Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bye, Bye Thanksgiving; Here Comes Christmas!

Okemo keeps a close eye on the table

As we wave bye, bye to Thanksgiving and hello to Christmas, the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs would like to take some time to reflect on their Thanksgiving holiday which included a trip to their cabin in Maine, some turkey tidbits, two "dry"land (or not so dry given the rain) dog sledding training runs, a Maine lobster dinner (ok, so that was for the humans more than the dogs), some doggy fashion statements including blaze orange vests, and two eleven hour drives.

The Thanksgiving holiday kicked off with the drive to Maine on Tuesday which was one of the shortest drives to the cabin we've ever done. Along the way, we made only two stops: one in NJ to give our cat, Chloe, a sedative (she is not a happy traveler) and one in Sturbridge, Massachusetts to refuel the dog truck and drop dogs.

Arriving in Maine, we found the cabin in perfect condition and immediately fired up the wood stove and Rinnai to take the chill out of the air. We also discovered that the wood stove is very, very, very effective at heating the cabin particularly the loft where the dogs, Eric and I sleep.

There is a reason it's called "stick season."

Wednesday included a shopping trip into Skowhegan, Maine to pick up food and supplies at the Hannaford and some pie baking (and thankfully no pie eating for Okemo). Joining us on Wednesday afternoon were Eric's parents, Steve and Victoria. Wednesday evening we enjoyed a nice roast beef with red wine pan sauce along with some lemon thyme mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving kicked off with several early morning walks to give the dogs (and people) some exercise. Thanksgiving dinner included bacon roasted turkey, prune and sausage stuffing, rosemary (grown in our garden) and honey glazed parsnips and carrots, gravy, and pumpkin chiffon pie with sweetened whipped cream.

All set up for Thanksgiving dinner

Bacon rubbed turkey

Rosemary and honey glazed parsnips and carrots

Friday we headed up to Corinna, Maine to meet up with our friends from Critterwoods and the Maine Highlands Sled Dog Club, Joan and Gary, for a training run on the rail trail that runs through Corinna. While wet, the dogs and I got a good work out with the dogs practicing gee over (something they don't always want to do on new trails), practicing passing an unfamiliar team, and going through over flow water (not something we get to practice very often). In lead were Zoe and Acadia and in wheel were Okemo and Sobo. The run was about six miles long and the dogs pulled approximately 350 lbs of weight. Average speed was 8 MPH. While the other dogs were out, T-Bone stayed home with his grandparents and took a nap.

The church where we parked had some nice stained glass

Joan and Gary and their nine dog team returning

Returning to the truck after a six mile run

On the way back, we stopped by one of our favorite seafood markets and picked up four lobsters ($3.99/lb) for Friday's dinner which was "Lobsters and Left Overs."

Eric and his dad check out different routings on the map

Saturday morning, Eric's parents departed to head back south while Eric took the dogs on a six mile training run on the trails surrounding the cabin. Several parts of this run are steep up hills and several areas had knee deep mud. In lead were Zoe and Acadia followed by wheel dogs, Sobo and Okemo. T-Bone, who is now in full retirement, stayed warm, dry and mud free at the cabin while watching attentively for the team to return.

T-Bone watches for the return of the dog team

Later Saturday, while walking the dogs, we discovered our cabin has a tie trail to the main trails which can be used to go directly from the cabin onto the hundreds of miles of trails criss-crossing the area. One tree (that has fallen) will need to be cut and Eric and I will need to work on packing and setting the trail once the snows come.

Plenty of time for relaxing at the cabin

Interested in learning how to dog sled? Want to relax with the dogs in Maine? Check out our women's only Maine Winter Cabin Adventure.