The Mountaintop Inn and Resort in Chittenden served as the location for a final two days of family adventures in Vermont. This place was only 11 miles from Killington, and it had its own Nordic center. Horse-drawn carriage rides, dogsledding, skate skiing, snowmobiling—these were only a few of the available activities. What to do? The Sister and I got excited about the idea of going dogsledding, as neither of us had been before. We showed up to find a young man and a woman tending to a pack of howling huskies by headlamp. They welcomed us to come pet them while they picked the team, and it was quickly evident that each dog had its own personality. One would want to cuddle up, and another would bark and back away.
The dogs yelped and howled, and once they were all harnessed and ready to run, The Sister and I tucked ourselves comfortably onto the sled. “Let’s go. GO!” The musher shouted, and we were off, sliding over the snow behind a dozen or so dogs.
I wondered if it were unkind to the dogs to have them pull our weight around, and when I asked the musher, he seemed taken aback by my question. “These dogs were born to run,” he said. “Didn’t you hear how excited they were to get picked?” Oh. Yeah. I felt like a total touron, not having been around dogs like that before, but it seemed funny to think that they were enjoying pulling as much as we were enjoying just sitting there.
The ride turned out to be a beautiful new way to experience the outdoors, complete with a new set of sounds (crunching snow, a scraping sled), sights (a forest, lit by the musher’s LED headlamp, the wagging tails of happy dogs), and sensations (a smooth-moving sled, rolling around corners, up and down hills).