Liz Parrish, 50, is an innkeeper who owns and operates Crystalwood Lodge, a destination pet-friendly resort in the Southern Oregon Cascades. She also owns and operates Briar’s Patch Sled Dogs, which currently has 22 canine members and Liz who is the musher and chief pooper scooper. She has had a life-long love affair with dogs and dog sports, which has sustained her through numerous challenges she’s faced ranging from childhood cancer to scoliosis to fibromyalgia.
From an enthusiastic and naïve beginning 10 years ago with the “Motley Crew” team (an Aussie, Norwegian Elkhound, and Beagle Mix), Briar’s Patch has developed into a small kennel of Alaskan Huskies, whose dual missions are to train for and race in distance sled dog events and provide opportunities for the public and individuals to learn more about sled dogs and sled dog sports. The team finished the 2008 Iditarod with 14 dogs in 14 days…for Liz it was the perfect way to celebrate hitting the half-century mark!Liz is continually amazed at the marvelous athletes these dogs are, and honored by the deep trust and friendship they provide. She enjoys sharing their special talents with everyone interested in learning about them, as well as providing inspirational insights and reflections based on her unique experiences. Liz and the team have provided workshop instruction as part of the Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife’s Becoming an Outdoorswoman program, provided independent and custom tailored adventures for individuals, businesses and scouting groups, and done numerous demos and presentations for classrooms, corporations and civic groups.