In 2014, we will be offering one beginner adventure and one advanced cabin to cabin adventure that takes us from the Points Unknown cabin to our new, even more remote location in the midst of Minnesota's northwoods north of Grand Marais.

These adventures are for those who have attended one of our adventures in past. These will be cabin to cabin dog mushing adventures! You'll be traveling on trails you have traveled before and some brand new ones including a scenic run down Tom Lake. Please contact Linda directly for information on this adventure. 218.370.0283

This off-grid adventure is for those who want to actively participate in every aspect of their experience with the highlight being learning to run your own small team of sled dogs on miles and miles of beautiful trails in the remote wilderness of northern Minnesota. Step by step instruction is provided and there is an atmosphere of encouragement, support and team work. A lot goes into an off-grid, solar-powered lifestyle with sled dogs in a remote location and you will get to experience most aspects of it during your stay. In addition, if you have any energy left, there are numerous other activities available to you that include snow shoeing and cross country skiing. (Please bring your own equipment.) This adventure is limited to SIX participants so that each receives the maximum in hands-on experience and one-on-one instruction. Click here for details on our PUWWA2014.

We have two different types of traditional sled dogs; Freight Alaskan Huskies, and Hedlund Huskies.

You will find GREAT enthusiasm from the dogs and it is displayed from the moment you arrive until the moment you depart. They find great pleasure in jumping up to greet you (even though they are supposed to have manners, they choose when they use them) and screaming at the top of their lungs when they know it is meal time or when they know we are going for a run.

Our Freight Alaskan Huskies are larger and broader than the typical racing Alaskan Husky and have much heavier coats. Most are big lap dogs at camp that would tip toe around a sleeping baby. They quickly turn into focused pullers in the team, at hook up and while out on the trail!

Hedlund Huskies are a rare line of Alaskan Husky that dates back to the 1940s in Alaskan trapline teams. At this time we have six Hedlund Huskies. Tuloon, our first Hedlund arrival in 2004, had puppies in September of 2007 and we added three puppies with mixed Hedlund and our own Freight Alaskan lines.In June of 2009 Tuloon had her last litter of puppies and we added two deep line Hedlund Huskies. The Hedlunds are a graceful and steady line.

Linda Newman grew up all over the United States in a U.S. Forest Service family. The wilderness has always been a main focus in her life. Linda had a dog all through her childhood but didn't find her true passion for them until the 1990s. Linda has been training dogs since 1994. She got her first sled dogs in 2000 and thus began her sled dog training. She came from a background of Australian Shepherds, obedience and agility training. What a shock the sled dogs provided! No more "what can I do for you, how much and how long?" More like "Right. I'm not doing that until I get what I want. Then I will decide what you get and when." She loved them nonetheless and together, they do some extraordinary things and she wants to share that with others.

Linda's dream of a career that included her passion for the outdoors and her love and respect for her canine companions began in early 2005 when she started Points Unknown. Linda does adventure trips with the dogs in the BWCA, Canada and Minnesota. Points Unknown was contracted to provide dog mushing adventures at a popular northern Minnesota Lodge in Grand Marais, MN, USA in the winters of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 and Linda headed up this program. She currently teaches pull training classes at a local training center, is a DNR Becoming an Outdoors Women program instructor, and is giving dog mushing instruction and demonstrations at local events. Linda is Wilderness First Aid Certified with the Wilderness Medical Associates.

Neil Slaughter was born and raised in England and has recently retired from the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army. Having traveled to many parts of the world, he now favors the remoteness of the northwoods. His time is now divided as a director of a medical company in England and a working with Points Unknown with his wife Linda. Neil and Linda were married in December of 2011!

He has been with us here at Points Unknown since 2008 and brings experience in leadership, navigation and first aid and is proving to have what it takes to live in the wilderness and work with our dogs.

Some of Neil’s other pastimes include kayaking, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing and cycling. He is very mechanically inclined and puts that skill to work making improvements to some of our equipment that includes wonderful updates to our fall training rig! He has now mastered the art of collecting up dog poop, a skill all good mushers must possess!

Hailey Quanbeck was born and raised in Minneapolis, and is attending Northland College in Ashland, WI. She has lived around animals her whole like and her family currently has a dog (Cardigan Welsh Corgi), cat, parrot, and guinea pig. Her love for the outdoors began at a young age, traveling to her grandparents cabin in Wisconsin and being taught about the woods and how to fish by her father and grandfather. Hailey’s passion for the outdoors has only grown as time wears on and she spends as much of her summers as possible in northern Minnesota on canoeing and backpacking trips.

Hailey met Linda in August of 2005, and has been addicted to sled dogs and volunteering for Points Unknown ever since. On weekends in which school projects and essays are absent she can be found visiting Points Unknown, Linda, Neil and the sled dogs, doing whatever chores need to be done. Despite her youth, she is an enormous asset to the kennel. Not only that, but the dogs have helped her to realize more about herself and the world around her, and now she wishes to share her knowledge and passions with others.

Kristen Eckwright was born and raised in rural Minnesota and will graduate in the Spring of 2012. She has lived with animals her entire life ranging from giant Saint Bernards to tiny Yorkies. She currently has four dogs of her own including three lab-mixes and a Yorkie, three rabbits, and over 20 farm cats. Kristen has always known of her love for working with dogs. At the age of 10, she started training her own dogs through 4-H. Within a few years, she began competing in AKC obedience, rally, and agility. Wanting to help more animals, she started volunteering at the Brown County Humane Society. She spends much of her time there exercising dogs or helping to teach them basic manners. For dogs that need special attention or simply need to learn to trust humans, she brings her passion home and fosters them to make them more adoptable.

At the age of four, Kristen was introduced to the world of figure skating. She instantly fell in love and the sport became a huge part of her life for twelve years. She was forced to quit due to an injury, but quickly began to find new activities to fill some of her spare time. She discovered her love for hiking and the outdoors. Not long after, she began taking her dogs on bikejoring outings and started her own two-dog team, turning her Labradors into hard-pulling "sled dogs".

After both Kristen and her dogs fell in love with "mushing", she wanted to learn even more about real sled dogs. She met Linda about two years ago after joining the Points Unknown Canicross Club. It wasn’t hard to become addicted to the sled dogs! Now she spends much of her time volunteering for Points Unknown and helping out with any tasks that need to be done. Working with the sled dogs has helped her to realize more what she wants to do with her future - share her passions of nature and wildlife with other people.

Lee Ann Swenson comes by her deep love of the wilderness through her Northern Minnesota heritage and over a decade of Canadian living. After corporate burn-out and frustration, Lee Ann "bought the farm" and now lives in Northern New Jersey, enjoying a second career fueled by medical writing and transitioning into a sustainable working farm lifestyle. With her eye on this new direction, Lee Ann has completed courses in advanced cheese making, French cheeses, and artisanal bread. Lee Ann has also won several awards for her preserves, which she will include in her cooking on our Beginner Adventure.

Lee Ann has a deep connection with animals and currently her pack includes 4 sled dogs, 3 horses, 2 goats, 17 chickens, 3 cats, and a parrot. Her expertise in manure management makes her ideally suited as one of our dog handlers. In addition, Lee Ann has attended several Points Unknown adventures since 2007, including the exciting "Run your own Iditarod" event in 2009. Over the years, Linda Newman has been one of Lee Ann's primary dog sledding mentors and teachers. Building upon her love of these dogs, Lee Ann has recently begun to spin "Sled Dog Chiengora" yarn for her knitting to add a new dimension to their farm.

Beyond dog sledding, skijoring, and cooking, Lee Ann is an avid equestrian who successfully competes in hunter/jumper events.

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