See sled dog races

Mark Feb. 12-13 on your calendar for a fun-filled, outdoor, wintertime activity that the entire family can enjoy.

That once-a-year special event is the annual Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers Sled Dog Races.

Those sled dog races will be held at Hope Valley, Calif.

If you've never been to Hope Valley, it's located about 35 miles south of Carson City, via U.S. 395, Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88.

The races are expected to attract a large number of sled dog teams from all over the State of California, as well as from Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The start of the sled dog races will be held about one mile west of Pickett's Junction. That junction is located just past Sorensen's Resort on the north edge of Hope Valley, Calif. Pickett's Junction is the intersection of S.R. 88 (to Kit Carson Pass and Jackson) and S.R. 89 (to Luther Pass and Lake Tahoe).

The first race of the day will begin at about 9:30 a.m. on each day.

The racers will be competing with teams of three, four, six or eight dogs.

The three-dog teams will be racing against the clock for three miles, the four-dog teams will be racing four miles, the six-dog teams will run six miles, etc.

Some of the other racing classes will be:

The "Ski Jouring," where a cross country skier on skis is pulled behind a sled dog team.

The "Junior Class," where a 1-2 dog team with a youngster driver races the clock for 1-2 miles.

Here's some basic information for those of you who would like to attend:

If you park in the plowed parking area, you will be asked to make a small donation to help cover the cost of the snow plowing.

Dependent on the weather and snow conditions on the highway or in the parking area, it would be highly advisable to have either a four-wheel drive vehicle or to carry chains for your two-wheel drive vehicle.

Be sure to have waterproof, insulated boots, layered-type clothing for variable weather conditions, warm gloves, wool cap, sunglasses, etc. And don't forget to take your camera, with lots of film.

Portable sanitary huts will be available in the parking area and there will be a catering truck serving food and drinks.

So, if you've never attended a sled dog race, you don't have to travel to Alaska, British Columbia, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. Just travel to nearby Hope Valley on Feb. 12 or 13 or on both days.

For information, call Jay Hawkins at South Lake Tahoe, Calif, at (530) 544-2197


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