Yesterday Shelby and I helped out with Mush for a Cure--the annual sled dog run/breast cancer fund raiser on the Gunflint Trail.
Rumor had it that they surpassed $30000, which means in the last 5 years they now have been able to donate more than $100,000 to breast cancer research. Hats off to the Proms, the Blacks, and the Bakers--who manage to organize a whole community of volunteers-it's a great thing that they've done.
The event kicked off on Friday evening---and continued through the weekend. A masquerade ball, dinners, dances, carnival tent--it was a pink party initiated by Sue Prom and Mary Black. They sure know how to throw a one. (photo from 2010 Mush for the Cure website)
At 10am Saturday, the ski-jouring event began. One particular eclectic team included the kids' running coach, April, who skied behind Denali's best friend Thor. Denali doesn't really know how to have dog friends, but when Thor comes over, Denali plays like crazy. He's a good guy. But--a big black lab mutt is not exactly your average sled dog husky mix.
I talked to April before the run, and looked at their cobbled together harnesses and rope; April cheerfully had never raced with him before. So they let most other dog teams and experienced ski-jourers go first. And then came Thor, like a bat out of hell. Apparently Thor likes to be first, so he passed everybody and started after Mark Black on the official lead snowmobile. I understand Thor-horse almost beat him too.
It's a good thing she had her pink helmet on!
At noon, Shelby and I headed over to Gunflint Lake for the official start. 41 dog teams were assembled on the lake. It was a awesome!
For a "sour dough" start, mushers were gamely in sleeping bags when the horn blew. They had to get up, put on their boots, harness their teams, and head out. The sled dogs go crazy when they realize that it's time. Maybe you can get a feel for the noisy chaos---until the mushers let up the brake and let the guys run and pull. It's what they live for. Then there's simply the shhhhhhushhhh of the sleds. I love that. This part of the whole event, with all these people and dogs gathered to raise pledges for this cause---kind of choked me up,
It's an impressive thing to see. I'd say it was a really good way to spend a Saturday.