The first annual Riverstone Sled Dog Race, as part of Foxburg’s Winterfest, Saturday, February 4th turned into a sled dog “scoot” instead. The fickle and unusually mild winter this region is experiencing left the ground brown and bare with no snow to be found. Undaunted, mushers, barking dogs, interested and curious spectators braved the cloudy day with temperatures above freezing to be part of the day’s events.
With no snow, the activities moved downtown to the Foxburg bike trail. Mushers, led by Parker’s own Dennis Alworth, did their best to explain, above the barking chorus, sled dog etiquette and protocol. They demonstrated various commands, techniques and equipment used, including the over land sleds, which seemed out of place on the asphalt and stone. No matter, they hooked their dogs, many wearing booties, to wheeled devices, including what looked like an overgrown tricycle and off they mushed down the trail.
The mushers included Roger, Jim and Lee Carnahan, traveling from Clymer, Pa.; Sandy Stoner of Boyers and Cindy Eddy of Butler. The youngest musher was Julea Leasure, eleven years of age, who has been mushing since she was eight. Teams ranged from the expected Siberian Huskies to high spirited Red Irish Setters.
Spokesperson, Dennis Alworth, expressed satisfaction that the impromptu dry land event salvaged the day and appreciated the crowd who attended and made the effort worthwhile. Discussions are already underway for next year.
After the “scoot”, attendees were invited to visit Foxburg. The mushers had a pizza party thanks to Foxburg Pizza and there was also old country bluegrass music at the Allegheny Grille.
Checkout some cool shots of the event here – submitted by a happy participant!