With less than two weeks to go before the start of the 2013 Iditarod, mushers living in the Alaskan interior are bringing their supply and dog food bags to the Air Land Transport in Fairbanks to be shipped to Anchorage. Each of the 67 mushers signed up thus far have been bagging and dropping off around 40 bags full of dog food, human food, and supplies weighing 1500 to 2000 pounds total. The bags are labeled with the mushers’ last names and the name of one of the 20 checkpoints along the trail where each is to be delivered. The food bags will be flown from Anchorage to the various checkpoints along the trail by the Iditarod Air Force, a team of volunteer pilots who fly food, supplies, and tired or sick dogs to and from checkpoints.
40 bags x 67 mushers = a lot of dog food in the air over Alaska.