We were woken up at 6AM. Ed showed us how to pack our bags so we got up and put our gear away. We grabbed our duffels and headed to the cabin to have breakfast. We used our camping bowls and spoons and had sausages and grits. After breakfast we headed out front and learned how to pack our sleds. The sleds are made by students who are there for the 60-day courses. Our sleds are “The Daddy Kay” and “The Weeze.” We packed up the sleds and then packed up 3 pulks for 3 of the 5 skiers. We walked down to the dog area and Ed showed us how to “two-wheel” a dog and harness her. Once the mushing group came they took over and the ski group headed out. Me, Ed, Fil, Adam, and Juan were the first ski group. Ed gave us a crash course on cross-country skiing and we hit the trails.
I fell. A lot. At times we had to take our gear off and give it to the mushers so that we could help them get their sleds through the portages. We traveled on the lake and used portages to get from one to another. Some of the portages didn’t have much snow so we had to help a lot.
Sled commands are “ready dogs, let’s go,” H-O-G or “Hah” (left), “on-by” (straight), “Gee” (right), and “whoa” to stop the sled. There are also 3 braking methods. The sled brake, drag brake, and a chain that wraps around the sled foot. Skiing was tough. We traveled roughly 5 miles and by the end of the day I was beat and my left knee was sore. Oh, and I skied with a pack on my back. No pulk.
At camp we learned how to set things up. I learned how to make a knot called a trucker’s hitch. We set up tarps for cover and got our beds ready.
Dre got the fire ready and we enjoyed a “hot drink” (hot chocolate for me) and dinner. Dinner was an odd version of spaghetti carbonara which was made with powdered milk, bacon, onions, and spaghetti. Not too bad. After dinner we got ready for bed.
Oh yeah, before dinner someone reads a quote from the quote book and then says “peace and chow” and we echo it.
The dogs were all passed out once we got to camp too. It was pretty adorable. I’m pretty fond of Growly Bear and Tiberius.
Sled 1 dogs: Isabella, Growly Bear, Tiberius, Sila, Buckwheat, and Mikkl.
Sled 2 dogs: Tamarack, Bimble Bear, Marten, Yukon, and Polaris.
“Squirrel bags” are snack bags filled with sesame sticks, M&M’s, gold fish, dried fruit, and nuts to eat throughout the day.
Gear: mouse boots, gaiters, leather mittens (chompers), beanie, neck warmer, liner gloves, liner socks, wool socks, long underwear, underwear, sports bra, wind pants, t-shirt, fleece top, down jacket, anorak. Adjust layers as necessary.
Started travel around 9:30-10Am and arrived at camp around 5PM.
Packing the sled
How to harness a dog
Cross country skiers
Checking the ice for thickness
Setting up camp
The Daddy Kay