The Mushers have been arriving in the Prince Albert area over the last couple of days now. They are either staying in a local Hotel, are camping in their truck trailers, or are staying with friends.
Lots of the mushers only see each other a couple of times a year, but each and everyone of them is greeted like a long lost friend.
I have experienced amazing hospitality over the years myself and I am just a recreational musher (at best) as I have yet to run a mid-distance race (oh, but it's in the dreams). However handling and working for mushers has put me into the middle of their world, or perhaps I am just a musher groupie
To best describe what I'm talking about I found this on Aaron and Eva Pecks, Elevation Dogs, Facebook page. Written by Eva, I couldn't have said it better.
Earlier tonight, just before dinner time, Aaron, Alex and the dogs arrived at Sid and Hillary Robinson's place in La Ronge.
I have been living with a musher for the past four years now and I still find it fascinating, the little community built around this sport. It gets more intense and alive in the winter when everyone takes off to the different races but even in the summer time, you stay connected and when you travel through the neighbourhood of another musher you always get asked to check in and stay at least for a warm meal. Doors are always open, trails ready to use and a warm meal on the table even if you get there at midnight. The hospitality amongst mushers is wonderful! I think what they themselves enjoy most is to be able to exchange ideas and experiences with someone that shares the same love and passion for their dogs and the sport. Mushing, unlike other sports is very non-commercialized, it is a sport where you still have to figure a lot of things out for yourself. For example, probably most every musher has fixed their harnesses themselves and has gotten very sewing savvy. Or I don't think that their are two dog trucks the same out there. They build their own dog houses, make their own gang lines, sew their own dog coats. Not one outfit is alike another. Each musher has its own preferences and what works for the one wouldn't work for the next. But they love to share and learn from one another. During our travels with our dogs we have been blessed with many meaningful encounters, have talked through the nights, have met amazing people and made lasting friends. This is just one of the very special things about this sport. And we cherish it!
Thank you Sid and Hillary for your hospitality!!