Leaving Whitehorse we headed North to start the first adventure. Dog sledding with MUKTUK Adventures and giving us Dance lessons is the legendary Yukon Quest Champion, Frank Turner. Frank is well built to survive the worst of weather and challenges that one would face on the toughest seld dog race in the world. He is wider than he is tall and as a face filled in beard and a smile wide as the Yukon river and he emits a contagious spirit that grabs you and lifts into the joys of dogsledding. Frank loves dogs. He barks the words of wisdom with the joyous tempo of the choir of dogs behind us. The key points he states is to relax, dance and let the dogs guide you. The dogs know what to do in life. Frank emits a deep howling laugh as he bends his legs and says Matt you must dance. Get your rhythm and move with the sled like it is flowing over the frozen ice way. Like dancing with the stars Yukon style is Dancing with the wolves….One last thing Frank says “Don’t talk to”. For those that know me that is the hardest part. Frank adds it distracts the dogs as they don’t know your voice. We rush out the field filled with rising steam from over 70 dogs each one of the them broadcasting their voice wanting you to listen. We are in a train yard of dogs and this is there place of work as they prepare to move heavy loads along a frozen the river. The dogs are into what they do with the focus of an Olympic athlete. Frank loves his furry family. Maureen and I love dogs and start hugging, loving and petting our team. I can see the joy this provides Maureen as she speaks dog and gets into their world. The licks of joy shortly turn into frozen waterways on your face. Your skin quickly turns blue then white like it is a basic color pad for a 4th grade art class. But here you don’t want any color as you quickly try and cover your skin. It takes take time to bring back life in your skin and when you are out for the entire day and then camping in a tent all night you don’t have much time. With the dog yelling in the background you are reminded by yelling inside of yourself , “Must stay warm, Keep skin covered, don’t sweat…..” Frank budges me and says you need to manage your heat” “being a bit cold does not feel good but those slight chills are your friend” If you get too hot you will sweat and then you are in trouble. The moisture against your skin is what will reduce your body core temperature and when it is 30 below it happens very quickly . Our lead dog, aptly named destiny, has a smile from tail to tail and is charged to go like a kid on sugar. Destiny takes us in and makes us part of her team. We are lucky to share this special moment as she barks up and down to the attentive team of eight. They all listen and know what to do as we charge off and onto the frozen river. I thought dog-sledding would be easy. But it is if you are riding in the basket and just going for a scenic tour. But to help your team out you need to kick and pay attention to your Destiny. I kicked so hard my leg felt like a swollen lifeless salami attached to a string and my heart had gone into over drive and was now choking on the cold air. Frank comes back to me….Relex, Dance, Love. We come to the halfway and I forget to hold the break for the transfer over to Maureen so Destiny lunges forward as she only knows one speed….i was able to grab the handle quickly, being dragged along the ice as Maureen barks a command to Destiny and she slows the train down so Maureen can get on and I can climb in the basket to get my pulse back below 200 and focus on the number one objective of stay warm but don’t sweat….as sweat is pouring down my body after performing this workout. Maureen kick hard and speaks dog as they listen to her kind words- “Good Team” in her melodic voice. She must of attended Frank’s singing class as well. She does an incredible job and leads the team to home. As we sit up in our tent the dogs are talking themselves and they seem content with their day. I cannot say much as tonight it is minus 30 and all you can do is save energy and try to stay warm.