Mushers in the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race passed through Nikolai on Tuesday. The first traditional village along the Iditarod Trail, Nikolai shines like an oasis for mushers and dog teams tired from the climb into the Alaska Range to the south, pummeled by the drop down to the north, and sometimes just beaten by 75 miles across the rough and desolate Farewell Burn.

Predominately Athabascan, the village of about 100 people traces its roots back thousands of years.

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