In the morning, Natalie and I went with some other travelers snow shoeing and for a sled dog ride on the Eagle River. Snow shoes made my thighs burn – great exercise. Beautiful – snow draped trees, with the sun skimming along the top of the mountain range. But what I couldn’t get enough of: we met the dogs! We met 20 amazingly sweet, kissable, happy dogs from one of the musher’s kennels (Dallas Seavey). I learned so many awesome things about how the dogs are trained and how they are fed (they eat some great food!), but what was the best was the dogs: they love people but they really love running. Running defines them. Our team was so excited to run that our musher had to ride the brake the first ten minutes so we wouldn’t catapult out of our seats from the speed. Afterwards, another family came for their turn. They had a two year old boy who wanted to pet the dogs but he stayed just barely out of reach. One of the dogs kept reaching for the boy, pawing to be petted, and turning his rump for a booty scratch. Pure joy!
Fun fact of the day: during the race, the sled dogs need to eat 10,000 calories a day! This is a 35# dog (most of us weigh 4-6 times more than the dog) eating 5 times more calories than we eat in a day!! Can you imagine how much food that is?