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whitebark
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Joined: 08 Jul 2005
Posts: 1851 | TRs
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PostMon Apr 14, 2008 9:00 am 
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The John Wayne Trail at Hyak still has a heavy cover of snow, 5 feet at least. The spring skiing season is going to last a long time. The road to the Kechelus boat landing is plowed, offering another place to park with quicker access to the cold creek trail.  I saw people on the lake bed kite-skiing, using parasails to pull them along on skis. That's a new one for me. Official grooming of the JWT has ended and the nordic center is closed. I assume that rules for trail usage are now relaxed, meaning for example that you can take dogs out on the trails now. Sno-park permits are no longer needed to park, and passes are not needed to used the x-c trail system above Hyak.  Sno-park permit haters, go crazy!

The reason I mentioned dogs is because I bought Lex the dog a skijoring harness and was anxious to try it out. The "Northstar" sledding harness came from Black Ice Dogsledding Equipment.  This store seems like a good outfit; they sent the harness promptly after I ordered it. You can also buy other skijoring stuff like the towline and waistbelt, but I rigged up my own towline using a leash and bungee cord. My backpack served as the waist belt.

The flat JWT seemed a good place to try out skijoring.  Lex did o.k. on his first outing, pulling hard enough to add some speed but not hard enough that I could get a free ride.  There were some exciting moments when Lex suddenly veered off the trail to chase a squirrel. I had a length of bungee cord on the leash to take up some of the shock, but sometime it was all I could do to avoid a spill. Other times he would halt suddenly--right in my path--to smell some animal droppings or hoof prints. Oh well, maybe I should get an eskimo dog (lex is a shepherd lab mix).

harness.JPG
harness.JPG
skijoring.JPG
skijoring.JPG
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Andy Schmidt
Formerly Fuu



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 211 | TRs
Location: 98133
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Formerly Fuu
PostMon Apr 14, 2008 11:24 am 
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I too tried skijoring this year for the first time.  I got a Malamute-Mutt mix late last summer.  I had a similar experience.   He made the glide last longer but no free ride.   We went to the mtn loop.  The snowmobile tracks were excellent for it.  I found communication to be our major short-coming.  I need to work on some basic commands to smooth it out a bit.
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 4808 | TRs
Location: kennewick, wa
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PostMon Apr 14, 2008 11:33 am 
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Right on Lex!!!  Thanks for the TR Whitebark..I was curious as to when the grooming stopped.

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"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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yew
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Joined: 12 Dec 2005
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Location: Bellingham
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PostTue Apr 15, 2008 12:27 am 
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Cool YouTube movie!

Whitebark wrote:
The spring skiing season is going to last a long time.

It'll be interesting to see this spring what the snow quality will be like.  The quantity is sure there.  Hopefully, there will not be just a lot of piles of crud laying around caked with pollen, twigs, soot, etc..  Maybe it'll be like spring and early summer of 1999.
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