Well, that's one more from the "do before I die" list done... I finally got the chance to run a dog sled!
See, late last year as the first snow started to fly, I asked the guy at work if I could have a ride sometime. It always seemed so quintessentially Alaskan that it would be silly to be up here and not try it once. "Sure," said he "just wait till the trails get good and I'll let you know."
He mentioned a ride on the sled could get... aromatic.. at times, as the dogs are trained to just "let fly" when they need to attend to nature's call, and the debris has a way of peppering the sled. Cheery.
So anyhow, last week he asked if I still wanted a ride.
"YES!" said I.
"Good," said he - "there's a race this weekend. You're in it."
Ummm..... so yeah.
Training consisted of learning four commands ("hike, gee, haw, whoa" - pretty self explanatory) and being shown the ice brake, the ice hooks, and the sliding "slow up" mat. And that was pretty much it. Oh - and don't let go of the sled or lines if you have to check on a dog.
And that was it. Me and three Siberians and a sled.
Then it was just time to wait for the start.
Yes, it was a rush!
We didn't place at all well I'm afraid - once out of sight of Daddy the dogs wanted to trot more than run - at times I was pushing as much as they were pulling. All in all though, it was still a blast - especially on the downhill runs. I can see why folks still love to do this!
Best of all though.. one more of those truly unique human experiences out there I can now check off and say "hey... I know what that's like."
Gosh is this a fun ol' world to play in! It's like a giant amusement park, that no matter how long you live, you'll never run out of new and exciting things to try. :)