Twins in the paper

 

The twins were in the paper this week – and exactly one year ago too! Last year at this time we were in Alaska for the Iditarod – where the girls got to be dog handlers for the Berington twins during the Iditarod ceremonial start. No Iditarod for us this year, but the dogsledding passion isn’t waning either. Here’s a latest story on the girls and what they’ve been up to. Sure is fun to be part of their adventures!

http://sunthisweek.com/2016/03/03/lakeville-twins-propel-toward-adventure/

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Community & People
Lakeville twins propel toward adventure
Published March 3, 2016 at 8:50 am
Teen mushers set sights on Alaska

Carlie and Chloe Beatty’s cocker spaniels are finding life a little more relaxing these days.

Years before the 15-year-old identical twins’ parents, John and Cheri Beatty of Lakeville, surprised the girls with their own team of sled dogs, Boo and Lucky often found themselves roped in as substitutes to fulfill the girls’ dog sledding aspirations.

“They pulled our sled to the ice houses, but they can’t pull much,” Chloe said with a shrug.

Identical twins Chloe and Carlie Beatty, 15 of Lakeville, are pursuing their passion for dog sled racing. (Photo submitted)
Identical twins Chloe and Carlie Beatty, 15 of Lakeville, are pursuing their passion for dog sled racing. (Photo submitted)
Even as children, no common dog could ever match the twins’ interest in the sport first ignited by a speaker who shared polar exploration tales with their third-grade classroom.

They became so enamored with dog sledding that their teacher, MaryAnn Laubach, bought them the book, “Born to Pull: The Glory of Sled Dogs.”

The girls devoured the information, practicing basic commands and reveling over the picturesque winter scenes of mushers and their dogs.

Cheri said she and John first considered the twins’ intense fascination with the sport a fad, but it became apparent their interest was far more than casual; Boo and Lucky were far from the only ones to be lassoed into mushing practice.

“I got a note from the teacher asking me, ‘Could you talk to your twins because they’re making all the kids be their sled dogs and the kids are wearing out their mittens because they have to run on their hands and feet,’ ” Cheri said, laughing.

She added many of those friends still fondly recall the special names each was bestowed by the twins as a member of the playground sled dog team.

Those imaginary adventures were hardly enough to satisfy the girls’ longing to experience dog sledding for real, and Chloe said they begged their parents for a real opportunity to try dog sledding.

Cheri said they finally decided to oblige, thinking the experience would satisfy the girls’ curiosity.

Her online search presented a musher on the Gunflint Trail near Grand Marais, and soon, the whole family was there for a weekend of instruction.

“He was this guy who lived in a teepee,” Cheri said. “He was really cool.”

Carlie and Chloe reveled in learning how to harness and care for the dogs.

“Being with the animals is like a connection that’s like amazing,” Carlie said. “We just love being with them.”

Seeing their excitement, the instructor offered to take them on an adventure instead of the standard swoop around the lake.

The family traveled into Canada, through the woods, over hills and lakes as the sled team eagerly tore ahead.

The sweeping scenery, excitement of the dogs and gentle sound of the sled skidding across the snow did not quench the twins’ desire for the experience, but grew it.

Its allure proved to be contagious.

“That’s when John and I were like, ‘OK, this is really cool,’ ” Cheri said. “I think for us trying to get it out of their system we got hooked on it.”

Once their parents joined the twins’ passion for the sport, opportunities ignited.

The family took more dog sledding adventures when at their cabin in Ely, then in 2014, the Beattys purchased their own dogs and Chloe and Carlie competed in the City of Lakes Loppet Race for the first time.

Despite their team of older, experienced dogs, sold by other mushers because they were considered past their past prime, the twins’ passion proved to be bolstered by uncanny natural talent.

Competing against mushers with years more experience, Carlie placed fourth and Chloe won the entire race.

They have gone on to compete in additional dog sled races, and are planning to compete in the legendary 1,100-mile Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska as soon as they qualify at age 18.

This year in the Loppet, Chloe came in third place and Carlie was a second later, earning fourth place, despite some confusion that took them a couple miles off course.

Cheri credits the girls’ speed and agility to their years of extensive gymnastics training and their fast sled exits to run every hill alongside the dogs.

As unique as a set of mushing twins are, they are not the first.

When a surprised Cheri saw a television show featuring another pair of blonde, blue-eyed twin dog sled racers, she quickly connected with Kristy and Anna Berington of Alaska online.

A friendship began and at the Beringtons’ invitation, the family traveled there to meet in 2014.

The Beringtons also invited Carlie and Chloe to be part of the opening ceremony of the Iditarod last March.

Cheri said dog sledding has sparked much more interest in winter activities for the whole family, including ice fishing, skiing and winter camping.

“It’s pretty cool for us to be a part of this whole experience,” Cheri said.

Laubach, their former teacher, invited the twins back to her Lakeview Elementary classroom last year when they shared news of their dog sledding adventures to the next generation of third-graders.

“I’ve been watching them grow up on Facebook,” Laubach said. “It’s just been really, really fun. These two girls have so many opportunities. They have done things some people never do in their whole lifetime. It’s just so fun to watch what they’re going to do next.”

One thought on “Twins in the paper

  1. This is fantastic! I just discovered your blog and I love it! I’ve been mushing for 30 years and now have a 2nd grader growing up with it. No better childhood experience! Keep mushing, Mama!

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