Archived News | North Star Sled Dog Club
Join NSSDC at its Annual Picnic!

Brush up on your brat-eating manners!

Tune up your vocal chords!

Relearn the fine art of holding animated conversations with people rather than dogs!

North Star Sled Dog Club will be holding its annual picnic and summer meeting on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at the home of Bob Bzdok in Rice, Minnesota.

Potluck Lunch at noon. NSSDC Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Bring your own brats or hamburgers or other meat for the grill.

Bring a dish/salad to pass. Buns and soda will be provided.

Bring your own tent or camper and spend the night. There’s plenty of room!

Have fun playing volleyball, yard games, swimming or on the trampoline!

There is plenty to keep young & old alike entertained in the day and a fire pit to sit around & tell stories at night!



NSSDC Gears Up for 2013

North Star is gearing up for the 2012-2013 race season. Although there are no scheduled dryland races on the docket, the snow races are beginning to see light. The NSSDC Race Committee has been busy!

The committee for the St. Paul Winter Carnival race on White Bear Lake, are planning their first meeting on July 9th. The race is scheduled for January 26-27, 2013. Their main and first concern is starting the process of getting all the necessary permits. Last year, this presented many obstacles. It is hoped that 2013 will see a smoother procedure to this. Next will be fundraising. A purse of $2000 is anticipated. Classes will be pro classes and will include unlimited, 8-dog, 6-dog, 2-dog skijoring, 3-dog youth, and possibly a mutt race, which draws huge crowds. (See Tugline issue March, 2012, for article on the history of the mutt races.)

The committee is made up of last year’s people, which include Joe Fessler, Sally Bair, Chuck Gould, Rick Gwynn (VFW), and Bonnie Riley. Tom Trost is again on board as trail boss, a very responsible position that he is ever qualified for. The VFW in White Bear Lake will again serve as the headquarters of the race and the staging area. It is anticipated that this race will apply for St. Paul Winter Carnival status again.

Neal Seeger in Detroit Lakes reports that the Frazee race is shaping up. His committee is planning for a January 19th date. The race will have a mass start format with a 2-dog skijor class, a 3-dog junior class, 4-dog pro and novice, 6-dog pro, and 8-dog pro. It will start at noon (how nice to be able to sleep in a bit!) on County Road #10, one mile south of Frazee, next to the City Lagoons. Frazee has a place in the hearts of North Star members, who are pleased and thank Neal for continuing the Frazee tradition of successful events. Thanks, Neal!

Bob Bzdok is excited about the Camp Ripley race. This race will also include a 30-40 mile mid-distance 6- or 8-dog class. Other classes will be 4-dog pro, 6-dog pro, 2- and 3-dog junior, and a 10/unlimited class. Set for February 15-16, the race will run on trails, which will be combinations of open fields woods, and some small hills. The area provides endless miles of groomed trails and comes with the added benefit of having few road crossings of consequence. Erin Lindquist, a mid-distance musher who works at Camp Ripley, is also working with Bzdok. NSSDC is grateful to the National Guard at Camp Ripley, who will be putting on the race.

Pierz, only a short distance from Camp Ripley, is planning a January race, the Pierz Prairie Premier, possibly on January 5-6, 2013. This race still has money in its coffers left when the race had to be cancelled a few years back due to lack of snow. Maury Duvall and Bob Bzdok are working on this race along with the Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded by Anna Gruber, City Administrator. The trails in this venue are on the local golf course.

The Mid-Minnesota anticipates again holding its annual event. It was one of very few races that were able to run last winter. Run between Remer and Outing, Dan Levno and Al Larson are the main movers behind the race.

A new mid-distance race, not a North Star race, but significant nevertheless, will be staged in Minnesota’s Arrowhead, January 20-22, 2013. The race, the Mil Run, spearheaded by Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, will start on Sunday, as is the custom in the Arrowhead due to conflicting trail use with snowmobiles. It will encompass Grand Portage, Grand Marais, and the Gunflint Trail in stages so that each community gets a start and finish. The Grand Portage community may also put on a potlatch and heritage presentation before or during their stage. The Mil Run, if one recalls, was begun last year when the Beargrease had to be cancelled. The race committee includes Stone, Norman Deschampe from the Grand Portage Tribal Council, and Sara Hamilton from the Gunflint Trail (Trail Center).





