Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend of the Dogs

The past week has been a roller coaster of weather patterns up here in the U.P. and across all of the Midwest for that matter. This past weekend was one of my personal favorites of the Winter, the annual U.P. 200 sled dog race weekend.

The weather ended the race early because trail conditions were tough on both the dogs as well as equipment. This years race had 19 teams from across the United States attend, mushers/teams that have raced the world famous Alaska Iditarod compete in this race. It is a remarkable event for our small northern Midwest community to promote and host.

For those who have never participated in spectating a sled dog race, it is quite the event!  It seems as if the dogs actually feed off the crowd as you can literally see the excitement in their eyes as they act as a team to pull their musher to victory.  These dogs live for this time spent on the trail, they train all season long for the opportunity to get out racing.  These dogs are not house pets, they are specifically bred to race.  They are high energy thoroughbred animals, although they are very friendly pre-race when the crowd gathers downtown Marquette, but once the race starts they are all business!

Many mushers welcome the spectators to pet and get their pictures taken with the dogs, it a cool chance to get talk to the teams and learn more about sled dog racing.  There are several operations here across the U.P. that allow sled dog enthusiasts to take part in trail riding themselves and experience this cool sport first hand.

Visit here for info on how to take part in your own sled dog adventure here in the Upper Peninsula. Ive had family members, friends, & clients try this and everyone says its a once in a lifetime experience- I look forward to trying it myself next Winter. Come visit Marquette next Winter for the U.P. 200 weekend, a unique & fun time here in God's Country.
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