Today I went dog sledding with Sharon, Kim, and Shane in Yellowknife! My parents thought it would be a fun northern experience for us, and they were right, it was awesome! Both Kim and I had been dog sledding when we were younger and still living in Inuvik, but I don’t really remember it too well.
Beck’s Kennels, run by Grant Beck, currently has over 130 sled dogs and offers a variety of tours. Grant himself is an accomplished dog musher who has won a number of races and other competitions over the years, in North America, the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, and the Pyrenees in Spain. The dogs are Alaskan Huskies, which look a bit different than the Siberian Huskies you’re probably thinking of. We learned that Siberian Huskies, due to breeding patterns over the years, don’t make the best racing dogs though they are good for hauling things!
We went on the Northern Outdoor tour, which lasted roughly two hours:
Head out to our traditional Trapper’s tent next to a secluded lake where you will enjoy hot drinks and cookies around a crackling woodstove. Drive your own sled team there or just sit back and relax. Experience the thrill of driving a snow machine, and zip around the lake before heading back.
The first step was to dress appropriately! We wore our warmest clothes to the kennels, but ended up changing or putting on more clothes inside. They had parkas, boots, mittens, and all sorts of winter gear for guests to wear. All of us put on a pair of ski pants, and somehow, Shane and I ended up with pink mittens. We were warm though!
On the way out to the Trapper’s tent, Shane and I drove while Sharon and Kim sat. We swapped positions on the way back, so each of us got to drive the sled. Though “drive” isn’t really accurate – the dogs knew exactly where to go and didn’t really need any direction from us! Our only job was to step on the brake when instructed to do so by the tour guides who drove snowmobiles.
When we got to the Trapper’s tent, we were pretty cold, and were glad to find a wood-burning stove inside. We also had cookies, hot chocolate, and signed the guest book! The cabin had a couple of bunk beds, for overnight guests. After getting warmed up, we headed back outside to drive back to the kennels. Our route back seemed a little less sheltered, and thus much windier and colder!
Thanks Mom and Dad for a great gift! I had a ton of fun today! You can see more photos here.