Go Snowhook (More)

The Iditarod – world’s greatest sled dog race – starts today from Fairbanks rather than Anchorage, due to weather conditions. Here’s the overnight report from Rebecca (thanks, Rebecca!), CEO of Snowhook Kennel, our team in the race. Sleep seems to be an important factor. Maybe we have a future in this! We can sleep with the best of them! Um, uh. First, thanks to Barb B., heres’s a photo of Rebecca and AJ holding star team members Chet and Bernie (yes!).

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Race eve is normally a quiet night for us. Yet, this is not a normal race. Having trucked the dogs north to Fairbanks, we found ourselves searching for a safe place for the dogs in a parking lot of a fully booked hotel when we first arrived. It seemed like a race to find parking for the race. Amidst combat parking at its finest, we separated from the pack of other teams and found a fairly isolated location free of fans and photos on the back side of the hotel. Like us, the dogs need to rest before the race.

Now that the dogs have been walked and fed and walked again, we resume our regular race eve activities—rest and going to bed early. Game day will start soon. With the number of fans anticipated to cheer teams on at the starting line traffic is expected to be extremely heavy. We will make our way to the staging area dedicated for the teams at 6:00 a.m. for a race that begins four hours later.

As the 19th musher, Team Snowhook will leave the starting line at 10:38 a.m. Following the race, I will head to Nenana, the first checkpoint of the race. Here teams can have limited support in Nenana so I will bring a bale of straw and food for both the dogs and AJ. Team Snowhook’s support is more than just me. I am fortunate to have Mick and Jodi—dear friends and a main attraction for visiting Plunderers—to help. Our plan is simple: Mick will drive the truck and tow the trailer with our dog box on it, and Jodi will drive me back home in her car while I watch the damn flag update on my cell phone to show the team’s progress.

Tomorrow will be another long day. Sleep is a must on this race eve. Sleep we must, for we ride before dawn.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 9th, 2015 at 8:45 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

79 Responses to “Go Snowhook (More)”

  1. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:00 am on March 9th, 2015

    Good morning all. It was dark when we got up this morning. Not used to that!

    Great reporting and a great photo to start our day. The race starts at 2:00 p.m. CDT, right?

    So unusual to not have HOH posting already!

  2. O'Howlers
    9:19 am on March 9th, 2015

    Good morning, BM&L. We think t race starts at 2:00 EDT, which woud make it 1:00 your time. But the countdown clock on Iditarod.com seems to be wrong (or we are).

  3. Billy's Buddy
    9:22 am on March 9th, 2015

    Good morning, BM&L and O’H. Great photos and reporting.

    Go Snowhook!

  4. B.Stover
    9:29 am on March 9th, 2015

    Love the photo. I hope everyone slept well.

    Safe travels Snowhook.

    Good morning all.

  5. O'Howlers
    9:38 am on March 9th, 2015

    Mom is so darrn nervous, you’d think she was racing.

  6. Tupper's Mama
    10:50 am on March 9th, 2015

    Morning everyone. We love the picture too. You can see so much love for the dogs, and you can see how much the dogs love them too. We hope everyone got the rest they needed, and will feel great and ready for the start today.

    As mentioned, we will be doing the “launch” prayer tonight. Our Beloved BlueKat and her mom will be doing the honors tomorrow night. We will not have internet access on Wednesday night – can we get a raised hand out there from someone who will lead the PlunderPrayer on that night?

    Remember – anyone who loves Snowhook, and wishes the team well is able to lead the prayer. You just let your heart do the talking. And as we have said to people, different voices bring new music to the song of the prayers.

  7. Zoe
    10:56 am on March 9th, 2015

    Wonderful photo and good sleding from me, and I am sure Melanie agrees, This was her favorite event of the year.

    I just got home from the hospital after waking Friday and, to speak as Melanie, “Mom, you’re bleeding from your ass..get the ambulance!” I know this because she said it to her father once. Turns out there has been a lot of bleeding and my red blood cells were trying to get oxygen. Modern medicine was great and I feel better than I have in weeks. It was an ulcer. Martha was great despite the flu and her boys were great too,

    Now I can concentrate on the race . Zoe, Mac, and new boy, Dan

  8. Siber's Mom
    12:08 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Love the picture of AJ, Rebecca, Chet,and Bernie.
    We are fortunate to have Rebecca’s reporting on the race. Belle Starr can learn much from Rebecca.

