Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Planting and Training

Allium planted last fall for spring blooms

Fall has arrived and here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC we are busy doing one of three things: (1) training the sled dogs; (2) planting the Fall vegetables and flowers; (3) talking dogs with other mushers.

Yesterday, marked the first real training run of the season for the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs. We arrived at the trail head early at about 6:30 am. Temps were at 50 degrees according to the new dog truck thermometer. We quickly set about hooking up veteran leader, Zoe, and upcoming leader, Acadia, both in lead with Sobo and Okemo in wheel and set off for a brisk five mile run which took us from Maryland into Pennsylvania and back. The dogs ran awesome. Along the way, we encountered several challenges, two horse farms that needed passing (Zoe was her usual awesome self, Acadia was decent, Sobo was surprisingly good, and Okemo needs work), several bicyclists that also needed head on and over taking passes, and several joggers. The biggest challenge was the 250 plus people who arrived at the trail head about 5 minutes after we did to run a race. While the spandex clad runners complained about the cold, we hooked up the dogs and headed down the trail in the opposite (north) direction towards Pennsylvania. We cruised up the trail for about 2.5 miles with speeds ranging from 18 MPH to 8-10 MPH. Our moving average was approximately 9 MPH. At our turn around point, just south of the Pennsylvania town of New Freedom, we took a brief break and practiced our line out training. As we headed back to the trail head, we encountered the 250 plus joggers and runners walking up the trail to the start of their race. Miraculously, the dogs stayed gee'd over and didn't freak out. Not bad for the first real training run (besides our scooter run last weekend).

Yesterday also included planting our Fall garden crops. In went the lettuces and garlic which will be over wintered. Our spring planting of shallots was so awesome, I really wanted to do another crop of Fall shallots, however, finding shallots in Maryland for Fall planting is apparently impossible.

Our spring plantings of tomatoes and peppers are still going really strong generating about 5-6 tomatoes per day and an unhealthy number of cayenne, jalapeno, Mexi-bell, green bell, and Giant Marconi peppers. We're also still harvesting lots and lots of fresh herbs.

After planting and training, Eric and I headed up to meet up with a retired musher friend of ours for some dinner and dirt track racing at Williams Grove speedway in Pennsylvania. Of course, sled dogs and fall training were a big topic of discussion.

Today, we're hoping to get planted the spring flowers, allium, tulips, daffodils, and irises, that we picked up yesterday at the store.