MTU Mushing Club Mentor Excited to Race Students and Friends at Copper Dog 150
It’s finally here. The copper dog sled dog race kicks off tomorrow night in Calumet. And the mushers, dog teams, and hundreds of volunteers are ready and excited for another great race. This year’s race includes three Michigan Tech students and their mushing club mentor, tom Bauer.
“I teach them about animal husbandry, I teach them about training methods. And I teach them about how to take care of their dogs in the kennel and out on the trail. And then we go racing together. Generally, people accuse me of going racing with my posse. Show up to a race with three or four teams, not just my team like we used to do. It’s a lot of fun to hang out with a bunch of young college students. I shamelessly steal their energy, as an older person. And have a lot of fun mentoring them, in dog sledding, and in areas of life.”
The dog sledding community who race at the copper dog are very tight knit. Bauer reminisced on a previous race year. And sharing how he and other mushers took care of each other and their teams on the trail.
“They were tripping over themselves, trying to get snow. And chew snow. And so I would just pull over in a shady spot, and let them chew on snow until they were satisfied. And we’d take off and go again. And Dennis LaBoda caught up to us. And he said ‘Ohhh, you’re stopping and letting them chew snow’ I said ‘Oh, yeah.’ So we just continued on down to the end. And every once in a while, every few miles, we pulled over to a shady spot, and let our dogs chew snow.” – Tom Bauer, Michigan Tech Mushing Club Mentor
For the first time in a few years, teams on the 150 will travel up Brockway Mountain. Which Bauer describes as one of his favorite parts about Copper Dog.
“This year I’ve got a pretty nice little team. They’re pretty fast, just, we’ll see how long they can keep up that speed. The one thing I am really excited about, is we are going over Brockway Mountain, again. Which we haven’t done for a few years. And there is nothing like cresting Brockway Mountain. Looking left, looking right, seeing Lake Superior on both sides, and you can see the ridge, and backbone of the Keweenaw Peninsula. And it’s just a beautiful run up across the top of Brockway Mountain. I’m really excited for that.” – Tom Bauer, Michigan Tech Mushing Club
The fun and excitement in downtown calumet will start at 3 pm tomorrow. The first team headed out for the trail will leave the starting block at 6 pm. Eagle Harbor organizers anticipate that teams will begin to arrive into town Friday night around 11pm. Go to copperdog150.com to find a full schedule of events for Friday night in Calumet and Eagle Harbor.