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An RVing Trip to the Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon

I think I have become a big fan of winter RVing.

And dog sled races.

Last year, we reported on the Michigan UP 200 dog sled race. Our friend and fellow Roadtreker Gary Hennes met us up there and told us about the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth, which is the longest such sled dog race in the Lower 48 states.

And so we went this year. We boondocked overnight in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere and I volunteered and worked on the communications team, using my amateur radio gear in the Roadtrek to help keep track of the mushers and get them any help they needed.

The above video tells the story. It was a ball.

But I will concede, the return home from the John Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon in northern Minnesota was a long, tough drive. Once we thawed the Roadtrek out from the -55F/-68C wind chill temps after a tow to a service garage in Ironwood yesterday morning, we made our way back through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to our suburban Detroit home – a trip of more than 700 miles.

At the Mackinac Bridge, we suddenly found ourselves in marginal weather conditions. Blowing lake effect snow made restricted traffic to 20 miles an hour. We tucked in behind two snow plows and made our way slowly across the five-mile span, buffeted all the time by a howling northwest wind.

Once we got in the Lower Peninsula, we thought the lake effect snow would end. It didn’t. It followed us all the way to Bay City, about 250 miles south. Even though we were less than 85 miles from home, I was beat and we pulled into a rest area about half past midnight and we slept till sunup.

I should have slept some more when I got home but I was so excited about the video we shot of the Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon that I spend the day editing it.

I can’t think of another adventure in our Roadtrek that we enjoyed more.

Minnesota is a gorgeous state in the winter, especially the northern shore of Lake Superior that the dog sled race followed. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in the summer. We will be back.

Up above is the video. You can also see how well we fared in our RV. As we’ve been saying all along, winter camping is great!


Howling winds buffeted us as we crossed the Mackinac Bridge behind two snowplows.


That’s me with one of the musher teams passing my checkpoint. I was on the team using amateur radio to provide communications for the mushers and race officials.


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