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Canada: Visitors take a fur-wheel drive on a husky adventure

December 12, 2012|By Jay Jones
  • You can participate in a mushing adventure, pulled by a team of huskies, on trips of varying lengths in Saskatchewan, Canada.
You can participate in a mushing adventure, pulled by a team of huskies,… (Miriam Korner )

Cries of  “Mush, you huskies!” will ring out this winter in northern Saskatchewan, where a local outfitter offers guests a chance to drive their own teams on dog sled adventures.

Trips of varying lengths are offered through March 15, so note that these aren’t short rides for tourists through a snow-covered park.

Quincy Miller and Miriam Korner, the owners of Paws & Paddles Wilderness Tours, take visitors on treks along old fur trading routes through pristine forests and across frozen lakes.

For people whose time is limited, a one-day Dawn Till Dusk excursion crosses about 20 miles of back country near the company’s base in the town of La Ronge.

Miller encourages people wishing to immerse themselves in a unique, wintertime outdoor pursuit to pack warmly, very warmly, for the six-day, five-night Adventure Trip.

Guides lead their guests with fully loaded sleds across as much as 25 miles of trails each day. The journey’s a hands-on experience during which everyone shares in the essential tasks -- from mushing the teams during daylight to setting up the tents (heated, of course) as darkness falls.

Most participants bond with the dogs that provide what the owners call “fur-wheel drive” transportation. They’re intelligent and intuitive creatures, and during such trips the dogs truly are man’s best friend. Helping care for, and feed, the animals is part of the experience.

Around the campfire, over a hot cup of tea, Miller tells tales from his adventures with the Alaskan huskies. He also shares stories and traditions he learned as a child growing up among Canada’s First Nations (native) peoples.

The six-day trips cost $2,200 for one person or $3,600 for two. Single-day experiences cost $200 for a single guest or $360 for two.

La Ronge, population 2,700, offers a variety of lodging options. It’s about 250 miles -- a four-hour drive on a paved highway -- north of Saskatoon, the largest city in the province and home to a major airport.

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