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Sled dogs

Thad McCracken, from Mosier, Oregon, prepares his sled before taking a team of dogs on a training run as a snowmobiler rides past in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Thad McCracken arrived in West Yellowstone early on a Sunday morning with 16 of his dogs and parked at a trailhead for the Madison Arm Loop. The dogs, all Alaskan huskies and most of them siblings, had traveled for two days from Mosier, Oregon, to prepare for the imminent sled dog racing season.

“These dogs have trained here so much,” McCracken said. “As soon as I got here, they knew where we were at.”


The dogs were quiet in their kennels as McCracken began bolting his sled together for the 25-mile warmup run he had planned for the day.

Sled dogs

Lassie licks her chops while waiting to be released from her kennel before a training run in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

A coil of leashes for a sled dog team is set in the snow in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

Thad McCracken unloads Tango from their kennel as a teammate greets them in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

Thad McCracken puts booties on Benji before a training run in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

Rascal opens wide while barking in anticipating of a training run in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

Spot, left, stands on their hind legs as teammate Rover leaps in the air in anticipation of a training run in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Sled dogs

Fourteen dogs pulls Thad McCracken, of Mosier, Oregon, during a training run in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

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Samuel Wilson can be reached at swilson@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2603

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