Day 2 Wednesday, 26th December 2012 (Mushing)
Off we go!!!
And off we go!! Seven husky-mixed dogs rushed forward in excitement. Harnesses tightened and our sled accelerated to 10km/hr within a second or at least it seemed so. It was a bright sunny day, the sunlight reflected of the snow packed ground and sparkled on the mountain side.
A steep curve to the right and the sled bumped with force against a bank of tires stacked for safety around the corner. The sun was now in our faces. It was around 11am so we must have been moving South-East, which was confirmed by our electronic devices.
We are known for gadgetry
Andi was wearing a Motorola heart rate monitor/GPS. Based on his experience in Algonquin he was expecting some heavy running uphill mixed with dog steering and lots of excitement.
We wanted to see how much exertion it would really be for him adding a chill factor as well as heavy clothing. We also wanted to know where we ended up. The one hour of drive somewhere in the mountains was not exactly along any major routes.
The Motorola device plotted our trip very well including geographic coordinates, terrain, max, min and average speed, calories burned and heart rate read second by second. You can get our Motorola data by clicking right here should you be curious about this device and the details of our dog sledding route.
Dog sledding without oomph
Despite Andi’s expectation he did not have much chance to demonstrate his athleticism. The pace was rather slow and on a flat surface geared more towards non-athletic general public, rather than eager for physical exertion middle-aged macho men.
The dogs did not need any help either, so Andi resigned himself to a few sprints only next to the sled. At the end Motorola registered a puny 230 calories and an average heart rate of 99, more to do with overall excitement than any physical exertion. Nonetheless, we had plenty of fun.
At least the view was worth it
The view was outstanding as the dog powered sleighs ran alongside a long mountain lake. The sun made the scenery that much more spectacular. It highlighted the unbelievable beauty of the mountain wilderness.
Mid-way all ten or fifteen sleighs stopped along the road. We were all given the opportunity to grab a hot chocolate and some cookie. Most people did without thinking twice. We, instead, pulled out our home made curry beef jerky and ate it while others were watching in awe.
Yep, we do not eat chemical crap. Real wilderness requires real food. Unfortunately this mushing trip was just a far scaled-down version of the authentic experience that it ought to have been. At least comparing it to our previous Algonquin dog sledding adventure four years ago, this one was a watered down version of it.
The coffee shop style hot chocolate and cookies served on a bench was also a reflection how pampering and urbanized this “adventure” was. I guess this geographic area is a bit more geared towards tourism, whereas our Algonquin experience was more geared to part-time adventurers.
Adventure imitations reflect our declining health levels
That recent non-adventure would seem to be a reflection of our current sad no-health reality. I believe this trip had to be made as an imitation of the real thing, due to a shortage of real thing takers.
As sad as it is but an average person is not robust enough to meet the mountains, not healthy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions, not fit enough to match physical rigors of wilderness, and not skilled enough to deal with animals other than urbanized pets. In other words real dog mushing experience is too strenuous for a decisively large chunk of North American population.
The average “healthy” North American today is so physically incapable that he has to be sheltered from real experiences and adventures. Unfortunately together with loss of physical fitness and health North Americans have lost the intensity of physical experiences as well.
Healthy people have more fun
The sad end-effect of this reality is that most people will never live life to the fullest. Less then optimal health is a major party pooper. Remember that while planning to spend your next vacation lying motionlessly on a beach. Healthy people have more fun … because they can.
Looking for freedom, fun, and adventure is a natural human drive. There is no better tool than optimal health that prepares for a fully intense and varied experience. Take care of health and you will never run out of fun. Lose it and you will become a social miser.
… to continue
CLICK HERE to continue reading Part 9
Click here to start reading our journey from the beginning (Part 1)