Day Thirty Three: Completely Amazing

Today was one of those days which made my decision to do my trip through an RV tour company seem brilliant.  While I appreciate the fact that I’m not traveling alone and I’ve made some great friends, the activities we get to do have all been just great.  On this particular day, there is zero chance I would have gone to the place on my own; every single person on the tour said the same thing.  But it was just an amazing experience and we all loved every minute of it.

We were given directions to the Muktuk Adventures—about 15 km north of town and down a very, very long dirt road.  I rode with Dave and Peggy W. from Missouri.  As we approached the main area, there were a bunch of dogs staked out with their boxes next to them.  They weren’t too excited as we all exited our vehicles, but the moment the owner came out they went nuts.  Manuela is the co-owner with her husband, and they run all kinds of mushing experiences in the winter.  In the summer, the dogs are walked by volunteers and tourists on hikes.  She went out to pick the dogs to go on the hike; man, they all wanted to go!

Once she’d released those for the hike, we had a presentation by her about the dogs, sledding, etc.  Originally, the place was owned and run by Frank Turner, who ran the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and other races.  She worked for him for a while.  When he retired out of mushing, she and her husband bought the place.  She’s raced as well, but they’ve since turned the direction of the business to rescue and tourism.  They no longer race but will take tourists along (in cars) on some of the races and explain in depth what’s happening during a race.

They have 130 dogs, most Alaskans, which are mixes.  The presentation was extremely educational, and her dogs obviously adore her.  There were also 2 puppies running around chasing each other and entertaining us with their antics.  They were born from a rescue they received; they don’t breed dogs themselves.

Manuela, co-owner, and some of the dogs.
This is Pooba, one of the retired dogs. He’s quite the ham.
Pooba demonstrating one of the harnesses used in sledding.
One of the puppies, whose name I will not even attempt to type.
One of the sleds.

After the presentation, we were able to go out into the dog area and pet them.  It was so cool.  One dog licked me a lot and the others loved being scratched and petted.  It was a great experience.  At noon, we were called up to the main house, which also serves as a bed and breakfast.  Manuela had grilled a bunch of bison burgers, and we were also treated to maple smoked salmon, elk and blueberry sausage, and a salad with a raspberry vinaigrette that was to die for.  I tried it all, and everything was delicious.

Sirius, looking serious.
Sirius on his house. Every dog is taken out and exercised for several hours every day in small groups.
Hanging in the shade. They dig a lot of holes. Manuela told me they fill them in when fall comes around so that no one falls in one when it’s covered with snow.
Loving the ear scratch.
Steve F. with a few new friends.
Terri S. and Flicker were best buds.

I returned to the RV park with dog fur all over me.  Hooked up with Steve and Terri S. from Wisconsin and we headed back to Miles Canyon to check out a suspension bridge that crosses the river.  Great views, that’s for sure.  I admired the canoeists, as they were rowing upstream and that current was moving fast!

View of the bridge.
Paddling their way upstream.
Just a beautiful spot.
Looking upstream

After finishing there, we went on to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.  This was originally owned privately, but when the family decided to sell the land, the Provincial government stepped in and bought it.  Not all the animals were near enough to photograph well, but I got some decent shots of some of the others.  It was a very hot afternoon, but I learned a ton from our guide, Sir Pete.

They aren’t allowed to sell sheds, so there are tons laying around. Pretty impressive, too.
What creature might this be? I think I’ll call him…Sir Steve.
Elk hide their babies in tall grass. These two were completely invisible to us until their mother came near them and their heads popped up.
If you accidentally approach a hidden elk baby, the mother will likely attack. Every year people are injured in this way.
More buffalo.
These ground squirrels were everywhere…except in the lynx and fox areas.
Young male mule deer.
Female thin horn sheep. This is a stone, as it is not pure white.
Musk ox are not native to this area of the Yukon. They are found in the Arctic area.
Male thin horn sheep. I think this one would be a Dall, as he is white (mostly).
Dall sheep and a Stone sheep. It’s really just the color–brown or white. They are the same otherwise. Most of the thin horn sheep in the Yukon are of the Dall variety.
Hello there…
Lynx. He was not into posing and stalked off quickly.
But he was a beautiful cat.
Mountain goat. That fur looks hot.
And Mr. Caribou. That is some rack he’s got. We all wondered if it gave him a headache.

Once we were done, it was back to the RV park for a little dinner and bedtime!

5 Replies to “Day Thirty Three: Completely Amazing”

  1. Great pictures of the wildlife! Maybe you should drop the doctoring and take up wild like photography. The dogs make you want one back in your life?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The dogs were great, but there are several dogs on the trip and the owners have had to find walkers and sitters for them when we go on long excursions, or skip the activity. Just not worth it, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

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