We're back from our phenomenal trip to New Hampshire to attend the annual sled dog trade fair. Wow, what an adventure! On September 26th, we loaded the van with three carts, three dogs and all our gear and supplies for a few weeks on the road and headed east.
Rest stop in the New Mexico desert
After 4 days and 3150 miles, we arrived at the Hopkinton fairgrounds and set up camp. Some of the organizers, vendors and visitors had already arrived ahead of us and picked out their spots on the fairgrounds as well as inside the vendor building.
After the carts were unloaded and assembled, and the camp set up, it was time to socialize with the locals. It was wonderful to meet so many folks that we've know through online contact only.
Our display at the trade fair.
On Saturday, the trade fair officially started and a wide variety of vendors showed their products and services. From carts to sleds, harnesses to t-shirts, and so much more, anything related to running dogs was available to see, try and purchase.
Gregg Vitello of Northern Exposure Outfitters
Mountain Ridge display
Ken of Peacepups Dogsledding
All day long, various mushers were giving presentations, including Yukon Quest veteran Mike Ellis, Can-Am Crown 250 winner Rene Marchildon and New Hampshire musher Jaye Foucher.
Mike Ellis checking out one of our carts.
Saturday night, everyone got together for a potluck bbq and interesting games like the "harnessing & bootying contest", "dog & human egg race" & the "toilet paper caper".
On Sunday, the rig race was on at 8.30. Races were held in a wide variety of classes from canicross to 6-dog rig and anything in between, and anyone from beginner to seasoned pro participated.
After the races, Loranne of Snow Star Farm had organized a little show & tell for all dryland equipment manufacturers and distributors. Several scooters and carts were introduced and could be tried and tested by fair visitors.
On Sunday afternoon, the fair closed and it was time to pack up and say good-bye to all our new friends. Now we were ready for part 2 of the trip: a visit to our friends up north to drop off the last of the three carts we brought along, and then slowly make our way back to southern California, visiting friends and taking in the sights of Canada and the United States along the way.
Our first snow encounter of the season.
After 14 days and a total of more than 6900 miles, we arrived back in Orange County and went right back to work to make sure our orders are being filled in time for the new season.
Almost back home in California
Thanks to Amy & John at Mountain Ridge for organizing the fair and to everyone else who helped to make this a great event. Also thanks to everyone who came out to see us and to our customers we met at the fair and in Canada!