Thursday, 6 December 2007

December 6, 2007 NorthWapiti Teams Have a Super Day with Super Dog Treats!

Mark, I and 20 of the dogs had really fun day yesterday. We loaded up the truck - good experience for rookies, Bingo, X and Irving who had never been on a truck trip before -and headed over to Sangudo, home of our newest sponsors - the Bambers/Royal Elk/SuperDog Pet Treats. 

Don and Holly have an incredible piece of land overlooking the Pembina River valley. Grazing contently down the hill from the house are 170 or so bull elk that were the start of their Royal Elk business.

Once we got the dogs all dropped and settled around the dog truck, Don took us for a tour of their onsite plants that manufacture their Royal Elk EVA capsules for humans and a separate plant that makes the Super Dog Pet treats.

It is a really interesting process and Don's passion for his business shows through in how well organized and sparkling clean the facilities are!

After our tour and a wonderful lunch of elk hot dogs (yum!), we hooked up 2 teams and headed off to explore some of the multitude of trails on the Bamber's huge ranch. Unfortunately there really wasn't enough snow to be sledding yet - well, enough to sled, just not enough to STOP. Mark had Don and Holly's daughter, Shirley riding along so we had someone to help with the dogs and give directions when we got off the trails we were supposed to be on!!

 About 4 miles into the run we met up at a lovely campground with Don and his brother, Dave. Dave climbed into my sled for the next part of the journey.

Now, I don't think Dave would at all mind if I mention that he, well..let's just say he weighs a bit more then his niece does. Anyway, off we headed on a beautiful trail that ran along the banks of the Pembina. The woods were filled with animal tracks and I even saw a few eagle nests high in the trees. Just gorgeous.

Then we came to a hill that certainly made the dogs earn their kibble in getting us up it. As is usually the case after you climb a big hill - the trail started downwards. Shirley mentioned to Mark that the next hill was 'kinda steep and rocky'. Well, 'kinda steep and rocky' is not a huge problem IF you have a fair base of snow - which you might remember me mentioning - we didn't. Mark made it most of the way down the hill before losing it. When I crested the hill and saw the wreckage at the bottom of the hill, it was too late for me to try and stop my team. We did a semi control free fall down the top part of the hill and I honestly thought Dave and I were going to make it without crashing - up to the second we crashed. We slid to a stop inches from Mark and Shirley. Mark and I quickly determined that all passengers were okay and began the careful job of up righting the sleds without losing teams.

Once underway again, Mark questioned Shirley about what was up head on the trails and we decided that the trails really weren't safe enough until several more inches of snow fell. We turned the two teams around, climbed the 'Rock Hill' (boy, once we had to climb it, it became apparent that it was truly a steep and rocky hill!!!), and headed back to the house.

Once safely back to the truck, we extracted Dave from my sled and had a good laugh about the crashes. Dave and Shirley were great sports about the whole thing. Mark and I were just grateful that everyone was okay!

We put Mark's team away and turned my crew around so I could give Holly a short ride. Thankfully, that one was 'incident free'.

 The dogs were unharnessed, staked out on the truck and fed before we headed up to the house for hot chocolate and coffee before a wonderful dinner.

 Mark and I pulled back into our yard about 9 pm. Kathryn had the rest of the yard taken care of (Sweeet)  and pitched in unloading and feeding the group that we had taken with us, so we everyone settled and filled with dinner in short time.

It was a long day for sure, but a fun one - and I'm very excited to head back again and see those trails with just a bit more snow on them.

Photos of the day can be found at -


 Many thanks to Don, Holly, Dave, and Shirley for a terrific day. We are really thrilled to be associated with folks like the Bambers and we look forward to a long and successful relationship between NorthWapiti and Super Dog!!!!


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