy.
Yes, talented Rudy can walk and woo at the same time :)

Any chance that 9 below slowed them down? Ha, no!!! Come along for a fun video clip from today's outing. You'll momentarily lose sight of Jack & Rudy midway through this clip. Well, that's me getting into a tight ski tuck and driving the skis hard so that I can take the tight left in the trail at Jack & Rudy's speed! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Okay, so any impact of 9 below? Well, yes, the wimpy human (me) cut the outing short to preserve the human. I felt 9 below even though Jack & Rudy thought it was a lovely day! Short runs still get end of run treats :)

"Ready!" announces focused Jack.
"Silly wimpy human, we barely broke a sweat!" adds cute Rudy.

A wimpy human dictated 5.6 mile outing with 450 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 75 days on the trails covering 650.1 miles with 58,850 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, January 29, 2023


It was an invasion of the red Siberians on the trail today as Jack & Rudy made some new friends!

"More reds!!!! Cool! Play with me!!!!!" goes play bowing Rudy.
"Hmm, you seem cool. Maybe not all reds are cuckoo!" says Jack to
his new red friend.

We all love Rudy to death; but it's safe to say the world is not prepared for two Rudys. Jack & I were thrilled to meet up with 2 mellow reds on the trail this morning while Rudy tried his hardest to bait them into his "zone" :)

Okay, friend party aside, it was a very interesting and entertaining skijor this morning.

We started on a lesser used backcountry trail and found a few existing tracks amidst a pretty choppy trail:

Tracks, but choppy tracks. Oh my knees :)

We were a little behind my intended schedule due to the choppiness of the trail. So, we decided to "abandon trail" at one point to reconnect to another network of trails. It was powder plowing in over 2 feet of snow at this point! It was only a short distance of plowing (maybe 50 yards or so) but it sure was an aerobic 50 yards!!!

POW goes the powder plowing Jack & Rudy.
Oh, nice view of Breckenridge Ski Resort on the mountains across
the valley from us.

After the last two photos, you are probably thinking we had a very short distance skijor today. Not to fear, I had plans... The reward for the powder plowing above was to get on a frequently used backcountry trail. With frequent use, this trail is well packed and quite smooth.

A frequently used, thus well packed, backcountry single track.
We are gaining speed and mileage now!

Then, it was onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Now here's where we picked up today's mileage :)

Flying, literally FLYING, on the fresh groomed nordic trail!

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo and you'll see why we still got over 9 miles of skijoring in today despite the rough initial conditions. Top speed in this zippy clip? 24 MPH. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Interesting day: choppy trails to breaking trail to packed trail to groomie zoomie to an invasion of the red Siberians. What fun, right guys?

"Great! Glad they were mellow reds!" says happy Jack.
"I guess I'm in a class by myself!" adds cute Rudy (who could not
be more correct in that statement :)

Today's skijor tally: 9.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 74 days on the trails covering 644.5 miles with 58,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, January 28, 2023


The "flirt & fly" kids, Jack & Rudy, putting smiles on the faces of all the skiers we zoom on by on Baldy Mountain!

"Hi... Bye... Coming through! Made you smile!" says Jack & Rudy as
the fly on by this entertained skier watching us.

It was a beautiful morning of fresh snow with upwards of 9 inches as you got higher in elevation. With lots of fresh snow, we like to get out on steep Baldy Mountain for an entertaining skijor outing. We skijored 3 laps around the historic Iowa Mill on Baldy. Jack & Rudy wanted to show their appreciation for the snow on our second pass by Iowa Mill :)

"Woo, I approve!" says wooing Rudy.
"Rub a dub dub, what great fresh snow!" goes snow rolling Jack.
Yes, Rudy is blocking most of Jack, you can see his upside down legs
which can only happen if your are upside down rolling snow angels :)

Enough woos, back to skijoring. Come along for Jack & Rudy's favorite activity on Baldy: flirt and fly. We start out flying along the trail. Then we round a corner and find some oncoming skiers to entertain. The skiers often pause to watch awestruck and smile or cheer as we zip on by. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Oftentimes the skiers do not necessarily stop as we come on by, they simply smile as we all keep going. Jack & Rudy understand trail etiquette so well...

"You are on the left, so we'll take the right! Coming through!" says
the polite kids letting this skier continue as we pass on by.

The smart kids will take whichever side of the trail makes sense. I do not have to say anything, I just glide behind in awe myself :)

"Ok, you are on the right, we'll take the left!" says the smart kids.

Finally, Rudy won "king of the mountain" at the trailhead as I prepared to hand out end of run treats!

"I'm king of the mountain!" declares Rudy high up on a snow wall.
"I just want the end of run treats!" says happy Jack.

