Iditarod: A Special Post From Rebecca of Snowhook

(Cast of characters: Rebecca – CEO, Snowhook; AJ – musher; Melanie – a great person, Plunderer, and friend of this blog. The rest should be self-explanatory.)

I could report about Team Snowhook having finished their mandatory 24 hour layover in Galena. I could write about the opportunity to take leave of the Yukon River and run overland to Huslia, the next checkpoint. However, my thoughts have turned to something unrelated to run and rest schedules, GPS trackers and race standings.

A year ago, Melanie passed away. And, practical and rational as AJ is, will tell you that he does not believe it is a coincidence that Melanie waited until the team crossed the finish line of a race dedicated to her to cross the Bridge. While this year’s race is not dedicated to our Heartfriend, she is with him on the trail.

After the Ceremonial Start, as AJ prepped his gear for our trek to Fairbanks for the restart, I witnessed something special. Unbeknownst to him, I watched as AJ removed the purple ribbon—a remnant from the 2014 Ceremonial Start and a way to honor Melanie— from our Ceremonial sled and tied it to his race sled. I spoke when I saw this, surprising him from behind, “You’re taking her with you?” His response was simple, “Yes.” And, why would he not?

Melanie was not only a good friend to each of us and welcoming, she was one of the loudest voices in Snowhook’s cheering section. Heaven help me, I think about her every day. I think of her when I am stressed or making big decisions, or playing with the dogs. I do not think I am alone when I say I feel blessed to call her my friend.

Melanie is on the trail, Melanie is on the trail, and for this AJ and the dogs are supported and lifted by her spirit.

 

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155 Responses to “Iditarod: A Special Post From Rebecca of Snowhook”

  1. bluecat
    8:00 am on March 14th, 2015

    Amen. Thinking about Zoe and Martha and their families.
    Thank you Rebecca and Spence.

    Have a good Onward Snowhook weekend, Everybody.

  2. O'Howlers' Mom
    8:21 am on March 14th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you Rebecca and Spence. We are all supported and lifted by her spirit.
    Dima journeyed to the Bridge last year, on Valentines Day. What you may not know is that all the way thru his illness, right up to the day he passed, Melanie, thru all of her own illness, was texting me with concern about Dima. She and I felt they were journeying together. She had so much love in her heart. Never a day passes that I don’t miss her texts, and her love.

  3. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    8:23 am on March 14th, 2015

    That was such a special tribute and made me a little teary. I came close to getting to meet her in person last year, but instead we had a beautiful ceremony honoring her at the Butterfly Garden.

  4. Herd of Hounds
    8:30 am on March 14th, 2015

    We too miss the best friend we never met. Strong, Pawsitive and Loving, that was our friend and we know she is the reason several Plunderers came to the blog.
    Good morning to everyone! Go Team Snowhook! Have a specially saucy Saturday!
    P.S. We sure hope out Insider works a whole lot better today.

  5. BooBear
    9:15 am on March 14th, 2015

    Beautiful prayer last night and wonderful post this morning. Mom shed a few tears reading both. Special hugs and love for ML and for Zoe and all of us who considered Melanie a special friend.

    Regarding yesterday’s debate, AJ has our support but since Philip so connected to Snowhook, we support him too. There are several other teams we like to keep track of sort of (the sibe teams because SiberH was always so proud of them) but AJ is our musher all the way. Sorry, Rio, I know your comment was directed to Stover, but when you post it here, you know we are all going to get in your bizness LOL!!

  6. Billy's Buddy
    9:18 am on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you, Rebecca and Spence. We all continue to love and miss our Melanie.

    Good morning everyone.

    Go Snowhook!

  7. O'Howlers
    9:26 am on March 14th, 2015

    And BooBear! Truman is racing on Philip’s team. Mom asked him to take very good care of that guy, and let him know that we all call him “Truman”.

  8. Herd of Hounds
    9:34 am on March 14th, 2015

    Insider GPS isn’t updating for us today :( Hopefully it will a bit later.

  9. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    9:54 am on March 14th, 2015

    A couple of weeks ago, as I was going down memory lane, I came to Melanie’s post on March 14, 2010. She said it was Pi Day, which I hadn’t heard of before. I cried reading that because I knew in four years she would die on that day.

  10. Tupper's Mama
    9:57 am on March 14th, 2015

    Rebecca and AJ, thank you.

  11. B.Stover
    9:58 am on March 14th, 2015

    Yes, Melanie was very special and I miss her.

    Good morning all.

  12. Herd of Hounds
    9:59 am on March 14th, 2015

    But look at the legacy of wonderful memories and bittersweet memories. Yes, I would rather have her here but apparently someone else needed her more!
    I cherish having known her for even a short time.

