Guided Dog Sled Tours
Hosts and Guides
Scarlett & Wayne Hall
We began running adventure dog sled trips after many years in the Alaska Yukon wilderness. Starting our sledding with a small team as a hobby which has grown to involve our whole family.
Here is a little background information on our family of 3 and our dogs: We are Wayne and Scarlett Hall, son Matt and a nice number of friendly, energetic huskies. We began mushing as a hobby more than twentysome years ago with our own dog and a few borrowed dogs. It quickly led to a breeding program of raising our own sled dogs. Each dog is special, each dog has a name and a personality, and each dog on its own could make someone a wonderful pet. Our dogs are raised as part of a happy family. They work hard for us all winter and they get their playtime in the summer. They love to take walks, go for rides in the boat and runs through the forests, heck even meeting up with the occasional porcupine, which for them is a blast, at least for a few minutes!
Each dog is taught from a pup to come to its name, to sit and to whoa (stay). So we do not hesitate to let them loose to run around because we know that they will come when called and are very happy to do so.
Once we had developed our own sled dog teams we began yearly adventures into remote Alaska. For up to 3 months, the three of us would be totally isolated in interior Alaska. Dependant only on ourselves and the dogs. We had no outside communication and the dogs were our transport, to haul our supplies and us from one remote site to another. It was during these years that we learned our survival skills, because our lives actually did depend on our skills and ourselves. There was no one out there to bail us out, no trail to follow, and no safe route to take. We put in our own trails over miles and miles of wilderness forests and jumbled river ice.
Over the years there have been many extreme expeditions during our winter months…including the successful historic 700 mile recreation of “In Amundsen’s Footsteps.” When we first began guiding tours…Wayne and I were our only guides. Over the years we have added many wonderful guides and now Wayne guides “selected” tours.
Many years ago we decided to put our skills and dogs to the test and Wayne ran in the 2002 Yukon Quest (a 1000 mile dog sled race) becoming the first musher, in the history of the race, to finish with all 14 dogs and received the Challenge of the North Award for his finish. He competed again in 2006 finishing 10th and received the Sportsmanship Award. In 2009 he ran his last Quest with a young 2 yr old team and finished a strong 15th with a team that had never raced before.
Matt has continued in his father's footsteps with his love of animals and racing as the Copper Basin 2016 Champion and the 2017 Yukon Quest Champion.
Our dogs have proved over and over again their loyalty and love.
Matt Emslie has returned to guiding for us after a couple of years in the Peace Corps in Jamica.
"My greatest passion has always been the outdoors. After experiencing diverse landscapes, I have come to find my home, here in the Alaskan Bush. Here, with my dogs, I find a great satisfaction and joy of life. By living remote and following a simple lifestyle I am fulfilling a lifelong dream. It is heartening to know that I create very little impact on my surroundings and the landscape that gives me so much. This is my contribution to our world." -Matt Emslie
Deb Cawthorn has joined us after yeas in the Coast Guard…. She has participated in several expeditions with us over the last few years and has a very special connection with dogs. She is also proudly owned by her own two Siberian Huskies, Adaq and Qisxa. Deb is an endurance Ultra Runner and Triathlete and recently retired from the US Coast Guard after 23 years of active duty service.
"No words or photos can explain the mystery and hidden spirit of mushing dogs in the Alaska Wilderness - it's simply something you have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate it's majestic beauty. I am humbled Wayne and Scarlet have provided me this opportunity - I can't imagine any other way to spend my winters.”
Greg Ott has become a main stay with his soft touch and great dog training…
I was born near Kansasville, Wisconsin. I dreamed of becoming a cowboy skilled in hunting, roping cattle or even a rodeo rider.
When my family moved to Ely, Mn I discovered a vast new world called the Boundary Waters and Superior National Forest! I was surrounded by a huge expanse of wilderness with endless places to explore! I was introduced to dog sledding from the locals and realized there is no greater way to explore than with man's best friend. I knew from then on that I was destined to run a dog sled. I ran with my new found love all around the BWCA. When I met Paul at Wintergreen Dog sledding adventures he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime guiding trips through the wilderness. As I grew more experienced and Minnesota seemed to shrink, I turned my attention to America's last frontier. THAT, is where I found the great Bush Alaska Expeditions!
Steve Robbins was born and raised in Florida. Before moving to Eagle he lived on a farm in Georgia where he raised beef cattle and trained thoroughbred racehorses. Steve sold a commercial construction company and his farm to pursue his dream of becoming an Alaska trapper. He resides in Eagle with his wife, Kristy, and their 12 sled dogs. Steve uses his dog team on his trap line and for recreational purposes. Both he and his wife enjoy mushing. Steve lives totally off the grid and hunts and fishes as part of his subsistence lifestyle. Steve is famous for saying: “You have to like yourself to live here, because you spend a lot of time alone in the wilderness.” Steve enjoys being closely connected to the natural world around him; he is happy to share his experiences, stories, and lifestyle with those that are interested so he has created a Facebook page entitled “Leaving the Grid.” This way folks can follow him on his Alaskan adventure.
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