Metis man to travel 1,200 km by dogsled

A Manitoba man plans to dogsled more than 1,200 kilometres to Winnipeg from Churchill in January.

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba man plans to dogsled more than 1,200 kilometres to Winnipeg from Churchill in January.

Dave Daley, accompanied by 12 to 14 dogs and a support team comprised of Canadian Rangers, his son Joel, and others, plans to leave Churchill Jan. 3.

His anticipated arrival in Winnipeg on Jan. 23 is part of the Manitoba Homecoming 2010 celebrations.

Daley, 46, lives in Churchill, where he runs a company called Wapusk Adventures that teaches tourists about dogsledding, then takes them on a ride.

He is also the founder of Hudson Bay Quest, an annual dogsled race that runs between Churchill and Arviat, Nunavut.

The longest trip Daley has ever done is the 400-km Hudson Bay Quest, but he figures both he and his dogs are up for it.

“They surprise me all the time with what they can do. They’re tougher than I am,” he said.

During last year’s race, Daley spoke to member of the legislature Eric Robinson about the idea of sledding to Winnipeg.

“At the banquet he announced I was doing the run to Winnipeg, so I had to get off my butt and do it,” Daley said.

Daley plans to follow mostly hydro cutlines and snowmobile trails along the way, with a support team following along and breaking trail where need be.

He figures the trip is doable within the 20-day time frame as long as the weather co-operates and southern Manitoba gets more snowfall.

“It’s going to be a real fun experience. I’ll be enjoying the dogs, enjoying the country and seeing some new country,” he said.

Daley also hopes to learn a lot about — and from — his dogs, three of which are veterans of another team that ran both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, two famed dogsled races Daley hopes to compete in some day.

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