It was about 3 pm on Saturday, January 9th as some mushers and I were all standing around a fire after a small fun run sled dog race. Somehow, one of them found out that I have been photographing sled dog races for 7 years, but had never ridden on a sled. So the great people at Natures Kennel Sled Dog Adventures hooked up a nice 5-dog team for me to try out.
Fortunately, being around mushing for so long was nice because they let me hook up my team and I knew all the basic “Musher Lingo”: “Gee” (command to turn right), “Haw” (command to turn left), “Whoa” (command to stop), and the vast dictionary of words for when something goes wrong. Haha! The ride started out ok as we took off on the 3 mile loop following one of the owners from Natures Kennel (Tasha). She had a passenger in her sled which made it significantly slower than mine, so I was forced to stand on my drag pad (piece of snowmobile track used to slow the dogs’ speed) for most of the run. About half way through the loop we came to a slight left hand turn and I yelled “Haw!” expecting the dogs to follow the sled in the front. Well, they didn’t. The dogs went strait and ended up in a big tangle that was easily fixed by Tasha. Once fixed, my team promptly ran her over! Overall, it was a great time; it was the first time I had ever been on the other side of my own camera at an event like this. It is really hard to describe how much fun mushing can be, so I will just say, “ If you ever get a chance to go mushing, DO IT! You won’t regret it one bit.” Get outside and put the phone away and just enjoy the world around you. Life is good!
-Sigurd Utych, YCC Member