It was in this country that I learned how to do Dog Sledding. The first time, it’s was in 2001, in the Cockanagog Outfitters. I had 4 white Samoyede dogs. Our guide was a woodcutter, and with 2 other French touriste (a man and his sister), we spend 6 days on the trails, changing of cabin every night. This was my first mushing experience, unforgettable, and it took me a liking for this winter activity.
So the two next years, I went back to Quebec, with an other organisation : Aventuraid
To be continued…
After 3 times in Quebec, it was time to discover other landscapes.
In 2004, I wanted to know how it was to do Dog Sledding in France.
I went twice in the Yukon, in 2006 and in 2009.
Where is The Yukon? Take an atlas, look in the extreme North-West of Canada, and you will find Yukon, the country of Jack London, and of the Klondike gold rush of 1898. Only 30,000 inhabitants on a surface almost as large as France.
Here, at the end of January, it’s the preparation of the Yukon Quest, the greatest sled dog race in the world.
I think that this state is, with Alaska, the country of the Dog Sledding. But Yukon in a Canadian State, so lots of people speak French, the second official language.
This is the story of my first travel, in 2006 :
We shared our trails with professional mushers able to have to 14 dogs in their team. A world separates our styles, but the pleasure is the same one. I began with 4 unknown dogs and I finished the trip with 6 trusty companions. My team was composed of adorable, courageous, willing and relatively quiet dogs (given that they are generally very excited in the mornings as soon as you move the sledges or the harnesses).
The trip progressed gradually, with each day becoming increasingly technical, to finish with 2 camps of 4 and 3 days in isolated but comfortable camps.
Our guides, Trevor Braun (7 days) and Pierre Fournier (3 days), helped us discover the splendid landscapes of the Yukon on very varied trails. Each day, they prepared us very good meals in order to face the cold (of -26 °C to -2 °C).
To note among the new experiences :
– 2 nights under the stars at -7 °C and -20 °C, on a very comfortable mattress made from branches of fir trees
– a trout fished under the ice of the Beaver lake and consumed at once in the evening, a treat !
At the lodge, we met others mushers and unusual characters, for example Ian McDougall, a true Yukon trapper.
To benefit from it even more, it would have been necessary to understand a little more English. Fortunately, Pierre, Guillaume and Ed helped me share their passion and their experience with their beautiful Québécois accent.