St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Races

January 16, 2012, Monticello, MN – The St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Races, originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29, 2012, on White Bear Lake, MN, have been cancelled due to predicted unsafe ice and snow conditions. Instead, North Star Sled Dog Club will present a small educational and demonstration event on Saturday, January 28th, from noon to 4:00 pm. This will take place on the western side of White Bear Lake behind the VFW. People are welcome to watch sled dogs in action on a very short trail and to converse with mushers and the dogs (arf!) about their sport. North Star Sled Dog Club anticipates having the race in 2013, and plans are already under way.

The Frazee, Minnesota, race, scheduled for January 21, 2012, has been cancelled due to lack of snow.



St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Races


Winter and sled dog racing are here! The St. Paul Winter Carnival Sled Dog Races will be held January 28-29, 2012 on White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The race committee is in high gear, dogs are in serious training, and winter is gracing the lake with ice and snow!

Registration materials and all the details are online at www.wintercarnivalsleddograce.com.
Competitors can now register and pay either by postal mail or online!



North Star Fall Fun Run
Saturday - Sunday, October 22-23, 2011
Mahtowa, MN

Fall Fun Run (PDF)


North Star Elects Officers and Presents Awards

July 23, 2011, Ham Lake, MN – At its annual summer picnic Saturday, July 23, 2011, at Ham Lake Park in Ham Lake, Minnesota, North Star Sled Dog Club members elected a partial slate of new officers and made presentations of awards. NSSDC’s bylaws specify that only some of its officers will be elected at the annual summer meeting so as to enable staggered terms.

This year, the president, vice-president, and the junior committee chair came up for election. Vacating his previous position as vice-president to step into the president’s chair was Lyman Wolske of Hudson, Wisconsin. Joe Fessler (Hamel, Minnesota) was elected to the vice-president’s position, and Jordyn Bzdok was re-elected by NSSDC’s junior members to represent them on the NSSDC Board of Directors. Bob Bzdok will stay on for a year’s term as NSSDC’s past president, an advisory position. Sally Bair received a reaffirmation vote of confidence as the Tugline editor.

The NSSDC Championship Race medals were given out with Betsy Behning (gold medal), John Thompson (silver medal), and Tom Carlson (bronze medal) receiving the honors in the Skijoring category. In the sprint 4-dog sport class, Andy Romness garnered the gold and Joe Fessler the silver. Lyman Wolske, Don McNeece, and Ted Wallace captured the gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively in the 4-dog pro sprint sled class.

Joe and Lorraine Cappuccino were voted the Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy for outstanding contributions to the club and the sport. This annual honor is named after Maeb Bayers, an active NSSDC member in its infancy known for her knowledge, kindness, willingness to help, and her good sense.

Members also passed a total revision to the NSSDC bylaws, which previously had existed as two separate documents, the Constitution and the Bylaws. With minor changes, these two documents were combined into one single document, the Bylaws. In other business, NSSDC selected a design for a business card, and discussions ensued on the 2012 race season’s schedule of races and possibilities for marketing NSSDC and races (and the sport) and for revisiting some old race sites like Bemidji, Ely, etc.

In upcoming events, NSSDC announced that the October Fun Run in Mahtowa at Rick and Annette Johnson’s will be the 22nd. Possible speakers will be contacted for presentations. The East Meets West dryland race in Clearwater, Minnesota, will be October 29-30. It will be a NSSDC sanctioned race.

NSSDC congratulates all the recipients of awards this year and looks forward to an exciting year with the new board of directors.



NSSDC Summer Picnic & Meeting

Brush up on your BBQ-eating manners! Tune up your vocal chords! Relearn the fine art of holding animated conversations with people rather than dogs!

When: Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where: Ham Lake Park, Ham Lake, MN
1843 153rd Avenue NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304
Time: Potluck Lunch at noon. NSSDC Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Bring your own brats or hamburgers or other meat for the grill.

