Thursday, February 29, 2024


Rudy was leaping off trail all morning in celebration of this leap year February 29th!

Beautiful, high arching swan dive off trail by Rudy.

The only problem with Rudy's leap year celebration? Well, the target of his dives today was Jack instead of the typical rodent swan dives we get from Rudy.

"BOOM, landed on my target - Jack!" says leap year loony Rudy.

This wasn't an isolated incident either. Rudy leapt off trail onto Jack four times this morning!

"Incoming!" goes diving Rudy. I actually thought this was a true rodent dive
at first as Jack has his head dunked in the snow looking for rodents.

But that was not the case as Rudy's target once again was Jack!

"BOOM onto my target, Jack, again!" demonstrates leap year loony Rudy.
The hole in the snow in the upper right was another one of Rudy's leaps
off trail onto Jack. What a loon.

Ok, enough of loony Rudy, we actually did some really fun skijoring today too :) As we typically do at this location, we started the morning in soft snow in the backcountry:

Zipping along in soft snow where we set the trail laying fresh tracks yesterday.

Then it was onto the fast trails at Gold Run Nordic Center. Our timing was perfect once again as we were first on the groomed trail. Look at this beautiful shot of the trail we had all to ourselves:

Fresh Goomie Zoomie! Wheeee!

Jack & Rudy know, of course, exactly what to do with a fresh groomed nordic sprint track. Come along for today's fast & furious video highlight as the GPS registered us topping 24 MPH along the way. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A little further along the nordic speedway and here's a fun shot of Jack & Rudy leading me into a left bend in the trail. I love watching them corner at high speeds!

Catching air while leaning into a left, impressive!

Luckily Feb 29th happens only once every 4 years as "Jack targeting leaping loony Rudy" was a bit much to handle today :)

"Hey, come on, I heard you laugh!" says innocent acting Rudy.
"What a loon!" adds cool Jack.

A fast & fun day with a goofy leaping loon tossed in for entertainment: 10.3 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 95 days on the trails covering 804.6 miles with 77,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Beautiful Morning

 Happy kids towing me to the finish on this morning's beautiful skijor outing.

Smiles all around - we had a GREAT time today!

It was a gorgeous bluebird morning to go play in the new snow that fell all day yesterday. We started the outing in the backcountry laying fresh tracks in a wonderful layer of fresh & untouched snow!

Kicking up powder as we lay fresh tracks in the backcountry!

Now come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. What a beautiful bluebird morning and what a beautiful trail of untouched & fresh snow! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After some fun in the backcountry freshies, it was time to drop onto the groomed trails at Gold Run Nordic Center. We were THRILLED to find ourselves being first tracks in the freshly groomed upper elevation loop!

Fresh groomie all to ourselves!!!

We had so much fun being first tracks on the upper loop that we did it a second time. As is usually the case with Jack & Rudy, they will switch sides if we redo trail or loop. Apparently it is different from each side :)

Roughly the same location as the prior photo on our second pass.
The kids have switched sides to get a different perspective on pass #2!

After we finished the second loop, we then transitioned onto the main trail to take us back to the trailhead, But, first, Rudy got very distracted by rodents under the snow off trail. His high arching fox-like rodent dives are so beautiful!!!

Nice lift Rudy! Wow!
Jack has just noticed what Rudy was doing and he swung back to lunge
off trail with his brother to search for rodents.

Once the search for rodents was over, it was time to open up the throttle again and sprint to the finish. We were no longer first tracks on the main trail; but only a few others had been on the recent groom before us.

Catching air as we start the sprint to the finish.

Finally, what a wonderfully high snow wall the kids found to climb for end of run treats!

"Hi Dad - we are as tall as you!!!" says the happy kids.

What a beautiful morning: 9.7 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 94 days on the trails covering 794.3 miles with 76,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024


It was dumping and blowing snow on us all morning long! Yay for Snow!!!!!

How much? Just come along and see :)

Look at thoroughly snow covered Rudy!!!!
Jack is covered too but his big white tail is blocking most of his snow covered back.

