2016 Mail Run Wrap Up
Greetings to all of you, thank you for your participation, support and your interest in the 24th Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run. Without everyone’s involvement, the Mail Run could not have happened.
Over 2000 envelopes were carried by dog sled to Barkerville and on to their destinations throughout the world. The seventeen dog teams and one skijorer who covered the trail all three days had a great time. The mail made to Barkerville by dogsled, despite the proverbial wind, rain, sleet and snow….and it was all dry when it got there.
Friday started somewhat inauspiciously with rain at the Swearing In but everyone was in good spirits and the speeches short and sweet. The road to Umiti Pit was cleared of snow and well sanded early in the day. The trail was as good as can be in the rain, certainly neither the dogs or the mushers became dehydrated, and the hamburgers were well appreciated by mushers and those waiting for their return. In the evening, the delicious pot luck supper was enjoyed by all and was well served by the young ladies of the Dragon Lake Girl Guide Troop. There was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to share stories about past Mail Runs following the meal….these memories were very special.
Saturday at Troll Ski Resort was cooler with no rain. A good job of setting up the parking lot and a traffic controller at the entrance to Troll, made it easy for dog trucks to find their way to their parking spots. The Scouts (from both Quesnel and Prince George) helped the dogs to keep to the trail and everyone had fun. The Musher's Sports had six teams who: started a campfire including chopping the wood, melting snow to make tea, preparing campfire bannock, racing on snowshoes, calling a moose and setting a small leg-hold trap. The banquet was delicious as usual, with Troll catering and providing the dining area in the main lodge. The auction was fun and raised over $1800.00 to support the Mail Run.
Sunday in Wells/Barkerville was cool and sunny! The snow and hoar frost on the trees made for glorious vistas. The three-day teams started from Barkerville at 11:00 a.m. and the Dash-only participants from the Jack 'O Clubs Parking Lot in Wells at 12:00 p.m. The Barkerville Dash is the only timed part of the event. The sixteen three-day teams were joined by about the same number of "Dash Only" participants that included small dog teams, skijorers, joggers, XC skiers and one fat-tired bicycle (Note: that reads bicycle not cyclist) The fat-tired bike and Kate Palfrey's dog team, comprised mostly of retired Iditarod vets, tied as fastest in the Dash. Watching all of the participants racing down Barkerville's main street to the post office was a spectacular sight.
Again participants and volunteers enjoyed the hamburgers provided by the Scouts as the awards and closing ceremony unfolded in Barkerville's main parking lot. Everyone was on their way home by 2:30 p.m., some facing a long drive as in addition to all of the local participants, others had come from Fort St. James, Prince George and even Seattle Washington.
I hope this recounting of the weekend's events makes you happy you were a part of a fun winter experience and perhaps enthusiastic enough to be even more involved next year. Check out our Facebook page (Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Association) for pictures and comments.
Again thank you for your support....there were over 100 volunteers involved with this year's Mail Run, being part of this group was very special.
The next Mail Run will be the 25th, to be announced later in 2016