Thrill of a dog sled ride

Students from Gorham and Ware Community School experience the thrill of a sled dog ride during a visit from Boreal Journeys who offer dog sledding adventures in the Thunder Bay area.

Organizers south of the border are gearing up for a couple of great dogsled races this winter.

The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race on Jan. 9-10 will feature two different attractions for participants and fans. In addition to the 12-dog, 100-mile race over two-days, the event will have an eight-dog, shorter and faster race of 70 miles.

"Our county is becoming known as the dogsled capital of the Lower 48 - only Alaska and Canada have more dogsledding than Cook County," says Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County.

"In addition to the Gunflint Mail Run and the John Beargrease Sled Marathon, which happens later in January, many of the local mushers make sled dog rides available to visitors to our area."

During the Gunflint Mail Run, up to 30 mushers will start and finish the Gunflint Mail Run at Trail Center Lodge on Poplar Lake near Grand Marais, Minn.

"The shorter, faster eight-dog race will add a whole new dimension to the Gunflint Mail Run," according to race co-director Jack Stone, owner of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply.

"This shorter race also gives newer mushers or mushers with smaller team kennels the opportunity to compete in this race," he said.

The total purse for both races is expected to be about $6,000, depending on the success of the online auction (Jan. 1-10) and a raffle for a new ATV, which is on display at the Holiday Station in Grand Marais.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Holiday Station, Trail Center, Stone Harbor, and at the Super America in Grand Marais.

Fika Coffee is also creating a special Mushers Blend for the event, which will be served at Trail Center and will be for sale there and at Stone Harbor.

For more information visit the website: www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun, or Visit Cook County, www.visitcookcounty.com/entry/?id=3780.

While the Gunflint Mail Run marks the start of the dog sledding season in Cook County, fans can also look forward to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, which is roughly 400 miles long with a purse of $45,000.

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