2015—by the numbers! Looking Forward to 2016!

The year comes to a close…we’re preparing to go out this afternoon and pre-hike a wooded trail where we are leading a “First Day” hike tomorrow, for the Vermont State Parks. Yes, we will be snowshoeing! A late season mini-storm brought us 6-8 inches of snow, and we are taking full advantage. It is our final outdoor activity of 2015, so we look back at what has happened in the previous 365 days.

I am definitely not a “statistics” person…numbers, mathematics, and calculations have never been my forte. I am happy to leave the practice of those skills to my spouse and children.

However, recently wordpress and facebook provided me with statistical information about how our pages and blogs are “performing”. I do not participate in social media or outdoor activity in order to “bag stats”, but it is interesting to take note of some of the information. So here is a compilation, by the numbers, of our year 2015….each numerical entry reflects our love for the outdoors, and for participating in safe, fun, and responsible dog adventures!

Days paddling with the dogs: 28 tandem canoe, 60 in solo canoe boat, and 24 in kayak.

Bodies of water we paddled: 19 different ponds, lakes, and rivers

Number of boats in our fleet: we now have 4 boats!

Nights camping: 14 (remember, we had to cancel 2 weeks of canoe camping, or our number would be higher)

Days hiking with the dogs: 201 (including snowshoeing) Days hiking without dogs: 1

Days bikejor,skijor,kicksled : 26

Days bicycling ( road and mountain): 162 Yes, I do have recreational interests that do not involve dogs!

Trailspace.com: Increased status to a top 10 reviewer, and was selected as reviewer of the month!

Tubbs Snowshoes : Selected as Ambassador, so now we have SEVEN pairs ofTubbs snowshoes, and had 3 blog posts published

Backcountryk9.com : Brand Ambassador, Published 6 reviews, and received a lot of great gear!

Number of new facebook pages we manage: One– Snowshoeing with your Dog!

Instagram: A brand new endeavor for us….we have 15 postings, an increasing number of followers, and we will be more productive in 2016! ( find us at dogsaboard)

Vermont Paddle Pups Blog: 27% increase in views; visitors from 43 different countries; 21 blog posts  and we now have a domain vermontpaddlepups.com!

@VTPaddlePups on twitter : we have nearly doubled our followers! We participate in 4-5 different twitter chats, targeting at least 2 per week.

Vimeo: In 2015, we posted 8 video compilations on vimeo.

collage 2015 b

And it continues to be great fun! We love sharing with our friends and family….We hope you enjoy our tales of our adventures, our misadventures, and the amazing ability of our dogs to keep us entertained in the outdoors. Here’s a toast, to 2016…a year of health, happiness, and great outdoor accomplishments!

December…Where is Winter?

We approach the end of December, with record-breaking warm temperatures, very dark sky, and grounds saturated by rain….We have yet to get out on our Tubbs Snowshoes, on our skis, or on the kicksled. A little bikejoring, and some hikes in a few inches of snow have hinted at the arrival of winter…but no, we remain in the midst of an unseasonable warm spell.

We know that winter WILL arrive, and we will have at least 3 months of winter fun….but when?  We have had 2 cabin camping trips, neither of which had much snow in evidence..we decided to not schedule such a trip for January, but do have plans to return to the cabin in February. Please let there be snow!

So we offer you a short video compilation of our December…lots of grey and brown, with a sprinkling of white stuff!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“What should we speak of when we are old as you? When we shall hear the rain and wind beat dark December?” … Shakespeare

Well, wind and rain is the weather that welcomes us to December. November is over…a month of unusual weather, which included late season canoeing and kayaking, and early season snowy hikes. The evenings get dark very early, and the mornings are cold and gloomy….we await the arrival of the first actual snowfall with enthusiasm, anxious to get out on our Tubbs snowshoes, and get the winter season activities into full swing.

I have written two blog posts for the Tubbs Snowshoes blog, and have enjoyed reading posts and articles written by other ambassadors. Here are the links to those postings, and I hope you enjoy them. Please check out the Tubbs facebook page and the Tubbs blog..there is always tons of good information, and some wonderful photos.

http://news.tubbssnowshoes.com/2015/11/15/snowshoe-treks-of-course-my-dog-is-with-me/

http://news.tubbssnowshoes.com/2015/11/13/journaling-your-journeys/

While we await snowshoeing and ski season, we keep busy with lots of hiking…sometimes requiring trail traction, other times just careful stepping amidst slippery leaves and rocks. We discover some new trails that will be great for snowshoeing and skijoring, and re-visit some old favorites. So not a lot of written material here, just a few representative photos….

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A kettle hole at a local trail….

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Out for a sunset/moonrise hike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A very windy morning on the icy Pinnacle

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An artificial winter hike,since snow guns made the  snow up on the  mountain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Thanksgiving hike to a remote canoe camping site…accessed from a woods trail

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A bit of winter, but not much snow, on Elmore Mountain

 

In mid-November, we headed out to a remote cabin, owned by the Green Mountain Club. The Wheeler Pond camps are two rustic, off the grid cabins, located on a pond , surrounded by a multitude of hiking opportunities. My husband and I both participated in winter tent camping in our younger days, and really have no desire to resume that level of challenge! However, we have really come to enjoy our camping expeditions, so decided to give “cabin camping” a try. Though it was a chilly evening, the wood stove in the cabin kept us toasty warm!  It certainly was bit more luxurious than tenting….the dogs had lots of room, and seemed to really have a great time. Our plans had been to get some early season snowshoeing in, but with no snow on the ground, we stuck to hiking….lots of options, including trails right around the pond, and up the nearby mountains.  We will be returning to the camp in a few weeks, and we hope that we will get a chance to snowshoe some of the trails!

pond collage

It is really nice of the GMC to provide firewood for the camps…there is only a short gear haul from the parking area to the cabins, so we can carry the gear, water,and food, or use our pulk if there is snow on the ground.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The cabin, from across the pond…it will be all iced over the next time we camp here.

 

We are also awaiting some new gear from http://backcountryk9.com/ …I know what is coming ( surprise!), and am really excited for the chance to give it a try-out! I anticipate that a review will be written about a month after I receive the gear, and it will of course, be posted here.

Happy Trails to all…may they be snow-covered, not icy, and enticing for all your outdoor activities. The holiday season,and all its associated chaos is arriving soon…Remember, peace can be found in the woods and  mountains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just a hint….