    Zoe, I am so thankful you are feeling better, and they found the problem and fixed it so quickly.
    Hi and hugs to Mac and new boy Dan from me.

    GO SNOWHOOK!!

  9. BooBear
    12:12 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Let the Race Begin!!!

    GO SNOWHOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Wolfie
    1:27 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Yes! Go Snowhook!

  11. Masquers
    1:28 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Good morning, everyone, Thank you, Spence!!
    Race coverage begins 12:30 pm EDT.
    GO SNOWHOOK!!!

  12. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    1:31 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Jay and Tyb finally have water after 15 days! A little bit of cleanup by the town of Bradford is needed.

  13. Masquers
    1:32 pm on March 9th, 2015

    No avatar. Gah.

  14. Staff
    1:34 pm on March 9th, 2015

    At the Hobbit Hotel we have the TV on, the oatmeal is made, and consumed, and we are ready for the TV coverage. So far the TV just has a picture of northern lights.

    It’s on!

  15. Masquers
    1:34 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Carpools,

  16. O'Howlers
    1:42 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Naails are being chewed as we type.

  17. Staff
    1:58 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Dawson is wearing dark blue and HOH is wearing brown. Hard to find them in that crowd. Darn it.

    2 minutes.

  18. O'Howlers
    2:35 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Damn them

  19. Wolfie
    2:36 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Grrrrrr…..

  20. BooBear
    2:38 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Why do they do that??? Get off talking and don’t say a word about AJ. That has happened to him before. Thank goodness we got to see it before they went to break.

  21. c.hobbit
    2:39 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Gah! Watching it live on tv. The announcers had been talking about each musher as they were on the start line and then the camera would follow them as they took off. They said NOTHING about Justin, barely showed him and then cut to a commercial

  22. Herd of Hounds
    3:10 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Just checking in to let you know the plunders really are here. It is frantic and crowded here at the restart. I’ll post fotos soon. The fone has frozen twice:(

  23. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    3:12 pm on March 9th, 2015

    You probably have a much better view than me tall people in front of me.

  24. B.Stover
    3:20 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I think I saw Dawson a couple of times.

    The announcers talk constantly and say very little.

  25. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    3:31 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Lots of fotos to share. Lousy phone reception here. Will share later.

  26. Lavonne
    4:06 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Perhaps you had a fragmented family and never experienced consistency in your early years.
    This is a competitive advantage for sports betting businesses because the options that it gives are more than what anybody expects.
    I obviously can’t go to all those different campuses whenever I want to buy
    fan apparel, so I shop for my official NCAA football gear
    online.

  27. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    4:22 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Admin! Spammer alert!

  28. Tupper's Mama
    4:36 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Seriously Lavonne – do you expect anyone to fall for that? Idiot!

    So much to do from clearing up after the show, unpacking the van, packing to get on the plane, getting Gramp and the puppies set up for being abandoned….

    For some reason, the announcers never pay much attention to AJ. But this year, they are going to be embarrassed when he is one of the top mushers, and they look back to see that they didn’t give him his props at the starting line.

    We know Dawson and HOH/DDD are cheering like mad. And AJ is off on a Successful Adventure with NO Wrecked Sleds! And lots of SNOW. Woo hoo Snowhook!

  29. BARB, MAGGIE AND LUCY
    4:50 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Those announcers are LAME! We think AJ is going to do very well this year.

    Lavvone WTH? Do you seriously think we are going to click on your name? Nobody here was born yesterday.

    Just read about a new phone scam- or maybe just a recirculated one. People are calling and saying they are with the IRS and you are going to ge a big refund. Then they try to get personal information. Hard to believe people fall for this stuff.

  30. dawson
    5:05 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Gong show!

    I lost Sharon and took the shuttle bus back into town then a cab to the hotel.

    This is Rebecca giving Philip some last minute instructions after AJ & team took off. I imagine she’s saying something like: “Bring all my dogs back safe and healthy OR ELSE your ass is grass!

  31. BooBear
    5:20 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Barb, did you hear the announcers say something about AJ? On the live feed, they just breezed past him, barely mentioned his name before he took off!

  32. c.hobbit
    5:28 pm on March 9th, 2015

    On Facebook Philip thanked Snowhook, said that Justin was one of his truest friends and wished him a great run. God speed #19 and #51. GO SNOWHOOK DOGGIES AND MUSHERS!!!

