Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Calumet Michigan

After watching the start of the second leg of the CopperDog 150 in Eagle Harbor we drove back down to Calumet to watch the CopperDog 150 Dog House Race. As it turned out it wasn’t all that much. Teams were supposed to dress up and design a dog house for the race. Most of the team just pulled a sled down the course.

More photos from the race can be found on my website.

Several team members pushed and pulled a dog house down the course with another team member riding in the dog house.

When they reached the halfway point one of the team had to through dog biscuits into a dog dish. As it turned out it was harder that one would think. The best approach seemed to be to land them in front of the dish and let them bounce in.

While one team member tossed dog biscuits the other team members turned the sled around. Once the team member had successfully completed the dog biscuit toss the team then raced back to the finish line.


The weekend of the CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race is usually the weekend that my wife and I make the last ski trip of the season. We usually drive up to Ironwood, Michigan and ski at ABR in the afternoon then drive over to Bond Fall to photograph the waterfall and then head over to Calumet, Michigan. If we have time we ski in the afternoon before heading over to the race in the evening. We try to get to the race venue early so we can walk around and take in the pre-race activities. As you can see by the first shot we were early. We noticed that the starting line had been moved down the street about fifty yards.

More photos from the race can be found on my website.

While the adults were bundled up and trying to keep warm the kids were enjoying the snow.

We walked around watching the mushers get their teams and equipment ready for the race. The mushers usually feed their dogs late in the afternoon and then put them back in their stalls until they are ready to hook them to the sleds.

As race time neared we walked over to the area where we wanted to be to watch the teams start. On the way I noticed the display of dogs in the shop window.

We typically stand across from the announcers booth where the teams will typically be when they leave the starting line.

While we were waiting for the start of the race various groups were getting their photos taken in the starting area. The large group was the volunteer veterinarians for the race.

The color guard was getting ready for the national Anthem for each country represented. This year they they played the U.S., Canada and South African Anthems.

Before the race starts the trail crews and the police head out onto the trail to make sure the mushers have a clear trail.

The official photographer taking photos of the first team out.

The first musher to leave the starting line.

Typically when a team arrives at the starting line the musher walks to to the lead dogs and then walks back to the sled giving encouragement to each of the dogs.

Some of the dogs are a little more excited that others.

Each sled carries an anchor. When the team is at the starting line the anchor is use to anchor the sled so the team can’t take off. As the musher gets ready to leave they are handed the anchor. This musher is putting the anchor onto the sled.

The kids had a front row seat. The adults were freezing and the kids were sitting in the snow.

After watching from the starting line we walked back toward the staging area and watched the volunteers bring the teams to the starting line. Having moved the starting line about fifty yards down the course made it easier to get the teams to the starting line and allowed several teams to be in line at the same time.

After the teams were on the course there were some fireworks which we were able to watch from our hotel while enjoying some hot apple cider.

This past weekend my wife and I drove up to Calumet, Michigan to watch the CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race and to do a little cross country skiing. We just made it in time to walk around before the race and take in the sites. More photos from the race can be found on my website.

The mushers are usually happy to let the kids pet the dogs.

Generally the mushers feed the dogs a couple of hours before the race and then put them back into their homes until they are ready to race. They usually look a little pathetic as the look out the doors. Some of the dogs are a little more reluctant than others to be put back into their homes. This one put up quite a struggle before he finally was put into his home.

The runners on the sleds are a fiberglass material and the mushers have to wax them before the race.

Generally the Michigan Tech and Finlandia University mascots are at the race.

A popular spot before the race is the Hot Chocolate and cookie stand.The sheriffs department heads out onto the course before the race to insure there are no problems along the course which crosses the main road in several locations.

There are a lot of official photographers to capture the race. Video seems to be growing in popularity.

The color guard brings out the flags before the race. This year there were racers from South Africa, Canada and the United States.

Just before the race starts the trail crew heads out to insure that everything is ready for the race. The Michigan Tech and Finlandia mascots were riding on the sleds.

