The HOW MANY? Questions....
How many people can mush at once?
When we're using the sleds, up to three people can be in a sled/wheeled vehicle at one time. However, the maximum weight per sled (excluding the musher) is 300 pounds when conditions are excellent..... so this means it is usually two fairly light adults at one time, or one heavier adult, or one adult and a child or two.
How many sleds or wheeled sleds or ATVs can you run at once?
We can usually mush two sleds at one time... and usually only one Touri/ATV at a time. We can give more rides when we return!
How many pounds can the sled or "Touri" or ATV hold?
Answered in first two questions above... but not the WHY? part. When driving dogs that are pulling riders, the musher must often help nudge or pull the sled around corners and up steep hills. This means he/she needs to be able to push the weight or lift the sled by himself/herself. Not to mention that the dogs need to have a total weight they can handle. Mushing is quite physical for both the musher and the dogs---hence a weight limit so WE can get you UP the hill. With the Touri or ATV, there's not as much need for the musher to push and pull it, for it has a much wider and stable base. And yes, it is much heavier-- but because of this stable base (and increased traction and good brakes) we can add more dogs for strength when the weight they need to pull gets heavier.
How many people can come at one time?
As many people as you like can come for a Kennel Visit. When booking a riding tour, the number of riders at one time is limited but other family and friends can come for the kennel tour part only, or for that and enjoy a dogsled or dog-pulled wheeled vehicle ride when you return. It is quite exciting to watch the dogs take off and return, so non-riders will get an extra thrill. (They can take soon-to-be-cherished photos of you too.)
How many days advance notice is good?
As many as possible. Five months is not uncommon! Weekend days and holidays fill up early for the upcoming season. So try to book early as possible to get the day and time you'd like. We're a small business (and we like it that way) so we only do a couple rides per day... and not every day. Only ONE tour per day. You can see why they fill up quickly. We can sometimes give rides and tours the same or next day you email or call-- but it's not likely. That doesn't mean don't try--you never know!
How do I make a reservation? (Opps, that's a How-Do instead of a How-Many!)
Please see available dates and tour types on our CALENDAR on the "Reservations" page. We start taking reservations for the next running season (Sept - April) on July 1 each year. Kennel Tour reservations can be made anytime. Please email us with your dates and desires to Linda@HuskyPowerDogsledding.com or call us at 301-746-7200.
How many dollars do you require for a deposit, and how many ways can I send it?
We ask that you mail us a check for 100% of your tour amount to hold your date. Most people send the whole amount for convenience--for we do not actually cash the check you send until after your visit. Or, you can send a $50 check. The deposit is fully refundable/changeable with prior advance notice. (Please see the reservations page for more info on this policy.) You can pay by check, money order or cash. So sorry, no charge cards please.
How many times do you get asked these questions?
Enough times to suit us or the Huskies.
How many years experience do you have?
We've been dogsledding for many years in other places-- Husky Power has been operating in Garrett County since the Fall of 2004. Please read the "About Us" page to learn more personal things.
How many ways can I find out more information?
You can email or call us with questions: Linda@HuskyPowerDogsledding.com and 301-746-7200; you can order and watch our great DVD film and sledshow/slideshow; and you can read every page of this website three times to see what you missed before!
Do you have Gift Certificates?
Absolutely. They're especially popular around the holidays. It is important to find an available date to reserve on the certificate however before you contact us. Dates fill up fast and we'd hate the gift recipient to not be able to find a day. They can change the date you chose later if they need to. We can print a certificate with the giftees name(s) and send it along with a copy of our DVD for you to wrap as a gift if you like. Gift certificates are fully transferrable but not refundable, and expire after one year (they can be used the next running season if necc.).
What should I wear?
Winter Mushing: Dress as if you’ll be in the cold and wind—such as skiing. Snow boots and warm hat/gloves are necessary. Other recommendations include long underwear, snowpants, an insulated parka and goggles or protective glasses. However, it can be much warmer when walking around in the dogyard, hearing presentations and the like—so layering clothes or at least being able to unzip or unbutton is recommended. Remember to wear chapstick and sunblock if you need it.
Spring and Fall: Same as above! It is COLD here in our mountains during Spring and Fall-- don't be fooled because it is Maryland! Wear ski clothes!
Summer: Layering is always good. Comfortable is the key word in summer--but we are walking on gravel so closed-toe shoes are best. Pants protect against unruly bushes on the trail. Also, wear what you don't mind getting a dog paw or two on, perhaps mud when it's raining, and, of course, dog hair.