Bring a dish/salad to pass. Buns, condiments and soda drinks will be provided.

Directions

1843 153rd Avenue NE • Ham Lake, MN 55304

From Minneapolis/St. Paul

From Interstate #94 heading north, exit onto Interstate #694 going east. Go approximately 2 miles and exit onto MN Hwy. #65 N (Central Avenue NE). Go approximately 12 miles north on Hwy. 65 to 153rd Ave. NE. Exit right onto 153rd. Continue 1⁄2 mile. Ham Lake Park will be on the left. We will be in the shelter area.

Trailblazers are invited! Please join NSSDC at this fun event.


For more information:
Bob Bzdok at 320-393-4225
Email: bbzdok@budtime.com


NSSDC Spring Meeting

When: Saturday, May 21, 2011

Where: St. Cloud at 1:00 p.m.

C&L Distributing
(Budweiser Warehouse)
1020 Industrial Drive South
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
NSSDC Board meeting at Noon.

Directions

From the South and East

Take Hwy 10 West to St. Cloud, After you pass McDonald’s on your right side and go over the railroad tracks, take the next exit (Benton Drive). Take a left at the stop sign and go over Hwy 10, take your first right and the Budweiser Warehouse will be on your right.

(If you come from the East or West via Hwy 23, turn west onto Hwy 10 and proceed as stated above.)

From the North and West

Take Hwy 10 East (when 10 splits and 15 begins stay on 10) go approximately 2 ½ to 3 miles and take the Benton Drive exit. When you get to the top of the exit take a right at the stop sign onto Benton Drive, take the first right and the Budweiser Warehouse will be on your right.

Please Park in the front of the building (the side with all of the glass windows, not the overhead doors), come in the main entrance and come up the stairs.

Agenda Items

Please submit any agenda items to NSSDC secretary Kris Wolske (klblackdogkennel@aol.com).



Art Allen, Musher, NSSDC Charter Member, Dies

January 17, 2011 - Art Allen, long remembered by many Minnesota and Canadian mushers for his skills as a musher and his calm manner and sagacity, died from Alzheimer’s January 8, 2011, at the age of 76 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arthur William Allen was born in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, on July 14, 1934, and was the son of the late William and Madeline (Spear) Allen.

He practically grew up on a sled. Living in town after his parents’ farm was flooded out near The Pas, Art spent time catching loose Indian dogs and having them pull him around. This piqued his interest in dogs, and he eventually began racing them. In 1955 he moved to the US under the auspices of Roy Gaddis, who wanted Art to run his dogs. He soon met wife Judy (they later divorced), agreeing to go with the Siberians rather than the Alaskans that Art had had in The Pas. The Allens cleaned up the trails in the Midwest, especially the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Eventually he switched back to Alaskans.

When the early mushers in Minnesota gathered and decided to form North Star Sled Dog Club, Art was right here. As a NSSDC charter member, his advice and input were greatly respected. He knew how to stage a race and helped with many of the early races in Minnesota, such as the St. Paul Winter Carnival, which he and his wife usually won. He certainly had the experience to advise, having raced throughout the US and Canada. Allen was a four-time world sled dog champion of his hometown race at The Pas.

The recipient of the North Star Sled Dog Club’s John Weber Trophy for sportsmanship, Art has always been respected for his calm manner and sage advice. This trophy is a coveted tribute to any recipient. Carved by Mel Fishback of cedar, it was donated by Weber’s family to be given to the person in the Unlimited (Open) or 10-Dog class who was voted on each year at the conclusion of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Race or the Cannon Falls (Minnesota) Sled Dog Race by his/her fellow mushers as exemplifying outstanding sportsmanship. (The trophy was eventually retired and now rests on display at NSSDC charter member Denny Hitchcock’s theater in Illinois.) He was voted an Honorary Member of NSSDC. As such, he received regular issues of the Tugline and was thus able to keep up on local mushing news and views.