We watched from the start line as the 10 team sled dogs headed out onto the course.


This weekend is the CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race in Calumet, Michigan. It is a great race to watch in an area that also offers some outstanding cross country skiing. More photos of the CopperDog 150 can be found on my website.








On the final day of the race all of the mushers that started the race also completed in this final leg. This is the first time this has happened. Normally only the participants in the full 150 race participate in the final two days.


It was a windy, snowing and a much cooler day than the previous day. The weather made for some great shots.





A few folks were dressed for the weather.



The crowds were much small than they were for the start of the race.



At the start and finish of the race there is a bag check. All of the teams are required to carry a certain amount of gear in their sleds.




Not every dog who starts the race finishes the race. If a dog becomes injured or gets tired the musher will put him in the sled and he gets to ride the rest of the race. there were four or five dogs that didn’t make it to the finish of this years race.




Some of the teams really wanted to keep going. This dog acted like he was at the start of the race rather than the finish.


End to a long day.


More photos from the race can be found on my website.


As we have for the last few years we drove up to Calumet at the end of February to do some cross country skiing and to watch the CopperDog Sled Dog Race. Last year we were out skiing and missed some of the preparations for the race. This year it was way too warm to ski so we walked over to the race well before it started. As you can see we were among the first to arrive.


It was so warm that the street department was hauling in snow so the sleds could make it from the staging area to the to the starting line. The main intersection was about a foot deep in water and slush. It remained a problem throughout the race as mushers and volunteers had trouble navigating through the deep slush.



We walked around and watched the mushers feed the dogs. Typically they bring them out of the trucks and feed them and then they are put back into their house until they are hooked up to the sled.



When they are brought out for feeding it’s a good time for the kids to walk around and pet the dogs. A number of the dogs were more interested in getting attention from the kids than they were in eating their pre race meal.



There is a lot of gear that has to be organized before the race.


The start of the CopperDog takes place at night. Once the dogs are at the starting line the musher walk through the team and talks to each of the dogs.



It takes a lot of volunteers to help get the teams from the staging area to the starting line and keep the dogs in line before they start.



Some dogs are more excited than others. Some of the teams are very calm and others a wild with excitement.


This spectator was getting a little tired toward the end of the evening.


More photos from the race can be found on my website.

On the last day of the race we spent the morning skiing. We arrived at the race well ahead of the time the first finishers were scheduled to arrive but the course conditions were very good and two teams had already arrived when we reached the course. It started to snow just as we arrived.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-15-3-_0608

Some of the mushers arrived in a group. Here three teams were neck and neck. the second team passed the first team just before the finish line.



We walked around and watched to dogs get fed. This dog was really hungry and finished his foot and tried to get the food of another dog but he was constrained by the harness.


As this team arrived another team was getting fed and they tried to stop and eat the food from the team that had already been fed.



More photos from the race can be found on my website.

We had gone skiing and were a little late arriving and most of the dogs had been fed and put back in their houses until the start of the race.



The race officials were checking the bags and the mushers were starting to get their sleds hooked up.


At the start of the race some dogs are a little more excited than others.


We watched the first tier of dogs start off and then walked around and watched the volunteers bring the sleds to the start line.


More photos from the race can be found on my website.

On Friday Afternoon we headed up to Calumet, Michigan to watch the CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race and to so some cross country skiing at the Swedetown Ski trails. This year there were over 40 teams involved in the two races. The trip took a little longer than expected. The roads in our area as still covered with an inch of ice and some of the main roads had icy patches on them.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0491

We arrived just in time to get our cold weather gear on and head over to the start of the race. The first stage of the CopperDog is run at night and involves teams racing all three stages as well as teams racing the CopperDog 40 which is the first stage of the race. While my wife, first photo, was intimated by the very cold conditions apparently not everyone else was.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0436

CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0429Before the race we like to walk around and watch the mushers get their teams ready for the race. This involves getting the dogs out and feeding them. Once they are fed they are put back into their houses until race time. I was watching one racer chop up frozen meat to heat up. It makes something like s soup for the dogs. All of the dogs were attached to a single chain along the side of the truck when one end of the chain came loose and all of the dogs ran down to the next truck to visit. It took the mushers a while to get them untangled.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0433

