April came in like a Yeti this year. Our annual trip to the Maine Coast coincided with the April Fool’s snowstorm of 2017, which made travel interesting, and presented us with more hiking in the snow. However, this time, we were hiking to the beach.
We had been asked in January to once again present at the New England Paddlesports Show, sponsored by the Kittery Trading Post. Our seminars in 2016 had been well attended, and we had enjoyed the chance to socialize and share stories with other dog paddling folks. So when we were approached about a repeat performance, we had readily accepted. Now, last year we had also encountered some snow, so we had not expected to face that weather situation again. But we did, and though the roads were in terrible condition, and travel was slowed but the conditions, we enjoyed the change of pace and the opportunity to share our love of paddling with dogs.
We returned to the same hotel we had utilized last year, and once again enjoyed its convenient location, and dog-friendly atmosphere. This year, Aunt Jackie joined us…the dogs absolutely love their favorite aunt, and we all had a great time.
Our beach visits were interesting to say the least. Lots of snow, huge waves, and loons! It was so delightful to see our first loons of the season, as they prepare to head west and back to Vermont.
We saw two loons, as well as Long-tail ducks and Red Breasted Mergansers…and of course, lots of gulls,geese, and other smaller birds. But the loons are special to us, as they are our companions on many paddling adventures.
And of course, running on the beach is a special treat for our mountain dogs. They no longer seem fazed, or startled by the loud wave action as they were on our fist ocean trip a few years ago.
Of course, the incentive for our trip was our presentations at the show. This year, we had two different presentations. One was a tweaked version of the well-received Intro to Dog Paddling lecture we gave in 2016. We also did a second presentation on Canoe and Kayak Camping with Dogs. The weather was absolutely horrible on the day of the show, and overall attendance was way down from prior years. However, we had good showings at both our seminars, and also had regular visitations to our display table set up in the lobby. We met some nice fellow paddlers and their dogs, and also were able to pick up some gear for our upcoming paddling season.
Since the show is sponsored by the Kittery Trading Post, we had to visit this immense store, located in Kittery Maine. In the store, there are numerous taxidermy wild animals…check social media, and you will see that it is tradition for visitors to take photos of their kids, grandkids, and selfies by these animals. The store personnel were so nice to us, and they permitted us to bring Gryphon in for a photo op…next year it will be Edgar’s turn. Yes, next year! At the end of our second presentation, we were invited to return next year. Hopefully, we will have some great adventures to share from our trip paddling our way across Canada!
I feared that Griff would be terrified of the moose, but he was curious,and then ignored it!
After the weekend snowstorm, which dumped lots of snow at home, as well as in Maine, we returned to some wonderful snowshoeing conditions. However, after being immersed in the paddling world for 2 days, we are anxious to get our boats on the water. The lakes in our part of Vermont are still pretty much frozen over, so we do have to wait a bit longer. However, if conditions permit, I should get out with Griff in the next 10 days or so, on a pond that already has open water, about an hour from home. My dry suit needs a test run, and Griff has the neoprene liner for his life jacket, so all we need is calm winds, temperature over 50, and sunny skies. I think we had had enough of snow for this year!
Keep safe, keep your dogs safe, and enjoy your shared adventures. Be sure to check out our Instagram Page vermontpaddlepups or our Vermont Paddle Pups Facebook page for reports from our adventures.
Edgar snowshoeing 4/11/17