|Sky High Wilderness Ranch, Whitehorse,Yukon|
MY FRIENDS AND I decided to go dog mushing.
"So what happens if I get out there and find I'm not strong enough to manage the dogs?" I asked the gal in charge, a Yukon Quest veteran and part owner of Sky High Wilderness Ranch in Whitehorse, YK. I had my doubts. Back home I have to advise the grocery boys to pack my bags light. Jocelyn was good. She told me stories that allowed me to make up my own mind. "Let me put it this way," she finally summed up. "Six weeks ago a woman rolled her sleigh. Today she has a new hip."
|Dawn, Paul, Becky Set To Go|
The Waiting Dog Sleds
Becky and Dawn On The Trail
Lauren, it was decided, would take me on the "limo" in a conciliatory gesture to make me feel better. The limo consisted of three wooden seats on a sleigh, drawn by four dogs. Unfortunately, I was put in the back behind two big Japanese girls--yes, I did say big. Since when did they make BIG Japanese girls? I couldn't see a thing. They completely dwarfed me. To make matters worse, a neck injury doesn't allow me to turn my head sideways for much more than a few seconds, so my disappointment got stuck in my throat. I had to blink a few times to keep back tears I was stunned to find lurking. Still, it was better than nothing and I told myself so. "This is better than nothing. Put on your big girl pants."
And it was! And I did!
"Good boy!" called Lauren from behind me to the lead dog, the sound of the runners smooth against the snowpack and soft in my ears. The wind cut against my frozen cheeks, and I reveled in the slap of the sleighs hitting the earth, the panting of the dogs. All too soon we were back at "start." I was frozen through. And suddenly very grateful to be getting out of the cold. Poor Becky and Dawn, I thought, still out here. I headed for the yurt, an insulated tent just past the Christmas tree.
Sometimes settling for less is better than nothing. Sometimes it's just what we need.