Meet the Mushers – and Marbleton and Big Piney

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It takes a village – actually two villages in this case – like Marbleton and Big Piney to throw the annual Meet the Mushers community dinner during the Pedigree Stage Stop Race’s quick stopover on Jan. 29 at the Marbleton Senior Center.

The dining room was filled and head cook Chiaretta Johnson confided that she prepared shepherd’s pie to feed 200, including a vegetarian version. Diners quickly got in line for salad, rolls and a long, long row of Dutch oven desserts and desserts brought by local bakers – with a little ice cream on top – inspired by Dr. Bob Beiermann.

He and Sherri Redden are the Big Piney-Marbleton Stage Stop Committee, with the annual mushers’ dinner planned for the night after a day of dogsled racing for the Pinedale Stage and before the Big Piney-Marbleton Stage, usually at Middle Piney.

With junior mushers rushing to deliver homemade dog treats, race director Dan Carter and Diane  pulling swag raffle tickets and mushers introducing themselves, the scene was hectic but all in fun, with nearly everyone there knowing each other.

Special honors included a Dutch oven gift to rookie musher Jess Moore of Bondurant, for stepping into an unknown situation to replace Jackson Hole Iditarod’s experienced musher Alix Crittenden.

Beiermann and Redden made a very special presentation to longtime resident Warren Sorensen, who donates $100 every year – the same price as a banner sponsorship, Beiermann noted. They had a special race banner made for Sorenson, who did smile a little.