A lot of fun things to notice in the prior photo. First, snow covered Rudy as I mentioned in the caption. Jack & Rudy will regularly shake to clear snow that has collected on their head and backs. But, it was snowing so hard that it would recollect within 5-10 minutes! Second, you can see quite a few big flakes about to hit the camera in the photo. Finally, the "haze" you see going up the trail in front of us is actually actively falling snow. What a great snow day!

Here we are starting out this morning's outing. Again, the "haze" is actively falling snowfall. So fun to skijor in near blizzard conditions :)

Off we go to enjoy skijoring in active snow!

Still shots can never do justice to just how hard it is snowing (and blowing). So, come along for a video glimpse into the start of this morning's outing. You'll see very heavy snow falling around us and the occasional gust of wind blowing snow. Yay for Snow!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Jack & Rudy get quite frisky during blizzards they so enjoy the active snow. Here we are on our first pass by the historic Sallie Barber Mine. I paused momentarily to see if the kids wanted to roll snow angels as they typically do at the mine. But, they wanted to play and roll together in the wonderful new snow this morning. Funny kids.

"Aahhh, let's roll around together!!!" says the frisky kids.

We went up the front side of the Sallie Barber Mine Trail, then down and back up the back side of the trail before finally going down the front side. It was snowing the entire outing; but it started to lighten a little on our final leg down the front side of the trail.

Not snowing as hard (compare the image of the mine with the prior photo)
but sill snowing. You cannot even tell we skijored by the mine just 20 or so
minutes ago as so much new snow had collected in that time!

Here we come on the final leg down the front side and you can barely tell we had laid fresh tracks up this trail only 20-30 minutes prior!

Blasting through newly accumulated powder from our first pass
by this stretch of trail. Wheeee!

Time for end of run treats at the trailhead and Rudy won today's "king of the mountain" competition :)

No, Rudy is not THAT much taller than Jack, he just found a higher point
on the snow wall to perch himself!

What a wonderful romp in fresh and actively falling snow this morning! 7.6 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 93 days on the trails covering 784.6 miles with 75,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Fresh Tracks Monday

Laying fresh tracks in an inch or so of fresh snow atop otherwise fast, groomed nordic trails!

Zipping along laying fresh tracks! Wheeee!

Our plan for this morning was to skijor the upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center as they tend to groom those trails on Monday mornings. Well, the groomer did go out early; but, in between the time the groomer ran and when we got on the trails, about an inch or so of fresh snow fell! So today was a fun time laying fresh tracks in a light layer of new snow atop recently groomed trails. What fun!

We had the chance to go "out & back" on several sections of the upper elevation trails. On any uphill stretch, I would move us to the far right of the trail so that we'd have the center with untouched powder for the way back. The plan worked perfectly :)

Catching air laying fresh tracks down the center of the trail with our
"out tracks" far to the left. Oh, pretty shot of the Kathy's Viewpoint Warming
Hut to our left as well.

Different section of trail, same results: far right on the way up for untouched powder on the way back down! Whee!

Catching air again with our up tracks to the far left and the center with
untouched, fresh snow!

Now come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. Watch as we are having a blast flying along in the morning's new snow! Once you are done, watch again and pay attention to seconds 31, 56 and 59 in the video....

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Did you notice anything at 31, 56 & 59 seconds? My ski tracks are still on the trail but Jack & Rudy's tracks disappear. Where did the kids go? Well, we had 3 rodent diving interruptions on the way up this trail at those three points. Each time the kids jumped off trail to search for rodents under the snow. Silly kids!

This was the dive corresponding to their tracks disappearing off the trail
at the 59 second point of the video. Jack lunged off first to dig for rodents
and then Rudy, of course, followed suit with one of his patented, high arching
rodent dives!

After a little digging into the snow, the kids came up empty but quite proud of their attempts. Just see for yourself:

"That was fun! We love diving for rodents even if we fail to catch one!" says
the happy, happy kids coming back on trail to me after the off trail rodent hunt.

