February 25, 2017

Mushing on a frozen pond

What says Alaska more than dog mushing? Not much as far as I can tell. We got the opportunity to experience the fun for ourselves, and couldn't pass up the chance!

While waiting for our turn, the girls discovered that we truly were standing on a frozen pond.

A tad disconcerting, if you ask me!

It almost looked like big bubbles were frozen right into the ice. Very intriguing!

The dogs were excited and looked like they were born to do this, you could tell they loved it!

"Hurry up, let's GO!"

The dogs were transported in individual kennels, in this truck. The extra dogs did not sound happy about being left behind.

Not one bit happy!

Eva and I took the first ride. 

The driver of a dog sled team is called a musher. Why? The French word for "run" or "go", is "marche". The early French settlers in Canada would call "marche" to the dogs and to the English Canadians it sounded like "mush". A new word is born.

In mid-December, our daylight was dwindling. The time was about 1:00pm in this picture.

Now, for Ella and Matt's turn.

Our musher said that the dogs train year round by pulling sleds on wheels, and even swimming. Some of the big-time sled teams even have a large treadmill in the back of an air conditioned (think cold) semi, during the summertime. 

Amazingly, the history of using dogs to pull sleds dates back to 2,000 BC, originating in Siberia or North America.

During the Yukon Gold Rush, dog sleds were the most common form of transportation.

Today, with the snow machine, dog sleds are mostly used for sport, and in fact, happens to be the state sport of Alaska. What is your state sport?

Such a memorable day!

More on mushing when we attend the Iditarod in March!