Friday, November 4, 2011

Snow in October!

Snow on the trail on October 30, 2011!

The whole Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC gang was surprised to see snow at our (dryland) dog sledding program this past weekend.  Mother Nature gave us a surprise (very surprised) delivery of snow on Saturday, October 29, 2011.  When we arrived at the trail head for Sunday's Girl Scout dog sledding program, approximately two inches of heavy, wet snow greeted us.  This is the earliest snow fall we can recall here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures.

The snow made everything sparkle and made for a beautiful one mile hike up the trail to place signs for our re-enactment of the Great Alaskan Serum Run
Some of the scenery along the trail.  The sled dogs have gotten quite good at going "on by" this horse farm that is directly on the trail
Looking South down the NCR trail
The view from the trail
It's extremely rare for Maryland to get snow in November, let alone October. 

The trees were positively glistening with the all day snow fall from the day and night before
Eric and the mini musher hang out after our Girl Scout dog sledding program enjoying Ethan's first snow
Arriving at the trail head for our Girl Scout dog sledding program we were greeted with about two inches of snow
Snow in Maryland at the Freeland trail head on October 30, 2011
Six dog team giving rides during our Girl Scout dog sledding program.  Today's photo is brought to you by epic failure in gee over training

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

Ethan was captivated by the curvy stem on this little pumpkin

Ethan and the pumpkin
After our first Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC dryland dog sledding programs of the 2011-12 dog sledding season, Eric, Ethan, Ethan's Grandma Sue (my Mom), and I hit the pumpkin patch to pick out a few pumpkins for the mini musher, Ethan. 
Ethan and Grandma Sue

Ethan on the straw horse

Fall Dog Sledding Adventures

This past weekend, Eric, Ethan, the sled dogs and I started our 2011-12 Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC dog sledding programs.  First up, were two Girl Scout dog sledding programs

Six sled dog team:  Acadia and Gypsy, Sammamish and Luke, and Okemo and Sobo

Visiting sled dog, Luke, after our dryland (wheeled) dog sled rides
Looks like all of the Girl Scouts had a good time! 
Acadia gets lots of attention from the Girl Scouts
Two Girl Scouts try out dryland (wheeled) dog sledding.  
Lead dog, Acadia, loves to give kisses

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sled Dog Training

The Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs.

Eric, Ethan and I got the sled dogs out this past Sunday for a 4.5 mile training run. Mother Nature was good enough to give us temperatures in the low to mid 40s so, the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs, Eric, Ethan and I headed up to Fair Hill NRMA for a hilly training run.

On this training run were, Acadia and Gypsy in lead, Sammamish and Okemo in team, and Luke and Sobo in wheel. While I would prefer to run Sammi and Sobo in team and Okemo and Luke in wheel, Luke gets extremely excited at hook up as does Okemo. As a result, both dogs can get snarky with each other at hook up and given their personalities, that's just not a good situation. As the season progresses, we'll work with both dogs on this tendency and hopefully will be running Okemo and Luke side by side in no time at all. We'll also be working on Sammi's tendency to bite the lines at hook up. At present, to keep the team safe and hooked, we are running cable gang lines. As soon as possible, we'll be moving Sammamish up to lead where he'll be given a job to do instead of chewing neck lines.

The dogs were VERY excited to be going out to run.

Gypsy and Acadia in lead, Sammi and Okemo in team, and Sobo and Luke in wheel

As we headed into Fair Hill, we bumped into another Maryland musher. We also realized once we arrived at the trail head that a huge field trial with hundreds of off leash dogs was underway. Determining that discretion was the better part of valor, especially this early in the training season, we all headed over to another section of Fair Hill where we could run without disturbing (or being disturbed by) the field trials.

After the run, we headed to a local restaurant for lunch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Pursuits

Apples Galore!

The first official day of Fall is tomorrow and fall pursuits are in full swing here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC.

Last weekend the temperatures cooperated and we had our first training run of the season. We ran a four dog team of Acadia, Sobo, Okemo and Sammi approximately 3.5 miles. Since there was plenty of trail traffic we had lots of opportunities for passing bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and leashed dogs. Acadia and Sobo started the run in lead with Sammamish and Okemo in wheel. About a 1/2 mile out from the station, I decided to try Sammi in lead. He was amazing. Very steady and very focused for a yearling. He also LOVES to run. I caught him jumping in the air with all four feet WAY off the ground during several of our brief stops on the trail.

