Mar 07-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: March: Mar 07-11
CopperDog in Calumet    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Katriina Hopper
Headed to the finish line    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Katriina Hopper

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 08:06 am:

The weekend proved to be quite exciting with the running of the Copperdog 150, from Calumet to Copper Harbor and back to Calumet again, in a 3 day dog sled race. I can't imagine a more scenic route for the mushers and their teams to navigate, than right here in the Copper Country, traveling the trails from Calumet, to Lake Linden, out to Gay, then up through Phoenix and on to Eagle Harbor for the first leg on Friday night. Saturday morning the teams left from Eagle Harbor taking the cutoff road and heading toward Lac La Belle, near Mt. Bohemia, then onto the Mandan road, out around near Horseshoe Harbor on the tip of the Keweenaw and then on into Copper Harbor via the Burma/Clark Mine/Manganese Roads, for the second leg of the race. Sunday morning bright and early, the teams began in Copper Harbor for the third and final leg that took them up and over Brockway Mountain, along Cliff Drive, through Mohawk, Copper City, Kearsarge and on into Calumet for the finish line on 5th Street. (For a visual of route on a Keweenaw map, click here: Copperdog 150 trail map.)

All along the route the racers were met with crowds of people cheering them on. We took our Grandsons to see them pass through the Lake Linden checkpoint by the Traprock Bridge and were thoroughly amazed at the quietness of the approaching teams and the speed at which they whizzed by us. If you've never witnessed a dog sled race in person, mark your calendars for next year's event. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Our thanks to Katriina Hopper for today’s shots. These days Katriina and Jonathan (the original Pasty Camist) split their time between Connecticut and Keweenaw. They were fortunate to catch some of the action this weekend. Hopefully we’ll have more pictures of the race later in the week.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 08:32 am:

Great pictures! Those dogs and mushers sure love their sport!

By allen philley (Allen) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 08:49 am:

What about light for these evening legs of a race?

By Stephen Pummill (Stevecpumm) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 08:52 am:

Watched the Friday evening start from Calumet. Lots of folks in attendance enjoying the festivities. The dogs were protesting about being held back until their turn to depart. I went to a trail/road crossing. The teams coming through were in a different mode than at the start. The dogs were silent and running with a focused determination. They weren't distracted at all by the checkpoint workers.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 09:05 am:

One thing I notice in the first photo is that the dogs are running on the fresh powder and not on the packed down tracks. Easier on the feet for those dog-gone smart dogs.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 10:12 am:

i need to come up there next year and check that race out.

The Iditarod started on Saturday with official "restart" yesterday afternoon at Willow.

one of the greatest races in the world. Lance Mackey going for #5 in a row.

By Gus LL (Gusll) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 10:42 am:

Allen, At night the musher, or (driver) has a headlamp on his forehead to see the trails. The lead dog has a red light attached to his collar

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 11:06 am:

I noticed Saturday that some teams were far noisier than others - some were almost scary with their snarling. There was one pup in the center of a team that positively couldn't keep its feet on the ground. It was bouncing vertically as high as its neighbor. What wonderful animals. A couple of the mushers made a point of patting/speaking to each dog on their team in the seconds before leaving the start point.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 12:52 pm:

Would this work with Cats? I tried it with Parakeets once without much success. Just wondering.

By allen philley (Allen) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 01:54 pm:

Thanks Gus. I would think with snow covered ground that a clear moonlit night would also be good for visability and safety. It amazes me how these dogs once trained are so eager to do what they have to for their Musher.

By allen philley (Allen) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 02:02 pm:

More questions. Since teams are based on an Alpha/leader and that would be the "I'm in control here dog" does that mean they are more aggressive? Does it mean that nice dogs finish last?

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 03:05 pm:

I always heard it was the dogs with more strength that lead.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 07:23 pm:

Janie T.,
That's so they can't see what the slackers are doing behind them. :D I did see a sled that had two obviously larger dogs nearest the sled but couldn't figure out why.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Monday, March 7, 2011 - 07:53 pm:

Gary in co....are you talking about "kitty cats"? My guy would do well at least for a few feet:>) Then he'd take off in his own direction. When I walked him (on leash) this morning he pulls quite strongly and I have to keep up with him. But then he vires off the sidewalk across a lawn. Need to control him a bit hey? Besides cats are too independent to control in a harness.:)

By Theresa Barnes (Flash) on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 03:50 pm:

I love the dog sled races. I am rooting for Lance Mackey. A few guys from here in Colorado went to Alaska years ago with their dogs and one guy lost an eye. Sad but they had a great time otherwise.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 07:01 pm:

I would like to see Lance Mackey win his 5th in a row to make Iditerod history, too. He dropped his Golden Harness award winning (from last year) lead dog, Maple, fairly early on, but I haven't heard why, so he's down to 15 dogs now. (She will be flown back to Anchorage, I think.) He's dropped back from first to sixth place for now. Veteran Iditerod musher Rick Swenson had an accident going down the steps, and barrel rolled with his sled, landing on his left shoulder, breaking his collar bone. He's still in the race, but he may drop soon, because it's hard to mush and care for 14 dogs, one-handed. I have been really interested in the Idierod race for several years now, so I do follow it pretty closely.

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