Riding Dog Sled in the Iditarod Camp

How Summer Dog Sled Tours Help Us As An Iditarod KennelI jumped on the snow block that had formed outside the tiny gift shop. It cracked and crumbled satisfyingly and when I jumped off, the shallow imprints of my sneakers stared up at me. May no one forget that I was here. =)

A young man and a teenage-looking girl motioned the group over to a skinny, earthy trail that winded into nothingness. Through the trees I could spot a grey, bushy tail flicking up and down excitedly. We started on the path, filled with anticipation.

I turned the corner, and suddenly was slapped in the face by happy barking. I looked around and saw a huge clearing, surrounded by oaks, filled with dogs of all colors, sizes, shapes, and names. Some jumped off their little doghouses and strained against their ropes/chains, barking eagerly.

I listened to the symphony of dog barks as we settled into a modern-looking sled thing. I got the front. Yay!

Trainers began to drag dogs into harnesses, moving quickly, as the barking volume doubled and dogs kept yipping, screeching, wailing desperately, wishing to be picked.

A dog next to the sled strained on its chain and barked ferociously, running around, around, around, and around its doghouse. I read his nametag. Larry. I liked Larry. He had spirit.

I looked at the next dog, sitting quietly on top of her square doghouse, watching everything calmly with big black pools. She obviously didn’t want to be picked, or was old, or something.

The dogs were in the harnesses, jumping up and down, filled with energy as the rest of the dogs still yelped. The girl stepped onto the back of the sled and cried over the barks, “Mush!”

The dogs immediately began running, tongues flying, and the sled began to move. Surprisingly, the dogs that had been rejected quieted down, and it was silent, as if those poor dogs were admitting defeat. The sled moved a lot smoother than I had expected. We zoomed past oaks and green leaves, and suddenly there was a jerk, and then the sled stopped.

Two dogs next to each other had gotten into a fight, and it was a tangle of black and brown fur trying to rip each other apart. The girl grabbed one dog and unharnessed him, and brought him back to camp as I impatiently waited for the ride to start again.

The girl rushed back, panting, and cried, “Mush!” The dogs ran again, pulling us along, taking sharp curves and turns very smoothly. I had started to get bored of the green scenery when we broke out, fresh, into a long, wide river that ran alongside the path. Towering stone cliffs bordered the other side.

The dogs stopped at a command, panting in unison. The girl flipped a harness over a dog who had somehow gotten over it and was stuck together next the dog in the other harness, and let us enjoy the view.

Then it lurched forward again, back into green, then, it was over. So soon! The dogs had greeted us in the clearing with happy yelps and barks again, and I climbed out. It had been quite a nice experience.

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