24 Hours

Hello friends,

While I’m writing this I know many of my K9 friends are on their 24 hour layover. It’s a little confusing, however, if you just look at the standings. This is because if you notice the check-off column, it says “24 Completed” so the box will be checked when they leave the checkpoint. Teams are allowed to take this layover at any checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail. Some mushers go into the race knowing exactly where they will be taking the 24, but sometimes the K9s have a different plan so time and place are adjusted. Keep watching . . . remember that we’ll know our true leaders once everyone takes their 24 hour layover due to the time differential. (See previous post.)

There are also 2 mandatory 8 hour layovers coming soon. One must be at a checkpoint on the Yukon River and one must be at White Mountain. It’s all spelled out in Rule #13. The most important part of this rule is that “None of the mandatory stops may be combined.”

Resting in McGrath (Photo: Siri Raitto)

While the K9s get a grrrrrrreat rest during these longer layovers, the mushers have a LOT of work to do. They lay out straw, take off booties, heat water for our food, feed us, massage our feet and shoulders, take us for individual walks, and THEN they can feed themselves and catch up on some sleep. Before we leave, the whole process is repeated.

Keep watching friends, we’re almost to the halfway point! I’ll keep you posted.

Tail wags,