Hey, what you doin’ back there? Dobby and Hawk glance back at me as I press down on the brake.
“Steady,” I reassure them, “Steady.” I keep my foot firmly on the brake to stop the sled from taking a tight corner too fast.
Left to their own speed, the dogs would send the sled slipping and sliding into the trees or topple over the snow embankments.
I hobbled off my sled as we returned to the ranch following a 30km ride on our second day out with the dogs.
When we left at 10.30am the temperature was hovering around -22 degrees Celsius and dropped to -30 by afternoon. Despite two pairs of socks and thick rubber boots, my toes and feet were numb and in excruciating pain. Heat warmer pads in our mits held the frostbite at bay during the day but had no effect in our boots.
While I yearned for the warmth of our cabin and a hot cup of tea, I hung back to unharness the dogs, take their booties off, pack the sled and return it to the shed. I could barely walk.
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS