I spent my last Sunday (for a while) in Alaska doing two very Alaskan activities. Special thanks to “The Coach’s Daughter” (Give me a better nickname and I’ll use it) and “AJ” for hosting me. I visited them in August when my family was up, to see what raising sled dogs was all about. In August, there were 10 dogs (don’t make me name them, because I can). Yesterday; 16 dogs! I honestly can’t think of another time in my life when I’ve been around 16 dogs like that. It was fascinating. I mentioned I took part in two Alaskan activities, there’s the dog sledding, but also I road a snow machine for the first time. It’s very similar to a Waverunner, but hurts much more to crash…yeah, I can say that from experience. I’ve quietly mocked snow machining (snow mobiles, to those of you in the “other 49”) as long as I’ve been up, mainly for the sideways hat wearing 22 year olds that crowd once-cool bars saying “brap” to each other. But after both riding one on my own and seeing one in practical use, I now understand.
Here’s what I learned:
1. These dogs want to pull sleds. With 16 dogs, the 8 that get left behind yelp and howl like a child left out of a game.
2. Some people and dogs consider 30 degrees (above zero) hot.
3. Abandon your instincts when riding a snow machine. If your instincts tell you to put your feet down while careening towards a grove of trees, you’re gonna regret giving into them. If your instinct would tell you to stay on a snow machine if it breaks through a frozen lake, abandon that instinct and jump away. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with the second. I promise, Mom.
4. 16 dogs make a lot of poop.
5. I can’t run fast enough to catch a dog sled.
6. There are muscles you use to handle sled dogs that may not be used for anything else a human would ever do.
There are pictures on Flickr.
Also make sure you don’t have a sucky holiday…click here. I’m gonna add a link to this on the side bar, so you can keep up with this unique outlook on the world.