Today, February 6th is celebrated in Finland and several other Nordic countries as Sámi National Day. In Lapland the day is marked with a variety of cultural events and with the Sámi people wearing traditional garments and eating local foods.
On our second full day in Lapland we once again enjoyed several walks and then had a chance to go on a husky safari. There were three teams during our husky ride and each was composed of six dogs. We were joined by a guide who rode a snowmobile to keep us all out of trouble. The dogs were very eager to run and – away we go!
Melanie and I took turns acting as a musher – she had the tougher job (inertia).
The following video shows Melanie in action – it has an unintended slow motion effect in the middle due to compression (?).
It was about 20F when we started, which for this time of year is quite warm so the dogs received frequent breaks. This also allowed the two of us to trade off. Fortunately we and our team of dogs finished the route unscathed. One of the teams did crash but did not lose full control of their sled. One interesting observation is that the dogs have managed to learn how to urinate and defecate while on the run. Some participants wished they had a “wind” screen.
After the ride we had a chance to interact with the dogs. They were friendly and seemed eager to keep running.
We also had a chance to visit the kennels including the puppy farm
Our impressions were that the dogs enjoy their jobs as sled dogs. The caretakers were very knowledgable about their dogs and they have their welfare in mind at all times. The huskies are impressive athletes and were smaller than we initially expected.
Stay tuned for a recap of our last day in Lapland.