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10/18/05 – Sunday morning, the dogs’ short howls and yelps of joy told me we had visitors. I quickly set down the log I was carrying and began trotting down the hill toward the kennel and my visitors. It was still early and the sun’s first rays accentuated fall’s golden hues. After a few minutes I heard OB’s voice and found the whole Oberholtzer family piling out of their station wagon. OB said the Surbaughs would be there in a few minutes, bringing the grand total up to four kids (dressed in their Halloween best), four parents, six sled dogs, and myself.
After some picture taking and a tour of my place we began harnessing the dogs. They howled, barked, and lunged in their harness, anxious for a chance to run. We hooked Lichen, Saylix, Thistle, Fennel, and Daisy up to a three-wheeled cart designed for exercising sled dogs before the snow falls. We pulled the brake, and were greeted by the calming silence that comes when the team starts to run.
Steve and his son Will took the first ride, and we continued making trips up and down the Brule Lake Road until everyone had a chance. Shortly after graduating from college, and long before Will and Tristan came along, Kate and Steve Surbaugh worked at Sawbill. After a few seasons at Sawbill they moved to Ely and led dogsled trips for Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge. Now they have moved back to Cook County, and they own and operate Cascade Property Sales. After I graduated from college, Kate and Steve suggested that I work for Wintergreen Lodge, which introduced me to dog sledding, and gave my life a whole new twist.
Kate and Steve are dogsledding veterans, but OB, Kat, Will, Tristan, and Cy had never run dogs before, so this was a totally new experience. I hope they have caught the dogsledding bug and will visit again soon.
(Left to Right)Hazel the cow, Cy the cat, Will the dinosaur, and Tristan the cat all dressed up and ready to Trick or Treat.
Cy takes his parents OB and Kat for a dogsled ride.