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Friday, August 1, 2008

Memories of a Friend: Kate Stenso-Miller

Kate teaching winter fire building techniques

Kate teaching ski lessons

Foot on the brake and off she goes!

Kate managing a tipped sled as the dogs begin to raise the level of adventure by cutting the corner on a patch of Alders.

Sinking the hook to help secure the team

Making her way around the Alders with the sled

Kate Skijoring

Kate with Klaus and Sweet Pea

Kate after a day filled with adventure, warming up on the couch with Phoenix and chatting with friends.

I met Kate roughly four years ago at a wilderness training weekend for educators. We hit it off right from the start and almost immediately began planning how we could work together for a women's dog mushing adventure that I was dreaming. I attended a Navigation Workshop she was teaching for the Three Rivers Park District in Hennepin County, MN and she later came to teach at my very first Points Unknown Women's Winter Adventure which was held in the winter of 2005-2006 and I taught her a bit about dog mushing. She had been a big part of the program since that first winter and had became a wonderful friend.

Kate was the kind of person that touched the heart and soul of everyone she met with her infectious passion for life and her love of the outdoors. Kate died unexpectedly this spring. She was an amazing teacher, a kind soul, a dear friend and a patient mentor and will be deeply missed.

I was fortunate enough to recently receive a CD filled with photos that Kate had taken during our PUWWA2008 at Gunflint Lodge Adventure last March. What a treasure. Below are some of those photos that bring back fond memories of dogs, winter, fun and friends.

Klaus and Tuloon in perfect "sync" with Sweet Pea wide-eyed behind

This adventure on the lake involved a photographer and Kate, speeding out ahead of the dog teams on a snowmo to snap shots as we ran by.

Points Unknown "A" team

More photographer antics

Karen's team doing a very nice "on by"

Yes, the photographer was eventually run over by a team! (no injuries incurred)

Karen resting her team as we are greeted with hot chocolate by the resident of the wall tent pitched on Camper's Island.

Lisa practicing some of the fire starting skills she was taught by Kate

Freight Sleds

Mushing 101

What in the world is Karen doing?! She got a lot of exercise running up that hill.

The PUWWA2008 Gunflint Lodge Adventure group.

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