Ted’s essays

sled dog racing

The 10th Annual Darby Dog Derby will take place January 14th & 15th, 2017 at Lost Trail Pass at Gibbons Pass Road.

The Bitterroot Mushers club created this exciting, fun event. Go to their website for more information. Pay particular attention to the spectator information.

The energy of nearly 100 high-performance, high-strung dogs is impressive. Be there for the start of the first races, on through the last. It is a sight, and moreso, a sound you won’t forget.

This is my fourth time leading a team of radio operators to provide communications up and down the mountains. This is a perfect example of amateur radio serving where nothing else will do. We are pleased to add a measure of safety, control and information to the event.

For spectators, it really gets going both Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:30am with the Ski-jor races. These are cross-country skiers with four-paw-drive boosters in front. Any old dog will do, but there are obvious advantages to certain ones.

Shortly after 10:00am, the cacophony begins with the hooking up of the sled dog teams. These guys wanna GO in the worst way. Amazingly, their energy is still off the top of the charts two hours of running later.

It is a “gotta see it once in your life” event.

I have been at my station in the Start/Finish area every year. I understand the view of dog teams running full-chat on the trail is lovely to see. You may want to hike, ski or otherwise get yourself out on the course for that one. I can personally only vouch for the show at the Start/Finish to be impressive.

Directions to race site from Darby:
Take Highway 93 South to Lost Trail Pass.
Turn left onto highway 43 towards Wisdom.
Take an immediate left into a parking lot for the trail head.

Actually, the directions above have a fatal flaw:
There is no room in the parking lot for your car!

Park on the west side of highway 93 and walk 50 yards to the parking lot that will be FULL of sled dog teams and all their rigs.

For people living around here I probably don’t need to mention that it will be a bit cool at the top of the mountain. Temperatures will likely run between zero and 20 degrees this weekend. Be prepared for that one, and everything else will work.

It looks like it will be a nice weekend, and always a fun event.