From a Musher’s perspective:
An Iditarod dog team is nearing the village of Elim after it reaches Moses Point. Moses Point is a summer fish camp along the ocean that is completely abandoned in March. After the trail passes by fish nets decorated with icicles and boats upturned to the weather, it gets on an unplowed road leading to Elim.
The road is very protected and there are even trees and bushes that add a sense of security if windy conditions arise. But there are also many hills along the trail between Moses Point and Elim. For a tired dog team these hills are huge mountains, for energetic teams this are just small mounds. At the crest of the last hill driveways appear on both sides of the road and the teams are usually greeted, day or night, by barking dogs. “Who is in my neighborhood?”
The trail then runs downhill and into the heart of the village. The Checkpoint building is in the village Firehall surrounded by houses and cabins. The people of Elim come to see the Mushers and visit and talk about trail conditions and weather – always important topics! Aliy usually stays in Elim just long enough to take a quick nap and feed the team a big meal. Allen and the Black Team will stay longer and enjoy the hospitality.
The exit trail from the Elim depends on how thick the sea ice is. Some years the ice is poor or nonexistent along the village shoreline so the route will follow the Old Mail Trail on land and through the hills. If the ice is good, then the trail leaves Elim directly onto the frozen sea and parallels the shoreline until leaving the sea to climb Little McKinley.
Aliy will be in Elim all day Tuesday, August 29th.