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Through A Snowy Wood

Traverse Mag

Through A Snowy Wood

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Traverse Magazine | Through A Snowy Wood | Jeff Smith | January 2001

We’ve all settled into our seats on the horse-drawn sled, spreading blankets on laps, pulling hats snug.  The chatter runs quiet but excited here at the Thunder Bay Golf Resort, in Hillman, 25 minutes west of Alpena.

I don’t usually put golf, elk and good food together in my mind, but tonight, that’s exactly what I’m doing.  Why?  From our meeting place in the golf course parking lot, we’re about to be hauled through a snowy forest to view the resort’s fenced elk field.  Afterwards, I’ll be towed onward to enjoy a tasting five-course meal – with crown roast of pork as the main dish – in the resort’s lodge.

We’re packed in, 22 to a sled, with three sleds rigged and ready to glide.  In a minute, Alan, the horse-team driver, will call a signal and his two Belgian draft horses – George and Jake – will lurch forward, beginning the 20-minute trip to the elk herd.

The 2,000-pound draft horses shift their feet.  Clouds of steam rise from their sides and broad backs.  The mist evaporates into the frosty clearness of a January late afternoon.

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