Dogs howled and people cheered, as participants in the 27th annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run were sworn in as official Canada Post mail carriers Friday morning (Jan. 25) in downtown Quesnel.
This marks the beginning of the three-day Mail Run, which will see dog teams and skijorers carry specially-marked Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run envelopes from the post office in Quesnel over the Gold Rush Trail to the post office in Barkerville, where the envelopes will enter the regular mail system.
Kerry Onanski of Canada Post, who is also vice-president of the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run association, swore in the participants as official Canada Post mail carriers.
She says they sold just under 2,000 special Mail Run envelopes, which will enter the regular postal system and be distributed to 33 states and 19 countries.
The first stage of the Mail Run saw participants cover a loop route from Umiti Pit, 17 kilometres north of Quesnel. Stage 2 on Saturday, Jan. 26 will begin and end at Troll Resort, and the third stage will see participants go from Barkerville to Wells Sunday, Jan. 27 and then take part in the Barkerville Dash, racing from the Jack O Clubs Pub in Wells to the Barkerville Post Office. The Dash is open to dog mushers, skijorers, skiers, runners, kicksledders, cyclists, snowshoers or any other mode of transportation.
“This event would not be possible without the many, many dedicated volunteers that contribute to this organization, our donors, our sponsors, all those people who donate time and money to make this event happen every year to carry on this important tradition of carrying the only official mail that’s going to enter into a regular postal system, that we know of, in the world,” Mail Run president Ric Raynor said during the swearing-in ceremony. “I think that’s a really amazing type of thing to carry on. We thank you all for being part of this event. This is really appreciated and really important. Thank you so much.”