By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Tenth-grader Jacob Rudy-Froese wrote a research paper on dog sledding before handling a dog sled in person.
It helped Jacob, a student at Bethany Christian School, to know the words to tell a dog how to go left or right when he visited Nature’s Kennel in McMillan, Mich., during a recent J-Term Northwoods adventure trip in Upper Michigan.
“I wrote on the specific process of how to train the sled dogs,” Jacob said. “It was fun.”
The students spent the first week in the classroom doing research projects about Michigan history and winter sports plus going on day field trips.
“Winter sports are really big in Michigan, like skiing, hockey and ice skating,” junior Lana Smucker said. “We played hockey in the gym (at Bethany) and watched an actual hockey game. We were behind the goalie and it was kind of scary. When they hit it puck towards the goalie it felt like it was coming right at you.”
Junior Marie Bontrager wrote about the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel, an underwater highway tunnel connecting Detroit, Mich., with Windsor, Ontario in Canada. She wasn’t able to visit the topic of her report.
Sophomore Roberto Ramos wrote about the Mackinac Bridge, which joins the lower peninsula of Michigan with the upper peninsula. The group of students traveled across the bridge during their trip.
“The cables (on the bridge) seemed impressive because they were big,” Roberto said. “It’s just a bridge.”
Lana didn’t like the rumbling noises when the bus tires hit the open-grid roadway on the bridge.
“That bothered me,” she said, shuddering.
Marie said looking down at the water while crossing the bridge “was kind of scary.”
While the group was at the dog-sledding compound, they took turns playing with the dogs and going snow-shoeing.
Jacob wasn’t successful keeping his snowshoes on his feet.
“There really wasn’t enough snow on the ground and one of my snowshoes came loose,” Jacob said. “The guide told me to take them off.”
After gliding along the snow and keeping his snowshoes on for 20 minutes the group went on the trail, Roberto made a couple discoveries about the sport.
“It took more energy and I had to step a different way,” he said. “I liked it.”
They liked hiking along the Tahquamenon Falls State Park seeing the upper and lower falls.
“The lower falls were more interesting because we could see the water more and icicles were hanging down over the bridge,” Jacob said. “There was a mist that frosted over the trees.”
During their trip, the group experienced walking on frozen sand when they visited Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Museum in Paradise, Mich. They also went skiing at Nubs Nob Ski Area in Petoskey, Mich.
“It’s cold. It’s gorgeous and it’s a nice place,” Marie said, “But it was good to get home.”