|Me with my Oken and his baby Arrow.|
It's been over a month since our blog was last updated. It's because we've barely had time to take a breath but now things appear to be slowing down a bit, whether we like it or not. Also, since we joined facebook, we find it a lot easier to post numerous photos in albums on our page as well as provide quick updates on a more regular basis. Please "Like" us on facebook to receive more regular updates.
We still have little to no snow here in Watertown and, to date, have run on Oake Lake with the dogs but once. Sadly, no Oake Lake Adventures have taken place thus far and with the poor ice conditions, even if we do get snow, the lake is unsafe.
We did just return from the most glorious 3 1/2 weeks at our "secret" winter wonderland pocket in northern Minnesota. There, we hosted a Points Unknown Advanced Women's Winter Adventure and a Beginner adventure. We also spent lots of time on the trail with the dogs and had time to connect with friends as well as those who will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of moving to this location in the fall.
Just before we left for our northern adventures, we had a visit from our dear friend, Kim Fitzgerald who turned us on to the Hedlund Husky in 2003. It was time for her to come to Points Unknown, not only to catch up but to see all of the dogs and puppies that have come from her initial contribution to the program. She hadn't seen those dogs she sent us since they were just wee pups and now, the oldest is just over seven years old! We were also excited to receive another visitor. Nita Fowler who is a new found friend from the Fairbanks, Alaska area came to retrieve the pups going to Thom Swan in her area. She was the one responsible for giving us the gift of Rommel and Rayna, for which we will be forever thankful.
The Topa/Oken puppies are now just over 3 months old. Grand Marais, now Animosh, and Lutsen, now Chetan, have settled in to their new home in Alaska with Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs and Thom Swan who has become a very important part of our Hedlund Husky Preservation Project. Tofte, now Salsa and Temperance, now Jitterbug, went to their new home in Northfield, MN with mushers Jim and Judy Dunlop who are also valued members of our project. They've indicated that they have fallen head over heals in love with our puppies. Heartwarming!
Arrow, Irish and Misquah did very well on our northern adventures as did bigger puppies, Rommel and Rayna. Since they couldn't run in the team or walk the 6 miles back to our remote cabin location, they got used to jumping into crates in the otter sled and being towed behind the snowmobile. The adult dogs got miles and miles of trail time and just loved every minute of it! There are hundreds of photos posted on our facebook page with people and dog smiles all around. Kristen, our exceptional dog handler, joined us for a week to work with the dogs and got several of her own adventures. You can find those photos under "Kristen's Big Adventure".
Our hearts sank when we saw Irish have her first head tremor within a couple of days after arriving up north. All three little puppies had their first shots a week previously, and as with White Feather and Illy, the tremors began within a week. Irish has been on Ester C and 5-HTP for 3 1/2 weeks now and we are hopeful that since White Feather and Illy recovered from this vaccine reaction, that Irish will too.
Due to lack of snow, our hands-on dog mushing courses for the DNR's Becoming and Outdoors Woman Winter Event had to be canceled this weekend. We did load all of the dogs yesterday and head up to Audubon Center of the Northwoods ELC to participate by doing a "meet and greet", spending the day onsite giving impromptu sled dog education and a powerpoint presentation last evening. We had a super time and have our fingers crossed that next winter will be much more winter-like.
Plans for our building project in the spring are moving forward. We've got all of our contractors in the loop and are now waiting for spring to begin! We're excited about our solar energy project that will include solar electric and solar hot water. The solar hot water will provide the hot water necessary to melt the beeswax for our Scent from Nature beeswax candles. We'll be living off grid and our beeswax candle making process will be powered by the sun! Actually, most everything will be powered by the sun; our every day living items as well as Points Unknown dog yard items that include solar powered fans in the kennels to keep the bugs away during "bug season". The mosquito is Minnesota's state bird, after all. Another necessary item we've stumbled across is something called a Skitter Vac. It is propane powered and produces carbon dioxide which attracts the mosquitoes then it sucks them up! Love this idea! Apparently, one unit will cover about an acre.
While we were away, we received a couple very good beeswax candle inquires from rather large and like-minded companies so we are happy to be getting our name our there and potentially increasing candle sales which will help set us up for the transition to the northwoods.
Now that we're back in Watertown, candle pouring begins again in preparation for two upcoming Green Living events, appraisals are now underway, planning for our building project continues and thoughts of new adventures for next season are being dreamed about.
Photos to come of our adventures over the past month!