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- courtesy Sundogs Sled Excursions, photo by Celes Davar

Here's a recipe for wintertime adventure: two couples, two dogsleds with huskies and hosts, Saskatchewan's boreal forest in crystal-white splendor and a canvas tent with a wood heater.

Sundogs Sled Excursions, out of Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan, offers dogsledding experiences that range from 60- to -75-minute orientation runs to 'overnighters', to 'ski and mush' trips and more.

But Brad Muir, who operates Sundogs with partner Susan Carr, says guest participation is key to making the most of a dogsledding experience.

"I want people to invest. . . a little bit more of themselves,'' says Muir. "That's the kind of experience I want to be part of. You can call it an eco-tourism experience, or just sharing your passion for things.''

A passion for dogsledding, as well as for the ecology, history and culture of the land comprising the southern edge of Saskatchewan's boreal forest, is something Muir and Carr have shared for years. Both work for Parks Canada at Prince Albert National Park and both have a deep respect and understanding for the land and its inhabitants.

Word of the full-experience excursions offered by Sundogs has attracted the attention of visitors from as far away as France and South Africa: "One day they were in South Africa and 48 hours later they were on a dogsled in northern Canada,'' says Muir. He adds the majority of Sundogs' clients are people from Saskatchewan who bring visiting friends or relatives to enjoy this unique outdoor activity.

Muir's business, and his high regard for nature, led to a partnership arrangement with Deb Greening, of Land of the Loon Resort at Anglin Lake. Through Sundogs, Greening offers her winter guests a quality dogsledding experience that begins right at the resort - Muir can transport the dogs and sleds to any one of several trail heads in the region. Sundogs uses Greening's catering services to provide meals for longer outings, and her facilities to provide on-site interpretation and orientation.

"We have a lot in common as far as our philosophy about tourism goes - like sustainable tourism and eco-tourism,'' says Muir. "That works really nicely for us.''

Sundogs is the only company in Saskatchewan, and one of only a few in western Canada, to specialize in dogsledding packages. However, dogsledding is available by arrangement at other locations, as well. Here's a listing of operators who offer dogsledding:

Sundogs Sled Excursions, Christoper Lake, near Prince Albert National Park. Phone: (306) 989-2041; Fax: (306) 982-3000.

Land of the Loon Resort, Anglin Lake, adjacent to Prince Albert National Park. Phone: (306) 982-4478; Fax: (306) 982-4489.

CanoeSki Discovery Company, based in Saskatoon. Phone or fax: (306) 653-5693.

Delta Discovery, in the Cumberland House region of northeast Saskatchewan. Phone: (306) 653-4606; Fax: (306) 653-7616.

Minowokaw Lodge and Joe's Cabins, Candle Lake. Phone: (306) 929-4619.

Rocky View Lodge, Inc., in the Amisk Lake region of northeast Saskatchewan. Phone: (toll free) 1-888-997-6259; Fax: (306) 362-2443.

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