Who let the dogs out?

This weekend, we really let loose the dogs out!

You see when your neighbours ask if you want to join them for a night away in the countryside (at the amazing Terelj park) and go dog sledding, is there any other possible answer than “yes”?

I think not.

Add in a few regular sleds (oh so boring in comparison), amazing (cold) weather, lots of sunshine, the ever blue skies – AND – an indoor swimming pool and it’s a successful weekend trip all around.

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Regular “lame” old sledding
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The landscapes of the land of the blue skies never cease to amaze me…

After a good hour of schlepping sleds and kids up the hill plus jumping on them to stop their epic accelerating descent, we opted for a more “even” river walk. The same river through which we once rode horses, now lay completely frozen (yes, it’s cold here) so what better way of enjoying more scenery than by collecting “ice diamonds”?

Hiking on the frozen river
Hiking on the frozen river

To warm up, we had a quick swim (inside as my kids happily realised….) followed by a yummy dinner and night at the nice Terelj Hotel before it was time to really let the dogs out.

The "before" shots...
The “before” shots…

I didn’t really know what to expect of going dog sledding except that a handful (or so) dogs and a sled would be involved. I naively assumed that someone would be driving our sled and all I would need to do was wrap one arm around a kid, and another around the sled, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

I may have been a little overwhelmed and panicked when I realised I would be the one driving the sled. The one with my youngest kid in it and the one attached to 8 huskies who I had pretty much zero control over. On ice. Through the (amazing beautiful) woods and countryside. What could possibly go wrong?

It was amazing … and a little crazy. Thankfully, our sled never crashed but John and Luca had a bit of a tumble. What happened? Oh nothing major … I just saw their sled race through the ice and snow, then suddenly roll over with my older kid still in it while John lost balance, fell off, and started chasing after the lost sled that still kept going and carried my oldest kid. Cue in a few guides hectically running towards the lost sled, dogs barking, and people yelling loudly in a language you can’t understand. Good thing I focused on the beautiful blue skies along with desperately holding onto my sled to keep me calm. And yes, when I caught up with John, he just smiled and gave me a thumbs up and Luca was cracking up… so no injuries to report…. whew.

Juliana and my sled had a few close calls but no tumbles and the last stretch racing with 8 huskies on the frozen river was just amazing, if not entirely terrifying when all dogs suddenly took a sharp right and our sled spiralled sideways for the last stretch back to the starting spot. It was a good and much deserved ending indeed!

John and Luca's sled...before the crash
John and Luca’s sled…before the crash

About halfway through our 2-hour sledding excursion, we stopped at the tour guide’s family ger and warmed up with a campfire and grilled kebabs. And Juliana became best friends with the puppies and we seriously thought she was going to suff one into her sled and take it back home; I have never seen her so close with a dog before!

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After our dog sledding adventures, we warmed up with another round at the hotel (indoor) pool before we headed back to UB – what a fun weekend trip it was indeed!

Will I go dogsledding again? Probably! It was lots of fun after all racing through the ice and snow but is one of those experiences where you quietly question your parenting choices upon closer reflection of your experiences at the end of the day. Oh well, another $5 for the therapy jar …. well maybe not because both kids reported they had a super fun time riding a dog sled!

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