After 5,000 miles of driving over mountain passes, blizzards, and the awe of the flatness of the prairie, we have made it to my home state of New Hampshire! It has been two years since I have been able to enjoy some extended time in good ol’ New Hampshire. After all, the ruggedness of the ‘Live Free, or Die’ state is where I learned to run sled dogs nearly ten years ago! It really feels good to be home. Seeing the grandeur of the White Mountains and the beautiful purple lupines beginning to pop up throughout the lowlands is a great reminder of how much I love Northern New England! Although, it does not quite have the same mystique as the remoteness of Alaska, it certainly comes close! As a region, the North Woods of Vermont/New Hampshire/Maine really do rival some of the most wild places in North America. While venturing around, we have already come across bears, moose, and a pack of coyotes attempting to sing along with the howl of the dogs of Tukaway in the evening twilight! We have also been greeted by the amazing persistence of the bugs of the North Country! Sure, Alaska is known for its mosquitos, but here in the Northeast we not only have those, but also black flies, horse flies, AND moose flies! All of which bite with a veracity that draws blood every time! Haha, sure is good to be home!
We have settled in nicely at our summer kennel at Mahoosuc Outdoors in Milan, New Hampshire. We have been given permission to build a kennel on the top of a hill looking down on horse pasture that surrounds the old New England barn and the rustic Mahoosuc Inn. Here, guests can come and book a rafting trip on class II-IV rapids in both New Hampshire and Maine as well as go horseback riding on well kept and scenic trails. If an adrenaline rush on the rapids or a horseback ride is not your thing, just walking the trails and enjoying the view of Mahoosuc Mountain Range where the Appalachain Trail runs right over is not a bad option! The Inn is always open to anyone venturing into the North Country and we had the pleasure of staying in a room for a couple of nights while we were building our kennel and it surely is a five star place to stay!
As for us, and the dogs of Tukaway… It has always been a dream of mine to help promote the amazing sport of dog mushing and have a summer tour business doing just that! Seeing folks come in and meet real sled dogs and learn about a way of life that Walt Disney just doesn’t do justice is something that has always been so important to me ever since I started as a guide many years ago. Now that I have a kennel of my own dogs, I thought it sure would be fun to come back home and help promote the sport of dog mushing in New England. What many do not know is New Hampshire’s state dog is a sled dog! Although New Hampshire’s history with dog mushing is not nearly as vast as Alaska’s, it really does have some famous moments in the tradition of dog mushing. Educating the non-mushing community of this rich history as well as show off my amazing dogs and our racing goals in Alaska over the next few years just seems like a fun meaningful way to spend a summer!
If you find yourself in northern New England this summer and want to meet the finest sled dogs in the world (I might be a little biased) then come visit us in the beautiful North Country of Northern New Hampshire this summer! We are still planning on heading back to Alaska sometime in the fall to get ready for race season at our home in the mushing mecca of Two Rivers, Alaska. I’m sure by fall it might be hard to pull this New Hampshire boy away from the beautiful mountains of the region, but as much as I tell myself how nice it would be to settle down in familiarity, I am reminded by another red headed fella named Willie Nelson, “I just can’t wait to get on the road again!”
P.S. This is my first blog...... shhhh......