UPSDA Board Members Visit Nature’s Kennel

April 21, 2019

A field trip to Nature’s Kennel gave UPSDA Board members a chance to visit with dogs, learn about the kennel, and drive their own dog teams.  Board members have seen dogs get their pre-race vet checks, leave the start chute and cross the finish line.  They’ve worked tirelessly (or maybe at race time tiredly is more accurate) to keep all parts of the UPSDA sled dog events working smoothly.  Given the Board’s hard work, we thought it would be great to get a different perspective by visiting a kennel and driving a team of sled dogs.


Thanks to Tasha and Ed Stielstra and the superb dogs and guides at Nature’s Kennel, we got that chance on March 27th.   Eight of us gathered at Nature’s Kennel to meet dogs and for those who had never run a sled before, get lessons in the basics of hooking up a team and driving a sled.   Matched with guides who helped ensure everything was set to go and running in groups of 2 or 3 sleds, our guides also made sure we didn’t lose our way on the 20-mile loop trail.  It was a gorgeous day with firm, fast trails.  After a couple hours on the trail, we made our way back to the kennel.  Dogs with happily wagging tails were unharnessed and returned to their houses.  Newly minted mushers had never-ending smiles as we headed inside for lunch and the usual dog and trail chit-chat.  Those who had never stood on the runners of a sled got a taste of what all those mushers keep yakking about and those of us who had run teams before had a chance to be back on the trail.  Thank you Ed, Tasha, NK staff and dogs for a great group experience for UPSDA Board members!