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Saturday, January 29, 2011

A tale of two worlds

Making it onto the trails in time for sunrise motivates me every morning. But, it's getting harder. Sunrise is ratcheting one minute earlier each day right now. I pedaled like a fiend this morning, and K and I barely made it up high in time for the show.

After sitting together in the complete silence enjoying sunrise, we headed up even higher, where the crystal clear topaz skies with snowy mountains on the horizon wowed me again.

K was full of vigor, ready to gallop hard the whole way. Alas, I think that it's good that snowbiking is *slow*. It's so hard to push tires through snow that I feel like a slug most days. I think that's good for K because she's forced to travel at my slow pace while she continues to get stronger.

On our ride, I finally spotted a classic "K track". If you see a track like this, you know who made it!

After I rode with K, I headed out solo on my snow bike, visiting an area that I've eschewed because of my fear of the snow depth on the return leg of the loop. As I rode up the south side of a ridge, I mentally ridiculed myself for worrying because the hillside was almost completely clear of snow. I became convinced that snow depth would not be an issue on this ride.

I surveyed the views from the top of the ridge and then hopped on my bike to descend the ridge's north side. Oh my. The snow was nearly knee deep in the shadiest areas. No other humans had traveled on the trail this winter so it wasn't packed down the slightest bit.

However, two mountain lions had hunted along the trail some time in the past few days. They walked steadily in some sections, and then they'd explore side gulches or hillsides before returning to the trail. I'm guessing that these tracks were left by a mother and a large kitten.
My "easy" ride took a turn toward an "epic" ride, as I struggled to propel my 4" wide tires through heavy wet snow. I was exhausted beyond words, stopping to feel sorry for myself every 15 minutes or so. I ate extra food and drank extra water but it didn't increase my horsepower.

Eventually, I made it home but it was a mighty battle. I must admit, however, that I love having only myself to depend on when I'm out in the wilderness. Even if I'd had cell phone reception (ha!), no one could have driven to my remote location to save me. I was on my own.

Fortunately, food and rest replenished my muscles. The whole pack took an evening hike, enjoying every minute of the inexorably lengthening day.

It was another tale of two worlds. Out in a sunny meadow, the Duo frolicked in tall golden grass.
As the sun sank lower the sky, the world took on its dawn and dusk glow as the Duo raced each other.
Then, a two headed dog appeared on a boulder, one head black and the other chocolate.

Before long, we descended toward a shady and snowy forest. Out of the warm sun, the dogs started romping with a frantic intensity that surprised me. I have not seen K run so fast since early last summer.
R lured her with a long stick, hanging it out to the side to convince her to chase him.
Soon, K caught him, and clamped her jaws on the stick. Victory for the recovering underdog!

19 comments:

  1. I LOVE that picture of them on the boulder together! They really are a striking pair!

    I'd have been pushing the bike back! lol

    When Lilac first started developing SLO, it looked like she was growing a new toenail out of the bottom of the old one. A lot of times it starts by breaking or splitting nails, but that wasn't the case for us. If you think R might have it, I'd definitely ask. There are things you can do to help, like adding some vitamins and fish oil to his diet. Sometimes it helps, although in our case it didn't. It's not a big deal for us, we just manage it and bandage up her foot to keep it clean when she breaks a nail. Her nails are hard as rock, too! Much harder than the other dogs'.

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  2. Young lady, you made me tired just reading about that epic bike struggle. I can imagine the sense of accomplishment you felt when you were done, though.

    The Duo are two lucky dogs, to have all that room to run at their disposal.

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  3. Ok mom now feels like a sissy for whining about 30 min on the elliptical at the gym. You guys rock!

    It's Colorado the bestest place ever to live! Down where we live it was almost 70 yesterday, in January! Of course Tuesday they are saying 3. :-(

    Wags!

    Mr. Nubbin'

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  4. Every day I come here and every day I am WOWED too!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

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  5. How wonderful to see K enjoying life and being so energetic.

    And you ... you are amazing. Taking those tough trails on your own. Wow.

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  6. The two headed dog was especially beautiful! I don't think it would hurt you to be just a little more cautious sometimes about your personal self! Just sayin'.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

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  7. I love the two headed dog photo! They are so beautiful.

    Kisses,
    Emma Rose

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  8. Another vote for the two headed LabraDuoMonster!

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  9. The mythical two headed dog does exist ! Next weeks cover of the National Enquirer ?

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  10. WE had an incredibly warm day yesterday and the valley is almost devoid of snow, while we have thinned greatly. But you can still hit deep pockets on north facing slopes. (we live south facing).

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  11. K and R are having such a wonderful time! Luv the shot where they both have the big stick!

    You are funny wanting to be where no one can rescue you! Mom's laughing. She's given others gray hairs doing that kind of thing ;)

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

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  12. Coming to visit you this morning, is such a treat. Were breathing deep and taking in every little breath of fresh air. We are closing our eyes and reminising at the splendor.
    Thank you for inviting us into your world. How we would love the engergy of your pups.. How we would love to see your sunrise and topaz sky, the tracks,,,, the mighty tracks.
    love
    tweedles

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  13. There's nothing that brings me more joy than watching dogs play - I can just hear all the grunts and barks as they romp about. The 2 headed dog pic is cute - definitely made me look twice!

    Congrats on your return home- that sense of accomplishment is like none other.

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  14. I really like the focus on the racing duo in the grass - wonderful! Also, the two headed dog shot! That camera is working overtime. Your action shots are incredible. Nice weekend here - but more cold in forecast.

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  15. It's so terrific to see K back to her full vigor, playing with silly R. And, for the record, I think you should turn that three-toed snow print into your online avatar ... for our beloved K, the three-toed girl.

    You could make cards out of that image too and sell them as an animal rescue fundraiser.

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  16. I don't know which photo to comment on! I think I like the stick play the best but also enjoyed the first photo of the sunrise. Ooh Aah...

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  17. Great stick action photos! I can just envision them romping about. I like the 2-headed dog pic too!

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