Two days and 60km of Siberian Husky Mushing

I was pretty excited to spend two days mushing Siberian huskies, Jean was a bit more reserved. She was worried it might be too much but in the end it was a highlight of the trip for both of us.

It is not hard to find a Husky experience (safari) in Finland but in doing research I learned many farms/companies exploit the dogs and it is all about the making money. Very sad and not something we wanted to be a part of. The farm we visited is owned by a husband and wife who focus on sustainability and the health of the dogs. They have over 90 dogs so it isn’t a problem to give them plenty of rest and unlike many farms when a dog gets too old to pull a sled (10+ years) they keep loving and caring for them. Highly, highly recommend them if you are looking for an adventure, they are located just outside of Posio – Kota-Husky.

Our guide actually didn’t work for Kota, but helps them out when they are busy (they made a huge effort to find a way to fit us in due to rather limited flexibility in our schedule). Anni is deeply involved in dog sled racing and was three weeks out from the Worlds in Sweden which is a 300km race. Wow! So lucky that she shared five of her race dogs to pull our sled. And a bit nerve-racking to not injury them.

Short training and we were off. Boy do these dogs love to run. After a few hours we stopped for lunch. Nice to have a chance to warm up next to a fire. But before a fire could be built we had to chop firewood. All across Finland on hiking trails there are huts with fire pits and small cabins stocked with firewood and an ax. All free (well paid for with taxes) for anyone to use. Pretty damn sweet. As we were finishing up lunch another group from Kota arrived, there were on a 20km day trip and we soon learned that two of the four sleds crashed in their group. Eck, guess were lucky. Oh and right after lunch Anni explained we had a very steep challenging decent. Huh.

After lunch the clouds started to break up and we were treated to a beautiful sunny afternoon. Our first since we arrived in Finland!

With an hour or so of sunlight remaining in the day we pulled up to our camp right on a lake. Bonus the stove in our cabin was already lit so we could warm up a bit before starting the work of heating water for the dogs dinner (and washing up), heating the sauna, and chopping firewood for the night. It took a lot of wood and time to get the sauna nice and hot (90C) where were could get cleaned up for a tasty dinner of moose/reindeer with lingonberries. What a great first day!

We woke to some damn cold temperatures. Extra layers would be needed today… Similar itinerary with a morning session, lunch, shorter afternoon, and then tour of the kennels before saying goodbye.

Truly such an amazing experience. The dogs. The scenery. Our guide. The cabins. Simply perfect!

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