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Saturday, December 29, 2007

First Full Day Dog Mushing Adventure

Truly a winter wonderland

One of our guests holding the team during a break

Lunch break on the trail

The dogs got a snack of venison during our break

Our return

Yesterday, we at Points Unknown had our first clients for our Gunflint Lodge programs Full Day Dog Mushing Adventure. Our guests were visiting from North Carolina and wanted to do a dog sledding adventure for their 10th wedding anniversary.

The day with our clients began at 9AM when they arrived to help load the dogs for their adventure. We then traveled about 45 minutes to the trail head. Being an adventure and not a "ride" our guest were fully involved with their experience and helped unload and harness dogs. We then loaded the sleds with lunch, a first aid kit, a satellite phone, our dog tie-outs and we were on our way.

On the way in to our destination, our guests remained tucked away in the sled bags while Helen and I talked about the history of dog mushing, the training of sled dogs and other various dog related topics. The trail began as a wide forest road and slowly dwindled to a windy bush trail that ended at the Brule River. The bush trail portion of the trip was the most impressive to our guests. Once at the river, we tied out the dogs, turned the sleds around and then ate lunch that included hot chocolate, warm cider, biscuits with meat and cheese and a tasty pork chili, all prepared by the lodge.

On the way back to the trucks we invited our client back on the runners with us to get a different perspective to add to their experience. At times, everyone seemed speechless by the beauty of the snow weighing heavy on the trees and the entranced by the quite sound of the sled runners gliding over the trail as the dogs kept a steady beat with their steps.

When we returned to the dog truck, our guests were given the choice to end their adventure and return to the lodge or help load the truck and unload upon our arrival back at the dog yard. They chose to continue on with us as we finished up the chores of loading and unloading. They had grown close to the dogs during our day on the trail and appeared to have a great respect for them and the job they did for us on the trail.

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