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Ringing in a new decade
It is difficult to believe we are entering the third decade of the 21st century, yet here we are. Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to 2020. We can wonder what the coming decade will bring to the Northern Wilds. While some would say we live in a time of uncertainty, a student of history will say that has always been the case. About all we really know is the sun will rise tomorrow over Lake Superior. Do we really need to know any more?
Some publications mark the year’s end with a round up of stories from the past year. As with every issue, we choose to look forward instead. We like to tell you what’s coming up this month and next, so you can join the fun. For starters, we have two sled dog races, the Gunflint Mail Run starting Jan. 11 and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starting Jan. 26. Check out our events section and you’ll find outdoor activities for snowmobilers, skiers, fat bikers, snowshoers and even artists. If you’d rather be indoors and stay warm, you’ll find music, art openings and special dinners, too.
This issue is devoted to pets, an always popular topic with our readers. John Stember introduces us to a local effort to perpetuate a line of Alaskan sled dogs known as Hedlund huskies. Looking for a luxury retreat for your dog? Shelby Lonne-Rogentine takes us to Canal Bark in Duluth. In Thunder Bay, Peter Fergus-Moore highlights the Caring Hearts Cat Rescue and Sanctuary. Therapy dogs are a familiar sight in Thunder Bay, reports Elle Andra-Warner, due to the outreach of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program.
What happens when you bring a puppy into a home occupied by an elderly dog? Michael Furtman tells the ongoing story of Bella, his aging black Lab, and Scout, the youngster who will take her place in the duck blind. Spoiler alert: Cute puppy pics ahead! Erin Altemus provides a first-hand account of what it’s like to take a toddler along on a sled dog training run. Second spoiler alert: A cute kiddo pic ahead! Speaking of photographs, you’ll also find the winning entries in the annual Northern Wilds Photo Contest.
While we can’t predict the future, we’ll go out on a limb and say it is likely that January will deliver cold and snowy weather that may encourage you to stay inside. When it does, you can snuggle up somewhere warm and comfy to enjoy this issue of Northern Wilds. We can’t think of a better way to begin 2020.—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt