Magazine article Sunset

Hitchin' a Ride

Magazine article Sunset

Hitchin' a Ride

Article excerpt

The International Rocky Mountain Stage Stop Sled Dog Race draws the top professional dog mushers in the world every year to Jackson, Wyoming, where they hitch up their teams for an 11-day, 400-mile, 10-community jaunt across two mountain ranges.

The race was first run three years ago, and this year it's offering more than $100,000 in prize money. Competitors include 1997 race champion Hans Gott, as well as Dan MacEachen, Jeff King, and Libby Riddles, the first woman ever to win the Iditarod.

The challenge for Riddles the first year here was just making it to the race. Car trouble in Alaska (the -70 weather caused the transmission to freeze) delayed her, and she made it to Wyoming only four hours before the official check by the veterinarian started.

"I didn't get down there in time to acclimate," she says, "and we were racing at almost 10,000 feet. It was a reminder that I must still be a really good musher."

Unlike an endurance race, Rocky Mountain is a stage race with specific starting and stopping points each day. …

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