Filling My Sled 2.23.11

Temperature in Anchorage, 8 a.m. 14 °F

Fill Your Sled is the theme of this year’s posts—fill your sled with ideas for your classroom, fill your sled with photographs, fill your sled with experiences to enrich your students’ learning. Today I filled my sled with a new experience—standing on the runners of a sled behind an 8 dog team of FAST dogs!

At Aurora Dog Trails, I rode a second sled behind a musher’s sled and her 8 dog team. She showed me how to put harnesses on the dogs, I walked (trotted) a couple of them to the line and helped hook them up, and when she pulled the snow hook, we were GONE! Zippity zip, down the trail! The dogs love to run, and these dogs run short distance races, so they run fast. Both of us crouched on the runners, feet on the sled brakes to slow them a little bit as we took off.

Riding a second sled is a little bit like the game of Crack the Whip, and I had to pay attention to slowing my sled with the brake when the musher slowed hers. It’s not just stand on the runners; it’s lean left or right, pushing a little with your foot to guide the sled around curves in the trail.

We did a quick three miles in about 15 minutes or so under a blue, blue sky surrounded by mountains in 14 degree weather. What an experience to put in my personal sled!