Wapusk Adventures, Ididamile and the Iditarod

I’ve wanted to go dogsledding for years. I love northern breed dogs, snow, and playing outside–dogsledding is the perfect combination of those three things. I follow the Iditarod each year and watching that race live is near the top of my “Things I Must Do One Day” list.

The boys and I just finished watching a (slightly dramatized) documentary of the 2008 Iditarod– The Toughest Race On Earth. (Stream it for free if you have Amazon Prime.)

The 2014 Iditarod is happening right now and we’ve been keeping up to date on the standings by checking the Iditarod website daily. We each chose a person to follow and have been charting their progress on an Alaska map.

All this Iditarod watching reminded me that I never told you about my mini-dogsledding adventure in Churchill last November.

I got to spend an afternoon with Dave Daily at Wapusk Adventures. PBI splurged and sent four of us to give doglsedding a try, and it was great.

Dave runs a lovely kennel, full of happy, healthy racing huskies. He’s also the founder (and frequent winner) of the Hudson Bay Quest— a race from Gillam to Churchill.

After arriving at the Wapusk Adventure dog yard, we snuggled into a cabin to hear about Dave’s M├ętis culture, the dogs, and a little history of dogsledding. Out in the yard we met the dogs (and puppies!), drooled over the hand built sleds, and let jays land on our hands.

Dave Daily snuggles with one of his dogs.

Melissa catches a jay.

We’re ready to run!

Emily with pup.

Then it was time for the Ididamile. Two by two, we climbed onto a sled along with a musher and ran the one mile course. (Get it? I did a mile!)

Being behind those huskies and they bolted through the snow was amazing. Melissa and I had the first run and it was fast! The dogs were yipping and barking as they get ready to run, but quiet once we started. Fresh snow, boreal trees, and open meadows raced by while we kept our eyes peeled for polar bears.

It was a wonderful introduction to dog sledding. Now I am ready for a full day trip!

The dog yard.

Yes, we are all wearing the same parkas. You should see when there are eight or nine of us walking around Churchill. You can’t miss the Polar Bears International crew.

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