Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The sled dogs were dreaming of a white Christmas....and it happened!

The Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs along with Eric and Catherine wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sobo and Acadia relax by the fire

Sled dogs gathered around the Christmas tree

Christmas Eve Skijoring

Eric skijoring with Sobo and Okemo

Eric and I along with Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs, Acadia, Okemo and Sobo headed out for a seven mile skijor trip on the Northern Central Railroad (NCR) trail in northern Baltimore County. Snow conditions were deep and fairly untracked so the dogs worked hard pulling while the humans worked hard skiing.

Skijoring with Acadia

Acadia loves to make snow angels

This trip marked the sled dogs sixth day in a row that they had worked in harness either pulling the dog sled, giving dog sled rides or skijoring.

Eric wore his new pack since he is in training for our 100 Mile Wilderness ski/dog sled trip in Maine

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fun Days Dog Sledding at Fair Hill NRMA

Fun days dog sledding at Fair Hill NRMA

Eric and I along with the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs have spent two enjoyable days dog sledding at Fair Hill NRMA near Elkton, Maryland with some of our mushing friends.

Calling all mushers!

Calling all sled dogs!

Getting ready to hook up the teams

Ruth and Eric both modeled their "toques" courtesy of our Canadian musher friend, Gino. Eric's hat has been embellished with a Vancouver Olympics pin.

On Sunday, after the Baltimore area received approximately 21 inches of snow, several mushers met up at Fair Hill for a fun run. After a six mile run with fellow mushers (and musher spouses) Linda and Kevin Powers, Ruth and Nick Sands, Jessica and Chris Bannister, and Reggie Brown, the whole gang headed out for a warm lunch. Following lunch, Eric and I headed back for a short two mile skijor session with Acadia.

Teams coming out of the lot

The Maryland Sled Dog Adventures team

Nick and team under blue skies

Three sled dog teams coming up the "big" hill

Wheel dog, "silly" Sobo, takes a mental break
The Powers Pack (Aura, Chinook, Fenway, Kodiak)

On Monday, Eric and I again headed back up to Fair Hill for another fun run with Linda and Kevin Powers, Nick Sands, Reggie Brown, and Mike Uleau. For this run we ran about 6.5 miles. Along the way, we had several "training opportunities" including many passes of other teams, several passes of pastured horses, and a little stretch of plowed road. There is even a video of us during part of our run courtesy of Kevin Powers. While the team was out dog sledding, retired sled dog, T-Bone, had some fun of his own!

Leaving the trail head is always exciting

Heading home is always so much more sedate...

While the team was out dog sledding, T-Bone had a nice walk in the snow

Nick departing the trail head

Nick whipping around the corner: this is when sled dog driving skills come into play

The Powers Pack working hard up the hill

In lead: Acadia and Zoe. In wheel: Sobo and Okemo


video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dog Sledding in Roland Park

A little afternoon dog sled excursion in the neighborhood

The Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs and I just returned from a four mile dog sled run straight outta our dog yard courtesy of the Baltimore blizzard of 2009. The dogs worked hard, on byed just about everything we saw including an off leash dog, nailed their gees and haws, and even picked up our mail from our mail carrier at the top of our hill. Now, I know dogs teams were used to deliver mail in Alaska but I'm not sure a dog team has ever been used to carry the mail in Baltimore, Maryland!

Our dog team picking up the mail

Mushing through your own neighborhood certainly gives one a completely different perspective of the neighborhood.

Coming down Poplar Hill Road

The dogs made a perfect "gee" turn onto Bellemore after coming off Winding Way

Dog sledding down Bellemore

Down the steep hill and through the S-curves

Baltimore Blizzard of 2009

Okemo's snow nose.

Well, it's official. Baltimore is under a blizzard warning. I've lived in Maryland for over ten years and have seen only one other blizzard warning during the storm of 2003. That storm stranded me and my visiting sister, Jennifer Simmons O'Connor for four days. Her flight back to Seattle was canceled, my rear wheel drive BMW wasn't going anywhere, and I only had two sled dogs, Zoe and T-Bone.

Now retired sled dog, T-Bone.

Veteran lead dog, Zoe.

Acadia, Okemo and Sobo romp in the dog yard

Acadia heads out to check out the "back 40"

Here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC, we're up to five sled dogs, one dog sled, two wheeled dog sleds (rigs), one dog scooter, two sets of snow shoes, two sets of cross country skis (also used for skijoring), one set of down hill skis, a snow board, a four wheel drive dog truck complete with dog boxes, and more outdoor clothing, boots and gear than REI. The only thing missing is a "partridge in a pear tree" but I suspect Okemo would have eaten that dang partridge long ago. In any event, my point being, we love snow. Indeed, we live for snow. We purchased a cabin in Maine for the purpose of spending more time dog sledding on snow. In February 2011, in addition to our Maryland dog sledding tours, rides and programs, we'll be offering a very special four day women's only dog sledding adventure: Our Maine Winter Cabin Adventure.

Wheel dog, Okemo, romps around the hydrangea bushes

We don't always know where lead dog, Acadia is going but we know she is going there fast


T-Bone smells snow.

Acadia and Okemo play

Our youngest dog, Acadia, plays with her ballsicle.

Sobo is faster than Okemo

Since 9 am, Baltimore has been under a blizzard warning:

Issued by The National Weather Service

Baltimore/Washington, MD
9:08 am EST, Sat., Dec. 19, 2009

... BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING... ... WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING... WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING. THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE... SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS... HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 12 TO 22 INCHES THROUGH TONIGHT.

* TIMING... SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST BETWEEN 8 AM AND 6 PM TODAY.

* TEMPERATURES... UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE EVENT... LOW TO MID 30S IN COASTAL SOUTHERN MARYLAND.

* WINDS... 15 TO 25 MPH... WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH DURING THE DAY TODAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS... MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL... HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED... STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET... AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

Acadia has something in her sights...

Trees coated with snow

At present (10:40 am), we have about fifteen (15) inches of snow on the ground and the sled dogs could not be more ecstatic (as you can see in the photos). The snow is supposed to continue well into tonight. The truck is packed, the drive way has been cleared (too bad we took our big snow blower up to Maine), and our road has even been plowed once or twice by the good ol' City of Baltimore. As soon as the snow lightens, we'll head out for some Maryland dog sledding (on snow). Stay tuned for photos.

Sobo, both a leader and a wheel dog

I love my fur wheel drive!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter....is about to arrive....big time

Hiking with T-Bone during a light snow fall



While the temperatures here in Maryland have been reaching day time highs of thirty to thirty five degrees in recent days (perfect weather for dog sledding and dryland dog sledding), we've only seen a small amount of snow. Starting tonight that should all change as a massive nor'easter takes aim at Maryland. Here is the Winter Storm Warning:

Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD
3:11 pm EST, Fri., Dec. 18, 2009

... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE... SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS... HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT.

* TIMING... SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 11 PM AND 2 AM TONIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST BETWEEN 8 AM AND 6 PM SATURDAY.

* TEMPERATURES... UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE EVENT... LOW TO MID 30S IN COASTAL SOUTHERN MARYLAND.

* WINDS... 10 TO 20 MPH THROUGH THE EVENT... WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 30 MPH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.

The sled dogs could not be more excited. And it's just in time for a white Christmas.

Zoe plays fetch in the snow in the back yard.

The dogs are ready. Are you???