Great flirt & fly day with fresh snow on steep Baldy Mountain: 6.8 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 73 days on the trails covering 635.4 miles with 57,600 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, January 27, 2023

Moose Bed

Jack & Rudy inspecting a moose bed we found next to the trail this morning.

A moose bed, you ask? Basically the large indentation in the snow a moose leaves after laying down.

Yes, Jack & Rudy can fit in a moose bed with plenty of room to spare.
Moose have big butts :)

Moose bed aside, we had a zippy day on narrow and wide groomed trails this morning.

We started the day on mini groomer trails. Basically, a snowmobile towing a grooming sled the width of a snowmobile is a mini groomer.

Catching air in the mini groomer track. Wheeee!

Now come along for a fast & fun skijor video in a mini groomer track. But, notice that there is barely room for my parallel skis and virtually no room to snowplow if I want to slow us down. It takes a lot of trust in your partners to "floor it" in such interesting terrain. I have complete trust in Jack & Rudy, such great partners!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After zooming around the mini groomer trails for about 5 miles or so, we transitioned onto the wide (snowcat) groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Wide & groomed = petal to the medal!!!

Flying on the wide groomed trail as we are shaded from the morning
sun by the mountain behind us.

Okay, that prior "shade shot" does not do the wide groomed trail justice. So, we'll just go a little further along until we can turn a corner into the morning sun. Now this is a nice shot of the wide & groomed nordic trail :)

Catching air on the wide groomie zoomie.

Of course, all this zooming around the groomies means you really need to cool your jets at any stop along the way...

"Ah, rub a dub dub, cooling the jets!" demonstrates the snow rolling goofs.

Finally, there was another dog at the trailhead so everyone come in close for end of run treats - we do not share these hard earned treats :)

"All for us! We hauled you all over the place!" says the fun kids.

Zooming groomie day: 10.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 72 days on the trails covering 628.6 miles with 56,400 feet of elevation climbed

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Keystone Gulch

Flying along Keystone Gulch Road this morning. Wheeee!

Impressive Jack & Rudy flying along.

We do not skijor Keystone Gulch Road very often as it is not close to home like most of our other trails. But, if we ever have an appointment in Dillon or Keystone, then we'll make a stop at Keystone Gulch Road for a fun skijor on this trail.

In the winter, the road is primarily a service road (serviced by snowmobiles) for Keystone Ski Resort. The road mirrors the boundary on one side of the ski resort for almost 5 miles. Eventually it actually turns into a ski run on Keystone Ski Resort. The trail is roped off at this point as you need a ski pass to continue. Here we are at the end of the road before it turns into a ski run (right next to a ski lift). Well, this is a turnaround point, so you know what Jack did. Rudy, on the other hand, was too nosy inspecting the running lift and skiers riding up it :)

"Turnaround, roll around!" goes always snow rolling Jack.
"Interesting. Why not get pulled up by sled dogs instead?" questions Rudy.
Look directly up from Rudy and there is a lift chair with skier in it.

While the road is primarily a service road, it is also used for one short section as an actual ski run to connect the base of two lifts on the mountain. This short section gets groomed and makes for a fun, albeit short, sprint zone. Here we are transitioning from snowmobile service road to groomed ski trail. Notice nosy Rudy has to check out all the lift operations and skiers to our right. Nosy kid!

"Hey, anybody want to hear my woo?" asks nosy Rudy.
"Groomed ahead, let's go!" says all business Jack.

So, here we go for a fun video clip putting the story all together. We start skijoring along the snowmobile service road. Then, about 35 seconds into the clip, we come upon the ski resort junction. Jack & Rudy slow to hear instructions from me and inspect all the activity to the right. Once on the groomed track, though, it's pedal to the metal from the kids. Finally, a short sprint distance later and it's back onto snowmobile service road. Fun time!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Out of sight of the ski resort operations again so it is back to zooming along the service road.

Snowmobile tracks to our right but Jack & Rudy would rather run
in the shallow, soft powder to the left :)

Another successful day earning end of run treats!

"That was fun!" declares the happy, focused pair.

Today's tally: 10.2 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 71 days on the trails covering 618.4 miles with 55,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Crest and Go

Cruising by the historic Sallie Barber Mine on this morning's skijor.

Pretty shot of the mine. Pretty shot of the sled dogs from behind :)

This morning's skijor found us doing laps on the backside of Sallie Barber Mine Trail and then laps on the frontside of the mine. The backside is quiet, lesser used and very peaceful...

Zipping along the backside of the Sallie Barber Mine Trail.

