Quince Mountain pulls up to the back of the Mountain Post Office pulled by two dogs with a third running alongside him.
There’s no snow on ground so he’s using a modified cart, picture a recumbent bike with four wheels instead of three and bar across the front to pull up the breaks.
This isn’t just a joy ride, though all involved certainly find joy in mission.
Quince and his sled dog team, which for this trip is made up of Pepé, Jelly, and Wickson, are delivering people’s holiday cards to the post office.
“I’m so proud. It’s our favorite mission of the whole year. I think that the dogs know there’s a mission. They have a seriousness; they have a sense of purpose,” said Quince.
Friends and strangers will send Quince and his wife Blair Baverman boxes full holiday cards. The letters are then stamped with ‘This letter was carried by sled dogs’ and a sticker with a picture of one of the dogs and the year.
Then the mail is loaded up in the back of the sled and delivered by sled dogs to the post office.
“Everybody seems to love it. We get so much support,” said Quince.
This is the 4th year BraverMountain Mushing has offered trail mail. They do it at no cost, just for the joy it brings. It started out of Quince’s love of the mail as a child.
“You know, [I] would try to mail weird stuff. We would mail weird postcards, try to mail a coconut or a piece of wood or something. Just love the history of the post office, postal service,” said Quince. “A lot of our dog sled races are connected to old mail delivery routes that were done by dog sled teams.”
This year Quince has delivered more than 5,000 cards to the post office, a record-setting year.
While people who receive the letters in mail are excited to know their card was delivered by sled.
It also brings a little magic to the town of Mountain when they see Quince and his team pull up to the post office.
Post office clerk Carrie Seiltz says it’s gotten bigger each year, she plans to track the exact number this year.
“I do have a lady I call the QVC queen of the town. She gets a lot of packages, but nothing compared to this,” said Seiltz.
While it’s a lot of work to stamp and deliver all that mail, Quince says he and Blair are happy to put in the effort to spread a little holiday joy.
“I think there’s a kind of magic and a holiday magic that can happen with these dogs just bringing people’s mail on the trail,” said Quince.