Author: Brian (56 posts)


Did You Know?

Did you know it is estimated that sled dogs use anywhere between 10,000-12,000 calories during one day of racing? Some people believe that figure is even higher! To put that into perspective: If the average sled dog = 50 lbs And if the average adult = three times that amount, or 150 lbs Then, that …

Dependable Deliveries

Mushers are consistently met with surprises along the trail: unexpected weather, a moose on the trail, poor trail conditions, a broken sled, etc. However, the things that come unexpectedly aren’t always negative, and Jessie Royer was the recipient of such a positive occurrence.  Jessie was the fourth musher to reach Unalakleet following Nicolas Petit, Peter …

Booties Galore

Many students and classes have reached out asking about those “shoes” on the dogs’ feet. Here’s some information to help you out! The little shoe-like slippers that dogs wear on their feet are called booties. In order to accommodate all dogs, booties come in small, medium, and large sizes. Although you will see some mushers …

Takotna Checkpoint…..√

All of the mushers have officially come and gone through the Takotna checkpoint. If you look at the description of Takotna on the Iditarod website, it says, “This is one of the smallest towns with one of the biggest welcomes.” Having had the opportunity to witness how this checkpoint operates, I couldn’t agree more! When …

All for the Dogs

The Iditarod and the mushers pride themselves on making sure that the dogs are always healthy and safe. Throughout the race, volunteer veterinarians can be seen routinely performing examinations on the dogs. Even if they appear to be in great condition, vets still check their health and status. This year, there’s approximately 50 volunteer vets …

24-hour Rest and Time Differential

Greetings from Takotna, where numerous mushers are currently using their mandatory 24-hour rest. For those of you who might not know, according to rule 13, mushers must take one 24-hour rest at any checkpoint. They are also required to take two additional 8-hour rests—one needs be completed at any checkpoint along the Yukon River, and …

Working for a Rest

It has been a very busy day at Nikolai. Mushers have been arriving one after another since the early morning. The first musher to make it into the checkpoint was 2018 Iditarod Champion, Joar Leifseth Ulsom. He arrived around 6:30 A.M. After a couple of hours, it felt like a musher was arriving every 15-20 …

Drop Bags in Nikolai

Many people are  often curious about how mushers can have enough supplies for themselves and their dogs as they travel along the Iditarod Trail and make their way to Nome. At almost every checkpoint that a musher arrives at, he/she has a drop bag, or several drop bags, waiting there. For most mushers, planning what …

Nome Bound

And so it begins! All 52 mushers have successfully left the Willow starting line and are making their way, approximately 1,000 grueling miles, to Nome, AK. Mushers and their teams will traverse some of the most challenging terrain that is beautiful in so many ways.  Walking through the musher staging area before the restart, it …

A View From Behind

Every year, lucky Iditarod fans have the opportunity to be an IditaRider during the ceremonial start of the race. Essentially, IditaRiders are people who get to ride in the sled of one of the Iditarod mushers. I was incredibly fortunate to ride in the sled of Ramey Smyth, who’s wearing bib #6 during this year’s …