Mush called Rob Farley of October Siberians and his team of Siberian Huskies whisked us away on a thrilling dog sled ride at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont. A moonlight night, pristine snowy trails, falling snow, a glowing bonfire, and hot chocolate and hot cider waiting for us in the gazebo provided the perfect setting for a romantic and magical ride, one of the many adventures offered by Umiak Outdoor Outfitters.
On Thursdays and Saturdays from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, Umiak Outdoor Outfitters offers a 20-minute evening ride program through their partner October Siberians at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, with an expanded schedule during holiday weeks.
During our stay at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in February 2015, we experienced the thrill of the ride, namely the ultimate winter experience, a moonlit dog sled ride. This was our second time dog sledding, and if you have never had the opportunity to experience a dog sled ride, this is an adventure that must be included on your "to do" list.
Rob Farley and JJ
Owner and musher Rob Farley has been dog sledding for 20 years and is an avid music lover, evidenced by the names of his male dogs: JJ named for singer, songwriter, musician JJ Cale, Chet (Chet Baker), Sonny for blues guitarist Sonny Landreth, Elvis (Costello or Presley), Junior, Mojo, Rainy, Ryland, and Zappa, and his female dogs: Chapin (Mary Chapin), Emmylou (Emmylou Harris), Griffin (Patty Griffin), Belle, Dini, Georgia named as a tribute to Ray Charles as she was born when the legendary Ray died, Layla (for the Clapton song), and Annalee, named for a song by the Sonia Dada Band song, for whom her mother Sonia (now deceased) was named.
Belle and Debra
As Rob and his wife, Elly set up the sled and hooked up the team of 10 pure bred (AKC registered) dogs, we got to know the dogs and their personalities as they eagerly wagged their tails and gave us kisses in anticipation of doing what they love, run in the snow and be part of a team. JJ even serenaded us with a "song" before our ride.
Edward and Belle
Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs that have a thicker coat than most dogs and their coats vary in color from black and white, copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white, and sable or blonde. Eye color includes brown, pale or dark blue, amber or green, and some dogs have one brown eye and one blue eye called heterochromia, while some dogs have dual colored eyes (brown/blue in same eye) called partial heterochromia. Facial markings or masks also vary and are a distinguishing feature of this exceptional breed.
Cannot wait to run
Rob explained to us that his 10-dog sled team consists of 2 dogs in the lead position, followed by 2 point dogs, 2 swing dogs, 2 team dogs, and 2 wheel dogs, which are located closest to the sled, each playing an integral part of pulling a sled with passengers and musher(s). Rob uses a sled set-up where he is the lead musher standing directly behind the sled, with a platform located behind him for a second musher to stand, and the passenger(s) sit in a snug sled with a blanket for added warmth.
Team getting ready to run
So that we both could experience the thrill of being the passenger as well as being the second musher, Rob explained that we would switch our roles halfway through the ride. With (Debra) comfortably seated inside the sled, and (Edward) in the second musher position, Rob gave the command to the dogs and we were off on an exhilarating ride over freshly fallen snow on the well groomed trails on the property of Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Speed, the rush of the wind in our faces, the snow pluming from the sled runners, and watching the dogs in action, gave us an exhilarating adrenaline rush.
Musher Rob Farley, Edward, and Debra
As we approached an incline and deeper snow, (Edward) had the opportunity to learn firsthand the other duty of the second musher, namely to help the musher push the sled through the snow and assist the dogs.
Going for a ride
Switching positions from passenger to musher gave us the unique opportunity to experience the thrill of the ride from the comfort and warmth of the sled, to the heart-racing excitement of standing on the musher rails as we flew over the trails!
At the end of our ride we enjoyed cups of hot cider in the gazebo with a roaring bonfire lighting the night, stars beginning to twinkle in the sky, and we could imagine how romantic it would be for a couple having a winter wedding at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa to arrive by dog sled or perhaps leave by dog sled after their reception. We highly recommend this experience and would do it again in a second!
Warming up for the run
Please visit Luxury Experience's Facebook page www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience to see more photos from our ride, as well as see short video clips including one of JJ singing!
Edward experiencing the ride as a passenger
For additional information on Umiak Outdoor Outfitters including longer dog sled rides and other year-round adventures, please visit their website: www.Umiak.com.
Umiak Outdoor Outfitters
849 South Main Street
Stowe, Vermont 05672
For additional information on October Siberians and their various programs, please visit their website: www.OctoberSiberians.com.
Contact: Rob Farley
For additional information on staying at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa please visit their website: www.Stoweflake.com,
The luxurious Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa open year round and is easily accessible by car, air (Burlington International Airport), and Amtrak train. The resort is located 129 miles from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 178 miles from Albany, New York, 200 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, 220 miles from Hartford, Connecticut, and 335 miles from New York City, New York.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
PO Box 369
1746 Mountain Road, (Route 108)
Stowe, Vermont 05672
Toll-Free: +1-800-253-2232 (US and Canada)
Toll-Free: 0500.892.522 (UK)
Read more about Stowe, Vermont in the Destinations section, about our stay at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in the Hotels and Resorts section, about our dining experience at their restaurant, Charlie B's Pub & Restaurant in the Restaurants section, read the interview with Chef Mitch Jones who shares a delicious recipe for Charlie B's Spicy Duck Ninja Roll in the Chefs' Recipes section, about our experience at The Spa at Stoweflake in the Spas section, and about skiing at Stowe Mountain in the Adventures section.
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