I can’t believe I have been writing this blog for over 3 months about living in Alaska and I have not mentioned dog sledding. What? Let’s start out by saying it is controversial at best. Lots of people on both sides of that fence and I am not here to pass judgement on anyone or to try and change any minds.
When I was looking into the history of dog sledding, I read that the first they have evidence of it over 4,000 years ago. It was practiced in many parts of the world, not just snow covered landscape.
Here in Anchorage we have dog sledding in the summer time for those visitors who don’t want to brave the cold. In those cases they have rollers on the sled to travel over the trails. You can even do that in downtown Anchorage.
The big race is the Iditarod held here in March and the headquarters are in Wasilla, just outside of Anchorage. But sledding takes place all over the world, with all kinds of dogs.
For the most part if you are involved you have a lot of dogs who live outside all year. The first time I saw this it just looked like wooden boxes in front of a house, then the man who was doing the dog sled mushing walked out and they came to life.
The dogs were on top of the houses, tails wagging, barking to beat the band, saying pick me, pick me. Just like that happy sound your own dog makes when you come in after being gone for 8 hours at work, with the tail wagging the whole body frenzy. Then when a dog was picked and attached to the harness, he became a quiet yet alert dog waiting for his turn to go.
Yes, I have been lucky enough to go on a dog sled ride. It is very exciting and I was amazed at how fast those guys can pull over the frozen ground. The downside was all the chips of ice flying in my face as I sat in the sled. No, I was not interested in being a musher.
When you have an opportunity to visit Alaska, this might just have to be one of the stops on your trip.