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By Dog: Live Like Jack London Would


If you’ve ever read Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild or watched the screen adaptation, you’ve likely fantasized about saddling up behind a team of incredibly tough huskies and speeding through snowfields, mushing the dogs to reach incredible speeds.

You’ve also likely dismissed those dreams as unreachable adventure.

Luckily, you don’t have to head up to Alaska for that experience. Nor do you need to own a half-dozen dogs. Virtually any Colorado resort offers an outfit that can bring out the Jack London in you.

In Breckenridge, for example, Goodtimes Adventures will let you go dog wild behind their teams of pups. Literally. When you’re being introduced to the basics of being a musher, your guide asks you a simple question: How fast do you want to go? Say fast, and the guide will let you know how to open up the “throttle.” There’s a good chance you’ll tip over during a tight turn.

It’s more fun than it sounds. Seriously.

The dogs, if left to decide, will keep running and running and running. And fast. Once you get going, the team of eight canines can pull you at speeds of close to 30 miles an hour. It feels faster than it sounds, and dogs don’t do corners well.

Beyond bundling up in loads of ski gear, we highly recommend wearing a ski helmet. You know, just in case the dogs win.

As you’re struggling to control the beasts (OK, they look more like the ideal Colorado lap dog, with a little more muscle), your guide follows closely in a snowmobile ready to catch the team if you get tossed. Which is a pretty common, and fun, occurrence since you get thrown into this adventure with little more than a 10-minute tutorial of how to direct your team. The break that controls the sled can keep the speed down considerably if you want to bring a small child along and enjoy a mellower ride.

But that’s no fun.

Added Bonus: When you’re finished with your hour tour in the woods, have your guide take you up to the corral where the dogs live when they are not pulling around tourists. You’ll get a glimpse into the lives of rough and tough dogs. And playing with the six-week old puppies in their pen almost matches the coolness of being pulled by the adults.

Our Favorite Summit County eats:
Big Country BBQ, Keystone: Inside The Goat, a classic dive bar on the outskirts of the village, is a southern barbecue kitchen that serves up incredible brisket.

Blue River Bistro, Breckenridge: Affordable fine dining that includes nightly seafood specials such as Cajun-spiced scallops.

Downstairs At Eric’s, Breckenridge: This has been a local and tourist favorite for years. A classic sports bar with great nachos and big burgers.

Farley’s Chop House, Frisco: The best steaks in the mountains. Period.

Winter Sports Guide 2008 

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