The frontside of the trail is very popular for both cross country skiers and the occasional moose. But, it was cold & blustery this morning, so we did not encounter another soul (human or moose :)

Zipping along the frontside - wheeee!

Now, look closely at the prior two photos. Do you notice anything different? Look closely at Rudy. In the backside photo, his ears are tucked tightly to his head for maximum aerodynamics. In the frontside shot, though, notice his right ear is up. Well, Rudy is about the nosiest guy on earth. If he thinks there may be something to flirt with (people, moose, etc) he'll run with the outside ear up to listen and the inside ear tucked for aerodynamics. Talented, but very funny kid! Jack tucks his ears slightly but rarely as tight against his head as Rudy and Jack never has "one ear up & one ear tucked" like nosy Rudy.

Come along for today's video highlight. Watch as we crest on the trail at Sallie Barber Mine and then continue along the frontside trail. Watch as Rudy has his left ear tucked (aerodynamics) and his right ear up (nosy, nosy, nosy) throughout most of the video clip. What a character...

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I thought it was a cold morning but I guess that was just me...

The goofballs rolling snow angels to cool off and giving themselves
a face full of powder.

Back to the trailhead for end of run treats and Rudy thought I was being too chatty instead of dishing out the treats:

"I'm patiently waiting!" says happy Jack.
"Are you going to blab on or hand them out?" asks intense Rudy.

A quick outing this morning to preserve the human in the cold: 6.7 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 70 days on the trails covering 608.2 miles with 54,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Passing 600

Flying, literally FLYING, past 600 miles for the season this morning!

Flying! Look at that freshly groomed perfect trail!!!

We were able to add a new leg to our tours around Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. There is a side trail to the main nordic loop that needs a LOT of snowpack before it is safe to skijor. Well, the snowpack is finally sufficient and Jack, Rudy and I made full use of this trail to add to our outing this morning. What did the kids think of their first run on this section of trail? Zoom!

Cannonball Jack & Missile Rudy showing that they approve
and know what to do with this trail :)

We know that Mondays are a scheduled groom day for Breckenridge Nordic Center to clean up the trails after a busy weekend. But, the groomer does not run at a set time - just "sometime on Monday". Well, we timed it perfectly this morning! We were either first or second tracks on the freshly groomed trail just about all morning long. A fresh groom all to ourselves! Zoom!

Cannonball Rudy, missile Jack, snow poofs behind them and stunning
views to our right. It doesn't get much better than this!!!

Come along for 75 seconds of "pedal to the metal" skijoring behind Jack & Rudy. The kids were crushing it today on the freshly groomed trails. You might notice me slowing us down about 52 seconds into the clip. Well, around the upcoming corner is a trail intersection that is known for having loose dogs and/or tourists standing in the middle of the trail (don't ask why they stand in the middle of the trail, it just happens all the time :). Once I get a clear view of "no obstructions", it's pedal to the metal again. Top speed in this clip: 25 MPH. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course all this super fast skijoring leads to very serious "cool your jets" snow angels at turnaround time!

"Aaaah!" summarizes the expression on both faces :)

I don't know if we've ever had a faster day at the Breck Nordic Center (average moving speed, not top speed). The kids we flying all over the place this morning! What a way to earn end of run treats!

"We zoom, you treat! Great plan!" says the happy, happy kids.

Zooming: 10.6 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 69 days on the trails covering 601.5 miles with 54,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, January 22, 2023


Turnaround entertainment from the comedians, Jack & Rudy :)

Jack's standard entertainment: rolling turnaround snow angels.
Rudy keeps you guessing - it's either woos or snow angels from him at
turnaround time. Today was woos :)

We had a great mix of trails on this morning's fun skijor.

We started out touring lesser known trails in the backcountry. Despite being a bit cold (it was 0 F when we started), it was a beautiful bluebird morning. This is one of our favorite trails to take in the views as we cruise around. We usually get a great shot of Breckenridge Ski Resort and today had one too:

The ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from us
as we cruise along in a shallow layer of fresh snow.

After taking in the views, we dipped into the forest to take a fun single track to our next destination:

Laying fresh tracks in the single track trail. Wheeee!

The final destination was the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Once Jack & Rudy get on the groomie zoomie, they know what to do :)

The hover huskies catching air on the groomie zoomie! Zoom!

I think we'll go back to the view shot for today's video highlight. Come along as we are cruising along taking in awesome bluebird morning views. After rounding a left in the trail, at about 24 seconds into the clip, you'll get the awesome view of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley. Such a stunning and peaceful trail!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Backcountry, single track and groomie zoomie all in the same outing. What fun, right guys?

"We had a blast!" declares my happy, happy partners!

