Sledding Practice

I certainly hope that the navigator on our trip has a better sense of direction than my researcher. Omar took me from Islington to Epping forest via Stansted airport!

We were going to Epping so that I could practice sledding with dogs. All seemed a bit surreal I must say.

After we had been careering up and down the M11 for some time- well as much as a Prius ever careers- Omar was finally persuaded to ring for directions. He spoke to Richard, who with the others, had been waiting for us for some time.

“I can hear an awful lot of barking dogs in the background Emily. Are you really sure about this?”

Too late for second thoughts, I am committed to doing it and there is no backing out. So better just get on with it. 
I have to confess to have had similar feelings of apprehension about the RAF training – and that was OK in the end. 
As for the husky sledding – it was fantastic. You get the impression, quite falsely that you are going really fast. Maybe its because you are close to the ground. And when the sledge goes in the direction you want, or the dogs stop when asked, its quite astonishing.

The dogs are rather beautiful with thick thick fur and strange blue eyes. You are definitely aware of them being pack animals. When one barks, they all do. Equally when one runs, they all want to.

The other memorable thing about the afternoon was we met Victoria Riches. She is a deeply impressive woman who was part of the first all woman trek to the North Pole. No dogs. No back up vehicles. She is brave, single minded and positive. Her approach is pretty matter of fact and she was unfazed by even the most personal questions. And she is funny. I think being able to laugh at ourselves is going to be pretty important.


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