With the bulk of the racing season out of the way, we have been focusing on giving back to the those that helped us. One way to say thanks to people is to give sled dog rides, so we have been busy giving tours to family, friends, sponsors and others. We had family up for end of the Quest and here is a photo of Cole’s brother Will (who has been helping run dogs since Joseph picked up an extra day at work) giving a ride to their mom.
School groups often follow the big sled dog races, since instructors can use them to teach lessons about history (when dog sleds were used for transportation and mail delivery), geography (from following a musher on a map), and math (adding up the times mushers are on the trail or in checkpoints. Colleen was invited to one of the local schools after the Quest, to talk about her experiences, and she of course brought a few canine helpers, which all the kids loved.
In this image Cole took the kids outside to practice how the dogs pull a sled.
Here is the class pulling their teacher, with Cole as the lead dog.
We also will do tours for churches, community events or children’s birthday parties. This past week we had a very successful tour at a church in Kenai, many children and adults got the first dog sled ride of their lives. In this image, Joseph gives a ride to an Eskimo elder, who had lived in Alaska her whole life, but never ridden behind dogs. She said the experience was a blast!