Surviving are his son, Kurt (Kim) Allen of Colorado Springs, Colo.; daughters, Dawn (Ted) Staver of Easton, Kan., and Michelle (Craig) Beisker of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Holly and Reece Allen, Alyssa and Erik Beisker; sisters, Shirley Mann of Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, and Connie Keast of LaBroquerie, Manitoba, Canada; brothers, Ron (Kathy) Allen of Cedar Rapids and Greg Allen of Clearwater Beach, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Maureen Allen.

Funeral services were held in Shueyville, Iowa.

North Star thanks Denny Hitchcock for the information supplied here.




Fall Events:
A Wet and Super Fun Run…
A Glorious Dryland Race

by Kris Wolske and Sally O’Sullivan Bair
November 5, 2010 – Fall Fun Run: This year’s Fall Fun Run at Rick and Annette Johnson’s home in Mahtowa, MN, on October 22-24, came off without a glitch, and everyone was able to get in some good training! It seems that the rain on Saturday didn’t deter anyone from the trails. The set up on Friday had a couple of hiccups, but the weather was wonderful and the moon was in all her glory … it was a beautiful night! Saturday seemed to be a little cooler, but a good day to train. The only rain we really had occurred during the meeting, which was perfect timing. We had good attendance at the meeting and seemed to get a lot accomplished! The food was as expected … wonderful and no one left hungry. Rick Johnson and Will Bomier worked diligently on the trails, and all their work paid off and made for really nice running/training. Sunday ended up a little soggy, but that just built character for everyone who attended and it gives us something to talk about next year!

This year’s Fall Fun Run would not have been possible with out the help of many other people. NSSDC like to say thank-you to Ted Wallace for helping set up and tear down, Bob Bzdok for the donations and the numerous miscellaneous things that come up, Jerry Vanek for graciously donating his time presenting wonderful seminars, Lyman Wolske for picking up any slack, and a special thank you to Rick and Annette Johnson for their hospitality, land, trails, the eating supplies (cutlery, tables, table clothes, cups, bowls, containers, etc.), the food, the porta-potty, and so much more. Thank you to everyone who attended … we’ll see you again next year! Happy trails.

East Meets West Dryland Race: The weather for the East Meets West Dryland Race, October 30-31, in Clearwater, MN, sponsored by Joel Nelson’s Travel Plaza, National Foods, and Ronnoco, couldn’t have been more perfect. Considering that this was the last weekend of October – and Halloween, a time when things can be tricky (note the pun), this race had spectator appeal and a fantastic program and banquet. The trail was again challenging but in great condition, and Monica Jendro is well on the mend from her spills and thrills. Was she able to take a deserved rest stop at the “AARP Bench” on the trail?! Joel Nelson and crew were so kind to set up such spots along the trail. The Bzdok Bridge was successfully negotiated by most everyone this year, and other points of “reflection” – or previous calamities – were duly noted along the trail as well.

New Hampshire’s Kelley McGrath took home so many medals that one lost count. Other medalists included Ed Clifford, Richard Korb, Jamie Dittmar, Johnn Molburg, and others. In the final tally, it appears to have been a toss-up as to which part of the USA came out ahead. There were several outstanding teams from both east and west of the Mississippi. Since it was also Halloween, many competitors donned costumes to commemorate the occasion. Young Amy Jendro received the award for the Best Dressed Competitor’s Team, decked out as a pink butterfly.

Among the specialty awards the best kept team went to the Dittmar family. Alika Rutter received the award for best sportsman, not because of any heroic gesture such as rescuing a fellow musher from the river or a similar mishap, but,

according to Chief Judge Ed Dallas, for the encouragement she gave to so many of the teams and the confidence she tried to instill in, especially, the juniors. The rookie award went to Emily Kowalke, a young lady who showed spunk and skill in the junior events where she garnered a first place prize in the Junior Canicross and a second place finish in the Junior 1-Dog Scooter class.

NSSDC congratulates all the winners and thanks the sponsors for their contributions and crew for all their hard work.



Kris Wolske Receives 2010 Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy

by Sally O’Sullivan Bair

June 5, 2010 – Kris Wolske of Hudson, Wisconsin, was honored with this year’s Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy. This trophy is annually given to the outstanding NSSDC member who has made exemplary contributions to the sport and NSSDC.

