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Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Poultry Party

Good news for all you anxious skiers.  Brad groomed the lower loops and the road up to the Hamlin Loop, as well as the Hamlin Loop itself.  He says the conditions are "not bad."  Which is at least one step up from bad.  Possibly more than one.
Anyway, he states the road should be good for skating where it is not too badly rutted above the bottom of the Dolph Kuss loop.  So if you got new skis for Christmas...
Happy Holidays to you all out there in Chicken Land.  Enjoy the snow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let It Roll

I just got a call from Hank and he informed me that the entire trail system was "track packed" today.  Translated into what passes for English these days, that means the snowmobiles were run over the length of the trails to pack the snow down, in an attempt to hang on to what we got.

What we Got:  Not too much at the trail head; about three inches of snow, more or less.  Toward the top end of the Hamlin Loop, Hank estimates we got about 10-11 inches.  Hey, it's a start.  Cross your wing tips and hope to cluck we get some more snow soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friends of Chicken Creek Meeting - November 3rd

Notice of Friends of Chicken Creek Board Meeting
Thursday, November 3rd at 4:30pm at the Mancos Public Library  (Community Meeting Room

We will discuss plans for 2011-12 season, brush cutting, new trail, $, updates from Forest Service, election of officers....
and any other agenda items that are suggested

Hope to see you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tonight's the night!

Alright fans, this is it! Don't forget the Millwood Follies are tonight.  Here are some of the fabulous prizes on offer:
  • $50 gift cert P&D grocery
  • $37 gift basket Singing River farm
  • $40 massage from Janice Hall
  • $50 Cellar cuts hair salon gift cert
  • $30 gift cert Dolores River Brewery
  • $40 dinner Millwood Junction
  • $50 gift basket Ska Brewery
This is but a SMALL SAMPLING!

There will be a LIVE auction for three packages including these items:
  • Overnight stays at the General Palmer Hotel in Durango
  • Free passes for the Narrow Guage Railroad from Durango to Silverton
  • Dinner at Ken & Sue's, Durango
  • Tickets to the Bruce Cockburn concert in May
  • Overnight stays at the Doubletree in Durango
  • Dinner at East by Southwest in Durango
And much much more!

Also tons of Silent Auction items, including dinner at the Kennebec Cafe, beautiful local jewelery, sports equipment, musical instruments, coffee gift basket, a pizza party catered for 10, AND MUCH MORE!

Don't you dare miss it...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Have big fun, win cool prizes! Really!

As mentioned in an earlier entry, The Chicken Creek Cross-Country Ski Area will be the organization benefitting from this year's Millwood Follies.
Saturday, April 2
Doors open at 4:00 PM
Fun starts at 5:00 PM

This year Joan Brind'Amour (with some help) is doing an outrageous job of gathering up all kinds of great door prizes and silent auction items.  Here is a sampling:
  • $220 pair of new Fischer skate skis from Pine Needle Mounteering
  • 2 new packs from Osprey Packs, Cortez
  • $1000 septic engineering job from Cap Allen
  • $230 value lunch for 2 and soak at Dunton Hot Springs
  • New Goggles from Kokopelli
  • New set Pyrex bake ware from Slavens
  • $115 new Camelback from Gardenswartz
  • Gift certificates from "The Farm" restaurant in Cortez
  • Gift basket of coffee from Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters
  • 2 Stained Glass window stars from Lalu Stained Glass
  • Gift certificate for full hour massage from Chyrise Bay
  • Enameled Beaded Pin by Marilyn Kroeker
  • Gift Basket from Singing River Farm, soaps, lotions
  • Black on Black signed Santa Clara Pueblo pottery from Picaya Cortez
  • Gift basket from the Beehive in Mancos
  • Gift Certificate from the Absolute Bakery in Mancos
  • Gift Certificate from the Dolores Food Market
  • Handmade necklace by Christie Smith
  • Two day passes for Trimble Hot Springs
  • Handmade Necklace and Earrings by Patty Russell
  • Four Rib Eye steaks, grass fed beef by Burk Beef, Mancos
Crazy, isn't it?
The thing is, there's a lot more!  I'll be updating with another post in a few days as we get more items in hand.  I hope you've saved the date, and please tell your friends.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hurray for Hank

OK, just disregard yesterday's entry.  Hank got out there this morning and groomed all of the Bauer loops, the Rush Connector, one pass around Rush Creek, and a single pass down the road.  He reports the snow is in excellent condition.  Go forth, ski.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicken Creek Update

