Charlotte Clawson

Hometown: Corbett, OR

Kennel: Black Bird Racing

Lead Dog's Names: Magpie and Shrike

Years Racing: 10

When and how did you get started mushing? I kept adopting/fostering 'German Shepherds' that turned out to be huskies when they got to me from California and needed a good way to exercise them/give them a natural outlet. I eventually fell in love with a team of black dogs that were on loan from Mark Stamm at a local race, and found a yearling from him that needed a recreational mushing home. Mayhew was my first Alaskan Husky and I was hooked after him.

What have been your mushing highlights? I once attended the Ashton race without realizing that the course had changed to a COVID/low-snow location (Bear Gulch). I had planned to run only 4 dogs in the 6 dog, which wasn't a big deal in the flat cornfields, but not only was there a lot more elevation loss and gain at the Bear Gulch location - a storm blew in and it was white out/accumulating powder conditions. One of my leaders (Magpie) was only in her first season team racing (about 18 months old), and had never encountered anything like that. The dogs trucked through very challenging conditions at a significant disadvantage without an ounce of quit in them and managed not to come in dead last (or get lost). I was so proud of them for that race and learned a lot being surrounded by some much bigger (and more experienced) teams. As my daughter - now age 8 - has aged, we also spend a lot of our weekends out together on sleds splitting up my team into smaller teams and/or tandem sledding. Watching her grow in the sport plus fall in love with the dogs I've built up into the perfect Junior dogs is extremely rewarding."

Future Goals I'm just enjoying the dogs I have now and seeing what life throws at us.