Dog Sledding

You hear about the Iditarod, those amazing mushers and dogs. Wouldn’t it be cool to do the same? Well, I had to chance to dog sled in Steamboat, CO to see what it’s like. Went through a company called Grizzle-T (jumping ahead, absolutely great if you ever want to go).

They pick you up where you’re staying and drive you about 30 minutes away from town. There were 6 of us going together, and another 6 in the group that day. During the drive they give you a rundown on the company and the excitement for the day.

You arrive at the site and see dozens of dogs; Alaskan Huskies. Per the website, Alaskan Huskies are friendly and energetic. Bred for speed, strength, and endurance, they are some of the world’s most talented athletes. Properly conditioned and with state-of-the-art nutrition, these dogs can run over 150 miles a day across some of the most unforgiving frozen terrain on earth. Sled dogs thrive in the cold of winter and love the snow!

We were told about all the dogs and their hilarious howling. Let me tell you, it got worse after the first group of sledders left. Some dogs were jealous that they didn’t get to go.

We got the rundown on mushing/being the mushers (the person driving the sled). How to steer, how/where to put your weight, how fast the dogs would go, what to expect and more. You stood on the edges of the sled and there were small brakes you could use to slow the pups down and there was a major foot brake you could stand on, if needed. You also had the ropes to steer them. These are dogs whose lives are all about sledding. They are doing nothing all day (when not sledding). So when they have the chance to sled, their energy goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds (in relative car terms). Those brakes were useful on downhills and turns.

There were 2 people per sled. One would mush, one would sit and do nothing in the sled, then we’d switch. It was a 12 mile course. I was the 2nd musher on my sled, so it was really neat to just watch these dogs. We’d also stop occasionally and the dogs would get switched positions. Why? They weren’t doing so well. It’s like the 2nd line coming in. Not really that bad, but somebody at the back would get moved to the front because they could give more power/pull more.

We were out there for over two hours. Each of us mushed for equal amounts of time. We went up and down hills (the hard part with control sometimes), sped up, slowed down. The guides were on snowmobiles and would tell us what to do (and what not to do). It was just amazing to see what these dogs do. And we were on basic terrain, in ideal conditions, weather-wise. After a bit you of course get the swing the things, like you’re a total pro!

At the close of mushing, you come back, the dogs are sort of tired and you just go into the cabin. They give you coffee, cider, stuff to spike it with… The dogs of course get all sorts of rewards (we didn’t get to see what all they got to enjoy.

A great morning. Would recommend doing this if you’re at any place that offers it. Again, Grizzle-T was top notch. Might have to go again. I also now appreciate even more what the mushers in Iditarod do.

Table 79, Steamboat Springs

Last time I was in Steamboat Springs, CO was able to visit one of the local restaurants, Table 79.


They have a nice variety of tapas/small plates on the menu, as well as some entrees. I love having lots of things to nibble on so we chose a few on the smaller options to check out.

SMOKED ELK & CHORIZO MEATBALL / 4 // sweet corn succotash, sun dried tomato aioli

You do indeed get 1 meatball, but it’s a good size. The corn was delicious, as was the main part of the dish.


DEVILED EGG SALAD / 10 // spicy greens, cornichons, snow peas, pepita brittle, paprika champagne vinaigrette

They told us it was sort of a disassembled salad…what? They don’t just kind of mash up a hard boiled egg with a bunch of stuff. They nicely spread it out on a plate. Very unique and really good!


TUNA POKE / 11 // toasted sesame, pineapple, fiery sticky rice, avocado

The sticky fried rice the tuna sat on was quite nice, great presentation. Good taste overall.


CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS / 7 // table spice

I love Brussels sprouts and this didn’t change that thought, just reinforced it.



So, great experience. We also sat outside on a lovely evening. Service was wonderful, as well. Check it out if you’re in the area. Cheers.


Big B’s

Awhile back when I was in Steamboat (Springs), CO, I checked out one of the local liquor stores and came across a hard cider I had never seen or heard of before — Big B’s. They are located in Hotchkiss, CO and have a variety of apple-related products.

The cider I found is the Harvest Apple from their Orchard Series. This one is “created by using a perfect blend of fresh pressed apples. This is a semi-sweet hard cider and has a bold and refreshing apple taste.”

It was great because it hit semi-sweet perfectly. Nice and crisp, giving a bit of dryness, but not too much based on its category, and also no overkill on sugar. Comes in convenient cans, too.

I’ve only found it in one place in the Ft. Collins area, so far, which is Supermarket Liquors, so glad that’s easy accessible.



Bloody Relaxation

You know, skiing can be so hard. So, when 2pm or so comes, it’s time to refuel. And what does that mean? A Bloody Mary, of course! The first time I went to Steamboat, I was told about the best of these drinks. They were served at Four Points Lodge (which can be a bit of work to get to if you’re at the wrong spot on the mountain). This place is ‘located atop the Four Points chairlift on Storm Peak, the Four Points Lodge is a unique mountain retreat restaurant nestled 9,716 feet above sea level.’


(photo source:

In this 2 o’clock hour, it can take some time to get the bartender’s attention. Then after what seems like forever, you get to place your order. You are asked how spicy you want your concoction. I tend to go for the milder end, one of the others with me did as well, then another wanted kick. Then the drinks arrive. The adornments are priceless. You normally get an olive, celery and/or piece or citrus at bars. Oh, not here…olive, lime, pickled green bean, pepperoncini, pepper jack cheese, slice of bacon and celery. And, yes, there really is drink there, too.


Then for the enjoyment. Walk outside, shining sun, and plop down in an Adirondack chair. Have some Bloody Relaxation with adult tomato juice. Can’t get much better than that. Then, just have to get motivated to ski down the hill…


Game of Elk

I love game meat. In fact, it’s about the only red meat my body can digest. I have enjoyed venison for ages. And when I travel to great places around the world I love trying new stuff. Now, there is also ‘domestic’ game meat — as in the stuff we have here. I say that because we don’t have my favorite, warthog, which I enjoyed in South Africa, here.

Anyway, last time I was in Colorado, Steamboat (Springs) to be precise, I enjoyed a very nice dinner at Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill and was able to expand my game tastes/tastings.


After looking over the menu several times, the elk was calling my name but the cost was not exactly low ($40). But, decided I had to give it a try. After speaking to the server, she mentioned the portion was quite hefty, so the two of us at the table decided to split that along with a house salad, oh and some vino (which of course came out well before the food)!




The elk was nice, traditional game meat. Very chewy, much more so than venison. It was not my favorite game meat ever but would definitely eat it again if offered.