Husky Haven Sled Dogs offering sled dog and air tours
People can meet and greet the kennel’s 60 dogs and take a scenic tour with flight instruction
BURT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Kim Darst has lived in the Upper Peninsula since 2014, taking care of 60 dogs, including 16 race dogs. In 2009, she became the first-ever New Jersey native to compete in the Iditarod.
Currently the owner of Husky Haven Sled Dogs in Burt Township, she also hosts kennel tours and meet and greets with her pups.
“I want [people] to see the specialness of these dogs, that they are so close to the musher, that we are with them 24 hours a day, that we spend our life with them and they spend their life with us,” Darst said.
The tours are seven days a week. Visitors learn how to harness the dogs and how to take care of them. It is a lot of work, considering Husky Haven goes through one 40-pound bag of dog food per day.
And during the winter, visitors even get a first-hand look at what it’s like to drive a sled dog team.
“[The dogs] pull you on a sled out on the trail for about five miles. You get to drive that sled and see what it’s like,” said Darst. “I’m right there with you, so I’m teaching you how to do it.”
These are not the only tours Darst gives. Between April and November, she holds helicopter and float plane tours...while also giving flight instruction.
“If you’re doing a scenic air tour with me, I will let you control the helicopter in the air and see what it’s like to fly your own scenic tour,” Darst said.
Money from all of the tours helps fund future sled races, food and vet care. However, Darst hopes to use some of that income to eventually race again in what she calls “the Super Bowl of dog sledding.”
“I’d like to take some of that money, put it into a special account, don’t touch it, and then hope to go back and race Iditarod again. That is my ultimate goal,” Darst said.
The sled dog and air tours are by appointment only. To schedule one for either or both, call 516-790-9183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit huskyhavenkennels.com.
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