The motto of the Mud Dogs is “Press On Regardless”, and they did just that in the 2016 Mud Dog run in early February. The run is a snowmobile ride to the annual Minnesota United Snowmobile Association’s Winter Rendezvous event and 2016 was the 25th anniversary of the Mud Dogs. In recent years, it’s also been a fundraising event for Rein in Sarcoma, in memory of Mud Dog Eric Skogman who died of a sarcoma cancer in 2011.
This year’s Mud Dog run for RIS began in Elk River and ended in Hinckley. It’s not a long distance, but seems a lot longer when there is minimal snow and very rough trails. Joel Mellenthin and Jeremiah Jones set out from Elk River on a Wednesday morning, with Lynn Keillor and Paula Jones drawing the short straws to drive the support vehicles.
Both snowmobilers and vehicles used the Highway 169 corridor to reach Mille Lacs and spend the first night at Izaty’s Map of 2016 Mud Rog Ride Resort. When they arrived, Paula and Lynn pulled extra machines off the trailers and did their own Mud Dog ride.
One special stop on this route is a particular place in Kathio State Park, where ashes from C.J. Ramstad, the original Mud Dog, and Eric Skogman are scattered. A stop was made in the park to honor these two. Then, the machines rode on Mille Lacs in a way that an aerial photograph would see a large M and D created by snowmobile tracks.
The next day, the ride continued in a southeast direction to arrive in Hinckley. While there, the Mud Dogs had a special hospitality room with Mud Dog memorabilia, a map that showed all Mud Dog routes through the years and a special raffle for cool prizes — with the profits going to RIS.
In all, we raised more than $5,000 for RIS including a $2,000 anonymous matching challenge gift!. This brings the Mud Dog donation total to over $42,000 since 2009. We’re a small and scrappy group, but we feel it’s important to support the RIS mission and its multi-faceted assistance to people like Eric.
To learn more about the 2016 Mud Dig Ride or make a contribution, click here.
Learn more about Eric.
Submitted by Lynn Keillor