Forty Below

Here’s the overnight report from Rebecca, CEO of Showhook Kennel, our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth. Current temp here in the office is 65 above, just where we like it. Go Snowhook!

Ten to twenty degrees below zero is an ideal temperature for mushing. The dogs run well in the cold and the musher can still function at that temperature. However, the team has gone from balmy forty degree weather before the race to forty below not including the wind chill. You stop smiling at negative forty. You want to stop doing a lot of things at forty below. But, cold or not, dogs still need to be booted, watered, fed, and massaged.

Weather forecasts report a warm up beginning tomorrow as Team Snowhook runs toward Unalakleet, the first checkpoint on the coast. With river travel behind them, the team will trot nearly ninety miles to Unalakleet. We can expect AJ to break up the long run by resting at new Old Woman cabin. The inviting cabin offers travelers safety and warmth and is a short distance after old Old Woman cabin. Why not rest at old Old Woman cabin? If the new cabin is inviting, the old shanty is less than welcoming. Legend holds that passersby should leave an offering at old Old Woman cabin—most leave candy—or her spirit will follow you on the rest of your journey and bring you bad luck. It is best not to risk it. Thanks to Leonard and Amalia, AJ has an offering of crushed tobacco.

Next stop: Unalakleet.


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This entry was posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 8:31 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

88 Responses to “Forty Below”

  1. Herd of Hounds
    8:37 am on March 16th, 2015

    Good morning, everyone! Last night’s pawrayers was a wonderful harmony of thoughts. The second posting of the northern lights was fantastic. We told mom that the Hobbit posted them just for her since it was overcast and she didn’t get to see them way up north. Thanks Hobbit.
    Looks like AJ and several others are resting on the “Portage”.
    Have a motivated Monday. P.S. Did the BelleStarr have anything to do with this?

  2. Billy's Buddy
    8:56 am on March 16th, 2015

    Forty below…brrr!

    Good morning HOH and everyone.

    A motivated Monday. Maybe.

  3. Herd of Hounds
    9:06 am on March 16th, 2015

    B’sB, we just keep hoping that something will motivate mom’s lazy fanny. She is complaining that a vacay makes tons of laundry. The boarder in the basement did sweep and took care of the POP, the sushi and us but mom noticed that no dusting had been done. We think her expectations are too high.

  4. O'Howlers
    9:22 am on March 16th, 2015

    Good morning. 40 below. Brrrr…who can concntrate in those temps?

  5. Herd of Hounds
    9:34 am on March 16th, 2015

    O’H, hi! AJ just started to move again 640. Did you notice that yesterday he was running close to DeeDee?

  6. Herd of Hounds
    9:37 am on March 16th, 2015

    Has anyone noticed that our Giant, when he is dressed for the trail, looks a lot like Sasquatch?

  7. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:38 am on March 16th, 2015

    The extreme cold is even harder to handle when they haven’t had much time to adjust to the tumbling temps. 40* above to 40* below is an 80* change, which has to be a jolt to the system, for both man and canines.

    Today we are going to enjoy 75*, before it goes back into the 40s and low 50s for the rest of the week.

  8. O'Howlers
    9:51 am on March 16th, 2015

    Yeep! Our team is onthe ove. Looks like another dog was dropped, but AJ and our guys are off for the coast.
    Onward Snowhook! We are so proud.

  9. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    9:59 am on March 16th, 2015

    AJ has checked in and out of Kaltag, the checkpoint sponsored by Teddy, Zeta and best friends everywhere (which, come to think of it, means everyone on this here blog). With all that power and spirit behind them, and Teddy and Zeta leading the charge, Unalakleet will soon be in the team’s sight. GO SNOWHOOK!

  10. B.Stover
    10:05 am on March 16th, 2015

    Those temperatures put a frosty ice on dogs and mushers. Go Snowhook.

    Good morning all.

  11. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    10:06 am on March 16th, 2015

    Do we know yet who was dropped?

  12. Tupper's Mama
    10:08 am on March 16th, 2015

    Morning everyone.
    We can’t even imagine 40 below zero. We are such weenies at just zero.
    And we are glad this here blog is written and not live chat. Don’t feel too bad with this cold, but awoke this morning to absolutely no voice. None. Nada.
    Why is the Storyteller snickering?

  13. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    10:25 am on March 16th, 2015

    Awww, Amalia, we feel your pain!

    Is anyone making corned beef and cabbage? We are doing ours today, since tomorrow is a work day for Barb.

