Iditarod for Beginners

Trip Start Dec 21, 2011
Trip End Dec 26, 2011

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What I did
4-Eagle Ranch Wolcott
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Colorado
Friday, December 23, 2011

This was a pretty special day – not only my birthday, but Noah's half birthday and DOG SLEDDING!!! We had our tour booked with Winterhawk Dogsled Adventures through 4-Eagle Ranch. They picked us up at the condo and we drove up near Leadville. When we got there you could hear the dogs barking before we got out of the car – they were quite loud.  Imagine 4 sled teams with 8-10 dogs each expressing their excitement over getting to do what they love the most – pull those sleds. We stood around and watched the handlers get the dogs harnessed to our sleds. Each position requires a different skill set and often a different body type. It was rather entertaining to watch them – they’d start fights with each other and sometimes jump over one another and get their leads all tangled up. Once they were all hooked up and ready to go we got into our sleds. It was two people per sled, so basically I was sitting on Gary’s lap. Then we were bundled up with wool blankets and we were ready to go. As soon as the dogs took off there was silence, like someone turned a switch off. They were going to work and they no longer needed to let us know how much they wanted to go. Their focus was totally on running, and once they started they didn’t stop, not even to go to the bathroom – they took care of that as they ran. If they got thirsty they would bite the snow for a quick drink. I think I had a smile on my face the entire time. It was such a wonderful way to travel through the countryside, and what a gorgeous countryside it was! We stopped about halfway through the ride for some hot chocolate, and at that time the dogs were ready to settle down for some pets. When we got started again Gary and I took turns co-piloting the sled. It was exhilarating, and a whole different view of things from the back of the sled.  Too soon it was over and time to return to the condo.

Our next stop of the day was Vail Village. Like Beaver Creek Village there were lots of ice sculptures, but instead of clear ice these were milky ice. It reminded me of a Bavarian Village, or what I imagine a Bavarian Village would look like in the wintertime. We got to take a group photo with Santa on his sled, pulled by a Cadillac.

For dinner we went to The Blue Plate Bistro, which was a short walk from the condo. The food was delicious – Chateaubriand and fresh trout. It was great to be able to walk over there, and then check out the Christmas lights as we walked back home.
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