Am I the only one who thought you have to go to the Arctic Tundra for dogsledding? The idea is so exotic to me, I expected to be shrouded in seal pelts and lunching on whale blubber. Then again, having grown up in California, windshield ice scrapers are exotic to me, so I may not be the best judge. Turns out there’s a dogsledding operation called Wilderness Adventures in Truckee, California, just a few hours north of my home town. Score!
This is our family riding in a dogsled, you guys. Hank is covering his face because I gave him my sunglasses so snow chips wouldn’t hit him in the eyes. He loved them and got very screechy when I tried to uncover his face. I thought about fighting him, because I was attached to the idea of a crazy-awesome dogsledding Christmas card, until I realized I was in danger of turning a magical day into a Perfectionist v. Toddler screamfest. So you’ll just have to trust me that he’s looking pretty cute under there.
Sledding was a little scary in the beginning because the dogs were so excited to get going, and also because this life list project has made me afraid of going fast without an adult helmet. Bryan asked if we should be prepared for the sled to tip. On the bridge, for example.
Our guide assured us that there was too much weight in the sled. So he basically called us fat. Take that, huskies!
For the most part, dogsledding was sort of like an amusement park ride, only the the bumper cars can poop. Speaking of which, the dogs do let loose while they’re running, sometimes without even breaking stride. So it was nice to have front row tickets for that.
Apparently the motion of the sled is so soothing that it often puts kids to sleep, and Hank was no exception. It was so cozy to have him dozing in my lap while I snuggled up with Bryan. Dog sledding is fun for the whole family!
After the run was over, we got to go play with the dogs, which made Hank delirious with joy and slightly terrified. He’s a little nervous around big dogs, so he kept saying, “These doggies are so nice to me. They will not bite me.”
And he was right.
We rewarded Hank for his bravery by finding him a pair of his very own sunglasses.
Christmas card secured.
A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List and helping me achieve my dreams. They gave me a Palm Pre Plus, which I used to find my way to the dogsledding place because it has GPS, and we were totally lost. Our guide also used it to take the first photo of this post, which I frankly would not have believed was from a camera phone if I hadn’t been there. Well done, everyone.
Winter citrus! These are Mandarinquats, tiny Kishu Mandarins, and a Fremont Mandarin.
Kishu Mandarins are so wee that the segments are about half the size of a quarter.
They’re very sweet, with barely enough tang to feel like you’re actually eating citrus.
Fremont Mandarins tasted similar to the Kishus, but larger, with a brighter peel that would make lovely zest. Also, they have seeds.
I was most excited about the Mandarinquats, which are a Mandarin-Kumquat hybrid. They’re supposed to be similar to kumquats, which have a super sweet peel and tart fruit. Kumquats are about the size of grapes, so you just pop them in your mouth whole, and I love them.
I do not love Mandarinquats. They’re pretty, but the peel is nowhere near as sweet as a kumquat, which means you’re just eating an orange peel. But! If you’re a bartender who wants to make a kumquat drink, these would be less time consuming to juice I guess. Also pretty in floral arrangements?
Meh. Mandarinquat, you are no friend of mine.
At last, a Momversation about Mighty Lists. Have you made yours yet? Please do, my friend. It’s good for your life.