  33. dawson
    5:29 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I was proud to be given a job of work to do. Hang on to Chet and Bernie and keep them from chewing harnesses or each other! Somehow I ended up hanging on to a large black dog instead and I had no chance to check the dog tag to even see who it was because I was pulling with all my strength to hold this dog, who was jumping up and down and trying to eat the main line. My fingers lost all circulation from having the cord wrapped tightly around them, my hat and hoods blew off my head but I wasn’t cold because it was hard work. Then the snowhook was pulled and off they went! I ran along for all off 10, maybe 15 feet before I had to let go or risk being dragged by 16 out of control dogs. They were raring to run! Rebecca said later that There was no way to put the snowhook into the ground to stop the team because it was ice. Sebastion (my hero) came along with his skidoo and hooked it up to the sled or the team and managed to stop them until it was their turn to go. Raw, unconstrained POWER coming at ya! Go Snowhook!

    Here is Philip starting his rookie Iditarod race:

  34. dawson
    5:31 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I was proud to be given a job of work to do. Hang on to Chet and Bernie and keep them from chewing harnesses or each other! Somehow I ended up hanging on to a large black dog instead and I had no chance to check the dog tag to even see who it was because I was pulling with all my strength to hold this dog, who was jumping up and down and trying to eat the main line. My fingers lost all circulation from having the cord wrapped tightly around them, my hat and hoods blew off my head but I wasn’t cold because it was hard work. Then the snowhook was pulled and off they went! I ran along for all off 10, maybe 15 feet before I had to let go or risk being dragged by 16 out of control dogs. They were raring to run! Rebecca said later that There was no way to put the snowhook into the ground to stop the team because it was ice. Sebastion (my hero) came along with his skidoo and hooked it up to the sled or the team and managed to stop them until it was their turn to go. Raw, unconstrained POWER coming at ya! Go Snowhook!

    Here is Philip starting his rookie Iditarod race:

  35. dawson
    5:36 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Oh,oh! I did another doule dawson of the above post which is being moderated. Heh, heh!

    So I got virtually no pictures (sob!) but here is one of Sharon and me after a couple hours in the weather:

  36. Tupper's Mama
    5:37 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Snowhook dogs are the BEST! Run, doggies, run!

  37. Tupper's Mama
    5:38 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Dawson – heh heh

  38. ML
    5:39 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I was going to ask if there would be a replay of the restart, but it doesn’t sound like I missed much. Did they say anything about Phillip?

    Go AJ! Go Phillip and the b team. I can’t believe little Amalia is going on such a long and treacherous trip. She was just a baby last year.

  39. dawson
    6:08 pm on March 9th, 2015

    All the doggies were wearing a special tag around their necks given to them by Amailia and the Storyteller. I tried to get pictures of them but…
    Here is Twig and (I believe) one of the Outlaws.
    Clyde’s tag said, “Destiny”. Sharon got a decent picture of Chet’s tag, I think. She will hopefully post it later.

  40. Staff
    6:11 pm on March 9th, 2015

    A reminder of Justin’s analysis of race stategy.

  41. dawson
    6:12 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Let me try that again…Twig and Outlaw:

  42. dawson
    6:24 pm on March 9th, 2015

    The Fairbanks re-start is sponsored by the one and only CHobbit! The first Plunderer to join Snowhook Kennels at the Iditarod and the proprietress of the Hobbit Hotel, the best hotel ever, anywhere! Thank you C Hobbit for your extra- ordinary hospitality and for your loyal support of the Snowhook Kennels and the Chet the Dog Plunderers!

    I think this Clyde and Florence but I would not swear to it:

  43. dawson
    6:29 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Yeep!
    Where iis Rio?! He was last seen in the dog truck, traveling from Willow to Fairbanks. If he is still in the dog truck he is now with Mick on his way to Nenana, likely drinking some “shine”. Lord knows what trouble those two will get into! Beau, we could use some prayers about now.

  44. dawson
    6:41 pm on March 9th, 2015

    MP’s & LL’s Mom: Thanks for the news about Jay and Tyb. It seems outrageous to me that it took 15 days for The city of Bradford to fix the water line.
    It goes to show that this sort of thing can happen anywhere to any of us.

    I’m hopping into a warm bath. Later.

  45. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    6:45 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Boobear, No, I was at work so didn’t hear anything the announcers said. I just said they were lame because they ignore AJ.

  46. O'Howlers' Maw
    6:48 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I believe the snub of AJ was intentional, based on who the color analyst was. I am going to complain to Insider, and ask for my money back. That really pissed me off.

