While visiting Anchorage, Alaska, I was so excited to experience something I never dreamed I would do – go dog sledding.
We were staying with My Place Hotels in Anchorage, and our dog sledding experience would start in Palmer, a little less than an hour away. After arriving, we took a 20-minute helicopter ride to a glacier which was super exciting!
This trip to Alaska was not only the first time I had been on a glacier but the first time I had seen one as well. I was definitely a little bit caught off guard at just how white everything was. It was absolutely gorgeous and such an exciting moment.
As soon as we saw the dogs I knew it was real. I absolutely love animals so I was very excited to be able to hang out with them for a bit. The gentleman who runs the camp greeted us and told us a little bit about how things there work.
The dogs live on the glacier during the summer months, along with the staff. Staff members generally stay a minimum of a few weeks at a time, and as our guide told us, there are no showers at camp!
The person we ended up riding with was a 16-year-old girl, who has already raced two 200 mile races herself! She was super friendly and knowledgable. Mason decided to be the one to drive the sled so he was in back, our guide was in the middle, and I was sitting on the front of the sled with multiple cameras in hand.
As soon as the dogs figured out that they were going to be running, it got really loud really quickly. Their excitement was obvious! Every dog there has run the Iditarod multiple times, and the dogs who are retired are able to still hang around the camp freely.
The dog that ended up being the leader was a personal favorite of mine. He was super sweet and was an older dog. Taking off was so much faster than I had expected! They really used full force once they knew that it was time to go.
Mason has the job of putting on the brake whenever our guide said so. This would usually be while we were going downhill, or if the dogs decided not to listen.
We did a huge circle around the camp, stopping occasionally for breaks. I was given the opportunity to drive the sled halfway through, but honestly, I was too scared of the responsibility. Definitely regret it now, but hopefully next time!
After the ride, we got the chance to see some Husky puppies that are currently at camp with their mother. They had their own area inside, and we were able to hold the puppies. The mother dog was definitely curious about us, but she was sweet and friendly.
After this amazing experience, we walked back to the helicopter and said goodbye to those amazing people who keep the camp going. This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I am so thankful to Anchorage Helicopter Tours for giving us this experience!
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