Project Polar Bear

When the Minnesota dogsledding season ends, we go north for Project Polar Bear. We are traveling by truck (and dog trailer) and train to Churchill, Manitoba, the first of April. Once there, we will be dogsledding and camping in what the locals have dubbed the “Polar Bear Capitol of the World.” The area is one…

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Sit-Skijoring

Curt (above) pioneered a whole new sport today we call sit-skijoring. Skijoring is when a person is on skis and tethered to a harnessed dog that pulls them. Sit-skijoring is when a person is on a “sit-ski” – the blue device above. Curt is using his strong upper body balance and the outrigger skis with…

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Bicycles and Dogsleds

That’s a bicycle seat on the back of one of the dogsleds. One of the fun things about journeying with people through the wilderness is adapting things to work in special situations. Curt, one of our dogsledders this week, doesn’t have full use of his legs. The bicycle seat innovation allowed him to drive the…

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Puppies!

Covy has puppies! These are two of the three of them hanging out on the porch at Wintergreen Lodge. The adult Inuit dogs don’t like the heat because of their thick insulating coats. Today’s temps hit an unseasonably warm 60 degrees. These temps are even too warm for the puppies. They did their best to…

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Barefoot Weather

How warm was it today? Warm enough that dogsledders Lilly and her dad, Paul, sat outside barefooted and in a t-shirt. This week I’m guiding a Continuing Medical Education Dogsled Trip with a group of doctors (including Paul, above). The trip includes some of the doctors’ family members. Even after today’s warm weather, we are…

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Pond Curling

So, how do we pass our time when not guiding dogsledding trips? Pond curling, of course! Well, that’s how we spent this afternoon after the dogsledding trips ended. The guides and everybody got together on our own home-made curling ice on the lake behind the lodge. Thanks to all the folks who took the time…

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Ever Wash These Things?

Joel, a dogsledding participant, held an armload of stinky dog harnesses and looked over at me this morning: “Ever wash these things?” In fact, the dog harnesses do occasionally get washed. This video shows the Wintergreen industrial dog harness washing machine – aka, a cement mixer with rocks, water, and detergent. Paul has an ultimately…

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Bubba – Pulling Harder Than Any Other Dog

GUEST BLOGGER: Wilderness Guide Kate Ford. The second annual Ely Wolftrack Classic sled dog race is happening this weekend, so Ely is buzzing with visitors. Tomorrow our friend Eva Kolodji will take her dogs out for the 30-mile race from Ely to Tower, which she estimates will take about 3.5 hours. That’s much less than…

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Canadian Border Dogsled Camping Route

I just returned from a 7 day dogsled camping trip from Gunflint Lake east along the Canadian border, through the BWCA. We ventured out with two groups of students from Lakehead Univ. in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Most of our Wintergreen dogsledding trips are not comprised completely of college age people. Thus, this felt like a…

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Snow Sculptures

Artists recently completed another display of incredible snow sculptures in Whiteside Park in Ely. The Snow Sculpting Symposium is part of the Ely Winter Festival. This snow sculpture is “They Called the Wind Mariah,” by Sherry Rovig, Nick Lee, and Dianne Goodwin. Three days of warm weather and drizzle after the carving means that photos…

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