I’m not going to lie, when I received an email inviting me to the 18th Annual Mushers’ Rendezvous, I had to do a quick google search. What the heck is mushing? It turns out, mushing is a sport or transportation method powered by dogs. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow… It’s Dog Sledding!!
Having grown up in Saskatchewan, I’ve spent my fair share of time playing in the snow. From skis and snowboards, to toboggans and skidoos, but dog sledding? Dog sledding was something that I associated with the North. I’m talking Alaska, Nunavut, Yukon, and The North West Territories - not Saskatchewan. But as it turns out, Saskatchewan is not only home to some world class mushing events, but some of the world’s best mushers. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend one of these events and learn about the sport from some of the province’s finest mushers.
When I arrived in Preeceville, former Mushing World Champion, Kevin Cook and his wife Rhonda, took me under their wing. They have been involved in the sport their entire lives and have helped organize the Mushers’ Rendezvous since day one. When the race kicked off, we jumped in their truck and I was given free reign to ask as many silly questions about the sport as I could. While we followed the race from the highway, I was blown away by the endurance of the dogs, maintaining a consistent speed of nearly 20 mph for the entire 22 mile race.
After the 22 mile, 10 Dog Classic, they shortened the course to 10 miles for a 6 dog race, followed by a 5 dog juniors race. Each event having its own form of excitement. The 10 and 6 dog races involved a lot of action, but my personal favourite was the juniors race.
Whether you are interested in mushing, checking out some of the provinces unique events, or you just want to see hundreds of incredibly excited dogs in one place, I would highly recommend a trip to Preeceville next February.
Thanks again to all the friendly people in Preeceville, and as always, thanks for reading.