Go Dogsledding? Check.

10th March 2010

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.

36 thoughts on “Go Dogsledding? Check.

  1. QoB

    ‘He’s a little nervous around big dogs, so he kept saying, “These doggies are so nice to me. They will not bite me.” ‘

    That is unbelievably cute. Toddler mantra.

  2. michelle

    Ack! That looks like SO much fun. I am totally putting that on my Christmas list!! (also, I can’t believe that hat I made still fits him! love!)

  3. Emily

    Wow! How fun is that? I’d never consider dog sledding since I too would think you’d have to travel to the Arctic tundra (or Alaska at least) to do so. Next time I visit family in Cali I’ll have to give it a tree (if it’s in winter of course)!

  4. Stephanie

    Oh my goodness, you can do that in Truckee? Looks like I’ll be adding that to my list!

    Are you from the Sacramento area originally?

  5. Lauren

    I think you should do a split photo card and include the photo of him covering his eyes. It’s still super cute.

    On my list!

  6. sarah

    I am typing his now on my brand new palm pre plus & I love it! The pictures are amazing, hopefully I can get some great ones as well. Thank you for inspiring us all to be might girls!

  7. Katie

    I’ve been following your Mighty List and have been working on my own for a while now, too. I love hearing about all your accomplishments, but this one is just so great – something that is closer and more attainable than you think, but you probably would not have looked without the list. Congratulations to your family of mushers!

    Also: one of my dad’s phrases to get me and my siblings moving when we were kids was “mush you huskies!” Um, we’re Canadian?

  8. the duchess of amboy

    When everyone was talking about “The Secret”, I was skeptical. I still haven’t read it, but on the other hand, I love the life list idea and the inspiration board suggestion from your post on creating a great office space. I am working on both of those things for myself.

    Your pictures are great, and isn’t this always how it goes: I was just reading about Truckee in “On The Road” and here it is again.

    Also reminds me of “White Fang” and “Call of the Wild”. How about you?

  9. Sarah

    I realize that this is TOTALLY not the point of this post (which is awesome, btw) but I’m dying laughing at the ice scraper confusion.

    I live in upstate NY and recently had a dear friend from Nashville come visit. After picking her up at the airport, she stepped out of my car and stopped dead in her tracks in my driveway:

    “Uh… there’s SALT in your driveway. Like… big pieces of it. How does that even happen??”

    Cut to me doubled over with laughter explaining that it was there because we PUT in there to melt the ice and prevent slipping.

    Thanks for adding one more event to the list of things I’d love to do!

  10. Heather

    You got me inspired (again)! This one is going on my (newly started) life list. My twist on it, sledding with my husband and I in one sled and my sister and her husband in another. Perhaps we’ll have our own personal Iditarod with hot cocoa or toddies at the end for all.

    Oh, and your Christmas cards are going to be the best, but then you know that.

    Thank you for sharing, Maggie!

    (Can now also check off commenting on a post at mightygirl.com :)

  11. Teresa

    Hi – I read your blog often, but almost never post. I just wanted to tell you kudos for not participating in the perfectionist vs. toddler screamfest. I’ve done that at least once and now realize that being less of a perfectionist is the preferred route! Also, this looks like such a nice winter family outing. I’d love to snuggle up with hubby while my little one (who’s not so little (6), but would love to snuggle up still) snuggles up on my lap. Thanks for posting! Makes me smile.

  12. Cara Jean Means

    I get pretty stupid with happiness when I see a group of dogs, like hanging out the back of a pickup truck or something, so I think something like this might be too much for me to handle! I love to see dogs being dogs, especially in numbers.

    Very cool. Very jealous.

  13. Katie

    Wow – That looks super-fun! I, too, would have thought you’d have to go to Alaska or something to find such an adventure. Bravo to you for such a fun and daring outing!

  14. Susan

    We took a summer time dogsled ride in Alaska–they pull a cart on wheels through the forest (on a dirt trail). This is how the dogs stay in shape during the summer! The dogs are SO excited to be running and pulling the sled (cart)–I have never laughed so hard in my life! It was a blast.

  15. Katrina

    Maggie, could you pretty please, with cherries on top, give us the info on that fantastic turquoise bag?

  16. Sara

    Awesome! I was born and raised in Alaska and we had several huskies as pets…fantastically smart dogs! What a cool experience your fam had. :)

  17. Nora

    I second (third? fourth?) the adorableness of the family photo. Definitely Xmas card material, even with a hide-and-go-seek Hank.

    And if you ever decide to go dog sledding north of the treeline, I know a guy. And I promise not to force-feed you blubber, or make you bunk with a ring seal.

  18. Brooke

    Awesome! In every way that is. I just want to find out how your bums are after all that sledding? I’m hoping they are just numb so you can’t feel the bruises and shit. You go, Mighty Girl. I justed checked one off yesterday – getting my eyebrows waxed. Yes. I know. Not quite the same level of excitement, but done. Be Well, B.

  19. Jet Harrington

    How awesome is this? What a great example you are providing to Hank, so early in life – GO AFTER your life, LIVE IT. Wow, you are mighty, indeed.

    And this totally makes me want to see if they do this in our area (near Seattle). I bet they do.

  20. Lauren

    I had a preschool girl in my class share this insight into her resolved fear of Smokey the Bear: “We went to visit the fire station. That bear? He didn’t eat me – he shook my hand!

    Kids and animals – tricky territory.

  21. curlystraight

    Ooof. I tried dogsledding years ago.

    It was not as cozy as your experience though. Scary. Standing straight up, going super fast, yelling “whoa” the whole time and ducking to avoid branches in Northern Maine.

  22. Renee

    I would love a husky, but I would want it to stay a puppy forever – do they come in miniature?

    Dog sledding sounds like a wonderful experience. Although I would have to do it in December when I don’t completely loathe the idea of winter and snow.

  23. Jennifer

    Did you really take that picture with a Palm phone? That is incredible!

    This trip is such an inspiration – what a great addition to a ski trip for the future

  24. Maggeh Post author

    Jennifer, I did. Actually, I handed my phone to our guide and _he_ took that photo. I was really surprised at the quality.

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