Aliy "blew through" the Iditarod Checkpoint at 5.20pm today and, at the time of writing, was moving just under 7 MPH. According to the GPS tracker she and the team had a five hour break on the trail, possibly at "Don's Cabin". The trail from Iditarod to Shageluk is described as "officially 65 miles, and its unendingly hilly terrain makes it seem more like 100 at times" but "there are no real problems on this leg—just the hills."
Earlier in the afternoon Allen blew through Ophir and rested the team for six hours on the trail near the same spot as Aliy. It appears he has dropped one more dog in Ophir but I must reiterate there is no way we can know who that is yet. We will find out as soon as we can.
Different mushers have different strategies when it comes to stopping at a checkpoint or resting on the trail. Checkpoints can be noisy, busy places as you will have seen and heard in the videos from Rainy Pass. Aeroplanes carrying dropped dogs, officials, vets, volunteers, media, supplies and visitors buzz in and out (weather depending), other teams are coming and going and village life continues so it can sometimes be difficult to ensure the dogs get a good rest. Also, if the race is warm, like this year, mushers will often choose to rest their dogs in the "heat" of the day which it looks like they both elected to do. Aliy and Allen enjoy camping where it is quieter so you will see them stop at various times between checkpoints. The only times they have to officially stay in a checkpoint are to see out their mandatory rests: 24 hours at any checkpoint of their choosing, eight hours somewhere on the Yukon River (Anvik, Grayling, Eagle Island or Kaltag) and eight hours at White Mountain, and the time it takes to sign in and out of the checkpoint. Other than that they can rest wherever they choose.
Note: we have heard it is unlikely that any dropped dogs will arrive from McGrath before Saturday afternoon at the earliest! There are weather issues out there which are causing some logistical problems. Rest assured, volunteers at McGrath will be well prepared to take great care of our dogs until we see them next.
There is a cool article on iditarod.com written by the Teacher on the Trail, Linda Fenton, where she rode on a plane with some dropped dogs. She describes the process of transporting the dogs and I like how she says they quickly settled in and slept for most of the flight! Perhaps it's a little like getting a baby to sleep by driving your car around the neighbourhood?