How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! (John Muir)

Yes, some glorious sun this week! With lots of fresh snow, this past week got off to a “deep and steep” start, and finished with a sun-baked skijor in 38 degree temps.  But, as is the norm around here, it cannot last. Tonight and tomorrow’s forecast includes those nasty meteorological words “rain” and “sleet and freezing rain”.

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Both dogs love breaking trail..but this may be a bit much!

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Knee deep..at least it was fairly light stuff.

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Edgar is enrolled in a Focus Skills class…to help him on the trail; ( well, more accurately, to help us on the trail). He was focused on this hike!

We have been trying to get out on skis and snowshoes as much as possible, prepping for an upcoming trip to the wilds of Maine…our ideal weather would be 35 degrees, and bright sun, with a soft carpet of nice white snow on the trails.. Just like we had for a few days on a new local trail network!

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We did have one skijor trip during a pretty heavy snowfall…the way Griff squints as the snow hits his face, thinking maybe he needs Doggles!

So we are at the mercy of the weather gods…24 hours from now, we’ll have a better idea of what the weekend will bring. As the famous explorer Sir Rannulph Fiennes said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”  We have the required gear and clothes, the dogs were born with theirs…so we’ll head out somewhere, and do something, and make some more great memories.

UPDATE…so the rain never caused a problem, the sun came out….40 degrees, for 2 stupendous days!

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Above the water, where we spend many hours in the summer, in the canoe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It was quite warm, so after a drink of water and a cookie, Griff decided that the cool snow would feel nice….

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On the top of the Corps of Engineers Dam….the wind was brisk, but it was refreshing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Празднует возвращение снега! (Celebrating the return of snow!)

Just a short post this week….yes, the title is in Russian. I do not obsess over the Olympics, but do enjoy watching the sports of ski-jumping, hockey, speed skating, and  some Nordic events. I personally have known some  Olympians, and in this crop of athletes is a girl I had in my Brownie troop…have to root for her!

We actually had some snow arrive this week, in the form of 10 inches of light and fluffy stuff. Temps remained cool, but had moderated enough to permit some snowshoeing, skijøring and   kicksledjøring this week.

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Heading down the trail…wondering what is taking me so long ( on snowshoes)

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Edgar’s first time running solo with the sled..a chance to work on some basic commands, customized instruction for him…

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Tried out a new XC center…cold, but a beautiful day. his centre has one long loop ( 3 trails) on which dogs are permitted. No grooming for skate skiing, only the classical track, bordered by loose, soft, snow. We usually engage in classical style, but on the wider skating tracks. That way we don’t get reprimanded for having our dogs run in the ski tracks, and we have an easier time negotiating some downhills (in other words, easier to snowplow!) But we managed nicely, and had no memorable falls, to document on “wipe-out Wednesday”.

 

 

 

QUARRY TRAILS…and Quirky Tails!

The week started off with a brief warm spell…30 whole fahrenheit degrees mid-day, and  a little fresh snow.  Griff was anxious to get out, so off we went, for a short, easy, ski near our home. I was taking it easy with Griff, because he has developed a “quirky tail”…his bodacious curly tail one of his most obvious physical features was somehow recently injured. Perhaps a case of “limber tail” aka “swimmers tail”, or “cold tail”.  (http://www.askavetquestion.com/limbertail.php ). A trip to the vet reassured us it is not broken, and may have been injured while rough-housing with Edgar. Some anti-inflammatory meds seem to be indicated. In any case, it does not seem to bother him at all, and he has been anxious to get out and be active.

The cold weather hit us with a bang again on Tuesday, so it was not until Thursday that we trekked out again.  My sister-in-law is also an avid outdoors-woman, so we took both dogs out, to a local trail that runs along a river that ( in the summer) roars as it rushes over falls and through chasms. This day, it was peaceful and quiet, with beautiful ice formations. I used the trekking lead with Edgar, as he can be a bit more “active”, and my sister in law is not used to hiking with a trekking lead. At first, Griff was a bit unsettled with his not having ME behind him, but he quickly got with the program, and had a wonderful time. Both dogs appreciated the chance to get out together mid-week!

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Aunt Jackie and her Trail Buddies!

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Where is that curly tail?

Friday was a chance to get out skijoring again…our 5 mile recreation path was freshly groomed, so we had soft, untracked corduroy…Griff kept his steady,loping pace, and I only had one wipe-out!

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On trail! Skiing alongside the West Branch of the Little River….5 miles downstream of where we hiked the day before!

The forecast for Saturday involved a messy mix of rain,sleet and snow arriving in the afternoon. So we headed out early, for an amazing trail network located near the  “Granite Capital of the World”, Barre,VT. It was microspikes conditions, 28 degrees, and partly sunny…we saw not another hiker, but the dogs found lots of great wildlife smells! This is primarily a mountain bike center, but in the winter is open, with free access, for skiers and snow shoers.

“The 50 historic quarry sites with their water filled abandoned quarries and evocative quarry ruins provide some of the most unique scenery in Vermont. The dozen or so rock pile lookouts, surprisingly accessible, provide amazing scenic vistas, at times extending almost 75 miles”.

In the summer, the quarries are filled with emerald green water…at this time of year, they are pristine white sheets, and the trails negotiate the rocky cliffs and outcroppings.

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Only about 30 feet down to the water here.

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At Cobblestone Corner

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A LONG way down from here, and long views across the quarry.

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There is railing only on the right side…Edgar didn’t seem to mind, but Griff was not thrilled!

So, as February comes upon us, we look forward to the return of fluffy snow, sunny days, warmer temps, and a very special curly tail!