We knew we were taking a chance, booking a sled dog tour at the tail end of the season. They’d warned us that we couldn’t count on there being enough snow left, and I did my best not to get my hopes up.

Still, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. And after twenty years divided roughly between driving horse carriages and training dogs, I felt as prepared to drive a dog sled as I’d ever been for anything.

As it turned out, we were able to enjoy the Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours‘ last outing of the season. It was twenty miles round trip, with a two hour stop at the Granite hot springs for a swim and some home made chili.

Their base of operation, and the site of their kennels, is located about a half-hour outside Jackson. On the way there, we pulled over to admire these big horn sheep.

When we arrived at the sled dog kennel, we were quickly hustled indoors, so as not to prematurely alert the dogs. But I got off a few pics later on, following the tour.

It took me a minute to realize that each reclaimed wooden spool was in fact its own dog house. They carve out little doors and bed them with straw.

There were just under 170 dogs on site, from a brand new litter of puppies to a sixteen year-old retiree. I loved that none of them resembled the Hollywood version of a sled dog.

I’ll get some photos of the actual tour posted soon. Right now I need to sleep (getting up early to spot wildlife tomorrow).