Finland, a storm is coming up, it is clearly visible from the inside of the cabin. Whilst enjoying a peaceful breakfast, echoes of howling dogs rush through the chimney. Pure melody of expression, it seems not only tourists are excited about the trip.
A head start to the point of departure feels obligatory to see what all the commotion is about and to all amazement an enormous chase is advanced. In a cage filled with about 30 Husky’s the family owners are trying to pick the right ones out of the bunch. It does not look easy, as each dog knows what is about to go down, “We get to run!”. A continuous chase of cats and dogs is brought to justice and each time the right dog is caught he or she gets strapped in front of a sledge, which is very well tied to a tree. Even with nowhere to go the barking, growling and running continues. The whole process appears to be a well-practiced game. Men versus dog, with each side using tactics to outsmart one another.
The choir of howls is louder than intended and even for the guide to give instruction we distant ourselves from the pack. A large set of rules are given to make sure all goes well and then the adventure can begin.
What to remember?
– Husky’s will never stop running
– Husky’s might pee or poop whilst running (so break slightly when they do)
– Keep long distance from other sledges
– If you fall run with sledge
– The break is a metal pin you push into the ground
– Lean in when the sledge turns
– NEVER LET GO OF THE SLEDGE!
By this time we had already realized that these dogs do not want to be pet, they are made Marathon runners! The rope is untied, the breaks are off and each sledge, carried by four Husky’s, shoots forward. No second to waste, there is running to be done! We rushes through the trees with a good 20 kilometers an hour. Due to the soft snow the Husky’s cannot reach their full running potential, but there is no need. The adrenaline is shooting into all directions as my hands clamp tightly onto the rail, knees bent slightly to keep a better balance.
It is hilarious to see a dog wanting to pee as much as run. The run-sit action results to a funny wobble that signals for you to push down on the breaks, though there is no stopping to it. crisscrossing through the forest, further into the middle of nowhere. Avoiding mountains of fresh snow left and right and every once in a while a while ducking for overhanging trees is in order.
Racing through the forest the trail seems endless up until the fresh dog-sledge trails make way across a magnificent open landscape. Yes, we are running over the frozen lake we have gotten very familiar with. We are home, but far away from home. This adventure was over before we knew it, but our adventure is nowhere near done.