Brendan started leading day tours in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area WIlderness in Minnesota through YMCA Camp Menogyn and Amaroh Kennel in 2011-2012. In 2015-2016 he handled for Kelly Maixner's Iditarod team and started racing. Since then, his mushing highlight was competing in the Northern Lights 300 in 2016 and running dogs in the BWCA in Minnesota.
Brendan hopes to complete in the Beargrease Marathon in Minnesota as well as the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod.
John says he had always wanted to try mushing, and once he did he was hooked! He hopes to run the Iditarod and Yukon Quest someday.
Bryce became interested in the sport of mushing after watching an Iditarod TV show several years ago. He found a local Iditarod musher, Sue Morgan, who offered to take him on a dog sled run. He went with her multiple times and was hooked! He used Sue’s dogs to run his first race in 2009.
Bryce says his mushing highlight was finishing the Race to the Sky. He has hopes of running the Iditarod or Yukon Quest someday.
Bryce recounts a terrifying trail story: “Most Scary Dog Situation: Getting charged by a cow moose. She ran through my entire team and stepped through my sled bag and over top of me as I ducked behind the sled. Luckily, she kept running and all the dogs were unhurt. I never knew moose made such a scary growling sound, but she sure did!”
A funny quote that Bryce resembles: “Every winter my mind turns to mush.”
Neal’s wife had a Husky when he met her 16 years ago. Tired of chasing it down for a year, he devised ways to exhaust its energy by running it with roller blades and other devices. After realizing what Huskies were bred for, he became addicted to their drive. One became 3 which later became 6 and is now 30. After operating a touring outfit for several years, he became fascinated with distance mushing and traveling and camping for days with dogs.
Bowlen describes his mushing highlight as his first overnight camping run. Forgetting to charge the batteries in his head lamp, he ended up running by the light of the full moon and found the perspective of the trail and terrain awe inspiring. Traveling and camping with the team is his favorite aspect of the sport by far.
In the future he hopes to see if qualifying for the Iditarod & the Yukon Quest while maintaining his family is feasible. He’s hoping racing will add perspective, learning opportunities, and the opportunity to meet some amazing dog drivers.
His most embarrassing dog situation in his own words: “I once thought it was appropriate to hook up 6 dogs to my bike and use clip in bindings on a descending road that had 3 speed bumps in the first 200 yards. I’ll let your imagination run with that one. It wasn’t pretty.”
Laurie Warren, 53, started handling for her son Garrett and helping him train his first year mushing. She also helped her younger son, Trevor, when he got a team, and she helped train their puppies. Knowing her competitive nature, Trevor suggested she enter a race herself. She agreed and was hooked!
Warren’s mushing highlights include training, traveling, & spending time with her sons while they run dogs together as a family. She has wonderful, priceless memories of racing each other in the darkness to the backcountry cabin & bringing their favorite dogs in to lay around the fire & warm up.
Maya is Laurie's main leader and she recalls how she worked into the lead spot: "My team was struggling last year for a leader with enthusiasm who would get out there and keep the line taught. I put her up there on a chance since she was still not quite two and she took off! She leads with a drive and excitment that inspres the rest of the team. This shouldn't be too big of a surprise as her father was a leader for Jeff King's team and her mother is a phemoninal leader for my son Garrett's team."
She retells her embarrassing moment: at the Cascade Quest a couple years ago, I ran my first overnight race. Upon arrival at the start, I learned I was supposed to have a cable tie out chain. I was relieved when no one checked to see I was without it. That night while sleeping next to my team, I awoke to a dog licking my face, one exploring my sled bag for food, and another frolicking in the snow. I spent the rest of the night with a leash in each hand, holding on to the trouble makers, learning the importance of having all the required gear, and hoping no one would awake to see my predicament!
Scott moved to the Pacific Northwest from Buffalo, New York in 1989 and became an avid backpacker. In 1995 he needed neck surgery and could no longer carry a backpack, so he bought a couple of Alaskan Malamutes (unintentionally) to carry his gear. After researching and learning about sled dogs, and taking several guided dogsled trips in Alaska, he started returning home from Alaska with Alaskan Huskies and developed a recreational team. When recreational mushing was no longer enough for him, he became interested in racing. In 2003, he met, started training with, and now gets all his dogs from Mark Stamm.
Scott relates an embarrassing dog story: "One of my dogs escaped from my yard several years ago, in the middle of the winter, and went next door and killed one of my neighbor's chickens. Their snow-covered backyard looked like a scene from Fargo for a week; except with feathers everywhere in addition to the blood-stained snow."
Scott says his mushing highlight was finishing the Iditarod in 2010, but his goal is to complete the Iditarod again, this time more competitively.
Mark is employed in the boat repair/construction trade. He’s been racing sled dogs since 1976 and completed the Yukon Quest in 1988 and the Iditarod in 2005.
