A Dogsled Guide’s Day Off

People often ask me what dogsled guides do on our days off. I tell them that our days off tend to look a lot like our days on. For example, I had this week off from guiding to celebrate a late Christmas with my parents who visited from Iowa. What did I find myself doing…

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Deep Freeze Temps and Hand and Foot Warmers

With low temps around 30 degrees below zero, we cracked open some hand and foot warmers for the dogsledding trip this week. I just finished guiding a trip with a nice family from near New York City. It turns out one of them worked as a hand and foot model. She really appreciated the hand…

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Building a Quinzee Snow Shelter

The dogsled camping group this week is game for just about anything. I really like their eagerness to try new things. Today the whole group joined in to build a traditional snow shelter called a quinzee. The above photo shows our finished product. A quinzee is made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow.…

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Dog food?

My first dogsled camping trip of the season launched this week. It is four days and three nights on trail. This morning around the campfire Jen (a guest from Minneapolis) peaks into the breakfast pot and says: “Hhmm. That looks delicious. Uh, this may sound awful, but when I first saw thatI thought it was…

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Boundary Waters Bus

Before restrictions on motors in the BWCAW, land-based motorized vehicles made their way into some remote places. For example, this old International Harvester bus transported passengers across the Four Mile Portage between Fall Lake and Hoist Bay on Basswood Lake. The passengers would be either starting a canoe trip or going to one of the…

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Pine Marten on the Hunt

This frisky Pine Marten is hanging around the cabin, eating birdseed from the feeders and chasing wildlife. I photographed him today. Recently I watched him chase a Red Squirrel up a spruce tree, and then give up on the chase to await an easier ambush. Then I spotted him bounding through the fresh snow after…

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Last Boat Ride of 2009

Most folks had their motorboats winterized by the end of October. Virtually all other boats were tucked away by mid-November. But, this photo shows how one motorboater can lay claim to the title of last boater on Shagawa Lake in 2009. To say the least, it’s unusual to be boating on an ice-covered lake. But…

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Northwest Passage Dogsled Expedition – Why They Do This

Tomorrow Chris and Lisa start driving north. The accompanying photos show the sparkling new 14′ sledge which they will christen once arriving in Inuvik. Why do they do this, and why is this expedition unique? This is nothing less than an epic journey. Chris and Lisa will face the extremes of adversity: bone-chilling cold of…

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Northwest Passage Dogsled Expedition

Note: This is part one in a series about Chris and Lisa’s Northwest Passage Dogsled Expedition. Chris Maher, of Ely, and Lisa Strom, from Sweden, are making final preparations for an epic dogsled expedition of the Northwest Passage – from Inuvik (near the north end of the Northwest Territories of Canada) to Churchill, Manitoba. Chris…

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Pot Black Miracle

To those of us who have spent what feels like an overly significant part of our lives attempting to scrub every speck of pot black from our camp cookware – let today be the beginning of a new era! Let this be the end of soot covered “mechanic’s hands” stained from carbon that outlines one’s…

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