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

Donations collected for Summerland Food Bank

More than 60 people attended recent Holiday Open House at Edward Jones office

Ready for the festive season

In 1955, Summerland had a dazzling display of holiday lights

South Okanagan Métis step up involvement with school district

The association wants to have more of a role in the inclusion of Métis culture, history in schools

Open houses regarding transit between Penticton and Kelowna

The meetings will be held in Summerland, Princeton, Penticton, Peachland and Osoyoos on Dec. 4 and 5

Third fatality in 24 hours on South Okanagan roads

A vehicle incident closed Highway 3 for five hours Monday night

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Fundraiser established for the family of South Okanagan crash victim

A GoFundMe account has been established for the Penticton driver who died in an accident

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

Most Read