- Each trip features small groups of about 6 persons each plus 2 guides
- Ideally suited for couples or pairs of friends (contact us for singles and 3-some options)
- 3 days of guided dog sledding on 2-person sleds and solo sleds as available
- Deluxe dinners prepared by our French chef Bernard Herrmann
- 2 nights at M17077 lodge with our lake shore-view bedrooms
- 2 nights at Timber Trail Lodge's beautiful new cabins with stone fireplaces
- Private full bathrooms for each pair of guests at both lodges
- Optional chance to try snowshoes, skis, ski-jouring and Finnish sauna
- An evening of fireplace stories or films with our guides or director Paul Schurke (pending his schedule)
- A special welcoming dinner on your first night and send-off brunch on the final "Mushers Graduation" morning.
Guest Profile: Last year, 80% of the guests on these trips came as couples whose ages ranged 28-76, 20% came as pairs of friends or family members (and about half of these trips were booked by private groups). The moderate group size of 6 makes for very congenial socializing over meals and around the fireplace each evening. Our guests often comment how fun it is to make new friends with like-minded adventurous travelers from around the world.
Meals: Dinners and first-day luncheons are generally prepared and served by our French chef Bernard Herrmann (and catered by him for dinners at Timber Trail). He knows exactly what our guests want after an invigorating day of dogsledding - an interesting, tasteful meal with fresh top-quality ingredients. We call it “comfort food with class”. Guests are welcome to bring their own wine or other adult beverages. Consider these mouth-watering sample menus:
- Almond-breaded chicken with light curry sauce and steamed rice, Brazilian Tres' Leche cake
- Sliced roast pork with apricot sweet and sour sauce, cous cous, oven roast potato or corn fritters, baked caramel custard with almond lace cookies
- Roast turkey with sauteed brussel sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes, fresh-baked herb bread, truffle chocolate mousse
- Old fashioned beef pot roast with steamed pasta and vegetables, petite pans, baked Alaska.
Day 1: Arrive in Ely mid to late afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Stop at Wintergreen store for any rental clothing needs, continue to lodge for check-in and site tour. Meet your guides and dogs. Welcoming dinner at 6 pm followed by trip orientation session and clothing check. Optional night visit to the kennel (a chance to 'howl' with your dogs at the moon and watch for northern lights).
Day 2: Sunrise kennel care (optional) followed by breakfast and "Dogsledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guides help you launch your team and accompany you on a dogsled training trip. Lunch in lodge, skills review and rest break. Afternoon dogsled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat and water your dogs. R and R. Dinner. Optional socializing with guests and guides around the fireplace.
Day 3: Kennel care and breakfast. Pack up luggage for shuttle to next lodge. Depart on full day of mushing with trail side campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. Wintergreen guides accompany your group on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Arrive at next lodge late afternoon. Treat and water your dogs. Optional skiing/snowshoeing or R and R. 6 pm dinner. Optional evening activates include Finnish-style sauna, campfire gathering, fireplace stories, and/or 'film fest' to view the National Geographic documentaries on our arctic adventures.
Day 4: Now that everyone "knows the ropes", the guides will plan the day based upon group interests with such choices as easy or challenging trails and a longer or shorter routes. Scenic stops might include the 'ice cave', the Murphys Falls overlook, the river bluff, the old growth forest and you may opt to include time for skiing/snowshoeing or to try "ski-jouring" (being towed on skis by a sled dog). Return to lodge mid to late afternoon. Dog treats. R&R. Dinner. Optional evening activities. (On Saturday evenings - when his schedule allows - the director Paul Schurke often shares an arctic adventure story).
Day 5: Kennel care, "bon voyage" breakfast buffet, "Mushers Graduation" event, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or earlier if your travel plans require). Visit Ely's International Wolf Center, tickets compliments of the company (winter hours: 10-4 Sat/Sun).
*Note: Check in 4-6 pm first day, check out 9:00-11:00 am last day.
Prices for 2008-2009 Deluxe Vacations:
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USA Minnesota Outdoor: Land Rambler Dogsledding Snowshoeing
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