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Photos: Iditarod 2013 passes through Nikolai

Matt Failor makes his way through the Farewell Burn, on his way to Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Matt Failor mushing through the Farewell Burn. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Gerry Willomitzer prepares his team to leave Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Ramey Smyth in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Ramey Smyth's team naps in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Ramey Smyth napping on his sled in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Gerry Willomitzer leaves Nikolai for McGrath. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Robert Bundtzen tends to his dogs in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Robert Bundtzen's leaders get ready to leave Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Robert Bundtzen leaving Nikolai at sunset. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Maureen Chrysler collects pee from one of Ramey Smyth's dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint. All the canine athletes are drug tested. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Jodi Bailey arriving at the Nikolai checkpoint. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Allen Moore tending to his team in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Kristy Berington arrived in Nikolai with one dog in her basket, as did her sister Anna, seen behind Kristy. The twins often travel together along the race course. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Anna Berington and her injured dog Skwentna arrive in Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Kristin Hendricks' headlamp streaks across the river outside Nikolai. March 5, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

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.

Read more about Nikolai