Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mushing my family

Is that the right terminology? Does a musher mush his passengers or just his dogs, or does he just mush? In this case, it was Beth, Ethan, our friend Rebecca, and the dogs. The owner was offering a dog sledding experience to two riders, plus a co-musher standing next to him on the end of a ski. Those sitting on the sled have it easy, but a musher is expected to be part of the propulsion team. “Just riding is a luxury,” as the owner put it.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised then, that when I stepped on the ski, the team took off with no veteran beside me! After all, he’d been working hard giving lots of rides, and he asked me if I’d been watching carefully while waiting in line. Fortunately, the dogs were perfectly competent without any direction from me. Beth and Rebecca didn’t even know I was the only one back there until I told them about halfway around the loop.

Coming into the last turn, the dog’s master shouted for them to take a faster pace—and they did. What a ride! And at this clip I was just riding; it was too fast for me to help push. Just staying on the ski was effort enough.