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

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ youth advocate tells Nelson audience

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read