Some folks are wondering why the new snow wasn't groomed, so let me do my best to explain.  As fabulous as the fresh snow we got was (is), we need always to look beyond the day in which it falls to determine if it will still be there in two days before we get too fired up about grooming it.  Time, equipment resources, and gasoline are all required to make this work.  Almost all of our volunteers have full-time (or more) jobs.  Our equipment is old and cantankerous.  And gasoline is expensive!  So it becomes difficult to justify spending all that time and energy when we know the snow will be gone - or seriously compromised - in a couple days.  The high temperature forecast for tomorrow is nearly 60 degrees.  Already a great deal of the fresh snow is already gone, or in really crummy shape.

So we ask your forbearance in this situation.  No one stepped forward to groom, despite a request to the volunteers.  I would suggest that there are always opportunities for more groomers to join our ranks.  It is a marvel what we accomplish with a small group of dedicated volunteers.  And we are always receptive to newcomers with the time, energy and ambition to offer their services.  Feel free to reply to this entry if you think you qualify.  I'll be happy to contact you and we can include you in our pre-season groomers meeting next year.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Tough Bird

Many thanks to groomers Andy and Tom Y. for spending lots of time and energy freshening up the track at Chicken Creek today.

The following trails received grooming attention today:
  • All of Lower Bauer
  • The East side of Upper Bauer
  • All of Rush Creek
  • The road, up to the top
From the groomer's reports, it sounds like there is classic track set on Bauer, the road, and most of Rush Creek.  The west side of Upper Bauer and spots on Lower Bauer sound like they have some issues with the usual suspects; pine needles, rocks, dog poo, mud, and ice.  So please exercise caution while exercising your booty.

Also, an early "heads-up" for the die-hard Chicken Creek fans out there.  This year's Millwood Follies will benefit the ski area, so please set aside the date of April 2nd.  It's a Saturday night.  We'll follow up with more information.  But please let your skiing buddies know, this is a chance to have a bunch of fun AND help out your favorite cross-country skiing area.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nest Freshened

Good news, skiers. That skiff of snow we got translated into as much as 6 inches of fresh white stuff at the ski area. Our volunteer groomers have been working hard to "refeather the nest" with the new snow, and I think you'll be delighted with the results.

All trails have been groomed, with the exception of Turkey Creek which still needs some work. There is classic track set up to the top of the road and on the Hamlin Loop as well. Tracksetting is a bit spotty, as we had some technical problems with the equipment yesterday.

Skiers are warned to excercise extreme caution on the west leg of the Upper Bauer Loops, as exposed rocks are making skiing there dangerous. A map showing the area of concern begins the blog. PLEASE BE CAREFUL, OR AVOID THE AREA ENTIRELY. Click on the image above for a clearer view of the hazard.
Enjoy the skiing!

Friday, February 4, 2011

In Fine Feather

Groomers Alan and Tom deserve a big round of applause for their efforts on the stinky machines yesterday. Everything got the brush-up treatment and is reportedly in very good condition. A friendly reminder that leashed or harnessed dogs are not allowed on the trails. Take this as permission to gently share this fact with anyone you come across who is tethered to their pooch.

There is a slight chance of some snow over the weekend, and that would be a big help if it came. Do a little snow dance over your omelette tomorrow morning.

Happy skiing

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Snow Provides Nice New Layer

A bit more snow is what we got. 1 1/2 inches at the trailhead and about 3 more up top. A big thank you to Andy H. who groomed out Upper and Lower Bauer Loops Tuesday afternoon. Brrrrr! The thermometer is dropping and looks like some more snow and cold in the forecast. A far cry from last weeks spring like conditions. Feels more like February 1st now. Stay tuned for the next grooming report which hopefully will be in the next day or two. We'd love to keep this bit of snow as part of our base and have it all bond together.
Respectfully submitted by the Chicken Creek Bloggers

