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#28621 - 02/01/23 05:35 PM Mushin'
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1202
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Back under a different thread I told of my Christmas present from my kids. Mushing sled dogs. Well, this past weekend, my daughter Becky and her friend John and I spent time in Ely, Minnesota. The outfitter was Wintergreen Dogsled. They sent us information before hand that included a list of the dogs names. I zeroed in on one named Whoopsie. Told my daughter that I hope I get her for one of my sled dogs. We arrived at the dogsled lodge and noticed a few of the dogs were running loose, meeting us mushers and needing a lot of loving and attention. As I stepped out of our van, one of the dogs ran directly to me. I petted and scratched and made a real fuss on her when I noticed her name was Whoopsie!! She picked me! How could that happen?? Anyway, at -30*s we were checked out for our clothing choice. Had to dress for the three 'W's. Wicking, warmth, and wind. With working outside and recreating my whole adult life, I had the clothes needed. This first pic shows some of us lining up for the trip. I believe there were a dozen sleds, taking turns leaving for our several hour adventure. There were some guides along the way in case there would be help needed with the dogs.
The dogs used were called Canadian Inuit Dogs. We were told they are not for speed but for freight. Becky and John had a two person sled while I had my own single person. I rode on the two runners with a large brake between to stand on when stopped. Also had to brake while going down hill to slow the sled. Also had to help the dogs going up hill by pumping like a scooter. I actually lost 5lbs that day. The sled tipped over once, and almost twice. Dogs cut the corner around a tree too close and the sled took the brunt of it. Had to step of the trail to right the sled and found the depth of the snow was between my knee and hip! I'm convinced that the trio in front of me were four legged children. They mostly listened to my commands. Sometimes not. They played together while we had to stop. Sometimes they fought and had to get their harnesses untangled. But mostly, when they had to work, they worked together, stride for stride. This last pic is of how I looked after the run. We stopped here at the dog kennels. One last scratch behind the ears and we left. Was a great and very different adventure. I would recommend it. Oh, and work out a little before hand. You'll need it!!
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#28622 - 02/02/23 11:37 AM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2407
Loc: Qc.
Good times. I've checked out the Canadian Inuit dogs. They were called Canadian Eskimo dogs back then. The guy my wife bought her trapline from had an old male and wanted to give it to me. He wanted me to have the genetics. I decided the breed was a little too primitive and slow for me. They could be "iffy" with kids and other dogs. He would not have fit the teams I had then and I wasn't looking to breed for pups.

But for a tough dog that could sleep in the snow, as you winter camp, they are ideal. Plus they look great in photos!

Glad you had a good time. Lots of people think the musher just hops on the sled and away you go. It isn't quite that. You can sweat a lot, too.

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#28623 - 02/02/23 03:45 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
What a great Christmas gift. The kids made you happy, and that's the main thing!

From the tone of your typing, I get the impression that you had a blast! I see that snow plastered up across your butt and elbow, so we know you had fun.

A while back we had a discussion about sled dogs and all. Musher told us that some folks call that breed of dogs, Kodak dogs, cause they are so pretty.

I mentioned this before, in the other conversation, but I watched a video, it was taken from a drone. But they had 8 or 10 dogs, maybe 11? But the video showed one sled out breaking trail, in new snow, the dogs were just chugging right along. They weren't running hard, but going about the speed of a person walking on solid ground or a little faster? To me, that just looks so relaxing. No tracks out front, all new and pristine. Out in a new place, that would give a person to look around and kind of get a feel for where you are and the lay of the land.

You're supposed to tell us about your flying experience too. I'm sure you felt naked without your knife.

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#28624 - 02/02/23 04:11 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2407
Loc: Qc.
Kodak dogs are pure bred Siberian huskies.It is difficult to find an actual working lineage.

Canadian Inuit dogs and malamutes are a different thing. You will see people keeping Siberians in cities and apartments. Not so with CID's and Mals. They are too much to handle. It can be somewhat difficult to find working lineages of Mals. CID's aren't ruined, yet, but they are working at it.

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#28625 - 02/03/23 01:40 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Ok, Siberian huskies.

This is just my guess, but I'd guess that about all breeds of dogs are becoming watered down.

We should start a new thread, but just my opinion, just about all of our outdoor sports, hobbies and pasttimes are slowing down. I mean as far as hunting, trapping, fishing and probably "mushing".

Guys my age are dying off faster than we're being replaced. Maybe the internet has taken over interest in the Great Outdoors?

A while back I bumped into 2 friends, they were trapping, we had a creekside talk about trapping. Probably an hour chat? We talked about prices and all. And I told them: You've gotta love it.

