Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dog Sledding in Alaska...

After a failed attempt to get to Girdwood last Saturday, my friend and coworker Deb Moore and I tried again Sunday morning. The weather in Anchorage was much milder this week than last, but it’s still foggy and the roads are slick and icy.

I’m so excited! We’re off to see her friend Dario Martinez, a musher. Dario lives in a small cabin near the Girdwood Airport by the Alyeska Resort. It’s about 40 miles southeast of downtown Anchorage off the Seward Highway.

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This city kid got to harness up two of the dogs, which is actually more like they do it all by themselves and I just feebly assist. They were patient with me, I noticed. I got more than a few glances from the dogs and I swear they rolled their eyes at each other like, “Geez, this guy is like so totally an amateur!"

Dario Martinez, Girdwood, Alaska. Knocking snow off the sled.

I learned that through breeding sled dogs are smaller now than they were, yet they’re stronger, have more endurance, and are faster. They don’t look anything like the Hollywood version…

Dario Martinez, Girdwood, Alaska. Harnessing up the dogs to go sledding.

I love the section in the video where we stop at the top of the hill and Dario explains goals and rewards. I wish I would have had more battery power for my iPhone and captured more video. Yet, I’m happy I captured what I did. Hanging on with one hand and my iPhone in the other, I’m amazed I didn't drop it in the snow or get bucked off.

Well... That's one off the old bucket list! I've always wanted to go dog sledding and the whole idea of a musher working with the dogs really sparks my imagination and sense of adventure. You know, like right out of Jack London, The Call of the Wild.

Many thanks Dario, for taking the time to share your passion with me. It was truly memorable. And thanks to my friends and coworkers Deb Moore for making it happen and Terry Bryan for lending me your boots!

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