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Chicken Gets a Preening

The trails are holding up fabulously. To those of you who missed this past weekend due to previous engagements or due to just thinking the trail is trashed, would have been pleasantly surprised as to the great conditions the trail is currently in right now. Andy and John both did a very professional leveling of Little Bauer, the road to Hamlin Reservoir, Hamlin Loop, Rush Creek, and the Rush Creek Spur. Hank and his trusty shovel went up to the west side of Upper Bauer on Sunday afternoon and covered the very large bare spot that was inhibiting traffic down that hill side. He also spruced up the bridge on Lower Bauer so we don't have to ski on the wood anymore. Thank you for all of the volunteer effort.
We also ask that our skier patrons maintain proper etiquette in trail usage while we endure through this dry spell. We ask that if the trail is too soft and you are post holing that you may decide to not mess up what little trail is left. It takes a whole bunch of effort and resources to level what damage gets done to the trail. We need to maintain the trail for every one's safety.
Also, a gentle reminder that the Forest Service has implemented a ban on ski jouring with dogs, and dog sledding. Please help us ensure this is not violated for every one's safety.
Hopefully, this storm will grace us with some snow to freshen up the area. Think snow everyone.
Respectfully submitted by Chicken Creek Bloggers

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Saturday grooming

Once again our fearless groomer John G. freshened up the upper trails for your Chicken Creek skiing experience. Little Bauer is in great shape from Andy's groom on Thursday and now John groomed all upper trails except the road above Hamlin and Turkey. Should be for some really good fast skiing tomorrow (Sunday) especially in the a.m.
Please remember we have really gained alot of mileage out of that last storm and things are looking pretty good for the most part. Some marginal spots to avoid would be on Upper Bauer on the hills going up to the left. We are hoping to get something substantial out of this next storm. Keep your chicken feathers crossed.
Respectfully submitted by Chicken Creek Bloggers

Chicken Creek grooming report

Yes, Andy H. once again braved the Thursday heat and sun to groom our trails for this up-coming weekend. He made numerous passes over Little Bauer to try and smooth out the existing ruts and post holes, so getting to the upper loops will be of a bit smoother transition for all. We've had an amazing run and have gotten an insurmountable amount of mileage out of our last storm. (Time for another?) We do ask however that we all be considerate of the trail when skiing or walking on very soft snow. Your impact at this point will be crucial to the longevity of our season. There is alot of bare ground out there right now for walking and we are fortunate to live in a place with such and abundance of public lands available for our use.
Chicken Creek Bloggers

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Chicken Still Lives

Yes as the title of this entry states . . . The Chicken does still have some very valid life left in her. Suggested use of the trail would be to use Little Bauer (first right at y or go up the back side left at y, ski 3/4 mile take right) for the time being and avoid the Upper Bauer loop as to a very wide, rocky bare spot on that great hill we all know, love and have taken a spill or two on while careening out of control to the bottom.
The upper trails are still quite skateable and have maintained a fair amount of good coverage. Do be prepared that the trail is icy and fast, the cold evening temps as well as the cooler temps during the day have put a nice glazed patina covering over the whole area.
There is a possibility that Andy may groom this afternoon (Thursday) and the trail will be freshened up for the weekend.
Think snow or moisture or think something good!!!
Friends of Chicken Creek Bloggers

Friday, January 21, 2011

More Grooming for the weekend

Hello Fellow Flock members of Chicken Creek. You'll be happy to know that Barry Rhea groomed two passes on Upper Bauer Loop, the road top to bottom, Rush and Rush Connector, and made one pass on Hamlin. Way to go Barry! Cap Allen braved the coyotes and cows to set a perfect Classic Track from the picnic table, up the road to Hamlin and back to Rush spur. Thank you Cap Allen! Thanks for braving the dark too. It does get quite dark before that moon rises. We are still keeping our feathers crossed in hopes for more snow.
See you skiing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Scratchin' at It's Finest

Hello all in snowy ice land. Andy, our hero of the day, pulled the ginzu around the Bauer Loops just to smooth out the crusty, moonscaped surface incurred by the multiple days of warm temperatures. However, when he talked with skiers that ventured to the higher trails their report was that the trails were holding up quite nicely. But there has been some chicken squawking about getting a nice groom in, for the upper trails on Friday. This will make weekend skiing much more safe for all who choose to partake in Chicken Creeks Nordic experience.
Think SNOW everyone.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How Sweet it is

Your faithful blogger has been called to distant lands on a family mission of mercy, and so I apologize for the dearth of data regarding the ski area.

I do have this tidbit to offer up for your consideration:

I stole a couple hours to ski the Frisco (Colorado) Nordic Center today, and the daily adult trails pass cost me $17.00 dollars. That was for one adult, not a family of 4. Gulp. The gal taking my money (no gun involved) casually claimed this is the going rate for suffering on skinny sticks in the great state of Colorado.