  14. BooBear
    10:33 am on March 16th, 2015

    I remember CHobbit telling us about walking the dogs when she still lived in North Pole and it being 50 below. She mentioned that she could handle it at 30 below but 50 below was really tough. I believe Mom’s comment to that was how in the world can you tell the difference between 30 below and 50 below? BRRRR!!

  15. ML
    10:36 am on March 16th, 2015

    Morning y’all. It is 9:30, I have to be at work at 12 but except for tending the flock I have yet to get going. Perhaps a long distance boot to the rear would be in order?


  16. dawson
    10:44 am on March 16th, 2015

    Thanks to Spence and Rebecca for today’s report.

    Teddy and Zeta hosted a lovely dinner party last night for all their friends, that’s us! Despite the cold, we all showed up for some of Debbie’s delicious appetizers and to toast good and loyal friends everywhere. Here’s to Chet and Bernie!

    Go Snowhook!

  17. O'Howlers
    10:49 am on March 16th, 2015

    ML: consider yourself booted.

  18. Masquers
    11:09 am on March 16th, 2015

    ML: Hey, didn’t we send you a boot a while back too? Now, with this one from the Howlers, you have two…and those boots were made for walk’n…and kick’n a$$ and such.

    Someone here whines at 40 above. A minus sign in front of that number is incomprehensible.
    Unalakleet next! Yes! We are preparing for the team’s arrival as we speak.

  19. BearSpiritDog
    11:30 am on March 16th, 2015

    Grrr…My Tracker is Not Working…Again. Good thing I have lots to do to take my mind off it…Maybe.
    Okay…Now it is working…after I threw it across the room.

    Dawson: Just want to say a Big Thank You for your Great Reporting from the Checkpoints!

    By the Way…What (Race)Day is it?

  20. BearSpiritDog
    11:31 am on March 16th, 2015

    …since I Can’t Count past two….

  21. Staff
    11:32 am on March 16th, 2015

    There is a new updated Plunder address list on dishlickers. Anyone who has forgotten our dishlickers contact info can email me at ncdrew at gee male dot com. I don’t promise to be fast but I will get to it.

    Now for breakfast…

  22. Siber's Mom
    11:41 am on March 16th, 2015

    Rebecca and Spence, Thank you! AJ and the team are doing good!
    Dawson, Thank you for all the checkpoint info.

    No Siber teams are in last place.

    About a few posts on last night’s blog: The Insider is never responsible for anything that goes wrong in their universe. Someone or something else is always to blame.

    The GIRLS arrived at 7 this morning. Must have been too early for them because they are napping now.

    Mush On Snowhook!!

  23. Staff
    11:41 am on March 16th, 2015
  24. BearSpiritDog
    12:20 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Besides Snowhook (No. 1) and the Sibe Teams, Aily is a Big Favorite Here.
    Great shot of her coming into Our Checkpoint.

  25. dawson
    12:27 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Tupper’s Mama: You’ll always have a voice on this blog.

    Minus 40 is the same temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit. It is bitter cold. Nothing functions well at those temperatures.

  26. Masquers
    12:30 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Sibermom: Can you refresh my memory regarding who the mushers are on the Sibe teams? I am more familiar with the names of the teams rather than the mushers themselves.
    Good luck with the girls!

  27. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    12:33 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thanks for the pic of Aily.

    Mary Lou, get to work! And have a lovely day.

  28. Siber's Mom
    12:46 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Aily is a favorite of mine also. I hope this year it is her turn to win.

    Masquers, The Howlers gave me the names of the Siber mushers. This is either the way they gave them to me or the way I wrote them down: Rob Cooke, Lisbet, Yvonne, and Isabella Travadon. I can find them on the standings page without having their full names.

  29. B.Stover
    1:58 pm on March 16th, 2015

    I haven’t been able to post so this is a test.

  30. B.Stover
    1:59 pm on March 16th, 2015

    It worked!

    All I wanted to say is that I like today’s Google Doodle.

  31. c.hobbit
    2:06 pm on March 16th, 2015

    To those who went to Fairbanks during their visit…it was -45 ther yesterday. I must admit that for mid-March, it is unusually cold. And this is their ”spring break” week off from school

  32. Masquers
    2:10 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thanks for the info, Sibermom.

  33. Herd of Hounds
    2:46 pm on March 16th, 2015

    CHobbit and anyone else who have C O L D temps in mind. Mom keeps flashing back to the Jack London story, “To Build a Fire” where she learned that spittle crackles before hitting the ground at -75*F. Her all time personal best is -22*F the AM they left Fairbanks. Thank you very much, do not need to “improve” on that.
    The mushers -50 sound brutal, especially when skin is exposed to care for the dogs. AJ and the A Team are in our thoughts. Philip and the B Team are too. Hope all remain hale and hearty.

