Snowmachiners' support of Tustumena 200 recognized

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2004

There are a great many individuals and organizations that dedicated time and energy toward the recent running of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race, for which we are most appreciative. This year's event marked 20 years of this Kenai Peninsula Iditarod qualifying event, and it was successful in many ways, but there is one area we would really like to highlight.

This would be the cooperation and efforts made by the multitude of snowmachiners in the Caribou Hills. For several years, the Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers Snowmachine Club has stepped up to the plate in support of the Tustumena 200 to assist with trail grooming and marking. This year, the trail grooming the club did was of great benefit.

Additionally, it was obvious to the mushers, that there has been a concentrated effort by the club to educate snowmachiners on proper trail etiquette. Mushers specifically commented on how polite the snowmachiners they encountered were, as well as how remarkable it was that the hundreds of wooden laths lining the trail were undisturbed.

In years gone by, renegade snowmachiners used the trail markers designating the sled dog race course as targets, deliberately ruining miles and miles of marked course by running over the laths. It was fantastic this year, that with the many markers carefully place by Tustumena 200 volunteers, very few were disturbed.

In our opinion, this is a testament to the active partnership shared between the mushers and the snowmachiners toward mutual enjoyment of our winter trails. We have, and will continue to, advocate that mushers join their local snowmachine clubs. We would also encourage other winter enthusiasts to do the same.

The Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers Snow-machine Club deserves a round of applause for all that they contribute toward improving winter recreation here on the Kenai Peninsula, and again, for the help they offer toward the Tustumena 200 every year. We personally appreciate it.

Paul Gebhardt - Kasilo

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