Hmm, well it was cold… and then I wimped out

Last weekend I had planned on heading out to Caribou Bluff cabin the White Mountains NRA, but alas the folks I attempted to conscript into coming along all either where too busy doing real work or thought it would be too cold to be fun.  I decided to go anyway and ended up skiing out a little more than half way, 17 miles or so, then decided that this was not such a good idea, and turned around and headed back out.   At the trail shelter the thermometer read -30f, with some of the lower sections noticeably colder. This was not particularly a big deal, its just raises the stakes in case of an accident or other troubles on the trail. I am not too big of a solo cabin trip sort of person, as its pretty boring being in a cabin without people to annoy with my endless babble, so with this combined with the safety worries I decided to bail and turn it into a longish day ski with a heavy pack. It was probably a good call, as it was quite a bit colder at my house the next morning, so the -30f temperatures on the trail would probably have been -40f on the way out. On the upside, I did this trip with stiffer racing skis, and they really rock with a pack on the heavy side – the extra stiffness really makes for better glide and keeps the kick wax on longer.

In the first couple of miles out of the parking lot I was treated to fantastic views of the Alaska range, back light by the rising sun.

In the “less fantastic views” category, just before the the Trail Creek Trail junction, the dogs found several well chewed moose hooves in the trail.

The dogs where quite excited by these trail finds and had to be forcefully prompted to keep going.  Polar was so excited he carried his hoof part for about a mile before I was forced to take it away and ditched it in some deep snow.

Besides the cold and the wind, it was quite a beautiful day – sunny and clear.

The only people I saw where in a low flying super cub who appeared to be headed out to a inholding on beaver creek and flew back out a hour or so later.

The trail is in quite good shape and super hard and fairly fast, given the temperatures.

Besides the moose parts, I also found another interesting trail find – a round fur ball about the size of a softball.  At first I though it a piece of hare fur, but on a closer look it was definitely not hare.  It was near where a musher had stopped, so perhaps someone lost a tassel on a fur hat..

The dogs enjoyed the trip, though by the end Polar was shivering. I think Polar’s days of 30 miles skis with dog packs are limited..

The overflow on the this year on the Wickersham Creek Trail is not bad at all – the spots that have been bad the last could of years are quite tame.

On a temperature related note, I did get to play a bit with a digital thermometer that I picked up a while back. Its supposed to be good to -55f, but alas the display seems to stop working at around -30f.

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