Today's skijor tally: 9.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 68 days on the trails covering 590.9 miles with 52,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Patience Rewarded

Cool shot of Jack & Rudy in sync cruising along the trail at Breckenridge Nordic Center.


Nancy and I were talking the other day about how Rudy has not done one of his patented fox-like rodent dives in a while. Our hypothesis was that the snowpack was not deep enough to warrant a high arching dive. It's been snowing quite a bit lately, so the snowpack is building. We were laughing that there are two character traits Rudy will NEVER outgrow: rodent dives and wooing. Well, we were right - he's back....

"I sense rodents under the snow!" declares hunting Jack.
"Huh? What? Rodents? INCOMING!" joins Rudy back with one of
his beautiful high arching rodent dives.

Hunting for rodents aside, we had a zippy fast day flying around the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. Here's a cool shot of the speedy kids near our high point of the outing (around 12,000 feet elevation):

Cannonball Jack and Missile Rudy FLYING along the fast trail.

Today's video highlight shows my great partners. The clip starts at a turnaround point on the trail. Jack & Rudy had already rolled snow angels (as they do at most turnaround points :) and were ready to restart. But, I had to adjust my headgear and needed a bit longer before restarting. So, come along as the perfect gentlemen are so patiently waiting for me at the beginning of this clip. Then, once I give the verbal release, OFF WE GO! Patience rewarded as we then topped 23 MPH skijoring along this stretch of trail. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We redid quite a few sections of trail at the nordic center this morning (we were going so fast that we were running out of trail so had to keep repeating). Well, here's the standard turnaround photo :)

Turnaround... Roll Around!
"Aaah, feels so good!" declares Rudy.
"Rub a dub dub!" adds Jack.

Thanks for being so polite and patient my great partners. How about some end of run treats?

"You bet! Dish them out!" says the patient again great kids.

Flying around the nordic center all morning long (w/ one rodent hunt along the way): 10.4 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 67 days on the trails covering 581.2 miles with 52,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Rudy 5000

Catching air as we lay fresh tracks "into the rising sun" this morning at Vail Pass!

Cool shot of the hover huskies as the morning sun is peeking
over the mountains ahead of us.

Today marked an impressive milestone. 5 year old Rudy surpassed 5,000 career skijor miles (5004.7 to be exact)! Slightly older Jack surpassed 5,000 career skijor miles last month. It really is amazing to realize that the vast majority of these miles have come in 3.5 years (as before then each was too young to run or doing baby training runs). Quite an impressive career these two professionals are putting together!

Back to today's outing. We started the day laying fresh tracks in Wilder Gulch at Vail Pass as you see in the first photo. But, about 1/3 of the way into the outing, a snowcat passed taking backcountry skiers out Wilder Gulch and then up to Ptarmigan Pass. No problem, that was our planned route too. Fresh snowcat tracks are fun to skijor in as they are soft and gentle to run and ski in. Conversely, frozen or stale snowcat tracks can be very difficult on my legs and Jack & Rudy's feet, so we abort any trail with frozen tracks. But, today's were fresh and soft - what fun!

Nice views in Wilder Gulch as Jack & Rudy share one of the 
snowcat tracks.

Sometimes the kids will share a snowcat track, as above, and sometimes they'll split the trail and take one each. The tracks are too far apart for me to put a ski in each behind them (skiing doing splits? Ouch). So, I'll put one ski in one of the tracks and the other ski in the middle powder. Come along for today's video highlight of skijoring soft snowcat tracks with Jack & Rudy choosing to take one track each. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We ascended Ptarmigan Pass behind the snowcat and then turned around to race back down. I just love this pretty shot of the kids atop Ptarmigan. Notice how the middle snow between the snowcat tracks is not too deep, so powder Jack has chosen to kick up powder in the middle while Rudy is kicking up powder in the soft cat track.

Beautiful shot of the impressive kids :)

Finally, if you ever drive Interstate 70 through Colorado and over Vail Pass, make sure you look for the crazy guy on skis behind the pretty sled dogs. If you are driving East, look right after you crest Vail Pass. If you are driving West, look left just before the crest. Honk if you see us - I'll wave if I hear you (I do hear an approving honk now & then and always wave :)

Interstate 70 to our right - honk if you see us!

Time for end of run treats for these impressive 5 year olds!

"We LOVE it!" says happy Jack.
"All in a day's work!" adds cute Rudy.

Today's skijor tally: 9.2 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 66 days on the trails covering 570.8 miles with 50,900 feet of elevation climbed.

5 year old Jack's career to date: 5,180.6 miles skijored!

(slightly younger) 5 year old Rudy's career to date: 5,004.7 miles skijored!