He’s won the Race to the Sky twice (2007 and 2009). He’s also run the Beargrease marathon multiple times dating back to 1991 and finished 3rd (his best finish) in 2001.
Jennifer Campeau is stepping up to the Eagle Cap Extreme 200 mile race again this year after running the 200 mile race last year and our 31 mile, 2 day pot race (her first ever race) 3 years ago! Her husband took up racing 5 years ago, and now mushing is a family affair.
She hopes to just be able to enjoy the dogs and the new challenges and experiences they have together.
She lists the time one of her dogs peed on the teacher of a group of students she was talking to as her most embarrassing dog situation.
Jason Campeau, 42, has always wanted to mush. Four years ago, he and his wife moved to Alberta near the mountains to make that dream come true. They love to spend time in the Rocky Moutnains camping and enjoying the great outdoors. Mushing was a life long dream of Jason's and when the chance arose to get into it, his family went all in.
His hobbies include spending time in the mountains with his family either on their side by side ATV or out riding their horses.
His mushing highlight was in 2015 finishing 7th in the Yukon quest and 18th in Iditarod as a rookie in both races. What a year!
In the future, he would love to have his wife, Jenn, and daughters, Jessica and Mackenzie, all do a race together at some point.
He lists an embarassing dog moment when he was doing a presentation on dog sledding and leadership to a gymnasium full of kids when one of his lead dogs, Lenny, decided he liked one of the sponsors and started marking his territory on her leg!!!
Favorite quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you dont take!" ~Wayne Gretzky
Brett, 46, became interested in mushing when reading books with his son, Spencer, about the Yukon and sled dogs. “My son made me do it!”
His mushing highlight was receiving the Red Lantern award at Race to the Sky in 2012 as well as midnight runs under a full moon and mushing and camping with his son. Brett was the winner of the ECX 200 mile race the last 2 years!
He lists an embarrassing dog situation as being when he was being dragged through Lincoln, Montana on Hiway 200 at midnight and couldn’t stop on the pavement. He ended up in the parking lot of the local steakhouse. He relates a funny story as being when his veterinarian told him his dogs were awfully fat to be running the Race to the Sky, and he told the veterinarian she was awfully fat to be calling his dogs fat.
His goals for the future are to eventually run the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod…and perhaps find a new veterinarian.
Maeva started out mushing running tours for Frank Teasly in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She is a rookie to the Eagle Cap Extreme and tells us her mushing highlight includes running through 2ft puddles in West Yellowstone. Her hobbies include kayaking, hiking, running dogs, and rafting.
Steve is a 4 year veteran of the Eagle Cap Extreme and was the 200 mile winner in 2011. Steve got started mushing after buying a dog from a fellow Washington musher, Don Duncan. His mushing highlight was finishing his rookie Iditarod with 15 dogs.
"Dream big and dare to fail." ~ Col. Norman Vaughn
David says he got starting mushing by meeting the wrong people. He says his mushing highlight is every time he runs, but he hopes to someday run the Beargrease.
Gabe started her interest in mushing when her friend had a litter of pups when she was a teenager and she fell in love with the dogs. Then after 2 years of helping train them she ran her first race, the Denali Dash 120.
She says her "favorite moments out on the trail are when I get to see my dogs really enjoying what they do. Their energy is contagious and wonderful to be around."
Bino’s love of the outdoors is evident in his hobbies. “I never paddled a boat I didn’t like!” he states. He grew up im Phoenix and went to college in Tucson. He traveled to Alaska in the summers to work in the fish industry. There, he says, he met the “wrong people...mushers.” He ran tours in Sun Valley from 1990-1998. He started his own kennel & began racing to test himself & his huskies.
Bino’s mushing highlights have been numerous over 18 years, but he says the best came in 2005 when he got the opportunity to bring huskies to Wallowa County and met “the great people of this community.” Otherwise earning the veterinarian’s award for “Best Cared for Team” in both the ECX 100 & 200 has been the best experience in his career. He says it’s a “tremendous honor to be recognized by the sport’s finest veterinarians for conservative decision making and dog driving.”
Fowler’s goals are to be a great husband, build a pole barn, remodel the kitchen & install flooring, fill his salmon tags, & steer clear of trouble.
Clayton started mushing in 1998 with hounds to hunt lion and check trap line in the wilderness. In 2008 he switched to Alaskan Huskies. He lists his mushing highlight as receiving the Eagle Cap Extreme's "Best Cared for Team." His goal is to keep on loving dogs for 50 more years.
Perry says his most embarrassing dog moment was when his team went "off course" in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming running over a cameraman and through spectator's lawns and gardens.
Morgan has been watching and helping with the Eagle Cap Extreme for as long as she can remember. She got her mushing start when one of the ECX mushers offered her a dog and she couldn't say no.
Her mushing highlight was helping a Czech musher at the LaGrande Odysee, when she was an exchange student in France.
Morgan plans to eventually have a full sled dog team, but will probably wait until after she finishes college. She just applied to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and if she decides to go to college there, she says she will definitely help with the Yukon Quest!
