Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ice Sculptures & Dog Sledding

More fun from my mom's visit...a drive downtown to view some ice sculptures...
 Happy Feet
 playful seals
 ice skaters
 race car
 the winning sculpture...dancers
 semi truck
and a birthday surprise for her...going on a dog sled ride...
 a balmy -6* (yes, that's NEGATIVE six degrees)
 13 dogs pulling us
 what's that saying??...if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes??
very true...
 The dog ride took place near Alyeska, at a place called Moose was a beautiful area...
 there were many cross country skiers...and even some campers?!?
 Dario, the musher...he's participated in the Iditarod 9 times
the dog musher informed us the -6* temps were still a little warm for the dogs liking...he said their ideal temp to run is -20*...when we stopped the dogs were 'biting' at the snow, eating it / helping them cool off...
he also shared some of the history of dog mushing, and explained how it's evolved over time from using dogs for transportation back in the day, and needing huskier dogs, to now primarily being used for racing, so speed over strength is a more desirable trait in the huskies used...the average weight of the dog is only about 45 pounds, which surprised me
 This is where the dogs live...the black dog is standing on top of his igloo house
 the dogs who were chained were howling back and forth with the dogs who were pulling our sled
 waiting for their turn to go sledding
 my mom and me (in the background, NOT the foreground) :)
We switched seats at this point and my mom warned me to hang on sitting on the back bench because she almost fell off a couple of times...not even 5 minutes later, we came around a curve and hit a bump, and guess who went flying out of the sled??  :)  Thankfully the snow provided a soft pillow landing for me.

Overall, we had a fun day, however, I don't think I would go on another ride...there are people who see animals as utilitarian and others who see animals as part of the family...I definitely fall in to the latter category...I felt sorry for the dogs!  When we stopped, I saw that some of them had small cuts on their paws from the snow and were licking their wounds...and I swear I saw the ones that were chained up shivering :)  I wanted to bring them all home w/ me and keep them inside.  It was a cool experience, but not one I wish to repeat.


Leanne said...

Amazing pictures. What an adventure! Miss you, friend.

ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

Awesome! I would love to do a sled trip sometime. We went to watch the Iditarod start a few years ago and it was amazing to see how happy the dogs were. I was sure that it was this awful terrible thing that they had to do, but they LOVED getting to run! It reminded me of, well, me, some days. :)

Susan Stevenson said...

What great photos of a great adventure! What fun!

Mary said...

Poor puppies! You should have taken D&D so they can see how the other half work daily.