Tucked into the Alta valley, lies a kennel of 98 Alaskan huskies that are so eager to pull a sled, that a team of six can pull their anchor out of the ground.
So much so that it took a Holmen Husky trainer to restrain them.
It was that kind of energy that had Leah and me so hyped to run the dogs on the trail, but only after properly outfitting ourselves…
and learning the intricacies of mushing, as explained by Vicki from UK.
Most importantly, after witnessing the huskies’ enthusiasm, we focused on how to brake and when to brake!
After a visual review of the basic rules…
we were appointed to our teams.
For the next 90 minutes, we rode through birch forests as the snow gently fell.
Keeping our distance between sleds was our biggest challenge, as the dogs were more than up to the task of hauling a 25 kg /55 lb sled…
with two passengers.
When occasional braking was necessary to prevent our sled from overtaking the sled ahead, the lead dog always turned to us, as if to say, “Why are you slowing me down?”
And when Duke, one our wheel dogs sensed that his partner Nola wasn’t carrying her weight, he let her know about it.
Bred for speed and endurance, Holmen’s sled dogs can manage 10 to 14 miles per hour, and may travel over 90 miles in a 24-hour period, pulling up to 85 pounds apiece!
The Holmen dogs are happiest when they are working, and even more so when they are racing.
When our run was over, it was time to time to relax…
and to cuddle.
A fire, a biscuit, and some blueberry tea was the perfect nosh after our wintry mush.
But doggone it, there would be no Northern Lights tonight!