Hey guys! I’m so excited to tell you about the adventures of dog sledding but before I get into anything I just want to start off by saying how lucky I am to have someone in my life who strives to make me happy. It seriously feels like his purpose in this world is to give me a life full of adventure and euphoria and I hope that everyone can have someone in their life that makes them feel like their most beautiful self all the time.
Well…enough of that.
You might be wondering how we found out about this or what made us want to do this and honestly…I don’t really know or remember I just know that it was something I had mentioned years ago would be really cool to do but I didn’t think you could do it “locally” or affordably (not that it really was). This adventure was gifted to me from Jake for Christmas.
Since the tour started at 9am we decided it would be best to book a few days off and stay at a B&B in the area. The closest accommodations were about 30-40 minutes away from the actual dog sledding location which made perfect sense based on where it was located. We left at about 10am and arrived at about 12:30pm. We stayed at a very cozy B&B called Stouffer Mill run by Jessie and Don who actually used to live in our town but moved up north 30 years ago. Jessie, who we saw most of the time, was super sweet and gave us a map of all their trails for hiking, recommended a local restaurant and showed us around her home. Even though it was a B&B it was very private. The best part about B&B’s is how personal they can be. There was a little lounge just outside our room and Jessie had brought up some freshly baked goods for us and there was also complimentary coffee/tea. The trails around their property were beautiful and we spent our afternoon checking them out.
I totally forgot to take pictures of this but before we headed out for dog sledding Jessie was up bright and early cooking us “Jessie’s famous breakfast” for 7am. It started off with coffee, juice and the most delicious yogurt parfait I’ve ever had. I don’t know what she put it in but it tasted like a desert. She also gave us a muffin each and then baked eggs filled with onions, peppers & tomatoes and peameal bacon on the side. Lastly she brought out a plate of pancakes with sliced banana on top…perfect way to start the day as it was going to be a long one.
Okay…onto the exciting part.
The company Jake chose to go through was Winterdance Dogsled Tours. This company is run by Hank who has several guides and 150 purebred Siberian huskies. When Jake was telling me about it I was under the impression that the two of us would sit in the sled and the guide would mush giving us the opportunity to mush if we wanted to with their assistance. As we were registering we were told to wait in the cabin for our lesson…I was very confused…why did we need a lesson? Turns out we got our own team of dogs and we were going to mushing the whole time. My first thought was hell no I’m not doing that. I’m going to hurt the dog or we are going to get hurt. Jake ended up doing most of the mushing but eventually I did get the courage to try it out. A big reason was that I was freezing and needed to put my frozen ass to work if I wanted to warm up considering it wasn’t even first break yet. We went with the full day tour (9am-4pm) that included two breaks and a lunch. Sure enough the moment we switched I had to push Jake up a very long hill and I was so out of breath. It also turns out dog sledding is a lot easier than I expected taking into consideration it was touring not racing and we didn’t need to know commands or anything. The rest of the day we kept switching out with Jake doing majority of the mushing. I was a bit nervous at times because I don’t weigh a whole lot so even when I put my entire body weight on the break we would still go flying and it was very icy since we just had a massive thaw and then flash freeze a day later.
My last turn mushing was quite the ride…we ended up going down an extremely steep and icy hill where I thought…oh no this is it…we’re all dead. I was thrown off and went flying into a birch tree/bushes and when I looked up somehow Jake was still upright and the dogs had taken off down the trail with Jake still in the sled. I’m not sure if I was hurt or not but all I could think was that I had to get onto the back of that sled asap or else they’ll start going too fast and the sled will hit the dogs. So up I got and started running as fast I could to jump onto it. We aren’t really sure how but the guide didn’t see any of this (which is actually hilarious). They have their own team that lead the way and our guide, Ryan, was constantly looking back at us especially after steep hills or difficult turns to make sure we were okay but somehow… not this time.
After a long day we arrived back at the cabin where we finished up with giving each dog a bowl of water. I also just want to mention something cool here…Ryan showed us their new sugarbush all gravity fed by tubing where they collect sap from 1400 trees…just a wee bit bigger than our family’s operation as we do about 40 trees.
Overall dog sledding was absolutely incredible. The scenery was stunning with several ponds surrounding us, tons of beautiful birch tress and spruce trees and the sunshine reflecting off the slowly falling snow was something out of dream to be honest. I really didn’t expect dog sledding to be so physically demanding but wow… you have to be fit to do the full day but they do offer half day and two hour tours as well. Lets just say I’m thankful that I went with Jake because there’s no way I would’ve been able to do that on my own. If you ever get the chance to do this…do it. I think it’s so sad how many people complain about winter here. Winter is so easy to love if you just bundle up, get outside and really take in how beautiful and fun it is. It may mean that you have to try something new but isn’t that the best part of life?