Back to the trailhead and we found a great, tall snow wall to climb for end of run treats! We've been settling for medium sized snow walls a lot lately as that is all that exists; but today was a wonderful nice high wall for treats:

"Climbed, situated and READY for treats!" says the happy kids.

A fun day with the surprising chance to lay fresh tracks almost all outing long! 9.8 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 92 days on the trails covering 777.0 miles with 75,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, February 25, 2024


Look at this beautiful, freshly groomed trail we found to skijor towards Buffalo Park at Rabbit Ears Pass yesterday morning!!!

What PERFECT conditions as Jack & Rudy catch some air zipping
along the freshly groomed sprint track!

Now come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. We begin with polite Jack & Rudy patiently waiting for me to get my skis on. Then, as soon as I say, "Ok guys" off we GO flying along the perfect trail. Wheeee! The kids were as excited to find this fresh groom as me!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As we started out pedal to the metal on this perfect groom track, I was thinking, "The kids are FLYING today, we are going to top 11 or 12 miles easily!" But, then the groomed trail ended after only a few miles and turned into a trail of soft snowmobile tracks. I paused momentarily to decide if we should turnaround and repeat the groomed trail a couple of times or if we should continue onward. Well, I paused....

"You paused! We 'Stop, Drop and ROLL'!" goes silly Jack & Rudy who take
every pause as a moment to introduce some comedy to the day.
You can see the groom track ends just ahead of Rudy and transitioned to a
path of snowmobile tracks.

Once I ascertained the snowmobile tracks were pretty fresh and, thus, nice and soft, I decided to continue onward. Good decision by me as we then had a beautiful skijor out & back in soft snowmobile tracks. Wheeee!

The fun kids keeping the speed going zipping along in soft snowmobile tracks.
While the soft tracks slowed us a bit more than the perfect groom, it was only
a slight decrease in speed :)

After a few miles in the snowmobile tracks and it was time to turnaround and return on the same trail. Since Jack & Rudy already rolled snow angels at my pause above, it was time for a different comedy skit at the turnaround point. How about hopping off trail to search for rodents under the snow?

"DUNK! Where are those pesky rodents? I can smell them!" says head dunking Jack.
"You keep looking there, and I'll face plow over here!" adds snow plowing Rudy.
Despite lots of digging and exploring under the snow, neither came up with a
rodent in his mouth, phew :)

Finally, once back to the groomed trail and it was pedal to the metal again! Zoom!

Nice lift from Jack the cannonball next to Rudy the flying missile!

That was fun, right guys?

"Oh yes, we loved it ALL!" says the happy, happy kids awaiting
end of run treats atop a small snow wall.

A super fast day on the groomed surface and then slowed a little (but still a great time) in soft snowmobile tracks: 10.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 91 days on the trails covering 767.2 miles with 74,000 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, February 23, 2024

Eight Percent

Who's having a great time on this morning's snowy skijor?

"We are having a BLAST!" exclaims the happy, happy kids.

The forecast this morning was "8% chance of snow" (or 92% chance of NOT snowing). Well, when we arrived at the trailhead it was DUMPING snow. The active snow and accompanying wind made Jack & Rudy very frisky and they were raring to go! Here we are 5 seconds into the start of the outing...

This is NOT fog, it is actively falling heavy snow!
You can see one big flake just above Jack's tail about to hit the camera.
All the white speckles you see against Jack & Rudy's fur are snowflakes
as well. 

Here is another look at the dumping snowfall. Usually you can see a bunch of mountains, including Rabbit Ears Peak, from this location. Today, it was very low visibility due to active snowfall instead!

Zipping along what is usually a panoramic view spot; but not today!
You can see a few more snowflakes about to hit the camera in this
shot as well.

We love it when the forecast is wrong in our favor (and our favorite is SNOWING :). The prior two photos do not do justice to just how much it was snowing. So, come along for a video of the outing. With video, you can see all  the snow falling around and on us as Jack & Rudy are truly enjoying the conditions!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We did an "out and back" on trails near Dumont Lake at Rabbit Ears Pass. This meant we had to turnaround at one point. Yep, it was the usual turnaround goofs!