  47. dawson
    6:51 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I fully expect Snowhook to be in the top 5 by the time they get to Nenana. They want to run!
    Going underwater now. (Sorry, SiberH)

  48. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    6:54 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Glad Jay has running water again. He and Tyb were certainly understanding about the whole thing. Of course it probably was more inconvenient for Jay than for Tyb.

    Dawson, thanks for the great reporting. When do you head home?

  49. O'Howlers
    7:00 pm on March 9th, 2015

    How cold was it?

  50. c.hobbit
    7:12 pm on March 9th, 2015

    We had obligatory cheesecake while Staff watched the Insider and kept us informed.

  51. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    7:42 pm on March 9th, 2015

    O’Howlers, what do you mean about the color analyst?

  52. Staff
    7:50 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I wonder if this link of Justin’s interview this morning will work?

    http://iditarod.com/videos/checkpoints/

  53. Staff
    7:53 pm on March 9th, 2015

    According to the race standings, Justin is 10th.

  54. Wolfie
    8:14 pm on March 9th, 2015

    It looks as if a whole bunch of them are neck and neck!

  55. Wolfie
    8:23 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Um….that might be because they are in Nenana…..

  56. O'Howlers
    8:52 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Nice interview. Thanks for posting, Staff.

  57. Tupper's Mama
    9:00 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Creator – we thank you for this beautiful day, a day of bright skies, and singing birds. A day when all feels right with the world and happiness dances in the branches of the trees.
    Tonight, AJ and his companions are venturing forth on their journey. This is the first day of many, when their hearts are full of the anticipation of the days ahead.
    They run with joy – joy at the freedom of racing across the wilderness, joy in the partnership that makes them a team, joy in their strength and ability, and especially joy in being with AJ on this adventure.
    They run with strength – strength of muscles and tendons, bred and trained to run with ease. They run with the strength of their spirits, and their enormous hearts that love the challenge of this run. And they run with the strength of good leadership, as they look to AJ to guide them on the best road ahead.
    They run with love and loyalty. These dogs are so loved by AJ and Rebecca, and they return that love by giving their best. They will fly across the snow and ice, answering the call to run, and will bring AJ safely to Nome, and back to Rebecca’s side.
    Creator, we ask you to watch over this team. Breathe strength into their legs; fill their hearts with the happiness of this adventure. Be with them on those nights that are the darkest, and when the wind is cold. Shelter them and let them feel no fear, for they are protected by our love, they are upheld by our support.
    We ask you to watch over Rebecca during these days, for she is precious to us. Give her patience and courage as she waits for her family to come back to her. Help her to rest easy when she sleeps, let the time pass quickly while she watches the small green flag.
    Creator – the community that lifts voices to you tonight is our family. These are the humans and the animals we have chosen to be in our hearts and souls. We ask you to watch over each and every member of this family, protect them, wherever they are under your skies. Give them peace, and contentment, let them feel the connection of love we share.
    Creator – we thank you for this beautiful day, a day of bright skies, and singing birds. A day when the air is filled with the happy barking of dogs. A day when hopes soar, and adventure lies ahead. A day when all feels right with the world and happiness dances in the branches of the trees.

  58. dawson
    9:03 pm on March 9th, 2015

    I broke down and subscribed to the Iditarod Insider. Now I can drive myself crazy watching those little flags.
    I’m glad the dogs did not run over every other team in their excitement to be on the trail. This is a long race and we want to save some of that energy for the finish line. That said, it is so great to have picked a lower number this year.

    Nenana is sponsored by the Plunderers collectively for Zoe and family so I’m glad Zoe is feeling well and watching with Mac and Dan by her side. Hat tip to Martha, her brother (forgot his name), Scout, and, of course, YSAS & friend (I forgot her acronym) OTAS, GLAD and our blog grandchild, River. Rebecca had a long purple ribbon attached to her jacket in memory and honor of our dearest friend, the never to be forgotten heart of the blog, Melanie. Zoe, I love your Melanie quote. She had such a way with words!

    The temperature this morning was around zero degrees but an icy wind was blowing. I hear the wind is even stronger at Nenana. That is one good reason that picking a lower number is an advantage. The trail groomers try to precede the first musher, so if you are close you get the benefit of that while the mushers further back may find the snow has drifted over the trail and have to break trail.

  59. dawson
    9:07 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen!

  60. bluecat
    9:15 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen.

