The life adventure of Rob Farley began in a Suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. Family camping trips and travels connected Rob to the Outdoors. In the early years Rob pursued hiking, biking, kayaking, bird watching, spelunking and even surfing through his teen years in South Carolina. Farley attended Kent State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology. Post college Rob worked in Environmental Education in Ohio, the Adirondacks, Vermont and Massachusetts from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. Outdoor Education was followed by Environmental Consulting then a career at the State of Vermont, Department of Environmental Conservation.
Mushing came into the picture after meeting his wife, Elly. They built a house in 1994 and the dogs started arriving. Mushing is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle and can take a lifetime to figure out. Rob enjoys sharing his experience, and too turn this sport into a hobby business made sense – it also helped tremendously in supporting the kennel. Rob’s experiences for his clients has multiple layers, so it truly becomes an adventured to last a life time.
Rob tries to live a modest life with in the means of his income and is not looking for a whole lot more. “To live more simply is to live more purposefully and with a minimum of needless distraction” –Duane Elgin. His family, beyond the dogs include his daughter, Sage, and son, Graham. The family has an organic garden, heat with wood, reduce/reuse/recycle as much as possible, carpool/bike and recognize that all the little things they do taken together make a big difference. They value family experiences and not things.
How do the experiences you offer at October Siberians give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?
My dog sled tours take place in a Historical State park at a well documented, settlement from the 1800 to early 1900. There are old foundations, stonewalls, cemetery and interpreter sigh that talk about the people that were here. The tour starts at the largest CCC camp in the East for the construction of the Waterbury Dam.
Dog sledding has a rich history in New England that add to the stories on the trail. My school and group program elaborates on the Dog Sled history, and I bring it right to Vermont.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
Experience help determine the strength of the program, and helps you read the clients for an experience they will value. I have allot of options for where I can take the clients to keep it simple or thrilling.
The program have evolved to be specific for the group I am presenting to. The programs can be scientific, historical, cultural, informative on the dog sled sport and humorous. My team building program takes a look at what I have learned working with my dog team and how it applies to the professional environment.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Client will miss subtle details on the performance and behavior for each of the dogs. Working with the dogs is always a training exercise, that require praises and corrections. This all has to be done; so that, the clients leaves with a positive image of the sport.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
The diversity of my program: a spectacular setting along the Waterbury Reservoir, great photo options for them to take of each other as they take turn completing short campground loops and driving my tandem sled; the depth of history and knowledge I brings to the tour, and of course are the amazing friendly, energetic, entertaining, and well behaved Siberian huskies.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
The idea that people are seeking adventure experiences.
What sets October Siberians apart from other, similar, dog sled companies?
The location is the most scenic and offers the most diversity of trails than the others operations. The tandem sled provide clients the experience of driving but not having to take control of the team. The Photo opportunity for the client to record their experience. Waterbury VT offer many other activities to compliment the clients experience of dog sleddig.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Do the research into the companies in the area – the top google search is not necessary the top experience. Read the details on the websites, call the operation and ask questions. Then go with your gut instinct.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
A great website and happy clients. I am getting great referrals and repeat clients.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Being fair and reasonable, so that you adjust to the circumstances and leave the client with a positive experience.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
One client proposed to his girlfriend on a tour, but maybe I cannot take credit for that, although I picked the perfect spot along the reservoir with the mountains in the background. I believe that most people are completely charmed by how friendly my dogs are.