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Iditarod 2013 -- Dalzell Gorge and Rohn

Jan Steves lies under her sled on a steep slope on the approach to the Dalzell Gorge. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Jan Steves negotiates a canyon in the upper Dalzell Gorge. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Christine Roalofs mushes through a relatively mild part of the trail along the Dalzell Creek. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Christine Roalofs struggles through the rutted trail in the woods along the Dalzell Gorge. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The Rohn checkpoint, headquartered in a public use cabin. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Newton Marshall arrives in Rohn. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Newton Marshall tends to his dogs at Rohn. The checkpoint is entirely in the woods. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
One of Mikhail Telpin's dogs in the Rohn checkpoint. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Matt Failor booties his dogs in preparation for leaving Rohn. He took his mandatory 24-hour rest stop in the quiet checkpoint. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Iditarod volunteers help move Matt Failor's dogs from the dog lot through the woods to the start of the trail at Rohn. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
A Rohn leprechaun wishes good luck upon the mushers. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Matt Failor leaves the Rohn checkpoint after his 24-hour rest stop. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dropped dogs get loaded into an Iditarod Air Force plane in Rohn. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dropped dogs get loaded into an Iditarod Air Force plane in Rohn. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
A dog that was dropped in Rohn looks out the window of it's plane ride home. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

Rohn is a 280-square-foot, wood-floored, wood-heated, Bureau of Land Management public-use cabin that sits lonely, deserted and hiding in the spruce trees just a little north of a seldom-used gravel airstrip in a valley between the jagged peaks of the mile-high Terra Cotta and Tea Colli mountains.

For two weeks out of the year, Rohn becomes a bustling hub of activity supporting first the Iron Dog snowmachine race, then the Iditarod Trail Invitational human-muscle-powered race, and finally the Iditarod dog race.

The checkpoint lies six or seven miles north from one of Iditarod's most dangerous sections of trail. Dalzell Gorge has prematurely ended the Iditarod aspirations of many mushers. 

More: Complete Iditarod coverage