The third and final port day was Skagway, a small town that seems to be there simply for tourists. It is an old gold rush town that has preserved that feel with old buildings, boardwalks instead of sidewalks, etc.
Our off ship excursion for the day is the Mushers Sled Dog and Camp Experience. We are bussed in a small bus out to the camp area. It drops us off at the base of a mountain where we take a short walk to the camp. The camp has dog homes, puppies with their moms, an educational area and more. When we get there we then board a unimog that will take us up the mountain to where our dogs will be waiting to take us for a ride.
We learn that the dogs that are race dogs and many have and/or will compete in the Iditerod race. They do not use Siberian Huskies but actually mix them with lighter faster dogs to produce a lighter, faster Alaskan Husky that will have the speed and endurance for a race such as the Iditerod. They are the marathon runners of dogs.
We get up to the dogs and these teams of dogs will pull carts holding 6 people for a one mile loop. We are the people. It was really neat and they go pretty fast. They also pull us up hills. We are told this is part of their training. Pulling heavier loads so that the race sled with one person feels light and easy. The dogs were all so eager to run and when we were finished they were really friendly.
Last we are brought back down to the camp where they give a talk about the Iditerod, sled dog racing, their program, etc. Then they let us hold the puppies. Those pics are in my Instagram under @theshutterbugeye but I share below some dog and puppy pics without us in them. Enjoy.
Clockwise from upper left: Our cart and the dogs that pulled us; close-up of some of the dogs on our team; mother with one of her puppies; a pile of puppies. Note: The top images were all taken by John, who was the musher that guided us through the sled dog ride. Those are his dogs. The puppy images on the bottom were taken by me.
When we returned to Skagway, we went to eat at the brewery which had delicious burgers, fish and chips and I tired some beer made with a local spruce.