Yukon River – 8 Hour Rests

Dear Friends,

As teams make their way on the southern route of the Iditarod Trail, you may notice that it has gotten colder!  

Brent Sass came into Shageluk last night with frost all over him! [photo credit: Insider]

For the teams leading the race, today’s question will be, “Where will they take their 8 hour mandatory rest on the Yukon River?”  The checkpoints of Shageluk, Anvik, and Grayling are all possibilities.  These communities have not had as many visits by the Iditarod because of poor conditions some years.  The race in 2017 switched to begin in Fairbanks, and in 2021, the race was shortened to the “Golden Loop” because of the pandemic. 

You will see children and adults coming out to get photos with their favorite mushers, getting autographs and helping out, as it is exciting when you live in a remote area that doesn’t usually get many visitors.

Giving an autograph to a fan in Anvik on a dog bootie [photo credit: H. Sloan]

Two things can happen while teams are running on the flat, frozen Yukon River.  

  1.  It is a time when mushers can let their dogs run faster like the dogs WANT to!  
  2. It can be boring for us dogs, just looking at the flat river.  Sometimes mushers need to think of ways to motivate us, just like teachers do for students if things are always the same.

Our 2023 Teacher on the Trail™, Juli Westrich, is now in Anvik, so watch for her article on what happens today.  Which teams will choose to rest in Anvik?  Because Grayling is only 18 miles past Anvik, sometimes mushers choose to go there.  There is a special treat waiting for the first musher to Anvik, though:  a gourmet dinner being prepared by chefs!

This is where teams come up from the river into Anvik. [photo credit: H. Sloan]

Thanks for reading!  Some students wondered why it sounds like I am a dog.  The Iditarod posts articles by “canine reporters!”  See our pictures by clicking  Zuma’s Pawprints in the Iditarod EDU tab.

Until next time,