I think I would have to say that my favorite experience this winter has been dog sledding! After a quick shower, hair drying, and breakfast we drove to Muktuk kennels. Down a long driveway that was like a washboard with huge hills and dangerous curves was a beautiful log cabin, still under construction. I was so fascinated by the house that it took me a while to realize that there were about 90 dog houses with bouncing, barking dogs! They weren't mean, in fact, I would almost say they were smiling at us as we drove by. But their focus on us didn't last long when the guides walked amongst them with harnesses. I would swear they were barking the words, "PICK ME"! We were all outfitted in different, heavier clothes (we had worn rather light stuff there, it was only -3 that day) and then given a lecture on how to brake and steer the sled (we would eventually get to drive). I helped my guide, Isabelle, hook up the 8 dogs she had selected out of the 20 or so under her care. They couldn't get to the sled fast enough. I had always thought that sled dogs really were just after food or treats... that that was the only reason they ran. This is certainly not the case! These dogs can't wait to run. Even when they were fed snacks during breaks on the trail they would gobble it down and get right back to jerking on the tied up sled, trying to run. After the dogs had calmed down a little and settled into a steady trot the guides slowed them down and we got to drive. I was nervous at first, it would be very easy to lose a sled. Even with 3 different kinds of brakes the dogs still pull so hard that it's very difficult to keep the sled at a stop. During one switch of drivers our dogs wouldn't stop and Isabelle jumped out of the still moving sled, onto the back and I had to get a running jump into it! I could go on for hours about how great it was, but I don't want these pages to tell all the stories! And I haven't even begun to tell you what it was like to meet a Yukon Quest CHAMPION! (The Yukon Quest is a dog sled race that's over 1000 miles long and lasts about 12 days... talk about roughing it!) So without further ado, click the picture below!

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