GILPIN COUNTY - The ongoing drought and lack of snowpack in Colorado isn't keeping mushers from running with their dogs. Instead of using a sled, Will Williams lets his five Siberians pull an ATV around old mining trails near Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
"I have to put on a little bit of gas to help them out - but it's a controlled, safe way of running the dogs," Williams said. "It's just a way of getting them out."
Williams took up the sport of mushing five years ago after moving to Colorado. He joined the Colorado Mountain Mushers, which he describes as a social club that also holds several races across the state every year.
He says his favorite part of the sport is the teamwork.
"Everybody has their own responsibilities and roles within the team," Williams said. "The lead dogs have to listen to commands and make certain decisions. The guys in the back do a lot of the weight and the pulling. It's my job to run with them and to make sure that we're going in the right direction. So it's a whole team-sort of exercise."
To learn more about the Colorado Mountain Mushers, visit www.colomtnmushers.org.