Thanks to the generosity of my students and their families, I got the chance to go dog sledding this weekend in Maryland!
Yes, you heard that right…. dog sledding in Maryland! I had no idea either!
Husky Power Dog Sledding is a kennel in Accident, Maryland, not too far from Deep Creek Lake.
My family and I drove up to Frostburg on Saturday and as soon as we hit the South Mountain Rest Stop it started snowing like crazy! Snow was blowing and it was hard to see the mountains in the distance. We also passed many salt trucks already hard at work.
On Sunday we finished our drive up to Accident and met Linda and Mike (the kennel owners) and Kara their handler who is also a National Park Ranger. Linda took us up on the deck that overlooks the kennel and gave us an introduction to the dogs and what we would be doing during our visit.
It is at this point in the trip that TJ fell in love.
He fell in love with a dog named Oreo. I not sure what it was about Oreo – maybe that he was cute, or that TJ could read his name on his kennel, or that he was really different colored then the other dogs – but TJ only had eyes for him the rest of the day!
For our run we would have a team of thirteen dogs hooked up to a wheeled cart with two seats and place for the musher to stand on the back. The cart is super cool! It has motorcycle brakes on it! Thirteen dogs makes a LONG team. Some of the dogs included:
- Bishop, who was one of the wheel dogs. He came from Lance Mackey’s kennel in Alaska.
- Oreo, TJ’s favorite!
- Gunner, who is apparently so crazy and so strong he doesn’t have a partner, he is harnessed in all by himself.
- Several dogs from Karen Ramstead’s kennel – Karen runs full Siberian teams in the Iditarod and other races
- Denali, who liked to nip and fuss at his neighbor
- and lots, lots more!
Mike, Linda, and Kara picked up the dogs’ harnesses and went into the kennel to get the dogs ready to run. That is when the chaos started! As soon as they saw the harnesses, the dogs went crazy! They were barking and howling and jumping and leaping and screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” and then “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” The dogs got harnessed onto the line, my husband and I jumped into the cart, Mike stood on the back….he released the brake….
And then, silence.
As soon as they were given the signal, they lunged forward in their harness, stopped barking, and were off and running.
They finally got what they wanted… they were off!
You are wondering where TJ is during all of this right? Well he got to follow along on an ATV! He did get a chance to ride in the dog sled a bit later… but honestly… he liked the ATV just as much if not a little better!
Here’s a little video of TJ and I…
After we returned from our run we got a chance to go into the kennel and give the dogs some “lovin'” to thank them for a wonderful day.
We learned so much and had so much fun! If you ever get a chance to visit Husky Power Kennel, I highly recommend you do!
Special thanks to Linda for giving us the disk of these amazing pictures!