I’m now back from making memories about dog sleding in the Arctic. It was an incredible experience covering a whole range of emotions. Not being used to very cold weather (-25) I waddled about in numerous layers which when you are initially anxious just added to overheating!
After a brief introduction to the sledge and dogs we were off, well the dogs were off and I was just hanging on. Not sure how I manged not to fall off the first day. We would travel for 3 hours before stopping for lunch over an open fire and then on for another 90 minutes before reaching our wilderness cabin. The dogs were always seen to first, giving them “soup” then their meal and sometimes some straw to sleep upon.
The cabins were basic but comfortable but each one had a sauna! Water was collected from a nearby lake whilst the cooking was done either on a wood stove or occassioanlly a gas ring.
Morning was the most anxiety provoking time as the dogs were keyed up to get going and the noise of 37 dogs was deafening. Once you bring up the snow anchor and take your foot of the break there was no stopping them. And then it’s silence – just the panting of the dogs and the swish of the sledge on the snow. Absolutely magical.
Over 203 kms I fell off four times (more than anyone else) but by the final day I had mastered the art of going round corners without hitting trees!
The whole trip was challenging, scary, exciting and beautiful and certainly out of my comfort zone. I now have these memories tucked away in my mind and am so pleased that I made the effort to do something which stretched me mentally and physically.
I would love to hear from anyone else who made a conscious effort to step out of their comfort zone.