Kris’s immediate reaction to receiving this award was, “I didn’t know what to think. I think of everyone else who has worked so hard and really feel honored to be among those who have also contributed.” However, NSSDC President Bob Bzdok echoes the sentiment of NSSDC when he stated, “Kris has done so much for NSSDC. She is the prime mover in planning the annual Fun Run and is always willing to help. She is a marvelous person to work with, always with a smile on her face and full of friendliness and good cheer.” Kris has served as NSSDC’s secretary but originally came into NSSDC’s Board as its Junior Committee Chair.

Maeb Bayers was an active NSSDC member in its infancy and contributed to its growth and development as well as to the careers of several Midwest mushers of the time. She was known for her knowledge of dogs/mushing, her kindness, willingness to help, and her good sense. This award was first given to Bob Jones in 1981. NSSDC congratulates Kris on receiving this honor. She is most deserving.





Art Allen, Musher, NSSDC Charter Member, Dies

January 17, 2011 - Art Allen, long remembered by many Minnesota and Canadian mushers for his skills as a musher and his calm manner and sagacity, died from Alzheimer’s January 8, 2011, at the age of 76 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arthur William Allen was born in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, on July 14, 1934, and was the son of the late William and Madeline (Spear) Allen.

He practically grew up on a sled. Living in town after his parents’ farm was flooded out near The Pas, Art spent time catching loose Indian dogs and having them pull him around. This piqued his interest in dogs, and he eventually began racing them. In 1955 he moved to the US under the auspices of Roy Gaddis, who wanted Art to run his dogs. He soon met wife Judy (they later divorced), agreeing to go with the Siberians rather than the Alaskans that Art had had in The Pas. The Allens cleaned up the trails in the Midwest, especially the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Eventually he switched back to Alaskans.

When the early mushers in Minnesota gathered and decided to form North Star Sled Dog Club, Art was right here. As a NSSDC charter member, his advice and input were greatly respected. He knew how to stage a race and helped with many of the early races in Minnesota, such as the St. Paul Winter Carnival, which he and his wife usually won. He certainly had the experience to advise, having raced throughout the US and Canada. Allen was a four-time world sled dog champion of his hometown race at The Pas.

The recipient of the North Star Sled Dog Club’s John Weber Trophy for sportsmanship, Art has always been respected for his calm manner and sage advice. This trophy is a coveted tribute to any recipient. Carved by Mel Fishback of cedar, it was donated by Weber’s family to be given to the person in the Unlimited (Open) or 10-Dog class who was voted on each year at the conclusion of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Race or the Cannon Falls (Minnesota) Sled Dog Race by his/her fellow mushers as exemplifying outstanding sportsmanship. (The trophy was eventually retired and now rests on display at NSSDC charter member Denny Hitchcock’s theater in Illinois.) He was voted an Honorary Member of NSSDC. As such, he received regular issues of the Tugline and was thus able to keep up on local mushing news and views.

Surviving are his son, Kurt (Kim) Allen of Colorado Springs, Colo.; daughters, Dawn (Ted) Staver of Easton, Kan., and Michelle (Craig) Beisker of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Holly and Reece Allen, Alyssa and Erik Beisker; sisters, Shirley Mann of Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, and Connie Keast of LaBroquerie, Manitoba, Canada; brothers, Ron (Kathy) Allen of Cedar Rapids and Greg Allen of Clearwater Beach, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Maureen Allen.

Funeral services were held in Shueyville, Iowa.

North Star thanks Denny Hitchcock for the information supplied here.



Fall Events:
A Wet and Super Fun Run…
A Glorious Dryland Race

By Kris Wolske and Sally O’Sullivan Bair
November 5, 2010 – Fall Fun Run: This year’s Fall Fun Run at Rick and Annette Johnson’s home in Mahtowa, MN, on October 22-24, came off without a glitch, and everyone was able to get in some good training! It seems that the rain on Saturday didn’t deter anyone from the trails. The set up on Friday had a couple of hiccups, but the weather was wonderful and the moon was in all her glory … it was a beautiful night! Saturday seemed to be a little cooler, but a good day to train. The only rain we really had occurred during the meeting, which was perfect timing. We had good attendance at the meeting and seemed to get a lot accomplished! The food was as expected … wonderful and no one left hungry. Rick Johnson and Will Bomier worked diligently on the trails, and all their work paid off and made for really nice running/training. Sunday ended up a little soggy, but that just built character for everyone who attended and it gives us something to talk about next year!