"Turnaround! Roll Around!" goes the snow rolling goofs.

When the snow did let up a bit, we still had fresh snow and wind blown drifts to plow through:

Kicking up powder as we plow through a wind blown drift of snow.

Jack & Rudy really enjoyed today's "active snow skijor" - just ask them :)

"Oh that was FUN!" says the happy kids awaiting end of run treats.
Notice the snowflake on Rudy's red fur by his ear and notice the snowflake
on my neck. It was snowing all outing long - sometimes intensely and sometimes
a bit lighter but snowing the entire outing.

Our favorite kind of "8% chance of snow" - 9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 90 days on the trails covering 757.1 miles with  73,200 feet of elevation climbed. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

New Trail

Laying fresh tracks through a large grove of aspen tress - wheeee!

Pretty shot of the snow covered aspen grove as Jack & Rudy
tow me along.

This morning was our first ever skijor of the Spring Creek Trail in Steamboat Springs. I've known of this trail for years but never skijored it because it is usually very busy and packed. But, there was significant snow overnight and the roads were a mess this morning. I figured the wintery conditions would keep others away while Jack, Rudy and I thoroughly enjoy skijoring in harsh conditions. Well, success, we did not see another soul on our outing until we finished back at the trailhead! Yay!

I knew this trail was popular for cross country skiing. But, what I did not know until this morning is that the trail is closed for elk preservation after a few miles. Bummer...

"We'd like to go find some elk!" states the silly kids wondering if we
are going to climb around this closure gate.

This closure came along way too soon for Jack & Rudy. If we simply turned around and went back, our outing would have only been on the order of 4ish miles! So, instead, we went back & forth redoing a bunch of nice stretches of the trail. It's always fun to reuse the track you set on the way out on the way back!

Tucked tightly into the track we set on the way out during the way back.

Unfortunately for the camera, it was snowing all outing long and the snow was a little on the wet side. As a result, snow & water kept collecting on the camera and leading to blurred footage. I wiped the camera clear frequently; but it got blurry again within a minute or two. So, today's video highlight is snow blurred skijoring behind fun Jack & Rudy. Oh, the gate you see us go by in the beginning of the video is NOT the "elk closure" gate in the photo above. This gate is just to prevent people from trying to drive Spring Creek in the winter. This is a dirt road in the summer open to cars and it's amazing how many people will try to drive summer only roads in the winter and get stuck - thus the gate to keep cars out.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

New trail, same end of run treats fun from atop a nice snow wall:

"That was fun, but wish we'd found some elk!" says the happy kids.

A fun outing but a little disappointing that the "elk closure" gate was so close to the start for our typical skijor outings. Self powered humans, of course, would really enjoy this 4 mile cross country ski trail but Jack & Rudy need a lot more; thus our decision to repeat a lot of the trail along the way: 7.3 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 89 days on the trails covering 748.1 miles with 72,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Bluebird Morning

What a beautiful bluebird morning to take in the views while being first tracks on a freshly groomed nordic trail!

Jack & Rudy catching air with stunning view ahead and to our right.

You might wonder if I ever use the classic ski tracks set on most nordic trails (the two parallel tracks in between Jack & Rudy in the prior photo). The answer is "very rarely" as putting both my skis in the classic tracks makes me a frictionless object with no braking ability. Jack & Rudy are trained to go as fast as they want if they feel no friction from me. So, you can see by the angle of the gangline in the prior photo that I am outside of the classic tracks behind Rudy.

Occasionally, though, I will put one ski in the classic tracks. I only do this on uphill, flat or very gentle downhill grades. With one ski in the track I can shift my weight to that leg and Jack & Rudy floor it. Conversely, I can shift my weight to the ski out of the classic tracks to provide some friction to let my pals know to slow down a bit. Fun teamwork!

