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."
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?: