Dogpowered

Of all the many ways I’ve traveled in the world, dogsled is by far the most exuberant mode of transportation I have experienced. To have eight eager, happy dogs all yipping, yapping, and barking with excitement is thrilling — and that’s before they take off running across the snow, pulling you behind them.

At times I felt almost guilty for making the dogs drag my unhelpful weight through such harsh conditions (snow, wind, and cold), but honestly, they seemed to be enjoying themselves. After a long summer and fall of waiting and training, these hardworking Alaskan huskies were now embarking on their very first run of the season with me as their charge.

Their canine energy was fun and furious; together, the team was unstoppable. We glided through the snow tracks over Canada’s older (but original) Trans-Canada highway. Pencil-thin pine trees lined both edges of the path, the sky was clear, and the air crisp.

In just one hour I traveled by dogsled from Banff National Park, in Alberta, across the Continental Divide, and into Canada’s westernmost province: British Columbia. There the dogs left and headed back to their bowls of warm food and their kennel beds.

Meanwhile, I continue onwards, in search of newer and better snow, across the endless mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Those who follow me on Twitter know how much I love all the dogs I find along the way, but these eight dogs were simply unforgettable.

I will never forget how I traveled with them, nor how they wagged their tails as they carried me onwards to my next destination.

 

Lead dog Ned leads the rest of the dogsled team in Banff National Park (AE, NGS)

Comments

  1. Octavia
    December 11, 2011, 9:23 am

    What a great experience. These dogs are just fantastic, the way they enjoy pulling the sled, as if this is their only purpose. I have two Alaskan Huskies myself and can’t wait for snow to fall to take them out again.

  2. Akila
    http://theroadforks.com
    December 11, 2011, 4:58 pm

    Loved this video, Andrew!

  3. Susan
    http://traveljunkette.com
    December 12, 2011, 6:42 am

    Aw, I loved this. I went dogsledding in Breckenridge, CO, a few years back. It was a blast, and the dogs seemed so happy!

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  5. Mona Gable
    Los Angeles
    February 6, 3:51 pm

    I wrote about this woman with a rare disease who did the Iditarod last year. Thought you might enjoy! http://magazine.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=6&action=detail&ref=974