With the arrival yearly arrival of of winter, I thought I would share one of the most fun backyard adventures I have ever experienced – Dog Sledding.
The Back Story
For those of you who don’t know, my husband Chris was born and raised in the picturesque city of Thunder Bay, in northern Ontario. I had the joy of spending…well living, and shall we say experiencing…3 years in Thunder Bay. You might be asking yourself what this has to do with either Duluth or Minnesota, but I promise I am getting there. Although the closest major Canadian city to Thunder Bay is 6 hours away, the state of Minnesota border crossing is much closer, at less than an hour away. After many long months of routine, I longed for a weekend away. I packed up all of my winter clothes and booked a weekend at a cabin in Duluth, Minnesota.
Before you travel to Minnesota you need to understand one thing, the winter months are cold. Very, very cold. I’m talking about -30 to -40 Celsius and freeze your face off kind of cold. If the cold doesn’t get to you, the strong winds and associated wind chill factor can. Be sure to pack your long johns and warmest clothing. Think layers, snow suits, boots, scarf, hat and mittens. The cold weather also makes for awesome winter sports such as dog sledding, tobogganing, skating, ice fishing and both downhill or cross country skiing.
Dog Sledding – The Experience
Honestly, there is nothing like it. First you meet the dog team, have the opportunity to take some pictures, and learn all about the equipment used. After helping to hook up the dog team, you are nestled into a sled harness with a warm blanket, from where you get a straight view of the dogs propelling the sled through the snow. During the 5-8 mile dog sled run I was able to enjoy the serene nature in the form of snow covered trees, marshes, bogs and the rolling landscape.
Dog sledding was one of the most intense adrenaline rushes I have every experienced. Sure it’s not sky diving, bungee jumping or riding a roller coaster, but the dog sled teams can travel up to 8-20 mph. The speed depends on the slowest dog in the pack. Let me tell you, traveling that fast from a small sled is pretty exhilarating. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this should be on your bucket list.
How To Go On A Dog Sledding Adventure
So now that I hopefully have you all excited, let me give you the details on setting up this excursion. Like many other activities, you must plan it in advance. There are several great tour companies in Duluth, Minnesota such as Outdoor Adventures and Endurance Kennels. (These however, aren’t the only providers out there. If you live in a place where it snows, there will most likely be something similar in your area.) Based on what suits your interest, you can select the amount of time and the type of adventure you want to enjoy. Adventures can last anywhere between 25 minutes to 6 hours. Of course, the price you pay for the dog sledding will be reflected in the amount of time and the size of the group participating.
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