©Wolfgang Kaehler

The Last Hope Rope

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Hang In There Baby!

Dog Sledding in Banff, Alberta

I climbed into the sled. My son plopped onto my lap and my little daughter squirmed onto his. The dogs yelped, tugged and bellowed with excitement. As my arms wrapped around the kids, the musher yelled, “Hike” and off we flew. This must be what Santa feels like, I mused for a second; but only a second because I flashed back to the reality that I’d better hang onto my babies. The sled raced and scraped as it dashed along the icy track. We sped around a turn and, oh my god, I thought my kids were going to fly off into the nearest snow bank.

Three years later…




photos above by Alpine Images

 The Last Hope Rope

Sun Peaks, British Columbia

A band of puppies yelped at the starting point for a sledding tour in Sun Peaks, British Columbia. No, they couldn’t come along; their job was to greet and adequately saturate guests with slimy kisses, which they did quite commendably. Tati climbed into the sled behind our rowdy canine team. This time, I was the musher. I proudly took my position standing on the rails of the sled, called, “Hike,” and off we dashed. There was no ice this time, only airy, fresh snow that had settled in mounds in the wood’s hollow. The sled sailed over the drifts like a sailboat dancing over ocean swells. I gripped the sled like I was hanging from a 12-story ledge. Suddenly we jolted up and over a bump: I was airborne. But only for a flash, for when I realized what was happening, I was lying on the track and my five-year-old was in the renegade sled racing through the forest without me. Then I remembered the “last hope rope” as it flew past my nose. I snatched the rope and belly-surfed, bouncing through the snow as the huskies and my daughter pulled me behind. I had no clue what I would do next, but I hung on well enough to make Tarzan proud. Just as I started to contemplate how I would get from zipping along on my belly back onto the sled, I heard a “Whoa,” as the guide circled around on his snowmobile and brought the dogs to tumbling stop.

If dog sledding has taught me something about life it is that while parents often need to learn to let go, this is not the time.

To Book a Tour: This year the tours at Sun Peaks are operated by Mountain Man Adventures. This is a hands-on tour, although in my case it was hands-off! It really is great fun. Contact: http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/winter/activities/Dogsledding-Tours

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Posted January 14, 2011 | Categories: Blog and Travel. Tags: banff, british columbia, dog sledding, sun peaks, and travel blog.

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