The White Mountain Layover

Hello friends,

Martin Buser puts a bootie on his dog in White Mountain checkpoint.

Usually I get mail from students or classrooms, but today in my doghouse I had a question from Pastor Rob. He wrote “I realize the racers have to sleep. But the fact that they seem to stop and sleep at the same place at the same time is confusing to me. This would make it seem like a real race only on the last day, right?” That’s a good point Pastor Rob. Rule #13 states that teams have to take a mandatory 24 hour layover and two 8 hour layovers – one of the 8 hours needs to be at a checkpoint on the Yukon River and the second one needs to be taken at White Mountain. Teams come in, take a break, and leave 8 hours later. Some of them may be there at the same time, but they leave 8 hours after they arrive. My K9 friends are definitely still racing as they head into White Mountain and, of course, want to get there first so they can leave first. Awwoooo! Thanks for the question.

Departing White Mountain on Fish River with White Mountain in Back Ground (Photo Credit: Jeff Schultz)

The back of the pack is still on the trail. Keep watching as mushers continue coming under the Burled Arch in Nome. Do you have a question? Email me at

Tail wags,