Pack-Burro Racing? When I read this article it sparked a memory from the end of MSO's Episode #4. We were making our way down the last portion of an almost non-existent trail when we noticed a family watching us from across the field. Of course our first instinct was that maybe we were on their land by mistake and they might not appreciate us being here, thankfully that was not the case.
The father came up and greeted us by shaking our hands, he introduced us to his wife and kids and asked what the trail behind us was like. We imparted our tales of narrow, rocky, winding terrain and at that point he said that he usually only goes hunting up that trail, and takes his mule with him to haul out the game. We instantly thought he meant his ATV, but no he meant his mule! I guess there really are quite a few ways to overland out there.
"It’s July and the Colorado pack-burro racing season will soon be in full swing, with the sport’s Triple Crown taking place right here in Central Colorado in the towns of Fairplay, Leadville and Buena Vista."
"Pack-burro racing is Colorado’s original adventure sport, conceived in 1949 with the first race from Leadville to Fairplay. With mining on the wane, civic leaders in the mining towns saw a way to parlay local legend – in this case miners racing with their burros from the surrounding hillsides back to the courthouse to file a claim – into economic development. As a tourism attraction, they masterminded the 23-mile race over 13,187-foot Mosquito Pass. Over this course, participants raced burros loaded with packsaddles that had to weigh 33 pounds and contain a pick, pan and shovel. The burros could be led or driven with a lead rope not to exceed 15 feet in length. No riding was allowed." These guys are serious about their asses, pardon the pun, but anything that has been around this long has got to be worth checking out. Happy trails!
Referenced from Central Colorado Magazine.