Churchill, Sled Dogs, and Charlsi!

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
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Trip End Jun 28, 2009


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Flag of Canada  , Manitoba,
Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tonight we are in Churchill, Manitoba in Canada!!! Yesterday, we flew from Nashville to Minneapolis then flew to Winnipeg. We got off the plane in Winnipeg to spend the night. We had a very nice steak dinner to celebrate Charlsi's 10th birthday. Charlsi, my cousin, and my grandfather, Pop, came with Dad and me and Mom to see the polar bears. Tallulah was left behind with Gramae. Fifteen strangers plus us sang "Happy Birthday" to Charlsi at 529 Wellington, the best restaurant in Winnipeg.

This morning, we woke up very early to fly to Churchill. We got on a bus and zoomed to a little airport. We then got on a propeller plane that was quite old and jetted to Churchill. On the plane, we had great service, but it was very loud because of the propellers and pretty cold, too. We could not see out the windows because they were covered in frost. When we landed, we took a quick tour of Churchill and went to our hotel. The tour did not take long because only about 750 people live here. It was snowing a little when we landed, but there is no snow on the ground here. We walked around the town a little and saw the school and the Hudson Bay. There are signs everywhere that tell you not to walk past that point because of polar bears - guess they are serious about it!

But the best part was this afternoon was when we went dogsledding. Gerald and Jennifer at Blue Sky Dog Sledding (www.blueskymush.com) took us out to their camp to meet their dogs and go sledding. We met lots of cool dogs - Here are their names:

Isobel, who was blind but can still pull a sled. She is the happiest dog there.

Odd Job, who is part greyhound and gets very cold because he had no long fur. He will run for 25 miles, but after that, he stops and wants to get back in the cart with the people!

Grub, who is white and was rescued. They think he was beaten when he was a baby because he is very shy. He could be a great lead dog.

Hawk, who is very frisky.

Ada, who was a puppy when her mother and her brothers were attacked by a wolf. She stayed behind and tried to fight the wolf. She was bleeding but she survived. She is named after the Inuit woman, Ada, who helped the explorers, but all of them but Ada died.

Opra, who was black and brown.

Real, Charlsi's favorite dog, who is the biggest and strongest of them all, but not the fastest.

Zaboo, who is orange and pees on you if you turn your back!

Ultra and Sound, were the skinniest and looked they were the fastest but they were not.

Midnite, who likes to dance with you.

Fiona, who is one of the smallest dogs.

Raven, who is very fast and is Thunder and Mattie's daughter.

Sofia, Eddy, Buck, and Mattie are all the sweetest dogs.

Thunder, who was the lead dog and champion dog and legend maker of Churchill, but who is about to retire.

Usually, the dogs pull sleds on the snow, but due to global warming, there is not much snow, just muddy trails, so we used a special cart with wheels. Charlsi and I got to be the mushers with Gerald. We got to stand behind the sled and hold he leashes to guide the dogs. To get the dogs to run, you shout, "Hike!", but some people say, "Mush!". To stop the dogs you say, "Whoa!" or "Halt!". When the dogs think they are going to pull a sled, they jump around and go crazy and howl and bark and yip. Today, they used six dogs to pull the sled. The lead dog goes in the front, the fastest go in the middle, and the strongest go in the very, very back.

Gerald started a 250 mile dog sled race called the Hudson Bay Quest. It takes two days and you only rest for six hours. Sometimes there is a big storm and you have to hunker down with the dogs. Charlsi want to have a dog sled team when she grows up.

There is a full moon tonight and we might see the Northern Lights if we stay up late enough.
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