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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Settling In

The puppies in their new pen with Tuloon

Cozy sled accommodations for our clients.

Our first run at the lodge. Klaus taking a big yawn to calm his excitement

Temps have been in around 15-18 degrees the past two days. It was lightly snowing this morning with no real accumulation.

Yesterday Helen and Prairie Isle kennel arrived at Gunflint Lodge. They are one of the team members this winter for the Points Unknown at Gunflint Lodge Adventures. They are settling in nicely. Four Prairie Isle Samoyed puppies spent the morning in the large play area with the three Points Unknown pups. After such a long ride in their boxes they seemed to have an overabundance of energy that needed to be channeled. Seven pups in a pen together did the trick.

This morning, with the help of Jason and Don of the lodge maintenance department, larger holes were cut in the dog house barrels that were previously used for smaller racing style dogs. We were noticing that many of our traditional sled dogs were not even attempting to enter the barrel houses due to the tiny holes.

Chains were reworked as some were too long and others too short. Three small dog teams were run and we are in the process of running more. After yesterday’s treacherous run with 7 dogs under the current conditions, we decided that its best to stick with 3 to 4 dog teams until we get more snow. Programs at Gunflint Lodge officially begin on December 21st so we have our fingers crossed for snow.

Yesterday the freight sled was outfitted and tested on our run. A seamstress in Watertown, MN made custom sled bags for the sleds as well as Cordura covered 4” foam pads. The pads will be placed in the sled first, then the sled bag will be on top of the pads and attached to the sled ropes. A caribou hide I picked up while in Alaska to retrieve Journey will then be placed in the bag for clients to sit on and wrap around themselves. Wool Army blankets will also be supplied to place under feet and where ever needed. Riders should stay toasty warm.

Where are the Points Unknown mascots, Copper and Blue, in all of you this? Their day begins with a walk. If it’s too cold, Copper needs his boots and coat. Then its meal time and a rest in the warm and cozy apartment room while sled dogs get fed. Mid afternoon the two little guys get out again for a walk down to the lodge to say hello and to pick up the mail. If there’s time, they spend an hour or so running around in the conference center as their person (me) checks email if the wifi is functioning and throws the ball over and over again for Blue because that’s what he has trained his person to do.

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