Dog Sledding in New Hampshire!
Dog Sledding in the White Mountains of NH
What is a typical winter day for my sled dogs?
What is it like to step on the runners of the dog?
I still remember the excitement of my first time behind a team of sled dogs. Even back then when I didn’t know much and my dogs were still pretty young their enthusiasm and instinct floored me. I knew then I had made friends (for life!) with kindred spirits.
Siberian Huskies are my breed of sled dog. They don’t have to be trained to pull or run, they are born loving those things and they have tons of spirit and drive. They can be challenging, but their beauty and love of adventure will win anyone over!
So what is dog sledding like? After your equipment (sled or rig) is set up and secured to an (UMMOVABLE) object each excited team member is attached to the gangline by her collar and harness. Do this 4-10 times…and the human is usually drenched in sweat! Now you have an entire team jumping and yelping with joy and hunger for the trail. A last look over equipment, the trail, each dog and any passengers…and you pull the quick release. The team takes off with a SURGE. You are now racing at up to 20mph down a snowy trail. The dogs are running in pairs in front of you … and those all important lead dogs are a long way away! Everything is quiet now and you can hear your heart pounding as you near the first fork in the trail. Left is down a plowed road, you don’t want to go that way. Right takes you up the snowmobile trail and over the mountain for beautiful views. You quietly call the leaders names and then give the command for right: “Twinkle, Bodhi…. GEE!” The leaders bring the team expertly in the desired direction. “Good dogs Twnkle and Bodhi!” you say and see them flick their ears to you in appreciation of the praise. Now you are cruising uphill, the dogs digging in and the speed is still high. As you near the crest of the hill you notice all dog ears flick forward, what do the dogs hear or smell that you cannot see yet? The speed increases as you crest the hill, and you notice fresh moose tracks. A little while later you are the one to spot the moose standing quietly off the trail. The trail is gorgeous and the air cool and fresh. Soon you hear a snowmobile and you call to the team “GEE over”. Starting at the front the team pushes farther to the right and you head on pass the snowmobile smoothly.
After a while it is time to take a break. The sled is anchored down and tied off to a tree. Water bowls for the dogs and some frozen meat. Hot cocoa or tea for the people. All is peaceful for a minute or so, but as soon as the bowls are picked up the dogs are more than ready to go again. You pack up the sled and head off again. What a beautiful day!
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc
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