  34. Herd of Hounds
    2:54 pm on March 16th, 2015

    The area where AJ is running noe seems to be where he and the dogs really go to town. If in those temps, the word burn has any meaning, they are burning up the trail!

  35. Herd of Hounds
    3:23 pm on March 16th, 2015

    It looks like AJ is doing the final run to the coast…good or bad… It seems he and the dogs are running smooth and strong. We pray this holds.

  36. Diane C.
    3:23 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Hello Everyone–I just finished reading the prayers from last evening (I was unconscious before) and add a late “Amen” and “Go Snowhook” today’s scratchy throat and pluggy nose was ameliorated by a class of students who seemed involved and ACTUALLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
    Now that class is over, I wish I were back in bed, surrounded by my own dear 4-leggeds, but there’s a couple of hours to go before that…
    I would point out that the LA Marathon started and ended yesterday in 80-degree weather (hitting 90 in some places near the end. shorter distance, less cold, and half as many legs on the participants–surely that must mean something.
    Everyone, be well. Amalia, rest your voice and keep going with the fluids.
    Everyone, have a wonderful day at whatever temperature.
    Snowhook Rules.

  37. Diane C.
    3:27 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Rats! Aliy’s dropped back a little, even as Justin has moved up. And that woman from Cal State Fullerton is currently next to last…

  38. Herd of Hounds
    3:34 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Diane, wish we were in bed (and not thinking of how cold -50 might br 🙁
    Still, wish mom were in bed since she is not fun yet! We thank all for the links and the info. AJ is running alone and out ahead of DeeDee at this point. We know AJ and the A team are AK dogs of the best caliber. GO SNOWHOOK. We ar crossing everything we can find for SNOWHOOK.

  39. dawson
    3:47 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Cindy Abbott:

    What an inspirational story she has to tell. This woman has climbed Mt Everest but finishing the Iditarod has eluded her. Not for the lack of trying. This will be her third Iditarod start and I sincerely wish her and her dogs well. I sat next to one of her dog handlers on the plane from Fairbanks to Anchorage. The handler told me that with all Cindy’s health problems she is also blind in one eye.

  40. O'Howlers
    5:05 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Help! We have been without an iPaw for much of the day. Did AJ already make it to New Old Woman Cabin?
    Do we know why Philip scratched yet? We want to know that those dogs are safe and on their way home. We always feel so far removed ansd without much in the way of updates.

  41. Masquers
    5:29 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Five teams, including Snowhook, have stopped off the trail at mile 683. Are they at the New Old Woman Cabin?

  42. dawson
    5:32 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Looks like AJ and team have pulled over at the new Old Womans’s Cabin, or the old Old Woman’s Cabin to drop off his offering and have a rest.

    I haven’t heard anything about any of the dogs yet.

  43. BearSpiritDog
    5:39 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Sorry, but we Do Not Want Dallas Seavey to win again this year.
    We have not forgiven him for Sneaking Past Aily in 2014.

    Growl. Why isn’t the Old Woman’s Cabin listed on the Map of GPS Updates?

  44. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    5:43 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Well, it’s 40 below, I got a heater in the truck…oh, wait, that’s totally not appropriate. Not appropriate at all. Besides that, and that 40 below is the same on Celcius and Antiquitemp, I think Jack London had something about how you could tell what the temp was by when your pee froze solid. I don’t remember which story, nor do I remember if 40 below was when it froze before it hit the ground or after.

    Tomorrow is my and Melanie’s 14th anniversary, and the first one we haven’t spent together. If she’s going to be somewhere for a while, I’m gonna try to drop in on her.

  45. dawson
    5:44 pm on March 16th, 2015
  46. BearSpiritDog
    5:48 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Dawson, me too. Someone Wake Us Up when they are getting Close to our Checkpoint.
    I have to put the Pizza in the Oven.

  47. BearSpiritDog
    5:50 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Buddy,Leno,Hilda: Very Sorry to Hear you and your Melanie will be apart for this Anniversary. Sending Prayers & Hugs.

