Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Groomer Fun

Fun "shot from the front" of happy Jack & Rudy towing me on by Nancy to conclude this morning's skijor outing. 

"Hi mom, we had a BLAST today!" says the happy kids.

Today started as a very challenging skijor outing for me. We have had daily temperatures well above freezing and nights below freezing. Well, that means the trails are getting wet in the daytime and then refreezing into ice overnight! We started the outing in the backcountry on what turned out to be icy and very scary terrain. Lucky for me, Jack & Rudy know to go slow on slick trails. So, we took the shortest path possible out of the backcountry and onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center.

But, much to my dismay, the groomer had not been out on the trails yet this morning. While it did groom the trails yesterday morning, the same thing had happened to the groomed terrain: melting to wet/water the previous day and refreezing into ice overnight!

On what is usually a wonderful groomed nordic trail.
All the shininess you see in this photo is ICE! Yikes.

The nordic trail was still usable, just very slick. But, our plan was to do the upper loop of Gold Run twice. The prior photo is our first pass on the upper loop. When we completed the loop, we were THRILLED to see the groomer had started up the loop during our first pass. Oh boy!

Same location as the previous photo.
No shininess, lots of fresh corduroy! Yay!

Now, the groomer had started the upper loop some time ahead of our second pass. It will do the full loop and then return to the clubhouse along the main trail. So, that meant there was a groomer somewhere ahead of us. Jack & Rudy love to play "chase & catch" the groomer. So, after flying around the upper loop once more (now freshly groomed), we started back towards the trailhead. As we came around a corner, there was the groomer! Yay, we caught the groomer!

"We caught it! We caught it! Whee!" goes the fun kids.

I've mentioned in the past, that the groomer driver knows us from years being on these trails. When the trail is wide enough and safe, he will stop and let Jack, Rudy and I pass on by. Jack & Rudy are, of course, much faster than a groomer :)

Perfect kids passing on by at a safe distance and gentle speed. Good boys!

Now let's put it all together into a fun video of today's "pass the groomer". We start out the clip stopped as we had just caught the groomer and are giving it a head start. Then I see the groomer stop and I know the driver is waiting to let us pass on by. So we start and gently pass the groomer and then TAKE OFF on the trail in front of him (the groomer was returning to the clubhouse, so the trail was groomed in front of him too from his first pass). Oh, and a little fun flying by an oncoming skier after we pass the groomer. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to the end of the outing. The kids love flashing their happy faces to Nancy on the side of the trail; but they also love flying on by her to complete the outing :)

"Bye mom - see you at the trailhead!" goes the fast running kids.
The trailhead is at the fence you see ahead and to the left.

From what started as an icy, cautious day to what turned into a fast groomie zoomie! 8.9 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 110 days on the trails covering 975.9 miles with 89,500 feet of elevation climbed.


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