• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, February 03, 2014

    The Really Big Game

    SUPER BOWL TAKES BACK SEAT
    Neighbors Up Early For Big Race
    55 miles at 14 mph
    AN HOUR BEFORE THE START OF THE RACE THE CROWD GATHERS
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    .. Some of the neighbors went fishing. Some of them slept in. A few even shoveled snow. Most of the neighbors,  however,  helped out with the West Yellowstone Leg of the International Pedigree Sled Dog Stage Stop Race.
    .. Second, only to the Iditarod, this is the longest sled dog race in the United States. It covers over 300 miles in eight days and draws the top sled dog athletes from around the world.
    .. An international contingent of 17 teams are entered in this year's race. From Scotland, Norway, Michigan, Wisconsin. Idaho, Canada, and other foreign countries, come the competitors. There are teams with ten dogs and those with twelve dogs.
    .. There are six stops over ten days, similar to the Tour de France. The West Yellowstone stage is the longest and most complex. It covers over 55 miles and ends in Ashton, Idaho. The course crosses the Continental Divide, five rivers, an old railroad grade, and terrain ranging from flat out to climbing and descending twists.
    .. The teams share some trails with skiers, and other trails with snowmobiles. The trail wise dogs take it all in stride and can average between 11 and 15 mph on their run.
    .. Our neighbors help out at the start, (and the night before with lodging and other hospitality actions.) Human fences guard the intersections in town along the length of Yellowstone Ave. from the park line to the old airport. Some neighbors run the snowmobiles that hold the eager dogs in check on their way to the start line. Some neighbors handle stop watches for the teams.
    .. Photographers from the local and national press are scattered around. Neighbors set up and take down the course markers for the full length of the course. The city road crews berm the street and remove the berms far into the night. Some folks pay attention to the big game on hand held devices.
    .. Meet and greet sessions took place on Saturday night in several pubs and restaurants in town. Bedding, food, water, and veterinarian supplies are available for all.
    .. Race day brings a tension and excitement for the whole village. Even the visiting sledheads pause to take in the spectacle of the start. All-in-all it's a grand time for the visitors and neighbors. There's even time to catch the big game should you choose.
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    PRE RACE PREP AND ANXIETY
    PRE RACE PREP AND ANXIETY RELEASE
    OINTMENT PREVENTS ICE CRYSTALS BETWEEN PAW PADS
    LUNGING AND STRAINING AT THE START
    BAREFOOT TEAM HITS THEIR STRIDE
    BOOTFOOT TEAM HITS THEIR STRIDE
    CRUISING OUT OF TOWN - UP TO THE DIVIDE