On Valentine's Day, there is a 20-mile dog sledding race set to take place in Vermilion Bay, a town a bit south of us here in Red Lake. It's called the "Trapline Challenge." Mushers must haul themselves out of sleeping bags and pack up their gear--as a true trapper would do while moving along his line in search of mink, foxes, beavers--before setting off with a six-dog team across frozen lakes and portages.

The race is an homage to the role that this animal-powered form of winter travel has played in the history of the region.

A friend who grew up in Vermilion Bay sent me this short documentary on dog sledding in northwestern Ontario. It has made me even more excited to experience it in person. Enjoy.