Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Maine Dog Sledding Adventures: Sammi's first run.

Sammamish's first dog sled run

After our wonderful Maine Winter Cabin Adventure, Eric and I spent another week in Maine enjoying spending time with our wonderful sled dogs.

Kicking the week off, on Tuesday, Eric headed out with Sobo for a 12 mile skijor and some trail exploration on what we now call the Lemon Stream trail. Last year, due to poor snow conditions, the Lemon Stream trail was unrunnable. This year, however, the snow conditions have been good with consistently low temperatures, and we discovered this awesome new trail with unique challenges (including crossing a frozen Lemon Stream) which the dogs just love.

After discovering the Lemon Stream trail, we decided to head over to Mt. Blue State Park in Weld, Maine on Wednesday, for what we planned as Sammamish's (Kiana's Sammamish) first run in harness. Typically, we start puppies in harness, with very short fun runs at approximately six to eight months of age. It just so happened that the day we headed over to Mt. Blue was Sammi's six month birthday! Happy Birthday, Sammi-doodle.

When we tried on our smallest dogbooties.com harness (our teal harness) on Sammi it was a near perfect fit for the not so little, little guy. As we harnessed all of the dogs and hooked the team up, Sammi became progressively more excited. He wasn't even interested in the loop on the harness back by his tail which is very unusual for most new pups in harness. In fact, as soon as we hooked Sammi to the line, he began is trademark screaming (to go). And as soon as we pulled the snow hook, screamin' Sammi was all business. Nary a look back at Mom or an attempt to mess with any of the other dogs. He was ready to go!

Sammi being a puppy. Now just look where he has chased the cat, Chloe. (yes, that is one of the beams that runs the width of the cabin and is over two stories above the ground).

Screaming Sammamish

Since this was Sammi's first run, the plan was for me to take the team about one mile down the trail, take Sammi off the team, and meet up with Eric who would then continue on with the veteran sled dogs on a 20 mile loop through the scenic western Maine woods. At just a little over one mile on the GPS, I pulled the team over, hooked them down, and set out water bowls for the sled dogs to get a drink. Shortly thereafter, Eric arrived and headed out with the rest of the team on a challenging 20 mile loop while I walked back to the trail head with Sammi.

Here they come: Eric heads out with the veteran dogs for the rest of the 20 miler.

And there they go!

Scenic views right from the trail head parking lot.

Just one of the gorgeous trails at Mt. Blue

Sammi after his very first run in harness

More views right from the parking lot: Snow-capped Maine peaks

Eric and I are both very proud of how Maryland Sled Dog Adventures' newest member did in harness this first time out.