Our view: Welcome back, Beargrease!
Snowmobilers, snowshoers, skiers and others breathed a collective sigh of relief those first two days of December when more than 10 1/2 inches of snow fell on Duluth. The 1 1/2 -inch dusting nearly a month earlier and the barely 2 inches that fel...
Snowmobilers, snowshoers, skiers and others breathed a collective sigh of relief those first two days of December when more than 10½ inches of snow fell on Duluth. The 1½-inch dusting nearly a month earlier and the barely 2 inches that fell three weeks after that easily could have been just moreteasing from Old Man Winter. He has toyed that way with winter enthusiasts the past few less-than-snowy years.
But then December arrived with a dumping of white that was followed by a couple of additional storms.
And nowhere was the weather more welcomed than in the downtown Duluth offices of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. A lack of snow forced the annual race to be postponed and -- gasp --canceled last winter. It was the first time in 25 years mushers didn't run their dogs from Duluth to Grand Marais and back, pausing to pay tribute to John Beargrease, the son of an Anishinabe chief who delivered mail along the North Shore. In the wintertime the Beaver Bay native made his deliveries by dogsled.
Winter just wasn't winter without the Beargrease. The event's triumphant return is all the reason anyone needs to slip on their choppers and boots and to get involved with a true Northland wintertime tradition.
Opening ceremonies, with bib draws, an expo and pizza buffet, begin at 5 p.m. today at Grandma's Sports Garden. Vet checks are at the restaurant tomorrow from 7 a.m. to1:30 p.m. Also tomorrow, the always-popular cutest puppy contest is from noon to 2 p.m. at Fitger's Brewery Complex. On race day, Sunday, gatesat Ordean Stadium open at11 a.m. with shout-along countdowns and the dogs sent onthe trail at 1 p.m. AcrossEast Superior Street, Positive Energy Outdoor (Ed)ventures will be offering dogsled rides for kids ages 3 to 12.
Need one more reason to be a part of the festivities? Additional snow is in the forecast during the race. Winter is back, Beargrease and all.