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Friday, November 14, 2008

Introductions; Jon Williams

Jon with his well behaved team of Malamutes

Jon Williams, 53, is a clinical pharmacist at the Great River Medical Center in West Burlington,Iowa. At an early age, he discovered how much he loved exploring the outdoors, through camping, hiking, fishing, and canoeing. This led him to spend 20 years of volunteer time serving on the Des Moines County Conservation Board and Partners for Conservation Foundation.

He has backpacked the North Western states, Alberta/British Columbia, and Isle Royale. Rock climbed in Wisconsin and Idaho with the Iowa Mountaineers. With his wife Jane, they have canoed extensively through out the BWCAW and Quetico over the last 20 years. In 2000, Jon canoed the Hunter Island route, which circumnavigates the BWCAW and Quetico.

Jon always enjoyed X-country skiing and ice fishing in the wintertime, but wanted to find a way to explore this time of year even more. So in 1986, he bought his first Alaskan Malamute puppy. After reading a couple of books on sled dog training he was able to get his first dog to pull a sled full of ice fishing equipment and accompany him on his many ice fishing excursions. Several Malamutes later, he realized more training was necessary. He wanted to see if he could handle winter camping with sled dogs so he spent a week learning how at Paul Schurke's Wintergreen in January of 1997. Next stop, was completing two of Jamie Nelson/Ann Stead's mushing boot camps in northern Minnesota. The boot camps were an unbelievable "dog and musher," learning experience; also a way to meet people from all over the country and gain mushing friends from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Over the last several years Jon has enjoyed winter camping and mushing with his friends in northern Minnesota. Currently, Jon has 11 Alaskan Malamutes that make up his Ravencrest Kennels in rural southeast Iowa. There he trains his 10 dog team and is always looking for new adventures with them up North.

Jon is also a pilot and enjoys flying from the grass strip airfield near his home to visit friends all over the Mid West. This will be Jon’s first season with Points Unknown, assisting with client adventures. When first meeting Jon several years ago, I was impressed with his well behaved team of Malamutes and know he and his team will be an asset to our winter program.

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