Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dog Sledding in Phillips, Maine

Eric driving a four dog team of Bray Hill Siberians.

Here we come!

On Monday, February 1, 2010 Eric and I along with the whole Maryland Sled Dog Adventures crew hit the RB trail in Phillips, Maine for a 10 mile dog sled excursion. Phillips is approximately a 40 minute drive from our cabin in Starks, ME. was cold

Eric looks toasty warm in his Trans Alaska anorak from Cabelas

For our run on Monday, Acadia and Zoe ran in lead followed by Sobo and Okemo. Also running were Nick Sands and Linda Powers. Linda ran a team of four dogs and Nick ran a team of six dogs.

Zoe and Acadia in lead followed by Sobo and Okemo

Nick and team

Nick and team

Despite a couple of icy patches, we had a wonderful run and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. The RB trail starts off as a gentle up hill grade passing by seasonal hunting and fishing camps. At approximately three miles, the trail splits and we headed haw (left). Having climbed away from the river, the trail once again curves back toward the river passing over the second of two large bridges. After the bridge, the trail climbs steeply up into the mountains through a series of switchbacks. Both mushers and dog teams worked hard climbing these steep hills. In between the ridges and mountains, the wind was gusting and had blown the trail down to bare ice or ground in places making for a tricky descent. High atop the mountain ridges, the views are outstanding. At one point, however, the sled and I caught the wind and were blown sideways across the trail. At the five mile mark, the mushers caucused and decided that it was time to "come haw" and turn the teams around. While the first initial steep descent was tricky due to ice and heavy winds, as the trail continued to descend and level out, we enjoyed a more sedate run back to the dog trucks.

The ice makes the water appear very green

This was also the fourth run with the new Outlaw dog sled and I enjoyed practicing carving the sled through turns using its extremely responsive steering.

While the teams were out dog sledding, Eric, Ruth and Kevin took T-Bone for a very special off leash walky along the trail.

T-Bone goes for a walk

Gorgeous frozen scenery

The following Friday, we returned to the RB trail and ran with Maggie of Bray Hill Siberians. I ran five dogs including Acadia, Sobo, and Okemo and two of Bray Hill Siberians dogs, Hylo and Flare. We ran just under six miles. After returning, Eric and Maggie set off with a three dog (Maggie) team and a four dog team (Eric). Eric's team included Dapp, Bodie, Remax, and Summer.

Maggie and three dog team

Eric and four dog team