Mushers Welcome Rest At Alaska Wilderness Villages

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ROHN, Alaska (AP) - Imagine standing on a sled behind a team of 16 dogs, traveling mile after desolate mile in the Alaska wilderness.

All of a sudden, lights shine off in the distance. It's a village, the first to come into view in a very long time.

For mushers on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the 26 checkpoints between Anchorage and Nome offer a chance to rest and recharge. They're also an opportunity to interact with someone other than the dogs.

Vets check on the dogs' health and race officials make sure mushers are fit to continue.

Four-time champion Martin Buser is resting at the Rohn checkpoint after a blistering fast run that had him hours ahead of the next musher. Paul Gebhardt's team is now in the lead.