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#28626 - 02/03/23 03:45 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1202
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Ok, so this flying thing. I went with my daughter, Becky. We left Milwaukee Sat. morning on a plane headed to Chicago. From there, after an hour plus layover, we headed north to Minneapolis. Snowed like crazy in Chicago. Watched them spray the plane twice with some kind of deicing stuff. First some pink stuff, then green. Geez, we looked like a pizza puke. Couldn't see the ground all the way until we landed in Minn. That's what I really missed. I've only been off the ground two times. My future bride and I climbed aboard a Ford Tri-Motor for a ten minute circle around the airport. That's when we had the air show at the airport. The second time was in a hot-air balloon. That was really great. Becky's friend, John, left for Minn. on Friday so he could ice dive with his scuba dudes Sat. morning. He then picked us up from the airport and we traveled four hours north to Ely. I guess I enjoyed the plane ride. I expected too much for the take off push back in my seat. From what I have always been told it would be super. Shoot, I did better dumping the clutch in my '65 GTO! And I guess I've got two cons. One is all the waiting we had to do, layovers, boarding, off loading, etc. The other is way too many people in such a small space. We could have rode up with John, but my kids wanted me to experience the flight thing. I'll fly again if there's a required reason, but not to just fly. And I think the dog sledding is a one and done. Was fun, but I think I'd rather snowshoe. Oh, and that snow that you see on me came from when the sled tipped over. I went with it!! grin
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#28627 - 02/03/23 10:35 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1202
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
So here's a P.S. on the above entry. While mushing, I had to really pay attention to what them dogs were doing, so I couldn't do a lot of looking at the scenery. The trail was well beaten, sometimes very narrow, several inches below the adjacent snow. Occasionally, a pine bough would peek out from the side of the trail, and them dogs would try to pee on that small greenery, on the trot. That gave them a split second to squirt and go, on the go. That would disrupt the cadence of the other two, jerk the sled, but right back on track. You trappers who take your dogs with you on the trap line, really study their movements. Sometimes the sled dogs would just check out the side of the trail with no foliage showing. Probably a scent from another pee stop from another dog. That's where you need to bed a trap for the canine you're after. If the domesticated dog can sniff that well, can you imagine what the nose is like on a wild canine??
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28628 - 02/04/23 11:08 AM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2407
Loc: Qc.
I know what you are talking about regarding the pee spots. This year, and especially this time of year, the peeing is crazy.

However, no wolves or fox have taken an interest in my dogs urine. I have had wolves come pee at the take-off point. The wolves have swung through twice and there are fox there nightly. The fox are urinating at other points that the dogs mainly ignore. Go figure.

I have one corner where the snow is a little deeper (wind) and the dogs almost all pee there. It is the first year this happens and I have no idea why. I'm guessing that it is because a couple started and ... the others joined the party. It is as peed on as the start/finish.

I have had 2 fights lately. Both involved a super peeing Siberian. He is disrupting the cadence and the other dogs are tiring of it. I am super tired of it. But it's tough to stop. The only thing that helps is speed. Tough to pee when you are being pulled by the neck!

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#28629 - 02/05/23 02:12 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: FLSH ETR]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Well, it's breeding season. Seems like about 3 weeks ago the roads were littered with possums, now it's skunks. I had a girl ask me the other day, What's the deal with the skunks?

When I first read Frank's opening comment, I read it and understood it, but kind of missed it too.

Where he was talking about the "workout", I understand, being on a sled, you're constantly shifting your weight. Constantly shifting from one hand to the other and all, trying to stay on top of the thing.

I don't know exactly how long he was on the sled? Or how many miles?

But outfitters are usually set up to take care of what you want. I mean if you'd like to go on a 2 hour trip or you'd like to go out and spend most of the day.

Just say that I'd take my buddy Wardney for dog sled adventure. Wardney is better than 80 years old now. You should be able to call the outfitter and say: Hey, I'm bringing a friend, he's 80 years old and we'd like to go sledding. We don't want to break the speed record, and we'd like to go on the scenic trip. They should be able to accomodate that request.

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#28630 - 02/05/23 07:56 PM Re: Mushin' [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1202
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Yes, you would most surely talk to different outfitters to find out what they offer. Last year Becky and John went with another outfitter. Two to a sled, they were allowed to take turns riding in the basket while the other drove. Smoother, flatter route I assume. This year there was no riding in the basket. Way too many hills for the dogs to pull weight that wasn't helping pumping up the hills. They had a six dog team. Two lead dogs, two swing dogs, and two wheel dogs. Some of these hills required guides to help pull the teams up. My three dogs did just fine, with me pumping. So if you want to take your buddy, first figure out how fit he is. Then find out if he can ride in the basket. We signed up for a full day of mushing, including a stop for lunch, but the outfitter cancelled to a half day because of the temps. One of my team dogs greeted me by smashing his sloppy wet nose onto one of my glasses lens, which of course at minus thirty it instantly froze. Had to look out of my left one till that one fogged over and froze. Yea, ask lots of questions. Get your buddy out there. He'll love it!
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"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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