2017 MAIL RUN 25th ANNUAL
JAN. 26 - 29
25TH COMMEMORATIVE ANNUAL GOLD RUSH TRAIL SLED DOG MAIL RUN 2017
After 25 years of running this event in one form or another, we have made many friends from Mushers & Handlers, Sponsors and Volunteers, Veterinarians & Vet Assistants, Postal Workers and with You our Special Envelope Recipients.
This year our event is one of the first events for Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations with July 1st, 2017 being our official Birthday. We have sought to commemorate delivery of Mail in Canada through the use of Mushers & Dog Teams which was discontinued in the late 1960’s with the advent of Air Mail. While mail delivery to Cottonwood House, Van Winkle, Stanley, Richfield, Wells and Barkerville used the old Cariboo Waggon Road with teams of horses and carriages, mail was delivered via Musher & Dog Team from Quesnel over the Alexander MacKenzie Trail to places like Fort George, Vanderhoof and Fort Saint James. Our 2011 Envelope shows a Dog Team stopover at the Hudson’s Bay Building at Quesnel which was along the Mail Delivery Route. You can still see this building at the corner of Carson Avenue & Front Street in Quesnel.
We have had many adventures over the last 25 years. An intrepid group of dedicated volunteers were asked to stage a demonstration event for the Northern BC Winter Games in 1993. They started out in 1992 by cutting the trail through the bush from Umiti Pit just off of Highway 97, north of Quesnel, to Wells and then to Barkerville. They also developed a Special Envelope to be “Carried by Dog Team” from Quesnel to Wells To Barkerville where it entered the regular Canada Post mail system.
In 1994 it was decided to make the event a 200 Mile Qualifier for both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. The Trail then had to be expanded all the way from Wells to Kruger Lake to make it 200 miles long. We ran this race event for 4 years from 1995 to 1998. The mushers would go from (Umiti Pit) Quesnel to Wells, take a 2 hour rest there, then continue on to Kruger Lake where they rested their teams for 6 hours and a vet checked their team, then back to Wells for another 2 hour rest, then head all the way back to Umiti Pit and the finish line. We also ran a mid distance race which ran the Umiti Pit to Wells part of the trail and a sprint event that ran from Wells to Barkerville during those years. These were timed events and required a lot of volunteers, along with the hand cancelling of all the envelopes that were carried by dogteam on each leg of these races.
With declining volunteerism, after the 1998 Event, it was decided to continue as a Participation Event rather than a Race Event. The Kruger Lake trail was discontinued as a result and other trails incorporated like the Sugar Creek Loop out of Wells, and also the Stanley through Richfield run to Barkerville for a couple of years. With the Participation Event came other trail blazers like Snowshoers, Bicycle Riders, Skiers, and Skjorers. We also had overnight campouts at Ahbau Lake, which included Swedish Heaters, wall tents and -39 Celsius temperatures in some years. We have continued a tradition of having the Mushers Meeting on Thursday evening, followed by the swearing in of the Special Musher Mail Carriers by a Canada Post official on Friday morning. The official event started at Umiti Pit, Mushers Sports are held on the Saturday, a Banquet / Live Auction Saturday night with the Barkerville Dash on Sunday and closing events.
Your Special Envelope has been “Carried by Dogsled” for three days. Your mail carrier was sworn in as an official Canada post mail carrier at which time the mail became their responsibility for the duration of the 2017 Mailrun.
The artwork on this year’s Special Commemorative Envelope is by, Daniel Pfister www.pfisterart.com
For complete Mail Run information and history check out www.dogsledmailrun.ca and like us on Facebook at Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Association for news and updates.
Special Thanks to our Sponsors:
Northern Development Initiative Trust www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca
Integris Credit Union – Quesnel firstname.lastname@example.org
Cash donation from Integris Credit Union, Quesnel for 2016 Mail Run. Read more....