  61. Teddy Ruff Rider
    9:22 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen and thank you for that wonderful prayer.

  62. O'Howlers
    9:27 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen.
    And good night.

  63. Beau - The Black Pug
    9:30 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Checkpoint!…I think I was at Ne-Nana today…snort!…But I have no real proof…wheeze!

  64. Beau - The Black Pug
    9:32 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Snort!….I forgot ta say dat message from Rio was what I received today on my little beau-phone….sneeze!

    Amen!…To dat very good prayer too!…snuffle!

  65. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:34 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen, and thank you, T & G.
    Glad Zoe is feeling better. Our friend’s brother is named Dan, but don’t remember Mackey’s finance’s name. Sorry.

    Night all.

  66. ML
    9:41 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen

  67. Billy's Buddy
    9:43 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen, and am so relieved Zoe is better. I love Melanie’s way with words. Well, just love Melanie period.

  68. Staff
    9:48 pm on March 9th, 2015

    The insider says Justin is ‘resting’. It is about where he made his first hash mark on the map during the musher’s banquet.

    CHobbit is making Chinese soup. I am looking forward to it. We also have hummus with fresh veggies as a starter. YUM! It is almost dinner time here.

  69. Staff
    10:00 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Beau, Please tell your friend to check her SDD. I have an emergency request.

    Thanks.

  70. Beau - The Black Pug
    10:25 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Sneeze!….My friend says she is sending youse someding from Dishlickers…snuffle!…I have no idea wot dis means…sniffle!

  71. ALR
    10:54 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Amen, and a beautiful prayer. One feels blessed and lifted just reading the words. Blessings for all….we are rolling in them! And extra ones for sure for Justin, Rebecca and the strong team pulling the sled. Thankyou all you on scene plunderers. Dawson has a new career as a handler!

  72. Beau - The Black Pug
    11:09 pm on March 9th, 2015

    Sneeze!….Will someone at dat Hobbit Hotel check der sdddez…sniff!….I’m told der is some information to be visibly viewed…sneeeze!

  73. Wolfie
    12:24 am on March 10th, 2015

    Amen. And blessings to all Plunderers.

  74. dawson
    12:26 am on March 10th, 2015

    HOH dropped me off at the Fairbanks airport. My flight to Anchorage departs at 9:20. Then I fly to Seattle, over the Canadian border to Vancouver, Prince George and Fort Nelson. If all goes well I will be home at 11:00 am tomorrow.

    ALR: As every little muscle in my body tightens up I realise that if I really want to be a handler, I will have to start working out. That is not likely to happen.

    Nenana! Rio is either going to be drinking the apple pie shine with Mick and Jodi or eating cheesecake with Rebecca tomorrow if he was left in the Giants dog truck. He must have fallen asleep in the back seat that is the only explanation I can think of. His friend is not going to be happy unless he returns to his back yard soon.

  75. Staff
    12:37 am on March 10th, 2015

    Pictures of almost every musher on this blogspot. Justin’s are #’s 21 to about 30! The dogs look great!

    http://twoakhuskies.blogspot.com/2015/03/iditarod-comes-to-fairbanks.html

  76. Staff
    12:48 am on March 10th, 2015

    One of the pictures from the link above.

  77. Masquers
    2:09 am on March 10th, 2015

    We here are headed out in a few. This has been the greatest adventure ever. Thank you, C hobbit, you are the best of the best and we love you. It was so great seeing Dawson again and meeting Staff & Mr.Fireslippers, and HOH & Digger for the very first time.
    It just doesn’t get any better than this.

  78. Staff
    3:34 am on March 10th, 2015

    I complained on Facebook about the discrepancies in timing between the Leader Board and the Race Standings page. They said to always go by the leader board as the Race Standings page is updated manually and much more slowly.

    DUH! They still have Justin as not checked out of Nenana and he left there hours ago.

    grump

    Justin is running very well and mostly in the top 20!

  79. dawson
    4:09 am on March 10th, 2015

    Staff: Thanks for the great link. Philip is in there too. Also thanks for the information on the discrepancies between the leaderboard and the race standings times. I was shocked and worried when it looked as if AJ dropped from 10th to 60th place in a few hours. Whew!

    I think Nana is in the airport too, but in the b concourse. Bye, Nana! Have a good flight home. It was great to spend some time with you in Alaska!
    Ditto to Staff and Mr. Fireslippers and Mr & Mrs. HOH.

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