What should I bring?
A good attitude! The dogs know it when emotions are getting the best of us. And don’t forget your camera and film/batteries/etc. Things you surely don’t need on the ride are purses and other bags—they’ll just get in your way and perhaps fall from the sled or wheeled sled/ATV... Besides, there’s nothing to buy out there on the trail!
What are the trails like?
Our trails are gorgeous! Fairly gentle too-- so don’t expect an extreme, hold-on-for-your-life steep and dangerous trail ride. But there are exciting curves and hilly grades so you won’t be disappointed. Trails vary from wide, old gravel roads to twisting single tracks between trees and streams. Beautiful wilderness foliage will surround you, as well as the chance to sight local wildlife including deer, wild turkeys, and black bear. The scenery is different every time you ride with us— especially with different seasons of course. In Spring, there's bright green leafing colors, opposite of the deep golds and reds of the Fall. In winter, scenery always changes depending on the amount of snowfall, ice and temperatures. It's great, too, for just taking a walk from Mountain Maryland Kennels, LLC after your visit. If you ride with us at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, prepare for gorgeous rolling trails and mushing on a pristine, snow-blanketed golf course.
Is it dangerous?
It can be. It is inherently so, but we do not need to offer the “extreme sport” kind of adrenaline…. we mush as safely as possible. The beauty of the scenery and the excitement of the rushing dogs is enough. However, it can be dicey if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing. Even when the best preventative measures are taken, incidents can occur which can cause harm to passengers, the driver or the dogs. For example, other animals can run into the dog team or a branch could fall from a tree. One rider raised up to take a photo and fell out of the sled! People with health concerns, bad backs, etc; and women who are pregnant should consult their doctors and Mountain Maryland Kennels, LLC before booking a ride. It can be a bit bumpy at times. All participants must understand and sign a liability waiver. We do not require helmets be worn -- our insurance company does not require helmets either. You are welcome to bring a helmet if you like.
How do I get there?
From I-68 take exit 14A onto Rt. 219 South. Travel 13 miles to McHenry. At the only stop light in McHenry, turn left onto Mosser Road. Bear left at the fork in .25 miles onto Bumble Bee Road. Travel exactly 2 miles to 2008 Bumble Bee on your right. Look for our red sign and small yellow “Dogsled Crossing” signs just before the road to the airport. Hey-- we're only about ten little minutes from the WISP Ski Resort! Only two miles from the lake! BUT-- please come only if you have reservations-- drop ins are not allowed (dogs need rest and it is our home.)
Where can I get a good local weather forecast?
By calling our local, dependable weather line: 301-334-5252 or by visiting www.WEATHER.com and entering our zip code: 21520. Please remember these are general forecasts and we live, run, and tour on a high-elevation piece of land... meaning it's always 10 degrees warmer or colder where we are than the forescasts say. Always.
Do the dogs like to pull the sled, Tour or ATV?
Does a bear poop in the woods? Yes, yes and an astounding yes! They just love it… and cannot live happily without it. The pulling instinct has been genetically passed into these northern dog breeds for centuries. Similar to a lab retrieving, or a pointer pointing--running and pulling are what Huskies do naturally from the day they are born. For more information, visit some of the websites on our links page.
How are the dogs trained?
Sleddogs are trained just like human marathon runners and/or sprint racers preparing for their running season. They all start out running fairly slowly with short mileage, (usually in Sept when it's cold enought) and then build up their strength, endurance and speed over time. After long breaks, say when it's unusually warm and too hot to mush, we again start the Huskies running slowly for about a mile. Each week or so, the mileage is increased depending on the dog’s conditioning. Speed sprints are thrown in, as well as weight training workouts. Racing kennels add more speed work than touring and recreational kennels. Before snow arrives, the Huskies pull the Touri or ATV.
How many dogs will pull our sled, Touri or ATV?
Well, that will depend on the total weight of riders and the trail conditions at that time. Usually six to eight dogs is enough... sometimes a whopping 12-dog team with the Touri or ATV. Any more and it’s harder to stop them when you want to! Mushing with too few dogs means the driver has to run alongside and help push the sled up hills, mushing with too many means you cannot stop (until reaching the Ocean.).
Isn’t dogsledding and racing abusive to the dogs?
Nope, not at all. The critics of dogsledding/racing have unfounded concerns that are all positively addressed by a well-known veterinarian. Please read what Vet Dixon has to say if you have any doubt: Dixon's Response to Mushing Critics