The CopperDog is run on 150 snowmobile trails in the Keweenaw. Just before the race starts a team of snowmobilers head out onto the trail to make sure the trails are clear and signs are posted to watch out for sled dog teams. It is also necessary to make sure the sled dog teams safely cross the roads.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0451

The start of the race takes place on the main street of Calumet. The day before the race they bring in snow and cover the street with snow. This year it wasn’t a problem getting snow since they have had almost 300 inches.

We took up a position right across from the announcers booth where the race starts. When the teams arrive at the starting line the dogs are out on the course and the sled is held at the starting gate. The sled is then hooked at the starting gate so the dogs can’t take off. Since the dogs are raring to go the sled can spend some time in the air as the dogs try to head out onto the course. In addition to being cold it was also snowing. It takes a lot of volunteers to make a sled dog race happen and sometimes the dogs are a handful in their exuberance to get out onto the course.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0488


We watched about half of the race from the starting line but then started to get cold feet standing for over an hour so we decided to get a hot drink and walk around watching some of the preparation activities. Some of the dogs were still waiting to get hooked up while others were already on the course.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0502

This is a volunteer trying to hold an exuberant dog back before they headed to the start of the race. In the background you can see a dog with a red light on its harness. Most of the lead dogs have lights so the musher can keep track of where the dogs are.CopperDog-150-Sled-Dog-Race-14-3-_0542

After the start of the first stage of the race we headed back to the motel for a hot meal. More Photos from the Race can be found on my website.

This past weekend we were in Calumet, Michigan to watch the Copperdog150 Sled Dog Race. We spent most of Friday cross country skiing while we waited for the 7 p.m. start of the race. Bruce Magnusson was the winner of the of the race. He is shown here on his way into Copper Harbor.


We arrived in downtown Calumet a couple of hours before the start of the race. Most of the mushers were feeding their dogs and laying out their gear prior to hooking up the dogs. Once the dogs are fed they are put back into their motel rooms until just before the start of the race.




As the race neared we took up a position near the starting line across from the official starters station. It takes quite a few volunteers to get a dog team to the starting line. The dogs are excited and can easily drag the volunteers down the course. Once the command to go is given the dogs leap into action. In a number of cases some of the dogs were caught off guard and were dragged off of their feet by the other dogs.



The next morning we drove over to Eagle Harbor for the start of the second stage of the race. Even though some of the dogs had been racing until past midnight they were ready to go again the next morning. We watched all of the teams head out for Copper Harbor. The plan was to ski around Eagle Harbor but the ski trail was in tough shape so we drove to Copper Harbor to watch the finish of the second stage of the race.



There were free drinks and treats in the community center in Copper Harbor so we stopped by for some hot coco and treats. We wandered around town waiting for the dog teams to arrive. They seemed to be late in arriving so we ended up walking up the trail quite a ways. When they did arrive there was some stiff competition as they came down the hill into town. There were a few problems getting into town. The trail was being shared with snowmobiles and there were some sharp turns. The dogs were having problems figuring out where to go. We watched most of the teams arrive before heading back to Calumet.



The final day of the race was a beautiful sunny day with minus degree temperatures. We decided to spend the morning skiing at Swedetown before returning to town to watch the finish of the race.

There was some stiff competition at the finish line. In one case there were three racers running close together. In another case two racers jumped off of their sleds and ran with their dogs to the finish line. As I mentioned it was a beautiful day. One racer crossed the finish line without a shirt on. As I recall he started out with ten dogs but only has six at the finish of the race so he probably had to work a little harder than some of the other racers.




Several dogs must have been hurt on the race because they were riding in the sled when the racers finished. Once the racers finish the race they sometimes put their young children in the sled for the ride back to the truck. It was a weekend of cross country skiing and sled dog racing.




More photos from the CopperDog 150 can be found on my website.

%d bloggers like this: