Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
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 has guided dogsled trips at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge near Ely since 2004. He's also guided North Pole dogsled expeditions in 2008 and 2009, and spent a year running dogs in Greenland. Lisa is also a very experienced dogsledder. She's guided dogsled trips in Svalbaard (north of Norway) for several years. And Lisa also guided North Pole dogsled trips for several years, as well as spending time dogsledding near Ely.
This week, they will leave for Inuvik. It is a 3,200 mile drive pulling a dog trailer with twelve dogs. Once in Inuvik, they will train dogs and take care of last minute preparations for a few weeks.
On January 1, they will begin dogsledding eastward. They have budgeted for up to 150 days of dogsledding, and hope to pull into Churchill by the first of May.Today I helped them load 880 pounds of dog kibble and 500 pounds of lard. That's only enough for the first leg of their journey. They have already shipped dog food resupplies to native villages along the northern coast of Canada.
This photo shows Chris and Lisa in the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge kennel with Frank "the Tank." Frank is one of the polar huskies they will rely on to travel across the arctic.
Additional blog entries will cover what makes this expedition unique, deep Ely connections to the trip, and how they get their car back from Inuvik.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Visit our booth, chat it up with us, ask for a very special free gift courtesy of Wintergreen Northern Wear (while supplies last!), sign up for great door prizes, and receive some really incredible Expo-savings when you register for a guided canoe trip, or a January dogsledding adventure. Oh yeah, and besides us, take in some really great free presentations about the Boundary Waters and Quetico.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Here is the Boundary Waters "tip & trick" for the ages: Leave your camp cookware sooty and black while on trail. Pack it in a stuff sack so it doesn't get other gear sooty while traveling. When you return home, put the pots and pans in your oven. (Note: don't do this with non-stick or painted pots.) Set the oven to "clean." Then, open the door when it's done to see the resurrection of your pots and pans - as sparkling as the day you bought them!
Friday, November 6, 2009
The same can't be said for domestic dogs and their interactions with area wolves. Wolves are probably one of the greatest threats to my aging chocolate lab. My neighbor's dog was killed by wolves, and wolf attacks on domestic dogs are relatively common in the area. Many folks near Ely know people who've lost dogs to wolf attacks. And there are some fairly incredible stories of leashed dogs being attacked as well.
Unfortunately, more wolf attacks on dogs have apparently happened recently. This sign appeared at Ely grocery stores and at the hardware store this week.
The wolves near town seem to be getting less afraid of the residential areas. Earlier in the summer a resident photographed a wolf that repeatedly raided trash bags at an in-town apartment complex.
Also, one of the packs may be hanging around near town. Three wolves were spotted on the Old Airport Road in daylight recently, and I saw one cross Highway 1 just at the city limits in daylight today.