It was January, 2019. About minus 25 degrees and the sun hadn’t completely risen yet. We were in the most northern part of Sweden: Lapland. A land of snow and ice, when the sun doesn’t rise in winter and doesn’t set in summer. My parents, friends and family had declared me crazy when I told them we were going there. Always complaining about the cold, staying inside and drinking hot cocoa while my sister was outside building snowmen, they couldn’t believe I wanted to go where it would be minus 25 degrees. I am not sure I believed it either.
That cold snowy morning, I sat down in a dogsled, not yet sure of what I was in for. Bundled in 5 layers of clothing, heat patches in my shoes and mittens, blankets on top of me, I sat in a sled that would be pulled by five amazing dogs: Bagheera, Tweety, Light, Ivy and Viper. Three dogsleds were in front of us, only one behind us. While I sat down, Boyfriend stood behind me, steering. Though there wasn’t much of that, because the dogs would run at their own speed, following the ones that ran before them. His main job was to stand on the brakes whenever the dogs would go too fast and to signal to the other sleds. My only job was to enjoy the ride and not freeze to death.
For unknown reason, Tweety was wearing little red socks. Maybe his feet would get to cold, maybe he was injured, I don’t know. But as he ran past the snowy trees, over valleys, over hills, he suddenly lost one of them. We were not sure why he was wearing them, but figured it must have been important. So we signaled to the people behind us that we would stop. Boyfriend jumped on the breaks while I tried to scramble out of the sled (which is harder than it sounds, as everything, including the sled and my shoes, were frozen) to get the sock. Just as I got out, though, boyfriend saw that it was just behind him, if only he reached for it. So he did, but then, accidentaly, stepped off the brakes. Immediately the dogs felt that whatever was holding them back was lifted, so they made a run for it. He mumbled Oh shit, before running after it. I stood frozen for a few seconds, not sure what to do. The people in the sled behind us weren’t sure what was happening, but they saw the dogs taking off without us, and then us running after it. It must have been a hilarious sight!
Anyhoo, by this time, the sleds that were in front of us had noticed that they missed a few sleds, so they had stopped as well. Our dogs literally ran into the people in front of us, knocking them over in a tangled mess of dogs, sled equipment and one unfortunate tourist. Luckily, nobody was harmed, though we felt really silly running after the dogs, especially since they were about 61028134 times faster than we were. When we finally caught up with our dogs again, our guide looked at us, shook his head and asked where we had left the sock. Only then we realized, in all the confusion, we had still left it behind in the snow…