Questions & Answers Wk 01

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Every week Team GoNorth! answers ten questions related to the module topic from student explorers -- so stay tuned and submit YOUR questions!

Brant says that depending on the season he likes and get out into the woods as much as possible either skiing or mountain biking. If time allows he will go for longer trips that camping in places where he can easily get to do the activities he likes to do! Aaron loves to run, he is a marathon runner, and in the summer time he loves to go out with his boat! Andrea loves to go to basketball games, play guitar, and be with family and friends, something Mille too finds to be high on her list of fun things to do!

What do you do for fun when you are on a break?

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Carolyn Gore during the week 1 chat

Yes, our experience is that the more love you give a Polar Husky the better performance you will get from the Polar Husky! Now, loving also means that you have firm boundaries, rules and respect - so, while we are indeed very loving with the Polar Huskies there are also very strict rules for behavior and what we expect from the dogs.

It looks like you are really friendly with your dogs.  We thought that maybe you couldn't be friends like the seeing eye dogs Mrs. Hodaba know. They are friendly with their owner, but nobody else. They have a job to do and have to be treated differently than a pet. Is it that way with sled dogs?

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Mrs. Hodaba's Class during the week 1 chat

Our single heaviest bag on the sled is our spares bag. In that we carry everything from tools and repair kits to an extra spoon, spare harness and rope. The rope is important because the sleds are all tied together with rope. No screws or nails are used. That is what keeps the sled very flexible, and it is easy to fix should it wear out or break: we simply 're-tie' whatever broke. If is entire pieces of wood we would have to come up with a way to make it work... If it is the plastic of the runners - the bottom 'skis' that the sled glides on - that wears out, then we do actually carry an extra piece of that which is tied down at the bottom of our load on the sled.

What would be done if the sled breaks?

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Mrs. Weipert's Class during the week 1 chat

You just have to go really fast and its a great work-out :) Actually, when you are on the trail, the Polar Huskies are pretty easy harnessing. Everything becomes very much a rhythm -- the dogs know exactly what is going to happen when you start walking down their line saying good morning to them -- and what you expect from them. Many of the old veterans we just let off the chain they stay on at night and they run down to the harnesses that you have laid out on the snow already; they circle around until you call and grab them and then some of them even start to 'self-harness' sticking their legs in the right loops, stretching out when you are done and sitting down to watch the next getting harnessed. Some of the young guys are not so easy, one of the toughest to harness these days is actually Kinu because she is so little and fast slipping in and out of your hands and knees!

How does one person get all the dogs harnessed?

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Neill Elementary, Minnesota USA: during the week 1 chat

(This answer will make it seem like a much simpler task than it really is...)

We will drive to New York and then fly from New York to Thule Air Base in Greenland.

When it happens you can be sure to read about it in the Trail Report, and see lots of movies and pictures about it in the Scrapbook. We're also pretty sure Beacon will have LOTS to say about the drive and the flight in his Blog postings when the time comes. :)

How do you get the polar huskies from base camp in Minnesota to Greenland?

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Carolyn Gore

We sleep in our tent! Our tents are actually made in Sweden by a gentleman named Bo Hilleberg. Every night we start looking for a good place to pitch the tent at around 4 - 4:30 PM. A good place is somewhere where there is room for both the sleds, tent and to stake out the two team of dogs. We sleep two people to a tent, so when we are more than two people on trail like we will be during part of this expedition that means we need to have space to set up two tents. Inside of the tent we have a small stove that we use to cook, melt snow for water and heat the tent so we can dry out our clothing (we hang that in the top of the tent). However, we have to turn the stove off when we go 'to bed.' The stove burns gas and has an open flame so we always have to be very alert and watching it closely when it is on. If it is minus 40 degrees outside - once we turn off the stove it does not take many minutes before it is minus 40 degrees inside the tent, so we have a really good sleeping bag system to keep us warm at night. This is called a 'bivy-bag.' It is the full length of our body and it is what we sit on top of inside of the tent. Inside of it are a foam pad, an air mat and two sleeping bags. One is inside of the other. We call these the inner and the outer sleeping bag. What makes this system so warm, is the fact that this means that there is air in between the two bags - and air is the best possible insulator that exists. You can get to know more about our gear and see a picture of the bivy bag on komatek in Polar Husky A to Z!

Oh, of course when we are in communities we are often lucky that kind people invite us to stay with them in their homes. As long as we have a good safe spot for the dogs (and they are tired so they will actually sleep) we love to visit with people and learn about how they live and get to know more about where we are traveling...

Where will you sleep?

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Great Question Mickey!

We'll be talking about lots and lots of food in the Week 3 Trail Report so be sure to check it out!

What are you going to eat?

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Have you 'Met the Team' yet?

Information about the two-legged GoNorth! Team members can be found here

How many people are going?

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Ms. Alli

Naming the dogs is a very difficult process.

When they are born we put little dots of fingernail polish on their foreheads. Every dog gets a different color and for many weeks this is how we tell them apart. And often, we refer to them by the color of their 'dot'. So for example, Luna was 'little blue'.

We have a top-secret list of potential names for dogs. :) But it is very very important that the name matches the dog and his or her personality. As a result, it takes a few weeks, and sometimes a couple of months before the dogs get a name.

If you get new dogs, what would you name them?

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Right now, it looks like only dogs that you see in the Kennel who won't be going are the dogs that are retired. However, this could change between now and when we leave. We won't know for sure until we are loaded into the plane and on our way to Greenland!

Now we have a question for you: Can you name the 5 retired dogs?

How many dogs are going to be going with you?

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