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2008 Sled Dog Mail Run (pics and story)
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Grant
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Joined: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run (pics and story) Reply with quote

Every once and awhile you have a day that really rejuvenates the spirit, today was just that kind of day. As always it seems, work commitments prevented me from attending most of this years Sled Dog Mail Run. So just like last year I burned out to the ghost town of Stanley for the start of the final days run. When I arrived it was cool,-12 and snowing. I got asked to do a couple small chores by a member of the organizing staff for which I gladly hopped to. One was to find her husband and see what the hell he was doing, her words not mine. When I found him he was getting the snow mobiles off his deck truck. I asked what was up and he said, “ Hey, two of the volunteers whimped out last night, two spare sleds, you want to ride the trail with us and help any of the musher’s that get into trouble on the trail?” No need to guess what my answer was….Hell Yeah!!!

I got my skidoo suit on and loaded up the essentials and away we went. It was magic sharing the trail with the dog teams. Each team was spaced about 5-10 minutes apart but some teams are faster than others. So we ended up spending a lot of time on the side of the trail either letting teams pass us or going around teams that were slower. I managed some good pictures of teams on the trail.

This trail for the most part is pretty narrow, only as wide as a snowmobile in most places and is about 25 kilometres long. It meanders it’s way through the mountains along deep creek bottoms, down ridgelines and on very old logging roads that are little more than game trails now. The snow is so very deep this year. Many of the volunteers had spent a number of days in the weeks leading up to the event riding the trail on their snowmobiles to pack it down so the dogs could have an easier time of it. Not all the teams in this event are professionals so for the casual musher’s they needed to do this. I made the mistake of stepping off the trail while waiting for a team to go by and found myself in snow that was over my head. Needless to say I had to swim out to get back up on the trail, I didn’t make that mistake again.

We then made our way into Barkerville. We watched the teams that were behind us come into town and run the main street. I took more pictures again. There were a few of the shops and restaurants in Barkerville opened up this year, normally they’re closed in the winter. We stopped in at the Hotel and had a coffee and something to eat. Both My buddy Terry and I flirted with the bar maid that was in period dress, but we just couldn’t convince her to sing and dance for us like the bar maids of old would have done. She blushed a fair bit and we all had a good laugh.

We headed into Wells across the flats and watched the teams make their final push to where the mail would be taken by the postmaster from Canada Post and sent to people all over the world.

The last thing for us to do was take the trail back from Barkerville to Stanley to make sure there were no teams left out on the trail either that were lost or in trouble. We met two teams just up the ridge from Barkerville and they were doing fine and only a kilometre or so away from the trail head. We continued on and met up with the two volunteers that were following the last teams up from Stanley. Delmar was ridding his wonder sled. Every time I see this snowmobile it has something new on it. (Picture included) This time it was a boat prop that when he went faster, it went faster. Quite a machine this one. We chatted for 10-15 minutes and had a couple shots of Schnapps to warm the bones and then we travel the remaining 15 kilometres back to Stanley. As I said at the beginning it was -12 when we left Stanley, it was -26 when we got back at around 4 pm. We loaded the sleds back on Terry’s truck and chatted for a bit, then headed for home. It was a wonderful day.



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Last edited by Grant on Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Grant
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Joined: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

A few more



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Grant
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Joined: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

and more



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Grant
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Joined: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

a few more



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Grant
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Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

Lotsa picks



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Grant
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Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

and one more



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Quite a machine
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Dimitri
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Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 5906

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

If that sled had some duct tape holding it all together I'd have though they were avid Red Green fans. Smile

Also you guys have alot more snow then we do here now. Smile

Dimitri

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Grant
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Joined: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run Reply with quote

a couple more



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keetoowah
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Joined: Mar 20, 2007
Posts: 691
Location: Deep in the mountains of Montana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 2008 Sled Dog Mail Run (pics and story) Reply with quote

now there is a sport i would love to get into
thank you Grant for sharing that.
how does one get into and where can i find a sled and training.
i live in nw montana and we have mushers here but i dont know any to get started.

regards

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