We made this appointment before our tip to guarantee our spot. It’s a beautiful sunny day. The Chena river was frozen and covered with snow.
The owner, I’d call her K here, was very nice and looked rough. She drove a huge truck with dogs in the enclosed cargo bed. Alaskan huskies were hybrid. They were extremely cold enduring and very efficient sled dogs. K got us suited up with more coats/parka, boots, and warmer hats. All these turned out to be necessary for doing sleds on the river.
The dogs were lined up and divided into two teams. Each team had two leader dogs in the front and about nine to ten dogs in total. Adventurer Jr. and Adventurer Jr. II wanted to really have some fun and volunteered to stand on the back of the second sled of each team. I held Adventurer Jr. III between my legs in the first sled. K stood in the back of our sled. Adventure Jr. II, III and I were on one team; Mr. Adventurer and Adventurer Jr. were on the other team with one of K’s employees running that team.
The dogs were athletes. They ran so fast. The leaders were smart and they followed K’s command after they heard them. They were trained by special dog trainers and K bought them for her business. There’s a rapport between K and them. Some follower dogs were retired racing dogs and were given to her. When she first moved here more than ten years ago, she encountered a wolf while doing sled ride. She looked at the wolf into its eyes and the wolf looked back, then it turned and walked away.
The views were beautiful. We saw trees, mountains, blue sky, and big houses on the mountains. The winds were blowing. The sunshine felt good on my body. There were many dips and turns for the snow track to make the ride fun. Adventurer Jr. II was like an acrobat in the back, K told me. I couldn’t see anything back there since I was all bundled up and couldn’t turn my head far enough. There were sticks on the river and were marks left by people for their fish holes. We also saw people riding a snowmobile on the river.
Most newcomers were from the military. K saw civilians who packed and left when the temperature was below -40°F. The cold weather was good for authors and artists though. They could concentrate on their thing since there’s not much else to do.
The Chena river typically thaws in late April, early May timeframe. K teaches in spring and fall seasons as a substitute teacher. And she switches to her horse riding business in the summertime. She loves horses. It’s good to use her passion to make money as well.
Adventurer Jr. III slept through most of the ride. Right before the ride was over, he woke up and said that’s was fun. K and I couldn’t help ourselves but laugh.
Adventure Jr. II had a blast with the dog sled ride and he journaled it here.
Next in the series: Getting some Smoked Salmon