DAY 157 – 02/14/2013 – Arf, Arf, Valentine

We saw an ad for dog sled rides at Monarch so we signed right up. A few years ago, I took a dog sled ride in Snowmass. And it was fantastic!


Sled dogs in their travel kennel

Before taking that ride in Snowmass, my initial impression of dog sled rides went something like this: “Oh, the poor doggies! Made to pull fat Americans through the heavy snow!” But, Olivia and I needed a break from skiing so we decided to try it and see just how bad it was for he dogs.


Well, of course I soon found out how wrong my initial impression was. That’s what happens when you make a judgement without any real facts – it’s often way off the mark! The dogs absolutely love to pull the sled!


The outfit we used here is called Monarch Dog Sled Rides. All of the pictures on this post are from our ride at Monarch. Down from Alaska, Caleb Hathaway started the business here last year. His dogs are not Huskies; they’re mostly wonderful Alaskan-bred mutts. 

Caleb Hathaway

Caleb Hathaway

David and I were given time to meet and pet every one of the beautiful dogs before we loaded into the sled. The dogs are so friendly! I got lots of doggy kisses and love. We even got to put on a harness or two. Wow, those dogs were so excited to be hitched up for a run!


Our musher was Chad. He spends winters with the dogs and summers kayaking white water. Speaks French, too. Such a life!


Chad – dog musher, river rat, adventurer

Chad chatted us up during the ride, explaining about the dogs and what their life is like. These are happy dogs! They live to run and pull the sled.


Caleb brought the dogs as puppies from Alaska. He had experience training teams for the Iditarod and decided that Monarch needed a dog sled outfit. They were lovingly raised to do what they were born to do – run!


We’re so glad he did for we loved our ride through the winter woods with the beautiful dogs! They took off joyfully, with ears bobbing, tails bouncing and tongues flapping.



Thinking about the Iditarod maybe?

David was wondering how many dogs it would take to pull the Tramper??

– Jane

9 responses to “DAY 157 – 02/14/2013 – Arf, Arf, Valentine

  1. Fun post. Chad DOES have a cool profession… both of them – summer and winter. It’s amazing how certain dog breeds thrive on their need to fulfill there purpose. I love Jack Russell terriers too and their need to do agility courses and go in tunnels. Amazing animals — all of the breeds.

  2. David and Jane, we thought of you often yesterday as we took Jack,Katie and Julia skiing for the first time. It was slow going at first but they got the hang of it and had a blast. We often wished that you could have been there with us. Hope your trip has not spoiled you too much and you are willing to try skiing with us next winter. Megan.

  3. Wonderful experience!
    re: wondering how many dogs it would take to pull the Tramper??
    You’ll never know till you try it! hahahhahah

  4. I wish I could show you my face while reading this. A mixture of AWWWWWs (eyebrows squished) and excitement (wide eyed) and jealousy (pursed lips). I want to do one of these so bad. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the pictures!!

    Also, I’ve never done this (clearly) and had no idea what a musher was. I first thought it meant the lead dog. So when you said also “speaks French” I was a tad confused 🙂 haha

  5. “We even got to put on a harness or two.” I won’t make fun if you and David are into that , now. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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