Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dog Sled Races on Grand Mesa

Just east of Grand Junction, and not too far from Montrose is the Grand Mesa, a flat top mountain that has an elevation of around 10,000 feet. Today on top of Grand Mesa, in about four feet of snow under a clear blue winter sky, a whole bunch of dogs and a whole lot more people got together for sled dog races. Unlike what you might expect from movies and TV, the sleds are small and lightweight, and just big enough to carry one person. Another aspect of sled dog racing that surprises neophytes like me are the breeds of dogs that are pulling the sleds. Most breeds were represented except Chihuahuas and French poodles. And the huskies that were pulling sleds were much smaller and leaner than I imagined.
Ski-joring is an event that I remember seeing on the main street of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with cowboys on horses pulling skiers and the skiers spear rings while zooming down the course. This is the first I've seen using dogs. It was a two dog, one skier competition but I overheard this skier tell someone that his other dog had just died. So he went with one dog only.

Below, is the start of the four dog sled competition and as you can hear the dogs are loaded with energy, yelping and anxious to start.

Dogs are carted around in trailers or pick-ups with cages on the back. These poor guys were feeling lonely and neglected and letting their feelings be known to all the world. And of course you can hear me egging them on.

Here's the finish line as one four dog sled completes the course.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Considering the current winter storm that is paralyzing so much of the's nice to see people having fun in the snow!

Take care. Luke