I've spent every winter of my life in Colorado, but this is the first time I've ever gone on a dog sledding tour... and I got to DRIVE!!!
No doubt you've seen these adorable huskies on TV, competing in the annual Iditarod competition up in Alaska. They travel thousands of miles a year across tough terrain, and some of them end up here in Colorado at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park.
I got the chance to get up close to these amazing animals and learned what it takes to care for 82 dogs! There's a lot more to it than just taking tourists out on the trails... it's a full-time job. Feeding and picking up after ONE dog can take forever... now imagine a whole pack!
Owner Jeff Martin made me earn my keep. Hey, at least I have experience (although picking up after a little basset hound could never have prepared me for this!)
His huskies will run upto 1,000 miles a year. In fact, in any given day, the dogs will run one to three times, it just depends on that dogs' capability. So they're very strong but so incredibly affectionate.
Jeff says, "Unlike snowmobiles you can't just put these guys in the garage all summer.. it's maintenance all year long". I believe it! I learned how to hook up the dogs to the lines in the staging area and prepared myself for the ride. The only advice I got was to hold on tight. As soon as I took my foot of the brake pad, we were off!
The views through the woods in Fraser were so beautiful and to be on the runners, in charge of these dogs was like nothing I've ever experienced. They listen well, stop on command and absolutely love to run!
So, if you're looking for something new to enjoy the Colorado winter, head up Berthoud Pass and take your first dog sled tour! It's such a fun way to get out and enjoy nature and if you're a dog person like me, you'll have a blast!
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