Winter: Friend or foe, you’re along for the ride

10/08/2010
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The imminent reality of another winter is one that often segregates Alaskans: the snow enthusiast against the cold-weather antagonist. Regardless of which side of the snow fort you’re on, the fact of the matter is that winter occupies about two thirds of our year in Alaska, so since you can’t beat them, might as well join in all the fun. No group of athletes eagerly anticipates winter more than dog mushers, well except maybe the dogs themselves. If you’re already into the sport of dog mushing, or are considering taking it up, a good place to start is the International Sled Dog Symposium being held in Fairbanks at Pioneer Park Oct. 8 – 10. You’ll learn about training and feeding competitive dogs and get a crash course on mushing from some of the sport’s top experts like Lance Mackey, Egil Ellis and Rick Swenson.

If you’ve never been on a sled before and are looking for a way to keep Fido and yourself off the couch this winter, there’s more than one opportunity around Fairbanks to try out dog mushing. The Chena Sled Dog Kennel at Chena Hot Springs offers guests the chance to ride along on a two-mile trail and tour the kennel with an experienced musher who will happily tell you more about the sport and different breeds of mushing dogs.

Book your stay during the 2010 International Sled Dog Symposium or any time throughout the winter at the Fairbanks Princess Hotel.