I tried dog-sledding for the first time last week and discovered that a) the animals are surprisingly fast, b) concentration and a good sense of balance are required to stay aboard the sled, and c) I probably will not be getting an invite to participate in the Iditarod anytime soon.
Fortunately, I was wearing a GoPro camera and managed to capture the splendor of the Alaskan wilderness from atop a tenuous vehicle being towed behind a real dog sled piloted by veteran musher Kathryn Lenniger.
Unfortunately, I also managed to capture the painful few moments during which I was pitched from my sled, which began to tip as our dogs were passing another team that was stopped on the trail.
There was a slight tilt in the landscape and the rails seemed to be sliding into the dogs we were passing, so I tried guiding my sled away by leaning and that's when things went haywire. I landed on a dead run, felt my hamstring pull, and tumbled.
Remarkably, though, I did not produce a single profane word as I was ordered to "hurry" back to the sled, trying to conceal my injury and maintain a small measure of dignity.
After the hourlong adventure outside of Fairbanks I was relieved to learn that several others in our group of bloggers -- on a trip arranged by the GoPro PR staff -- had also been pitched from their sleds.
Beforehand, none of us would have considered mushing to be a contact sport?
-- Pete Thomas