Winter Dog Sled Adventures with Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing
Did you know that you can enjoy a great winter getaway in Bayfield, Wisconsin with a Sled Dog experience provided by our local outfitter, Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing? These hands-on trips include the opportunity to get to know the dogs, harness them up, and drive your own team (or ride along in the “basket” as a passenger if you prefer).
Mushing is an exhilarating adventure, and you’re sure to find some amazing photo opportunities along the trail as well. Do you believe travel is about getting right into the action? Well this is a bit like being shot out of a cannon! If you’ve never been mushing, you should try it.
The mushing experience is a lot more than just a sled dog run through the woods. When you meet your team leader and the sled dogs for the first time, you’ll soon realize this adventure is beyond the ordinary. You will laugh on this day. You may cry. You definitely will grow from the experience, and I daresay it might even change your life in some way.
Take the opportunity to greet each dog and look them in the eye. Each animal has its own personality, as well as a role/function on the sled dog team. As you feed the dogs a pre-run snack of their favorite kibbles (mixed with icy cold water) you’ll sense the excitement building among the dog sled team. Imagine a giant rubber band winding ever tighter, and then poised, waiting, ready to explode like a great bolt of energy, flying through the forest.
One by one, you help to harness the dogs in their designated spots along the gang line. The dogs yip and pant in anticipation as your team leader makes a thorough check to see that everything is correctly in place. You receive instructions about staying up on the runners, the narrow pieces of wood the sled rides on, which extend behind the basket so the Musher can stand on them.
When all is set, you release your snow hook (a large metal hook you drive into firm snow to anchor your team and sled for short periods of time) and get ready for the ride of your life. You are off: rocketing through the woods like Bullet Bill in Mario Kart. The best advice: remain calm and hang on!
See, here’s the thing: you don’t really drive a dog sled. Of course there are commands that mushers use to communicate with the team, but you don’t actually “steer” the sled. If you are rigid, or if you try to impose your will on the dogs, they will leave you lying in the snow. (Again, I’m speaking from experience here: I had quite an amazing ‘snow beard’ when I fell off the sled my first time mushing.) The best advice is to relax, trust the dogs, and enjoy the ride.
You will hear the dogs breathing together as they sync up and become a living machine. You hear the swish of the snow under the sled rails, the creaking sounds of the rigging and the sled under strain. Yet somehow, with all these sounds surrounding you, and snow flying up from the trail, it is extremely peaceful and quiet on the back of a dog sled. Personally, I found it to be a remarkably solitary experience, even within the team setting (we had 3-4 sleds going on each of my trips).
Did I mention that the scenery is breath taking? When close forest trails give way to sun-dappled open fields, full of clean white snow, it’s genuinely breathtaking.
When the lead musher yells, “Gee!” and you take a fast right turn, then head into a straightaway you feel the energy of the sled dog team. Your sled goes faster and faster as the icy air flies by and you catch your breath in giant frosty (delicious) gulps as you stand on the sled rails, holding firmly to the handlebow.
Can one Mushing experience possibly be enough? I don’t think so. It is worth every single penny to do this. In fact, I recommend coming up for a long weekend stay to enjoy multiple sled dog runs over the course of a few days/nights. The Adventures in Mushing Long Weekend w/ Night Run package includes two day runs to gain experience, followed by a moon and star-lit Night Run you’ll remember the rest of your life.
When you get back to Old Rittenhouse Inn, we’ll have hot cocoa and cookies ready for you to enjoy in your guest room or suite. Perhaps you’d enjoy some wine or dinner. Let our staff take care of all the details so you don’t have to!
Winter only lasts so long, so what are you waiting for? Call us today to reserve your lodging and we’ll help set up the adventure of the year. Call today: 715-779-5111