March 23, 2016. I got to do something I never expected I would ever experience……….

I went dog sledding.

True, it was the tourist version, but still. How lucky we are to live near the Rockies, and have such an opportunity. I am also lucky to have friends to try all sorts of interesting things, and needed a fourth person.

We drove out to Canmore, where we got registered for the trip. Howling Dog Tours shares a spot in a pet store….. very appropriate.  They have lots of cute souvenirs, of course, but I restrained myself.  Guess I don’t need a toy dog when I have a real one back home.

Inside the store where we registered for our trip.

Inside the store where we registered for our trip.

Soon, we were in the van with an English couple from London, and their daughter.P1120564

High up into the mountains we went……. it took about half an hour to get to the staging areaP1120544

We were given a brief talk about the dogs.  They use both the classic Siberian Huskies – the fluffy ones that we associate with dog sledding, and also dogs that are a cross with Greyhounds. It sounds like a crazy mixture, but our driver told us that the greyhounds are actually the better pullers.

We were assigned our drivers.   Frankie got Lona settled in the sled, while I held the front of the tether line, and Frankie harnessed up the dogs.P1120524

They bring them this way to put them in two-wheel drive, and to keep the harness from pressing on the dogs throats……..P1120559

It looks cruel, but is really practical.  These dogs are strong, and it would be pretty hard to tell them where to go with all four paws on the ground.

The dogs were excited to get to work, and the noise was quite deafening.

Dogs jumping in excitement

Dogs jumping in excitement

And we were off –

view from the sled.

view from the sled.

Just after we got on the trail, there was a photographer  waiting to take our “memory shot”.  I got on the back just before, and rode the rails with Frankie for a while.IMG_1195

Later, I got back in the sled, and was able to talk to Frankie as we rode along.  He has been working there since last autumn, and really loves dogs.  A Canmore native, he longs to travel.  Both Lona and I encouraged him to get out and see the rest of the world.

The trip took about two hours all together.  We stopped at the turn-around spot for cocoa and the dogs got a bit of a rest.  P1120542

Here are Brad, Corliss and Brad’s Mom, Lona.

On the trail back – what a beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies.P1120548

Back at home base, the sleds are waiting the next lot of tourists.P1120557

So are the dogs.  You can see that they are not so excited now, but resting, and awaiting their treats.  I got to feed them the treats as Lonahad been told that the dogs might prefer her coat.  I also helped bring the bowls of chicken water for them.P1120562

It was a great adventure on a beautiful spring day in Alberta.




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