Minne*snow*ta

Okay, so it has been like FOREVER since I’ve made a post! But, hey, I’ve been like REALLY busy (sorry!). So what, you might wonder, have I been doing? Well for starters I went dog sledding. Yes, you read that right. I traveled for about a week in January (I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile now) to Duluth, Minnesota and went winter camping/ dog sledding along the Boundary Waters. In the snow. In -20 degrees. For like a week. Am I crazy?

Maybe, but I ended up having a blast! I did it through the company Outward Bound who I have traveled with before and highly recommend.  I was in a group of 7 other high school juniors and seniors, but there were two other groups who traveled at the same time but in a different direction so we met up with them on the first and last nights. Our daily routine was to cross country ski/ dogsled for about four miles during the day, then set up camp by around 4:00 pm and have a fire started around 5:00 when the sun went down. It was a lot of work from skiing, to chopping wood, to feeding the dogs, to setting up our sleeping bags, and I was drop-dead exhausted every night. I can’t imagine how our dog team- Batman, Tally, Katara, Tiberius, Blazo, Radar, and Hawkeye- did it. Huskies are one tough breed of dog. Here they are strutting their stuff:

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While most of the time on expedition I was freezing (-20 degrees Fahrenheit is no joke), it was also so beautiful. Being from California, I don’t think I have ever seen so much snow in my life. Some days when we would travel their would be so much snow that it would feel like we were in a never ending box of white. I was actually pretty impressed with how quickly I adapted. Almost immediately I became used to feeling disabled by my mittens which prevented me from opening or closing just about anything and the 4 lbs. boots I wore on each foot to keep my toes from freezing off seemed almost like a part of me. Here’s a little bit of the view I was so blessed to get to enjoy:

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My greatest achievement while on expedition, however, was my time on solo. The Outward Bound company has a tradition where on every trip they teach the students how to survive, then send them out to live for 24 hours on their own. I had to set up my tarps and sleeping bags, collect kindling, saw wood, build my fire, cook my dinner, and boil water. It was quite the challenge. I’m pretty sure I quite about a million times throughout the process. If anyone ever asks you  to saw wood to make a fire say “no”! I spent almost five hours, by myself, in the middle of nowhere, sawing logs. Not exactly what I would call fun. However, at the end of the day I had a fire and I jumped around it like an idiot filled with glee. (I later learned that several others didn’t start their fires end went hungry for the night. Like I said, just buy your own wood if you have the choice). Feel free to gawk at my made from scratch (and a match) fire:

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That’s really all I have to say. I mean I have like a million stories from my trip bouncing around in my head, but I can’t seem to snag onto one long enough to tell. Overall, my recommendation is to go for yourself! Especially if adventure is your thing, this was an AMAZING experience. And, if your thinking, “gee, I’d love to go, but I will surely forget” you should really check out one of my newest obsessions: Bucketlist.org. It’s an online website that allows you to create a bucket-list. It helps keep all your goals organized and plotted out and allows you to see what other people are dying to do. Like I said, check it out!

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