This is such a fun time for us in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and something I look forward to every year.
Mushers from around the U.S. and as far away as New Zealand participated in the race this year. Thirty-three dog sled teams!!
This is the 20th year we have had the privilege of having dog sled races here.
Twelve-dog teams take off, two minutes apart right down the main street of Marquette, Michigan...to roaring and cheering crowds of fur-hatted, hardy fans.
The town closes off the main street the day before and hauls in snow and makes a snow path right down the middle of downtown.
I LOVE THAT.
As our Mining Journal newspaper put it:
And that is exactly how you feel as a spectator.
Between 8,000 to 15,ooo people watch the dogs take off every year, and this year it had to be even more.
I was privileged to be one of them.
The race spans a total of 241 miles.
The mushers have a required 16 hours of layover time during the route, which they can use at any of the many checkpoints along the route.
As the newspaper stated: "It's a marathon of sleep deprivation, athletic endurance, extreme exertion and exposure to the elements."
For more information about the U.P. 2oo, you can go to: www.up200.org or read about it HERE and also HERE.
So, sit back, put your feet up and come with me on my photo tour of Part ONE of my series about this wonderful experience as a spectator to this event:
Loved this sign using the logs incorporated into it!:
A shot of the early crowd lining up on the street, in front of the Post Office..waiting for the race to start. It got a LOT more crowded after that shot was taken:
This is another shot of the kinds of trucks that the dog sled teams are used to being transported in. See the little bins with hay that the dogs sleep in while traveling? They love the security of them. These dogs are resting before the race began:
One of the dog sleds that the musher rides on the back of:
Hmmmm....wonder what is inside that bright red thermos?
Another bare sled on top of one of the musher's trucks:
I fell in love with this sled dogs BLUE eyes....be still my heart!:
The roof of our City Hall, one of the buildings the race runs right by:
Another shot of City Hall. I love its architecture:
Even though it was a marketing ploy by Liberty Tax Service to have these kids dressed up in their logo, I loved this shot of the three little kids eating pizza outside of City Hall, waiting for the race to begin:
One of the loaded sleds, waiting to be hooked up to the dogs:
Isn't he gorgeous?:
Well, it looks to me like Yoopers really know how to have fun! I love the pictures so far, and I know you'll make me laugh and smile and enjoy this along with you!
I am SO glad you are sharing these! Brian and I had wanted to go up there this year, but it just didn't work out. Looks cold but enjoyable! :) And I am a little bit jealous ;)
very cool. love all the sights, including the architecture...cant wait to see even more of the dogs.
THANKS for sharing the excitement! This post sure bought back a flood of memories of when we lived in Alaska and would go to the Yukon Quest races. We will have to watch for the Marquette races next year now that we are Yoopers ourselves.
That would be so fun to see. Your dog photos are so great.
You have some very beautiful architecture up there.
DJan: Yes, Yoopers definitely know how to have fun. HA....not the "jumping out of planes" kind, like SOME people I know, though> :-}
Ashley: Actually, it was one of the warmest dogsled takeoffs I had the pleasure to go to...some years it is below zero and we don't go down in person....they say the dogs love it between zero and 10 above to run.
Brian: Thanks, there is more to come!!
Cher: I can't remember where in the U.P. you live??? Is it on the east end near the Sault?
L.D.: Thanks...gives me an idea to blog sometime, showing some of the buildings...we have a huge Cathedral that is gorgeous too...thanks for the idea!
You make it so fun to look at the great photos and read your descriptions. If we can't be there in person, this is the next best thing.
Great Photos! Especially the dog close ups!
You seem to live in a great community Joan, and I love how you always take part in events. These are great pictures and I am looking forward to your next post to see the others....:-) Hugs
TechnoBabe: Ahhhh...thanks so much!!
Eva: Stay tuned, Eva..there will be more to come!
Bernie: We really do have a great community, and I try to get out to alot of the events...there is a polar plunge somewhere this weekend, I wanted to go,but I am having trouble finding out where, since I have been out of town, I am "out of the loop". ha
How special Joan... I have read about these races, but obviously I have never seen one in person. Thanks for taking us with you to see the race. I cannot wait for Part II.
We have had a fabulous time in Arkansas. The weather has been good---so we've taken LOTS of pictures... ha
I can't wait to read more and see more pics. That dog is so gorgeous!
How fun! I'd love to watch a race like that. I guess I always pictured sled dog races being in Alaska.
Those dogs a grand! They'd probably eat me alive. You make your neck of the woods seem so MUCH FUN!
Loved your pictures. If I just could drive in the snow, I know where I'd vacation next February.
Betsy: I will look forward to your pictures, Bets...I am behind in reading other blogs because I was out of town for a week...I took a road trip with my brother (just the two of us!) to visit two of our elderly uncles (one is 90 and one is 88!) to interview them and make a DVD of them. We had such fun! But now I am behind reading blogs..don't worry, I will catch up this week.
Sara: They all had such beautiful eyes and spirits!
Catherine: They have some in the midwest in a few places...they have to have a lot of snow so the dogs don't hurt their paws on icy conditions.
Dreamwalker: No...the dogs are very gentle and let all the spectators pet them..they love crowds and all the attention..you'd love it!
Cathy M: It seems like it has snowed more in the rest of the country than here this winter...we haven't had many storms and up here, we have wonderful capabilities of clearing the snow immediately and the highways melt because they salt them and they become dry....really, you should try and come up sometime..you'd LOVE it here! Let me know if you do...I'd be your guide!
I have featured your story on our dog name site: http://www.dognamesite.com/dog_blog.html
Dog lovers will love your photos and the story of the race.
This really looks like a fun event. I'd love to be in that crowd of onlookers. I knew the dogs wouldn't all be huskies. I've watched plenty of sled dog races on TV, and they're a lot of times a mixed group.
What a fun event, I knew there were sled dog races over your way but I hadn't thought much about them.
I was expecting to see huskies, these dogs looks so sweet and gentle. The only sled dog race I have attended has been the Iditarod in Alaska. Huskies are never that quite.
I love the shots of the buildings I hope we will see more.
Grannyann: WOO HOO! Thanks so much! I will pant over there (ha) and read that blog!
Ratty: You would love being there, Ratty...despite being in a crowd..you just feel a connection with the dogs!
SquirrelQueen: I would love to see the start of the Iditarod...I had a friend (a Vet) who was in it about ten years ago and came back with the most fascinating stories!!!!
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