Old News Archive

Mushing's Coming To The Wilderness

February 08, 2007 - TRC

As the rain falls in December the sled dogs snooze in their beds of straw snug in their houses dreaming (I think) of the trails of snow they will run in the upcoming winter. Mushers from Canada and all the way down the East Coast have been feeding, watering, cleaning and training their teams in anticipation of racing across the wilderness between Greenville and Brownville Junction.

Andre Longchamps 2005 winner of the 100-mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race will have 1000 miles or more behind his dog team before the start of the 2007 race on February 10. Longchamps and Amélie reside in Quebec, they started in September exercising their dogs in preparation. Closer to home Ashley Simpson of Monson (4th place finish in 2005) has been training rain or snow building a new team for 2007. Up in Brownville Junction Terry Knowles team of Siberian Husky's have been exercising building up muscle and speed for their trip across the wilderness. Terry and his team missed out in '05 because Terry felt it was more important to make sure the first 100-mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race went smoothly. 2006 was cancelled due to poor snow.

Almost 300 hundred sled dogs with 25 mushers in tow will traverse the snow covered hill, mountains and frozen lakes along the trail. The athletes will be fed diets of meat, fish oils, special supplements of brewers yeast to oyster shells, along with the best dog food money can buy, each team(dogs & owners) having their own winning preference.

Mandatory equipment for the trip, a sled, varying in size and material. From Sleek new age materials light of weight flexible in the cold to the trusted wooden sleds used for over 100 years. Each musher must carry food for themselves and dogs, cold weather sleeping bags and gear. An ax or saw, fire starting equipment just in case. A compass, extra rope and harness, all the gear is packed tightly inside a sled bag, in case of a spill nothing will fall out. Volunteers go through checklist at the start of the race, half-way and at the finish to be certain all mushers have carried their mandatory equipment the entire way.

Dogs and mushers alike hope to see you at the starting line in Greenville at the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Dept. on Village St., musher's will be preparing for their journey as early as 7 a.m. There will also be viewing spots along the trail and a two hour layover in Brownville Junction will give the teams a rest and spectators another peek at the magnificent athletes. The finish in Greenville after dark on Feb.. 10 is a sight to see as the mushers headlights give away their triumphant return !

Look for race programs with musher bios, trail map and more information that will be available at the many generous area businesses that have sponsored this great event !

Submitted by: Rhonda Welcome

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.