It’s not a race and not quite training — Karen Yeargain describes La Pine Mushing Weekend at La Pine State Park, which happened earlier this month, as a fun weekend for people to play with their pups. Yeargain, owner of the Siberian husky sled dog kennel Tumnatki Siberians in Prineville, organized this year’s annual event, the 15th of its kind. She ran 12-dog teams harnessed to carts and ATVs, though others brought as few as one or two dogs and harnessed them to mountain bikes.
“Just because a dog is a husky doesn’t mean that they’re cut out to be a sled dog,” Karen Yeargain says. “The dog has to want to do it. You can’t push a rope.”
The first sled dog races in Central Oregon take place in Chemult on the third weekend in January. Yeargain said she competes in the mid-distance class, which consists of teams of six to eight dogs running between 15 and 35 miles a day.