Compare the angle of the gangline in this photo to the prior. 
I have my right ski in the classic track for speed and my left ski out of
track for braking & control.

We were flying around the "dogs allowed" trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center and running way ahead of schedule. This is usually the case on these fast nordic trails. As a result, we usually turn around multiple times to redo fun stretches of trail. Everybody ready to do that last fast stretch again?

"Yep! Ready! Let's floor it again!" says the happy pair.

Wait.... What was that last photo? A trail turnaround with an upright Jack & Rudy? Shocking. Never fear, we had multiple turnaround points to redo sections of trail. Most turnarounds were the usual from the silly kids:

"Turnaround! Roll Around!" goes the snow rolling goofs doing their
typical turnaround antics.

Now onto our video highlight from the morning. Come along as we start this clip being first tracks on a recently groomed side trail. Then, about 35 seconds into the clip and we transition right onto the heavily used main trail. As you can see, Jack & Rudy can fly being first tracks or 10th tracks on groomed trails :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

In case the video was too fast behind the speeding kids, here's a cool frame from the video as we are about to transition from the side trail to the main trail:

Flying into the right transition to the main trail perpendicular to
the trail we are currently on. Zoom!

Beautiful bluebird morning with a super bright sun to illuminate our end of run treats party:

"Ready!" says the happy kids from atop a short snow wall.
Wow, that is one BRIGHT sun in the top center!

Another zipping fast day on groomed nordic speedways: 10.3 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 87 days on the trails covering 733.5 miles with 70,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Stick Share

Fun "shot from the front" of the happy kids towing me to the finish of this morning's 10 mile skijor!

Whee! Smiles all around!

As you see in the photo above we finished today's outing on nicely groomed nordic trails (at Gold Run Nordic Center). But, as is usually the case in this location, we started out touring the backcountry before transitioning onto the nordic center. 

Today's backcountry trails were quite narrow due to lots of fresh snow the last few days; but the set trail was still wide enough for Jack & Rudy to fit shoulder to shoulder, yay!

Just wide enough to fit two sled dogs side by side in the backcountry.

Once onto the nordic center, we went to ski the upper Preston Loop Trail. This trail is far from the trailhead and rated a "black diamond" nordic trail, so it does not get a lot of traffic. We found the trail recently groomed with one skier with a dog doing the loop just before us. Not a problem, being second tracks on a fresh groom is almost as good as first tracks :)

Zipping along the recently groomed speed track.

We had so much fun on doing the loop that we decided to do it again. Jack & Rudy will typically repeat a trail twice without balking as they will switch sides to enjoy if from a different perspective:

Second pass on the Preston Loop.
This photo is at roughly the same place as the prior photo.
Second pass, switch sides, same results - zoom!

Now come along for a video highlight from pass two of the Preston Loop. Perfect conditions to zoom, zoom, zoom! Top speed today? 24 MPH.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

As we were about to start our second pass on the upper loop, Jack noticed a large and very tantalizing stick just off the trail. He hopped in the snow to inspect it and Rudy agreed that this stick was very tantalizing. The silly goofs proceeded to jointly drag this stick out of the snow and onto the trail (I later removed it so it would not be in the way of others :)

"Nice stick! We should put this in the middle of the trail for others
to enjoy!
" says the silly stick sharing kids.

After two passes on the upper loop, it was time to take the main nordic trail back to the trailhead. Remember it is a busy 3 day weekend, so the main trail was quite busy with skiers, snowshoers and fat bike riders. Jack & Rudy LOVE to zoom by crowds and put smiles on their faces. I always smile and give a wave to the crowds too :)

"Hi! Bye! Coming through - made you smile!" says the fun kids putting
on a skijoring show for the crowds.

Yet another wonderful skijor outing, so yet another chance to celebrate with end of run treats:

"You have our full attention!" says the focused kids.

A little backcountry touring followed by a lot of nordic zooming: 10.2 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 86 days on the trails covering 723.2 miles with 69,600 feet of elevation climbed.