Its not long now till Gemma and I head off and leave Toronto and then Canada altogether and we wanted a unique Canadian experience to remember from our time here. We had contemplated a wine tour in the Niagara region but we could do that in the Hunter Valley anytime, driving a dogteam through a forest might be a little more challenging to do anywhere at home.
We have created another movie for your enjoyment but please keep reading as there is more below surounding our adventure.
As you can see, quite a hands on experience.
Our day started at 7:30am when we left to pick up our hire car. We drove quickly to Haliburton, which is aproximately 230kms North of Toronto and stopped to have a late breakfast. From there we continued another 30kms North along an un-plowed, snow and ice covered rural road past Fort Irwin (military training ground) to arrive right on time at 1:30pm.
You might remember the last time I was able to play with a toy for a day I wrote how much I wanted to have one of my own. I’m very much a dog person but now a Siberian Husky tops my list of dogs to own. The dogs are just beautiful with such intense blue eyes. They are working dogs and can be a bit agressive with each other, but they just loved a good pat or scratch around the ears and were very friendly and approachable.
While commands may vary depending on where the dogs are trained, there are 3 main things to remember. To get things rolling (perhaps sliding?) a shove on the sled and a firm ‘Hike’ will have the team of 5 dogs charging forwards. Occassionally a member of the team can get a little distracted (54 other dogs on the trail, doing their business can leave for an interesting smell at times) a sharp yell of ‘On by’ will normaly regain there attention. Finally, when coming to a halt, ‘Whoa’ and liberal use of the brake does the job better than any ABS.
The film you watched is a 5 minute snapshot of what was a 4 hour tour. We drove the dogs for a 7kms round trip with a short break for hot chocolate and scooby snacks. There was a light snow fall for most of the trip which made it all the more picturesque.
What you might not have gathered from the movie is that there is some effort required from the driver, especially going up hills. To give the dogs a break the driver jumps off the back and runs up the hills lightening the load. Considering Gemma spent most of the time in the sled and the 4.5 hour return car trip through heavy snow and zero visibility, I am pretty much spent.
We really enjoyed this experience and recommend that everyone do this if you can (you know, if you’re in the neighbourhood).