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

Boundary District Arts Council folds amid financial questions

The last board took over in November and could not find receipts for $8,000 in spending

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Grand Forks mulls in-kind options to support flood buyout residents

Staff estimate a $6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

MP warns of scam after catching Facebook Messenger imposter account

Wayne Stetski issues warning about an imposter messenger account that is using his profile photo

Grand Forks mulls in-kind options to support flood buyout residents

$6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Most Read