Iditarod Dog Sled Race 2016

Many of you may know that we live on the Iditarod trail here in Unalakleet.  Unalakleet is also a check point, it is the location of where the trail hits the coast and then heads north on its way to Nome.  We have now been here for ten years and have been able to see this race first hand.

The village becomes active with the hustle and bustle of the event. More planes are arriving bring in the mushers feed bags.  The Iditarod Air Force arrives hauling people, press, vets, and dropped dogs.  These bags are full of dog food, booties, mushers food and snacks, plus anything they think they might need at certain spots along the trail.  Often mushers send out replacement sleds or replacement runners for their sleds which are often in their food bags.  The feed bags have dry food as well as frozen salmon, moose, chicken, and a wide variety of frozen meats.

The checkpoint becomes full of straw bales for the dogs to rest on, boxes of heat to warm water for dog food, sleds, and feed bags.  The press arrives and the communications for the Iditarod race itself.  Lets not forget the vets and the checkers who help to run the check point.

The Iditarod is a fun festive  time full of action, new people, and excitement of the event.  This year we had two long time friends arrive and this added a bit more fun to the race.  It was great to see the race through their eyes which brought a newness back to the race for us.

The front runners are fun to see as they are obviously more serious and have different goals they are after.  I do enjoy the middle of the pack and later teams more as they have time to chat and they are of course on a different schedule.

More photos from the checkpoint: