NWR Newsletter 2017 V5_Newsletter 16OCT17 - Page 34

unlike the huskies we know here in Australia. They are just gorgeous to work with, they look at you with their beautiful soft eyes and help by lifting their foot when required and I’m sure they are thinking just another idiot to put up with. After they are fed it is time for us to enter the log cabin, light the fire, and set up our sleeping bags for the night. While waiting for our dinner to cook we plodded over a huge snow-bank to another little log cabin for a steamy sauna. Just the thing to fully relax and giggle over our near misses, balancing, braking and gliding seamlessly, silently over the wonderful white wilderness. Glowing with happiness we clambered back to the main cabin where a delicious meal of reindeer stew and cake for desert, awaited us before settling down in front of the fire to discuss the day’s activities. Then it was time to snuggle into our sleeping bags. The first thing next morning was to feed our dogs that were curled up in the snow, remove their droppings into a special bin and then feed ourselves. Cello, my favourite dog loved to be patted and carefully touched my hand to encourage me to continue. We then loaded up the sleds ready for the return journey. I had harnessed all my dogs and was waiting while Joan harnessed her dogs. At the time she had a go-pro camera on her head so that she could record the activity, all the while talking to her dogs. One of her dogs just wasn’t ready to get up so she chatted and patted him to try and energise him. When she had finished she realised something was wrong! She had put all the harnesses on upside down, and had to begin all over again. We really enjoyed watching that video later. Finally we set off homeward bound feeling very experienced this time, really enjoying every moment and we thought fully in control of the situation. Then, while traversing a lake, which had some puddles of water on the top, despite the 2 metres of ice beneath, one of Joan’s dogs just sat down. That was it, it wasn’t moving! When Katerina returned she just picked up the dog and said “She just doesn’t like getting her feet wet!” Katerina was a wonderful guide who looked after all her dogs and knew all their names and all their idiosyncrasies , all 400 of them. We continued our journey wending our way all over the countryside blissfully enjoying every moment, not wanting it to end. Again we stopped by a log shelter where we lit a fire and cooked our lunch and met some X-country skiers who also stopped for lunch in the frosty air. Then it was time for our final journey back to the hotel, unharness and feed the dogs before playing with all the new puppies that jumped and wriggled trying to get our attention and more petting than the others. They are just so cute, soft, fluffy and cuddly. They are Arctic Siberian Husky x-breed that are only bred as needed, they do not sell their dogs. Next we enjoyed a wine in our hotel as we talked about what a fabulous time we had. Snowmobiling the next day the snow was very deep soft and sticky which made it quite difficult to steer, but as we sped along conditions improved. Again we explored different terrane through the forest, over lakes and along the river before stopping at a log cabin for a bbq lunch. We were joined by a Siberian Jay commonly known as a Kuukkeli who enjoyed wedges of butter, while we ate a pork burger with reindeer cheese, mayo and chilli between slabs of potato bread – delicious! As the Kuukkeli flew away under his tail of dark brown feathers appeared a bright orange/tan. Off we went again zooming faster and faster along the frozen river then up through the forest where I failed to turn sharply enough and bogged my snowmobile in the deep virgin snow. Joan went on ahead and returned with Dirk who said it was easy to extricate, but