In honor of the start of the Iditarod, which takes place on March 2, I’m remembering my own dog sledding adventure a number of years ago (the pictures were obviously not taken with an SLR, it’s all you can do to hold onto a sled without worrying about losing your camera!).
I absolutely love huskies. They are incredibly beautiful dogs with thick, soft fur. I fell in love with them a number of years ago when I went dog sledding in Maine with a good friend at the Mahoosuc Guide Service. We had such a great time that we took a few more friends a couple of years later and did the trip again. The trip took place near Newry, Maine, on the edges of Lake Umbagog. It entailed a two-night camping trip in the snow, but when you consider that we were in canvas-walled tents, heated with wood stoves, and a floor of fir boughs, this was not roughing it in the traditional sense. There were three teams, with their own characteristics and personalities. Nanook and the Marshmallows had thick, white fluffy fur. Then there were the Tractors, who could pull like nobody’s business. You definitely didn’t want to fall off the sled or you had little chance of running to catch up with them. And they loved to run. Prior to starting, we had to have our teams tied to trees to prevent them from taking off before we were ready. They were jumping forward and leaping and barking until the moment we pulled the slip knot, then it was silent running through the snow as we hung on for dear life and worked to pivot the sled at the appropriate time on a curve. I loved waking up to them in the morning. At the first sign of dawn all the dogs would howl for about 30 seconds and stop as abruptly as they started. Now that’s an alarm clock I could live with. You could smell coffee brewing in the cook tent (from water we brought in from Lake Umbagog, which required punching through 16″ of ice to access), bacon, and pancakes with fresh Maine blueberries. Throw in some snow shoeing and cross-country skiing, and this was quite a trip. It’s one I’d like to repeat in the future with my husband and soon-to-be little girl. And my DSLR.
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