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Dogsledding in the Arctic Circle

Image Title: Photo courtesy of Kakslaatanen Resort Website
Photo courtesy of Kakslaatanen Resort Website
Image Title: Meeting our lead dog, Belle
Meeting our lead dog, Belle
Image Title: Arctic Circle Sunset from a dog sled at 2:30pm in November 2015
Arctic Circle Sunset from a dog sled at 2:30pm in November 2015
Image Title: Mushing in the afternoon twilight
Mushing in the afternoon twilight

As Washington State University Alumni, we took particularly special pleasure in mushing Huskies in the Arctic Circle in Finland on Apple Cup Friday last year even if the University of Washington Huskies pretty well mushed the Washington State University Cougars on the field a few hours later.   

We arrived at our Artic Circle Resort Kakslauttanen (Finland) two days earlier and were pretty well acclimatized to the harsh winter environment with temps in the mid-Fahrenheit teens (around minus 10 Celsius).  The Husky Safari, dog sledding excursion took about 3 hours total from door-to-door with about 1 ½ hours of actual dog sledding and the rest of the time taken by shuttles, pre- and post-gearing up and a visit with the new Husky puppies who aren't old enough to pull a sled yet.  We were also able to tour through the farm to see how the dogs are housed and were impressed at the clean conditions and real estate provided each dog in their pens.

After getting dressed in the provided arctic gear, we were introduced to our dog team of 5 huskies, with Belle as the lead dog.  They don't look very big, but these 5 dogs pulled our 350lbs of two bodies and one sled with no problem and with very little steering from the driver.  The dogs obviously loved the run and were well taken care of by the outfitter.

We changed drivers at the half-way, high point of our tour with the other person sitting in the sled and taking pictures.  The 1.5 hour trip was peaceful with no other sounds but the dogs and the sled runners on the crunchy snow.  It was made even more peaceful as the sun set and the moon and stars came out in a cloudless twilight.  The peace would occasionally be disrupted by one of the guides passing by on a snow machine to check on us, but they weren't a constant and overbearing presence.

We finished our run in the dark and after a few obligatory pictures with our dog team, we met with other mushers in a barn with a large central fire place for warm drinks and stories.  The trip was capped off with an introduction to several 8 week old Husky puppies who will be pulling sleds in the Arctic Circle in another 2 or 3 years.


You can read more about the full details of our trip in the Destinations section of our website under the Finland tab.

 

Phil & Diane