First run of the 2011-12 dog sledding season: Acadia and Sammi in lead with Okemo and Sobo in wheel

Scouting Report: One exciting prospect, Sammamish (aka Sammi)

This weekend, we're heading to Pennsylvania with a few musher friends to pick up our visiting sled dogs, Gypsy and Luke. Gypsy and Luke will be residing with Eric, Ethan, the sled dogs, and I during the running season (approximately through early April). They joined us last season and we are eager to see them again.

In other news of fall pursuits, my sister, Jenny, was in town from Seattle this past weekend and Eric, Ethan, Jenny and I headed up to Pennsylvania to pick apples. Picking apples is pretty much a rite of fall here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC. Already those two huge baskets of apples have generated two apple crisps, one puffy apple pancake, and apple muffins, along with countless lunch time snacks.

Eric, Jenny and Acadia picking apples in Pennsylvania

Stayed tuned as we get underway with more fall training and tons of fun fall pursuits.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Training

It's Fall: time for pumpkins and sled dog training!

With a little help from mother nature in the form of crisp Fall mornings, Fall training should be just around the corner. Fall training is the time we get the dogs out and remind them of all they knew last season. It's a time spent feeling out the team and figuring out just where we stand.

This year, we are excited to announce that Gypsy and Luke, our visiting sled dogs from the 2010-2011 dog sledding season, will once again be joining the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures team. Kiana's Sammamish (aka Sammi or Sammidoodle) is now a yearling and also will begin training full time with the team. Back for another dog sledding season are five year old team/wheel dog, Okemo, seven year old team/wheel dog, Sobo, and three year old lead dog, Acadia.

Also making his debut this season is our new mini musher, Ethan Oliver. Ethan was born in late April 2011 and will be joining us training the sled dogs and during Fall and Winter programs this coming season.

Plans for this season include a full docket of dog sledding programs. All of our weekends are currently booked for the 2011-2012 dog sledding season. We still have a handful of midweek dates left so email if you would like to book your own dog sledding program. We will also be running our very popular women's Maine Winter Cabin Adventure again February 17-February 20, 2012. This very special four day long dog sledding adventure is based out of our cabin in Stark, Maine and is limited to just four participants. Two slots remain in our Maine Winter Cabin Adventure.

Our race plans include the Maine Highlands Katahdin Iron Works (KIW) 30 and/or the fun run held January 28, 2012 in Brownville, Maine.

We also plan on spending some time up north in Maine exploring new trails and reaquainting ourselves with familiar trails. Those trips are presently scheduled for December, January, and February.

Stay tuned for updates on all of the sled dogs' Fall and Winter exploits.

Up North in Maine August Adventures

Lovely Wilson Lake in Wilton, Maine

Eric, the mini musher, Ethan, all six of the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs, and I enjoyed a fabulous almost four week stay "up ta camp" at our cabin in Starks, Maine. While up in Maine, we visited the Rockland Lobster Festival, the Wilton Blueberry Festival, took a cruise on the Schooner Heron out of Rockport, Maine, shopped in Camden, Maine, and enjoyed many other up north adventures as well.

This was our first month long trip up north with the new mini musher, Ethan, and we could not have scripted better behavior from the little guy. Ethan is a very easy baby who handled the twelve hour drive north quite well, slept through the night the entire time we were up north, and accustomed himself well to visiting Maine's sights and sounds. So without further ado, here are the photos from our wonderful trip up north.

Ethan and Eric in Rockland

Ethan is not the only member of this family who wears a bib

The rigging on the Schooner Heron

Ethan in the Baby Bjorn with Eric ready to explore Rockport.

Ethan's first boat trip

Enjoying the sights and sounds in Rockport, Maine.

Lighthouse in Rockport

Sleepy Ethan with Me in Rockport.

Lead dog, Acadia, decided she could deal with a little rest and relaxation

Ethan enjoys a bird's eye view of Wilton, Maine at the Blueberry Festival

The Blueberry Festival was very exciting for the little guy. Here he is with the giant loon.

Ethan chilling in his swing

Ethan hangs out while lead dog, Acadia, supervises.


Just hanging out in the up north nursery

Showing off his strong neck muscles

Mommy and the mini musher

For the duration of the trip, Sobo could be found sleeping in one of two places: (1) the dog bed or (2) the couch.

Eric and Ethan in Rockport

Lobster buoy

Rockport Lighthouse

Eric, Ethan and Maryland musher, Linda Powers at the Rockland Lobster Festival

The first time Ethan road forward facing in the Baby Bjorn.

Post lobster festival exploration of Rockland harbor

Fellow Maryland musher, Linda Powers, Ethan and I in Rockland at the Lobster Festival