Canada – Jasper – Huskies
As we are already in the wilds of Canada, we also want to experience the hard, original life of Canadians. By chance we meet in the evening in Jasper in a small pub with a bottle of beer Tommy know. He is, as he tells us, by profession a lumberjack in summer. In winter he is on tour with his sled dogs and explores the untouched nature in the Rocky Mountains. Overnight stays at the end of the day in small log cabins, which he may use by acquaintances. He invites us to join a day tour. Of course we are thrilled and so we arrange to meet for the next day. It should already start at 5 o’clock in the morning with the car. Since Jasper National Park does not allow sledding, we have to drive into the wilderness about 2 hours north of Jasper outside the National Park. At a lonely farm station, Tommy rented a log cabin as a base station for his tours.
Once there, we need a little refreshment in the form of a brought breakfast. Subsequently, the sled dogs accommodated in the trailer are clamped. The dogs are well rested and you can see the anticipation of the upcoming tour. Tommy has brought his wife Patricia for reinforcement and so we are two sled dog teams. One is led by Jürgen as Musher, the other by Patricia. Tommy will follow us later with his snowmobile. In the event of an accident or unforeseen event, we have built in this way a small security level. Before the start, we will get acquainted with our huskies and get a crash course in things lead team. Of course, Tommy stuffed us with theory the night before, but the practice looks a bit different, as always.
This starts with the harnessing of the dogs and does not end with the unusual commands during the ride. Thick packed with several layers of underwear and thermal shoes, we still look forward to the matter quite optimistically. It will be fine. The temperatures are today at about 25 degrees minus. Due to the wind chill, it will also be -40 degrees Celsius during the average 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. Brigitte is supposed to be quartered in front of me on the floor of the sled, well padded. I stand on the back runners of the sled and do my best not to let the team go too fast. But that is only in the initial phase of our tour as the huskies still have too much surplus power. The team consists of 10 dogs. They require some persuasion before the start to do what I imagine. Okay, so much for the theory. So let it begin
The first kilometers are so fast that there is barely time to enjoy the natural beauty of the wilderness we pass through. Too much I’m busy trying to get the corners right and keep the speed. The route leads us first through dense forest area. We scurry past the trees at breakneck speed. The terrain is characterized by constant uphill and downhill. Uphill I have to test my condition and facilitate the Huskies by pushing the work. Downhill, the ride is so fast that sometimes even the brake must be pulled. Difficult are the curves at the end of a downhill. If the speed is too high, there is a constant risk of overturning. Gradually, in the course of the morning, I feel like I have not done anything but drive a sled dog all my life. Musher and dogs are already growing together into a homogeneous unit. But Brigitte has some trouble sorting her battered cross on the hard surface after several hours. But the completely untouched nature compensates us with its impressive beauty many times over. On the way we come past wild mountain rivers, which are largely frozen.
In a wooded area, we meet a moose, which advises due to its considerable size to a sufficient distance. On a wide open plain, a herd of rams, looking for food, crosses us.
It has snowed a lot in the last few days. The trees wind under the weight of the snow. At lunchtime, we treat ourselves and, above all, the huskies a well-deserved breather. The tea from the battered thermos is delicious. We enjoy the silence of the forest, which is interrupted only by the panting of the huskies. Soon we will be on our way again, after all we have a few hours left until dark. Where the rivers are still partly free due to the strong current, dense fog banks form due to the enormous temperature difference between water and air.
A few hours further we find two moose, who eat together and do not feel impaired by us. It is an impressive experience to stand in front of these huge animals in the wild. In the evening we reach our starting point. We are completely satisfied but happy and happy to have survived everything healthy and healthy. It was a great experience that we can only recommend to anyone who is interested in imitation.