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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gunflint Lodge Work Weekend

Blueberry and Copper lounging at the Musher apartment

New pen in the dog yard

Distant view of the now complete dog yard

The dog truck, a 17' cube van, was unloaded of its dog transport items including 12 large plastic dog crates, a fall training cart and all associated gear . It was then reloaded with fourteen bales of straw, five wooden dog houses, four plastic dog houses, the brush cutter, other miscellaneous trail cutting tools and various tools needed for the dog yard. On Friday the sled dog mascots and I headed up to Gunflint Lodge for a special work weekend in that loaded cube van.

Each year, Gunflint Lodge has a work weekend planned where guests can come for two nights for a discounted price in exchange for five hours of work on the property. This weekend Points Unknown had a total of fourteen very eager and hard working trail clearing and dog yard workers. With Jason, the maintenance supervisor at the chain saw, me at the brush cutter, eight "lopper" specialists and four log and debris movers, we managed to clear 2+- miles of new dog sledding trails in under five hours! Even though trail clearing is quite a lot of work and winter had blasted in the evening before, sending flurries throughout the day and cold wind chills, we all had fun clearing, chatting and laughing along the way. The evening ended with a complimentary buffet for all workers. I saw a lot of tired and happy faces this evening.

As the people worked most of the day, the sled dog mascots lounged comfortably back in the musher apartment and enjoyed four short walks during various breaks throughout the day.

Yesterday was spent in the dog yard unloading the truck, installing a new dog pen and preparing the chains and hardware for many of the axles. With the help of Robert who lives at the end of Gunflint Lake Road, this was accomplished in a few short hours.

Many thanks to Robert and all of the hard working trail clearing and dog yard workers! Your help was much appreciated!

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