Perhaps the biggest surprise for Galena came from mushers. Generally, Iditarod dog drivers arrive in the community of 400 Friday night or that afternoon at the earliest, but with this year's blistering pace, volunteers running the checkpoint were surprised to see two-time runner-up Aliy Zirkle pull into the checkpoint just after 6 a.m.Suzanna Caldwell
Brinker has hung on as the owner and operator of a log-cabin Bush lodge since 1978 because she likes it -- and there are just enough part-time residents at Shell Lake and visitors that she can survive. "I don't make a lot of money,'' she confesses, "but it supports my lifestyle. I just love the wilderness.''Craig Medred
The 2013 Iditarod officially got under way March 3, racing into the great frozen Alaskan hinterland toward Nome from a frozen lake in tiny Willow, Alaska. Nine days later, 53-year-old Mitch Seavey became the oldest musher to ever win the Last Great Race.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race made its last stop on the Yukon River, at the village of Kaltag, mid-day Saturday with Martin Buser hanging on for dear life to a lead that had shrunk from five hours to maybe half an hour in the last half-day of racing.