The Hassilev family stared mushing when they got a Chinook as a puppy to be a companion for their older mixed-breed dog. They attended a pull clinic at the Cascade Sled Dog Club and began a rapid and slippery slope into mushing.
David hopes to expand their small kennel and experience level in order to run longer distance races such as the Eagle Cap Extreme 100 and 200 mile races.
Connie got started mushing when her first Husky would pull her around on her roller blades. Her husband then bought her a sled dog ride with Perry Solmonson and she was hooked!
Her mushing highlight was winning the Best Kept Team from the Northwest Sled Dog Association for the 2013-2014 season. Her team is all rescues or re-homes. She is so proud of them!
The 60 year old's goal for the future is to stay upright on the runners for as long as she can.
Connie's most embarrassing dog situation: "My dogs quit on me during a dry land race. That's when I came up my kennel name, Weeno Pullya. It's Native American for "lose some weight, lady!" I had to practically push the cart back."
In the late 80’s Dina lived in Colorado and the hiked a lot with her 2 husky hybrid dogs and she watched some local sprint races. When she moved back to Washington state she bought a sled and started collecting and breeding Siberian Huskies. She did many recreational activities with her dogs, started a group called Work-9 to do fun runs, did the Oregon Dune Run, and the Mail Run in Quesnel, BC Canada. Her first race was the Cascade Quest where she realized her Siberians were not competitive enough, so she started collecting Alaskans.
Dina’s mushing highlight was a number of years ago during the Cascade Quest. She had doing a lot of training on hills and on the first huge hill of that race she and her team went charging up and they startled the race marshal that was kicked back on his snow machine. He said “What are you doing here?” It turned out she was leading the whole pack!
Dina hopes to one day retire and buy a coffee plantation in Kona, Hawaii. “I figure if I put it out there enough, it could happen!”
Susan Parraga, 55, was our first local musher to enter the Eagle Cap Extreme! She has been running dogs around their Wallowa County property or taking them out carting for fifteen years but had mostly concentrated on showing her dogs rather than racing them. She and her husband would hook up 2 to 4 dogs and run them around their yard. It was 2 years ago that some of her dogs participated in the ECX Junior Race and last year her team ran in the 31 mile, 2 day ECX Race. Now she says it's HER turn to catch up!
She says her mushing highlight so far does not involve her, because her dogs are more experienced that she is. Her highlight was watching her dogs finish the Eagle Cap Extreme 31 mile, 2 day event in 2016.
Parraga has owned and bred multiple AKC champions and several years ago bred one of the top 25 Siberians. Her current team includes AKC Champion and Pointed show dogs. Her long term goal is to get a sled dog title for her dogs and exhibit in the sled dog class at the National Specialty. But first, she wants to finish this race!
“I have Siberian Huskies, it is a challenge to keep our of embarrassing situations!” Parraga writes. When passing by a vendor’s table, her foundation bitch jumped up and gobbled all of the snacks. For years afterwards, whenever that vendor saw them coming, she would clear her table."
Susan's favorite quote: "Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love, faith, and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." ~ Roger Caras
Jane Devlin, 53, started her mushing adventures by rescuing Siberian Huskies in California. After attending a mushing boot camp with some rescued Siberian Huskies, she relocated to central Oregon to learn more about the sport and have access to trails and a mushing community.
Devlin includes running the Pedigree Stage Stop 8 dog Classic, chasing a moose at the Priest Lake Race, and having dogs that trust her and are a pleasure to work with as her mushing highlights thus far.
Jane’s goals are to make her dogs the best they can be in every aspect of the their lives.
She describes an embarrassing situation: “One of my dogs used to eat people’s jackets if they left food in the pockets. I bought a few jackets, kept my friends, and the dog lived to be 14.”
Another time she made her leaders turn the team around twice in a race when they knew the right trail. She bought them hamburgers as an apology!
Charlotte is a 16 year old exchange student from Austria who is hosted by a mushing family here in Wallowa County. She came here with a fear of dogs but has been persuaded to try her hand at mushing. Her family at home in Austria includes her parents, Claudia, Josef, and my siblings Katharina, Isabella, Elias, and her host family: Renee, Craig, and my mushing teacher Morgan.
She enjoys reading, running dogs with her sister, shopping, and make-up.
Her Sponsors include her "my wonderful host family and Jereld Rice for lending me dogs."
Christina's interest in mushing started when she was just four years old, after watching the movie Balto. Then and there she decided she was going to run, and win, the Iditraod Trail Sled Dog Race. Her mom thought it was just a phase and that she would soon move on to something else. Her mom was definitely wrong! Christina was 13 years old before she was allowed to get her first dog, and her team has continued to grow!
The Iditarod is still a long term goal for Christina, but for now she has her sights on numerous 100 to 300 mile races in the US.
One of Christina's favorite quotes is by Bethany Hamilton: "Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you."