A musher and her team at the 2017 mail run. Observer file photo

Historic Dog Sled Mail Run unique to Quesnel and Wells

Envelopes for the mail run are available until Jan. 23 at outlets in Quesnel and Wells

The 26th Annual Gold Rush Trail Dog Sled Mail Run is happening Jan. 25-28, 2018, and envelopes are available all over town.

Mail run president Ric Raynor says outlets including Rocky’s in Bouchie Lake, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Canada Post Office, Total Pet, Bosley’s and North Cariboo Co-op carry the envelopes.

“People can pick up envelopes at any of the outlets, take it home and put a note in it, make sure to put some postage on it and take it back to the designated outlets,” says Raynor.

Raynor stressed the envelopes must be placed in the special mailboxes, otherwise they’ll go through the regular system, and won’t be carried by dogsled.

The mushers will be sworn in as official mail carriers by Canada Post on Jan. 25, collect their mail bags and start the route, which begins at Umiti Pit, off Highway 97 north of Ten Mile Lake.

Raynor says Quesnel is the only place in the world where mail is still carried by dogsled.

“Quesnel is the last frontier of mail entering into the system and carried officially by Canada Post carriers by dogsled. It’s a way of being able to keep tradition alive.”

He says the teams usually carry around 2,000 envelopes every year. Each envelope is hand-cancelled by volunteers, and stamped saying it has been carried by dogsled.

Once the mail bags have travelled the route by dogsled, they enter the regular postal system at Barkerville Post Office to be shipped to their final destination.

Envelopes, which cost $3 each or five for $12, will be available until Jan. 23.

Those interested in seeing the mail run in action on the last weekend of the month can find route information at www.dogsledmailrun.ca. Information about where to find envelopes, and tickets for the Saturday night mail run banquet at Troll Resort, are also available online.

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