Honestly, I prefer the landscape at Chicken Creek, despite the grandeur of the surrounding mountains in Summit County. Most of the trees have died up there, and the remaining ones are babys. It's like skiing through the back lot at Cliffrose, but with bigger mountains in the distance. Give me Chicken, any day...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cattle trail news

No, we haven't hired James Herriot to write the blog this year, though it might seem that way, given all the critter references lately. But actually he's dead, and no longer writing.

OK, now that we've gotten that clear, here's the news:
John Gilbert, who volunteers lots of time for the ski area, was up skiing this evening when he heard the distressed bellowing of cows (several of which are stranded in the forest up there in an attempt to win a Darwin Award). He reported the location of the cows to the human guardian of the animals, and now, said caretaker wants to get some food and water to the sad sacks of beef.

What this means to you: Tomorrow (Saturday) there may be snowmobiles and horses up in the ski area working to get refreshment to the animals. Please do not hassle these folks, who are only trying to provide aid to their charges and minimize their distress and suffering. Their movements are known to the Forest Service.

We will work this weekend to undo any damage to the groomed trails resulting from the rescue effort. Please be patient and courteous with the wranglers.

Enjoy the snow...

Chuckling at the Chicken

This morning it was ear to ear grins, and even a few chortles and guffaws. The snow is firm but forgiving, and all the terrain now open is in good to excellent condition.

As a general rule, the high-flying cluckers will enjoy the best conditions. Rush Creek Loop, Hamlin, and the road up to the top are simply in superb condition. That's not to say there aren't a few tough spots here and there; there are. But given the fact that everything up there fell at once, conditions are phenomenal. The surface will level out as more passes are made with the groomers. And of course some more snow wouldn't hurt anything at all either.

So light a candle on your chicken alter and pray for moderate amounts of snow. Y'all most have overdone it a bit this last time around.

Upper and Lower Bauer Loops are just fine, despite some traffic. The dogs punch through when it warms up midday, but the track is still really nice.

A friendly reminder: Please don't neglect the donation box at the trail head. We've burned some gasoline smoothing things out and we had some big - capital "B" - Big expenses at the end of last season. Everything you give helps.

Enjoy the skiing this weekend!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome to Chicken World!

A couple of quick notes on the ski area today:
  1. Capp groomed the Bauer Loops yesterday, leaving perfect "hero" snow in his wake, not to mention a new, shiny classic track in perfect position.
  2. Apparently people are trying to find the ski area and coming away frustrated. The problem stems from the fact that the access to the ski area is from the Millwood Road - CR 40. There is NO ACCESS FROM CHICKEN CREEK Road - CR 41. There used to be access from CR 41, but the county stopped maintaining the last mile of that road a couple years ago.
  3. Point of etiquette: Friendly dogs under voice control are allowed on the Bauer loops only. Leashed dogs and ski-joring are not allowed for reasons of user safety; the trails are too narrow and often too busy to allow for safety with leashes and harnesses.
  4. And please, PLEASE, clean up yer pooch poo!
  5. And finally, please remember the ski area is maintained by volunteers with no external funding source. Our funding source is you. Please donate generously to help defray expenses incurred in the operation and maintenance of the grooming equipment.

Enjoy yourself up there!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Terrain Open Now!

With special thanks to our friends in the Forest Service, we now have quite a bit of additional terrain open for your cruising/skating pleasure.

Now open:
Rush connectors
Rush Creek loop
FS Road to the top
Hamlin loop

Dolph Kuss and Turkey Creek are avilable for classic, but will remain ungroomed.

Over the next several days we will be refining the surface on the new terrain and setting classic track.

Anyone see those cows?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cows in the Chicken

A few things to report:
1) There are about 7 cows snowbound in the vicinity of the ski area belonging to Gerald Kopenhafer. These cows have been sighted from the air but not located on the ground yet. They need food and water soon or they will die. If you spot them, please contact Kopenhafer or the Forest Service as soon as possible.

2) Tomorrow we hope to make a start on opening new terrain with the assistance of the Forest Service. So if all goes well we will have good news to report in the very near future.

3) Meanwhile, Hank and Capp did some fine buffing yesterday, creating superb conditions on the Bauer Loops. So enjoy; and keep an eye out for those cows, please. Next Christmas's standing rib roast may depend on it...