Sins of the Skijorer

We’ve been able to sneak in some late-season runs this week, with today probably being the last of the season as we’re in the middle of a stretch of 35ish degree F days; the snow is melting, the trails are pretty icy, and it is March 22nd after all.

I usually skijor at a local state park. There are a number of multi-use trails and a number of skiing only trails. I am careful to stay on the multi-use trails, because the last thing I need is for skijoring to be banned there altogether because the other park users complain about how the skijorers are so rude; this park is very conveniently located close to my home and not very busy, so for the most part it’s like having my own private playground.

Today I apparently suffered a major map-reading malfunction and ended up on a ski-only trail I thought was a multi-use trail. And Murphy’s Law being what it is, despite never ever not even once all winter having encountered a park ranger while correctly using the multi-use trails I was stopped by a ranger on the ski-only trail. He was super nice about it, accepted my apology graciously, and pointed out to me where I should be… but I still felt like a kid with my hand in the candy jar. The one time… the ONE TIME I’m on the wrong trail. Woe.

Anyway, I’m mostly confessing to this sin to diffuse any unnecessary moral outrage in case anyone recognizes the trail in this video. Consider me pre-chastened, apologetic for the error of my ways and fully intending never to repeat my offense. But despite putting my shameful behavior out there for all the world to see, I really wanted to share it because for some reason it gives a much better idea of how speedy the dogs can be than the videos from more open areas. Also, I’ve been asked if I’m ALWAYS so dang cheerful and positive as some of the other videos make me appear… well, here’s my angry voice. I admit it’s still not a very ANGRY angry voice, but sometimes Squash does need a verbal kick in the pants to get his head in the game.

Obviously, the trail has seen better days. So even if I were allowed on it, I probably would have bailed. The multi-use trails weren’t much better, so I ended up just going back and forth practicing “come around” and “line out” in the relatively undisturbed snow across a trail-less area. It’s interesting to see how unsure they are when there’s no obvious trail in sight, but they get the hang of it.

We’ll probably be on a bit of a break from mushing for awhile, waiting for the trails to be in shape for scootering. Plus, Maisy nicked a paw on the ice today; just a tiny little cut, no big deal at all, but it means she will need some time off from pulling anyway. I may try some Squash-Pip canicross, depending on how treacherous the streets and sidewalks are around here as the snow melts.

In the meantime, enjoy this sub-par emergency response.

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