Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mushing on Mendenhall Glacier

Our next stop was Juneau.  Bethy and I had signed up to do the helicopter and dog sledding on Mendenhall glacier and had been praying for months that it wouldn't get cancelled due to bad weather (that happened to Bethy last time we were in Alaska and it has devastated her all these years.)  Turns out, it was perfect weather for a nice helicopter ride!  After getting all dolled up in the necessary gear and a quick lesson on helicopter safety we were lead out to the landing pad.

And off we went!!  As you can imagine the view from the helicopter was truly amazing, Alaska is such a gorgeous place!

First glimpse at the glacier

Then out of nowhere, it appeared, the rebel alliance base camp on the planet Hoth!  But seriously, doesn't that look exactly like the opening scenes of The Empire Strikes Back?  We learned that they are required by law to blend in to the glacier as much as possible, that is why everything is white. 

We were welcomed to the glacier by the musher camp team and were told a little bit about the camp.  There are 280 dogs up on the glacier and they are racing dogs that compete in races all over the country, they have a race coming up in Colorado at the end of the summer.

Then we were divided into groups and assigned a musher to be our leader, our leader's name was Caleb and he was the nicest person I have ever met!  Caleb led us over to meet the team that we would be working with, all the dogs were super excited!
My two favorite dogs were named Hercules and Trouble

This is Lucy, I think she was the prettiest dog on our team, she is super shy so we weren't allowed to pet her, but she sure is a strong dog.

Our team leaders getting the dogs hooked up to the sled and all ready for a ride!
Then we took our seats and were off!

We made a huge circle around the camp
We took a couple of short breaks to play musical chairs so everyone got a turn to be in front as well as a turn driving in the back

Silly, excited, puppies

Caleb and his dogs, we think he might be the owner of the whole camp
Eliza was the lead dog, we were told that she is extremely smart.  But, like Lucy, she is really shy and such a sweet tempered dog.

My turn to drive!

Sadly, our ride had to come to an end so we got one last picture with our amazing sled dog team

Then it was time to meet the brand new puppies that had just been born a few weeks ago!!!!  Eeep!  They were too young for us to hold them, which I was kind of sad about, but they were so fun to see!

Melt. My. Heart.

Then our helicopter's came to pick us up and take us back to town

See the three helicopters in front of us ...  Makes the mountains look HUGE!

Needless to say it was a pretty awesome day!

1 comment:

  1. What a great experience! You will remember that for a lifetime! Great pictures, it was fun to share it with you through your pictures and descriptions...