We arrived to the chaos of Kiruna airport soon to be replaced by the calm of a ride on a sled to the Musher’s Lodge.
After a warming meal we went outside to look around and it’s fair to say that I was nervous and excited.
We drew lots for jobs and mine turned out be the dreaded poop-scooping along with the lovely Claire on the first night at the cabin, and Aurora watch on the second night.
After a good night’s sleep we had our first training lesson on harnessing the dogs and driving the sleds.
We met the dogs, who were all lovely and friendly. We each had four dogs, one of mine (called Bono) was particularly mischievous and promptly decided to escape from his collar twice before we even started out!
We set off and I thought I was doing really well and started to relax – that was a mistake, next thing I knew I was on my bum in the snow! It was an exciting and scary day followed by another meal and restful night’s sleep was had (by me anyway!)
Next morning it was time to tackle our chore- we had to scoop the poop after the dogs had had their breakfast! Let’s just say some was frozen and needed a little firmer chiselling....and some didn’t if you know what I mean!
We then set off on day two of our adventure. This time, yes you guessed it, I was in the 'falling off club' again – in my defence though it was a hill that looked a bit like a ski slope and I had made it until we were 10 mins from base camp!
That night my doggy Bono – decided to escape from his collar again when he’d been put to bed. I think maybe he was lonely and came to camp out outside the Sauna waiting for us to come out and say hello – I like to think he’d taken a shine to me – wishful thinking perhaps!
I was supposed to be on Aurora watch that night, however the cloud had come over and so we didn’t have any luck.
The final day with the dogs came – I even managed to make it back to the Musher’s lodge without falling off the sled!
Although it had been a challenge for me both physically and mentally – I was still sad to leave the dogs, especially Bono.
As well as all of the above, one of my overriding memories will be of getting to know all of my Senior Team colleagues a lot better and realising what a fun-loving, adventurous and talented bunch of people they are!
I’m sure this will help with future challenges at Access Point.
I was really glad and proud that I had taken part in the trip, and I will remember it for a long, long time to come.
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