Sled dog teams carry mail through Cariboo for annual Gold Rush Trail event

Fourteen teams carried 1,700 envelopes in historic event

The 26th annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run went off without a hitch Jan. 26-28, with 14 teams carrying approximately 1,700 envelopes along the historic Cariboo Wagon Road from Quesnel through Wells and on to Barkerville.

The teams were a mix of traditional sled dog teams, with between two and 12 dogs, and skijor teams, in which one or two dogs pull a person on skis.

On Friday, the mushers and teams were sworn in as official mail carriers by Canada Post in front of Quesnel’s Post Office on Reid Street, and collected their bags for the route, which began at Umiti Pit, off Highway 97, north of Ten Mile Lake.

The teams then began their route, following the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.

They paused on Saturday at Troll Ski Resort for musher sports contests, which included timed relays with the mushers and dogs, as well as judged skills, like making bannock and brewing tea over a campfire. Seven teams participated in the fun, to the delight of spectators.

The teams continued on to Barkerville Historic Town on Sunday, where they dropped off their mail bags at the park’s post office. From there, the envelopes entered the regular postal system to be shipped across the region and the world.

Organizer Ric Raynor says Quesnel is the only place in Canada where mail is still carried by dogsled. He says the unique event went well again this year.

“It was fantastic,” Raynor said. “We had 11 dog teams and three skijor teams carrying the mail, including a dog team all the way from Arizona. This was only their second time mushing on snow.”

Kat Spencer and her dog Sprint, from Tappen, B.C., used the mail run as training for a skijor event in France in February, and some of her skijoring teammates travelled to take part in the event with her.

The mild temperatures on Friday and Saturday proved ideal, with the snow on Sunday holding off in the morning to allow the teams a pleasant run into Barkerville.

“The snow was starting to get heavier, so it worked out very well,” said Raynor. “We had plenty of spectators out.”

The specially designed envelopes, featuring artwork by local artists and stamped “Carried by Dog Team”, are now on their way to their final destinations.

Watch the teams get sworn in at Quesnel’s post office on Friday Jan. 26:

Just Posted

Langley teacher who screamed at, grabbed elementary students suspended

This is the second four-month suspension for the Langley teacher.

Langley Thunder player named WLA Rookie of the Year

Tyler Pace had a great year in his first full season for the Thunder.

Langley What’s On: Aug. 16, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

Serious collision in South Surrey

One to hospital with serious injuries; 16 Avenue remains closed

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

VIDEO: Langley Blackberry Bake-Off entrants offer up 28 different dishes

The Blackberry Bake-Off started back in 2002 in Langley. This year’s was held Wednesday afternoon.

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Most Read