  48. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    6:07 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thanks BSD. The only two that even came close were our first, when I came up to Erie several months before melanie did, but she came up for a few days to spend our anniversary, and our 10th, when we had our disastrous cruise. We spent our anniversary together, but then i had to leave her in Mexico when she fell off a platform at the dolphin park and broke her arm, and because of her coumadin and other medical conditions, they wouldn’t let her back on the ship. Longest week ever while we waited for the travel insurance to arrange for her to get home. Would’ve been longer if her nurse hadn’t heroically stepped in to go get her, without, mind you, being paid for his time. But that happened after our anniversary. (Melanie says she will not go on another cruise.)

  49. Herd of Hounds
    6:18 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Buddy and Leno and Hilde, If mom wern’t so far away, she would come and sit on whom ever you need sat upon. You and your Melanie should be together. We are so sad that this will not be the case. Some times folks just do not understand how important anniversary dated are to make our lives special. You, your Melanie, your gal and the 4 leggers are in our prayers. Spread that quilt a little wider.

  50. Siber's Mom
    6:41 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Happy Anniversary Buddy and Melanie. I pray she feels better soon and gets to come home. I know you two miss each other.

    Bear, Me neither. I don’t want Dallas to win.

    Dawson, Interesting article and the truth.

  51. Herd of Hounds
    7:18 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Oh dear, studies and more studies. We will stick with what we know and what feels right. So, take that.

  52. Herd of Hounds
    7:32 pm on March 16th, 2015

    AJ and 6 others are resting at mile 683…safety in numbers. This is the long march to the (wicked) sea.

  53. dawson
    7:34 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Aliy just caught Seavey and Aaron Burmeister (the #1 and #2 teams up until a minute ago) resting on the trail right next to each other. She is waving bye-bye to them right now. See ya!

    And, Jessie Royer, a woman from Darby, Montana is right behind Aliy. WhooooHoooooo!

  54. dawson
    7:47 pm on March 16th, 2015

    She is slowing down. Don’t stop Aliy! Heh, heh.

    Here comes that tough lady from Montana right behind you. Go Jesse! Blow right by them.

  55. O'Howlers
    8:02 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Buddy, our hearts are aching for you and your Melanie. You just gotta be together tomorrow. How far away is she? We are imploring the Creator and all in the Heavens above to shine their light down upon the two of you.

    Dawson, Are you wearing your “…women win the Iditarod” shirt? If not, put it on, Girl. Mom has hers on. Oh yes she does. Woo Hooo!!!!
    Go Aily!!!
    Go Jessie!!!!

  56. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:10 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Jessie!….Wouldn’t it be awesome if new blood won the race and it was Jessie Royer?….Zow! EEEE!

  57. Tupper's Mama
    8:11 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Greetings all.
    We would like to email the prayer to one of you to make sure it can be posted on time.
    If you are available, would you please send me an SDD. I will send the prayer to you after a few final touches.

  58. Masquers
    8:16 pm on March 16th, 2015

    An oldie but goodie…I love this video…sniff.
    Riõ! Bite your tongue. Aily, first….Jessie, second…then Joar.
    We wouldn’t mind it if one of those Sibe teams was in the top 30 and Our AJ in the top 20 either.
    Not one bit!

  59. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:18 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Hebrew-National!….Beau just sent me a text from his little beau-phone and told me he snagged 1 1/2 hotdawgs at supper tonight….grunt!….He said he got my 3/4’s worth because I was not there….grumble!….Since when does he do fractions?…sniff!

  60. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:20 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Walk!…Now he is texting me and saying he has to go on an after Hebrew-National Slam-Athon walk….chorkel!

  61. dawson
    8:32 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Rio: At least you’re missing the walk.

    Koyuk! All those leaders weren’t camped out on the trail. They are in Koyuk already. And Aliy and Jesse are resting now too.

  62. O'Howlers
    8:34 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Our trackers are not updating, dag-burn it.

  63. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:51 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Koyuk!….That is my checkpoint…snort!…I cannot wait till our team is safe and sound in Koyuk!….wheeze!

  64. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:53 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Tracker!….My tracker is working…snort!…This is beyond my wildest dreams….heh!heh!….The team is still zzzzzzzz!!

  65. O'Howlers
    9:00 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Creator – we have many things to be thankful for, things we let our hearts speak of last night. We are thankful the earth under our feet and the air we breathe. We are thankful for the abundance in our live, for the return to health, for brothers and sisters, for family, and home. And Creator, each of us is thankful for love.