This year’s Fall Fun Run would not have been possible with out the help of many other people. NSSDC like to say thank-you to Ted Wallace for helping set up and tear down, Bob Bzdok for the donations and the numerous miscellaneous things that come up, Jerry Vanek for graciously donating his time presenting wonderful seminars, Lyman Wolske for picking up any slack, and a special thank you to Rick and Annette Johnson for their hospitality, land, trails, the eating supplies (cutlery, tables, table clothes, cups, bowls, containers, etc.), the food, the porta-potty, and so much more. Thank you to everyone who attended … we’ll see you again next year! Happy trails.

East Meets West Dryland Race: The weather for the East Meets West Dryland Race, October 30-31, in Clearwater, MN, sponsored by Joel Nelson’s Travel Plaza, National Foods, and Ronnoco, couldn’t have been more perfect. Considering that this was the last weekend of October – and Halloween, a time when things can be tricky (note the pun), this race had spectator appeal and a fantastic program and banquet. The trail was again challenging but in great condition, and Monica Jendro is well on the mend from her spills and thrills. Was she able to take a deserved rest stop at the “AARP Bench” on the trail?! Joel Nelson and crew were so kind to set up such spots along the trail. The Bzdok Bridge was successfully negotiated by most everyone this year, and other points of “reflection” – or previous calamities – were duly noted along the trail as well.

New Hampshire’s Kelley McGrath took home so many medals that one lost count. Other medalists included Ed Clifford, Richard Korb, Jamie Dittmar, Johnn Molburg, and others. In the final tally, it appears to have been a toss-up as to which part of the USA came out ahead. There were several outstanding teams from both east and west of the Mississippi. Since it was also Halloween, many competitors donned costumes to commemorate the occasion. Young Amy Jendro received the award for the Best Dressed Competitor’s Team, decked out as a pink butterfly.

Among the specialty awards the best kept team went to the Dittmar family. Alika Rutter received the award for best sportsman, not because of any heroic gesture such as rescuing a fellow musher from the river or a similar mishap, but,

according to Chief Judge Ed Dallas, for the encouragement she gave to so many of the teams and the confidence she tried to instill in, especially, the juniors. The rookie award went to Emily Kowalke, a young lady who showed spunk and skill in the junior events where she garnered a first place prize in the Junior Canicross and a second place finish in the Junior 1-Dog Scooter class.

NSSDC congratulates all the winners and thanks the sponsors for their contributions and crew for all their hard work.



Kris Wolske Receives 2010 Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy

By Sally O’Sullivan Bair

June 5, 2010 – Kris Wolske of Hudson, Wisconsin, was honored with this year’s Maeb Bayers Memorial Trophy. This trophy is annually given to the outstanding NSSDC member who has made exemplary contributions to the sport and NSSDC.

Kris’s immediate reaction to receiving this award was, “I didn’t know what to think. I think of everyone else who has worked so hard and really feel honored to be among those who have also contributed.” However, NSSDC President Bob Bzdok echoes the sentiment of NSSDC when he stated, “Kris has done so much for NSSDC. She is the prime mover in planning the annual Fun Run and is always willing to help. She is a marvelous person to work with, always with a smile on her face and full of friendliness and good cheer.” Kris has served as NSSDC’s secretary but originally came into NSSDC’s Board as its Junior Committee Chair.

Maeb Bayers was an active NSSDC member in its infancy and contributed to its growth and development as well as to the careers of several Midwest mushers of the time. She was known for her knowledge of dogs/mushing, her kindness, willingness to help, and her good sense. This award was first given to Bob Jones in 1981. NSSDC congratulates Kris on receiving this honor. She is most deserving.

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