We finally arrived at our cabin, the Diamond Willow cabin, at Timber Trail Lodge, just in time for dinner! We met our fellow mushers, Briana, Andrew, Molly, and Marian, and our two guides Ellen and Dave. It turns out that Dave Freeman runs a blog for kids and teachers that Mrs. Rizzuto and have been planning on using with you guys! He and his wife travel around the world doing all sorts of outdoor adventures and then teach kids via the internet! We knew about the blog because they had done a trip via dog sled and we were going to follow them, but the timing didn’t work out too well! It turns out that their next adventure is to canoe from Lake Superior to the east coast of Maine and then down the east coast to Florida. They will probably make a stop in Baltimore and may be able to come and do a presentation at school!
After dinner we had to have our clothing gear checked out by our guides. According to Dave, tomorrow is the start of “real” winter here in Minnesota and the temp is going to be about 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus twelve!
We will be wearing, from the bottom up:
Feet – line socks, thick wool socks, boot liners, boots
Legs – long underwear, fleece pants, wind proof pants
Body – long underwear, sweater, fleece coat, wind proof coat
Hands – glove liners, mittens, hand warmers
Neck – gator
Head – ear band, wool hat, fleece hat, hood from fleece coat, hood from wind proof hat
We also had a Dog Sledding 101 talk. To get the dogs to go, we say “Ready, Hike.” It’s not the words that are important, but it’s the tone. You need to make your voice go up at the end of the sentence. To stop you say “Whoa” in a deep voice. To turn right your see “Gee” (right has a g in the word) and to turn left you say “Haw.”
They talked a lot about how dogs are pack animals and how much they love to work!
Tomorrow we will meet our dog teams. Mrs. Rizzuto and I will be sharing a sled and a dog team of five dogs. They have special sleds that have a platform that allow two people to stand on the sled at a time. Racing sleds just have runners on the back that the mushers stand on.
Going to sleep now so I can be ready to face the morning!