Monday, March 13, 2000, 8:10 p.m.

We're in the van, Ohio turnpike, I-80 East.

Sunday morning, we said goodbye to the guides and the dogs and loaded the van. We made a quick stop in Ely to visit some outdoor clothing stores, pick up some local newspapers and tank up the van. We saw Lake Superior in Minnesota, some snow in Wisconsin, but very little of interest otherwise on this drive.

After a night of cramped sleep, it feels like we're far enough from Ely to reflect on the trip.

In some ways, it was a manufactured adventure. The guides waited on us like the clients we were, cooking our food and cleaning up after us. The entire week, we spent only two nights outside.

But the right kind of group can squeeze more adventure out of a trip than is apparently possible. Some of the trip's most beautiful moments were at unexpected times — the stop at he sculpture garden in Minneapolis, the miserable wolf radio tracking debacle, the night of hysterics in the first cabin. The actual dogsledding set itself up to be a fantastic goal, still a step above simple bragging rights. We were sledding over ice with the world's coolest winter gear: dogs! And we did it, and it was awesome.

Wednesday, March 15, 2000, 1:20 a.m.

I'm finished with the web site, pretty happy with it, with one exception. There doesn't seem to be a good way to convey the humor of the group that we saw all week. Some items that seem missing... "Bang bang who's dead?" and other mystery games ... lousy puns like "kick him in the ice hole" ... the Frank Lloyd Wright gas station in Cloquet, MN ... Death! Laceration! ... dogs named Bong-hit and Bastard-head ... the French chef laugh ... Southwestern style foods ... our wolf howls setting off the dogs ... and the general strangeness of going dogsledding during the only winter in memory without snow.