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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Points Unknown Wedding and Catch Up!

Married December 28th, 2011!

Klaus and White Feather listen as I read my vows
The dogs are fascinated over the whole thing.
The dogs turn their attention to Hailey as she read a poem offered by our friend Lidia who couldn't make the journey.

Neil and I first met online in April of 2008 when seeing a photo of me with Zodiak prompted him to email from his station in Iraq with the British military to inquire about the dogs and my lifestyle! On December 28th, 2011, with friends and family, both two and four legged, by our side, we were married overlooking the dog kennel and the beautiful Oake Lake here in Watertown, MN. We call it "Our Snowless Wedding", but that's another story all together and I've hesitated to complain too much about this puzzling winter season and have just accepted it as meant to be despite the internal dialogue I've been having with myself over the whole thing.

So, we're married and life hasn't slowed down enough for us to bask in the glow of it all but we do feel different; good different.

The lack of snow has meant much more dryland cart training for the dogs to keep them in shape for our month of adventures up in what is still our great white wilderness in northern Minnesota. Yes, there is snow in them hills!  We're counting the days until our departure and in the meantime, have a list of things to achieve as long as my arm, before we leave. First and foremost on that list is the welfare of our now 7 1/2 week old puppies. They have grown so quickly and I can't help but think that one of the reasons we haven't had snow and cold is just for them, so they can live outdoors without concern for the harshness winter can bring.

We're anxiously anticipating the arrival next week of a someone who introduced me to what has become one of my passions, our Hedlund Husky preservation founder and dear friend, Kim Fitzgerald will be here next Wednesday! A package of Hedlund Husky history has already preceded her and I have been glued to the photos ever since. This line of sled dogs is outstanding in so many ways, it's hard to describe the feeling of having the history at my fingertips.

To do! In preparation for our departure, as I mentioned, we've got loads to achieve. We've sorted through the dog sled lines and have come up with a list of necessary replacements and will spent the day making new gangline components. We're building in the spring, on our parcel in the great white wilderness of Minnesota so we need to refine our drawings of the buildings and dog yard and meet with our builder next week. Candles! Neil and I continue to puts hours a day into the candle business, building up our inventory for our time away. Thankfully, I've got someone who can take over our paperwork and deliveries while away.

Then there is the planning of each adventure. Our first weekend up north is a beginner women's adventure. We'll meet with one of our handlers who is also going to be the camp cook during this adventure so that we can come up with the specific menu. The curriculum has been in place for years but a little bit of tweaking may be necessary to customize the experience to individual needs of the participants.

Our second adventure is an advanced adventure. Some of the women are repeat participants times five! Each time we try to come up with a new challenge for them and this time, we've really done it good! The details but the location is such that they will get their refresher by driving a team of dogs in from the parking area six miles to the cabin. Two full days of dog sledding on some of the most beautiful trails in the country is the highlight and on the last day, they will allow the dogs to rest and cross country ski those six miles out to their vehicles.

Our third adventure is a series of adventures we are offering in cooperation with Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais, MN. On President's Day weekend we will be booking half day adventures that include snowshoeing or cross country skiing 7/10ths of a mile into the cabin then a half day with the sled dogs on our breathtaking remote bush trails. Visit this page on our website for details on all of our adventures - Points Unknown Adventures.

In a nutshell, lots to do and counting the days until white is a predominant color on the landscape.

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