    On this night, as the team continues on their journey, it is the love of this adventure that keeps them strong. The love between this honorable man and his good dogs create a bond that will carry them through the challenges ahead. And it is Rebecca’s love that lights the burled arch, her love that will bring them home.

    Creator, each one of us is blessed by having love that will carry us on. Whether the love of a partner, love of a child or parent, the love of this family, we are supported and uplifted by being loved. Keep the message in our hearts that we are never alone, that each of our lives matter to another living being; a being whose world would be incomplete without us.

    On this night, two loving hearts may be separated by distance, but we ask you to let their heartbeats join in unison, and be heard by each other so they know that they are not apart at all, but loving together in their own universe.

    Creator – on this night every musher on the trail is starting to think of those they love and want to come home to. We ask you to protect and guide Evey single one of them as they race through the bitter cold, as exhaustion takes its toll, please be with every team, for they are all loved and hearts are beating for them.

    We thank you for the northern lights that have painted the skies. They are a celebration of colors dancing over the teams, arching, reaching and soaring; flying through the night just as team after team flies over the snow. Let these beautiful lights fill their spirits with joy and inspiration, each mile bringing them closer to their love.

    Creator – we ask you to hold Melanie gently in your hands, and help to heal her body. She is loved, and her family needs her strong enough to come home. We ask you to comfort her daughter and her husband as they wait through this difficult time; let their love be as medicine for Melanie that she may be well again soon.

    Creator, we have many things to be thankful for, things we let our hearts speak of last night. We are thankful for the earth under our feet and the air we breathe. We are thankful for the abundance in our lives, for the return to health, for brothers and sisters, for family and home. And Creator , never let us forget to thankful for love.

  66. O'Howlers
    9:03 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thank you, Amalia. Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts, and a beautiful prayer.

  67. BearSpiritDog
    9:05 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Amen and amen.
    Thank you, O’Howlers for posting the Beautiful Prayer tonight.
    Amalia and the Storyteller’s words, once again, fill our Hearts With Joy.

  68. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:06 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Amen, and thank you Howlers and T & G.

  69. Martha
    9:08 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you, Golinka and Storyteller.

  70. Beau - The Black Pug
    9:10 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Wheeze!…Amens to dat great prayer from Golinka….sneeze!…Amens to all that she said up der in dat prayer….snuffle!

  71. bluecat
    9:16 pm on March 16th, 2015


  72. Herd of Hounds
    9:18 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thank you and amen again.

  73. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    9:22 pm on March 16th, 2015


  74. Masquers
    9:25 pm on March 16th, 2015

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Dallas Seavey tries to run all the way to White Mountain.

  75. Rio - The Evil Pug
    9:42 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Maskers!…If only it were him running and not his teammates…grunt!

  76. dawson
    9:53 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Amen to the prayer. Thanks to O’Howlers and Tupper’s Mama.

  77. Lefty, the Left Behind
    10:06 pm on March 16th, 2015


  78. Masquers
    10:07 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Riõ: Sniff. If only.

  79. ALR
    10:26 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Amen. Thankyou and bless you oh Maker of Beautiful Prayers. And bless the O’Howlers for posting the prayer.

  80. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    10:34 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Thank you Amalia and Howlers. And all of y’all. Melanie isn’t far, it’s mostly the coordinating when she won’t be in dialysis with when I can go. We think we’ve got a plan, so hopefully will see her tomorrow afternoon, after dialysis.

  81. Masquers
    10:52 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Racing down the trail to Unalakleet!

  82. BearSpiritDog
    10:55 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Buddy,Leno,Hilde: We Have Faith it Will Work Out for you and your Beloved Melanie tomorrow on your Very Special Day.

  83. Tupper's Mama
    11:05 pm on March 16th, 2015

    Hey family. The ever wise BearSpiritDog has reminded us that tomorrow, being our travel day, prayer time is going to be somewhere over northern Ohio. And since airlines frown upon use of internet during flight, we need to turn the honor over to someone else.
    Volunteers? Anyone?

  84. Wolfie
    1:19 am on March 17th, 2015


  85. Wolfie
    1:24 am on March 17th, 2015

    Mom and I will have a go at tomorrow’s Prayer of the Plunderers. Unless someone else has stepped foward.

  86. BearSpiritDog
    3:04 am on March 17th, 2015

    Wolfie! There is No One We Would Rather Say the Prayer.

    Pizza is In the Oven! The Team Approaches Our Checkpoint.

  87. Masquers
    3:13 am on March 17th, 2015

    We see them coming down the trail. AJ and the team, Welcome to Unalakleet!

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