  13. B.Stover
    10:03 am on March 14th, 2015

    My post from 1:54 yesterday was a response to Rio’s post of 1:22 yesterday to let him know that the GPS tracker was not frozen as far as I could tell. I should have been clearer in my answer.

  14. BearSpiritDog
    10:39 am on March 14th, 2015

    There are More Than a Few Tears Here after reading this morning’s post.
    Thank you, AJ for the Tribute, Rebecca for the Story, and Spence for the Post.
    We will never stop missing her, the Dearest Friend We Never Met.

  15. dawson
    11:16 am on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you for this special post on one of Melanie’s favorite days, pi day.
    Melanie is on the trail, let the joy of friendship and laughter fill our hearts.

  16. Herd of Hounds
    11:34 am on March 14th, 2015

    And speaking of the trail…we haven’t heard much from the small dog race but it looks like thay are having issues.

  17. Herd of Hounds
    11:37 am on March 14th, 2015

    Trail….AJ and the team are in Huslia and resting. Hounds and Kats are welcoming him and the dogs.

  18. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:40 am on March 14th, 2015

    A Year!…sob!sob!sob!

  19. Zoe
    11:41 am on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you all McKey is here and Dan the dog is back and I feel very fortunate for friends like all of you and for family ..

  20. dawson
    12:02 pm on March 14th, 2015

    http://fairbanks.uber.matchbin.net/view/full_story/17654669/article-Alaska-elders-tell-stories-of-their-lives-to-students?instance=features_our_town_athabascan_word_of_the_week

    Huslia is sponsored by the Herd of Hounds, past and present and The Kats! Everyone is out on the trail to welcome AJ and the Snowhook team. Melanie, Rick and Truman are there with SiberH. Wookie, Dima and Cherokee and look! Here comes a herd of Newfs to add to the wonder of the Trail.

    Go Snowhook!

  21. Wolfie
    12:09 pm on March 14th, 2015

    It sounds as if there is Magic on the trail. I know that Melanie lives on, as does everyone we love. But there is ache in the separation between this world and the next.

  22. Wolfie
    12:10 pm on March 14th, 2015

    And friend of Snowhook is a friend of mine! Go Phillip! Happy Trails!

  23. B.Stover
    12:25 pm on March 14th, 2015

    I just received a postcard from Anchorage with a beautiful gray wolf on the front and a wonderful blue hummingbird stamp. Thank you!

  24. Masquers
    12:31 pm on March 14th, 2015

    HOH: Heh. Small dog team! What a hoot.

    AJ and the dogs are resting in Huslia, home of the late great George Attla.
    Dawson, Thanks for the link.

    Wolfie: Your words are true. We know that at times, such as now, the veil between worlds is thin and we can feel their presence even stronger.

  25. Herd of Hounds
    12:47 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Macy the minpin. Can you compete with those we need doggies? Not we need ,weenie come on.

  26. BearSpiritDog
    12:51 pm on March 14th, 2015

    My Dear Friend Siber-H: This is your year and Your Race. I join you as you lead the Spirit Team running along-side the Dogs of Snowhook on the 2015 Race to Nome.

    GO TEAMS!!! GO SNOWHOOK!!!

  27. dawson
    12:56 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Masquers, the original Snow Kat, is on the Trail with the rest of the Kats Rule! team.

  28. Masquers
    12:58 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Dawson: Sniff.

  29. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    1:01 pm on March 14th, 2015

    I want to see all the brave mushers and their dogs do well out on the trail. I support them all, but only Snowhook’s support is financial. I have other charities as well, like a group that rescues dogs from the terrible dog fighting that is rampant in Buffalo.

  30. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    1:22 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Let me just add another thank you for Rebecca’s special post this morning. We all have such wonderful memories of Melanie and all the grace and joy she shared with each of us. One of my most special memories was her surreptitiously acting as the bidder for the signed first chapter of The Sound and the Furry, so that Debbie and Wookie could surprise me with that as a Christmas present. It was also Wookie’s last Christmas with us, which made it even more special.

  31. Riö – The Evil Pug
    1:24 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Groomer!….Heh!heh!….Beau is at the groomers right now…snort!…Midge, the tiny little groomer, pulled out her card on him and said, “Oh, I remember this guy…it takes two of us to clip his nails and give him a bath!”….chorkel!

  32. O'Howlers
    1:29 pm on March 14th, 2015

    The ‘rents just returned home from a bike-spending expedition. Mom finally got bike pants so she won’t have to continue being embarrassed bicycling in her horseriding britches. She also got a bike jacket, because she had to finally break down and give her gorgeous, much-loved, favorite Iditarod jacket to Pop. She is going to cry every time she sees him wearing it.
    When they returned, they picked up the mail, and lo and behold, there is a postcard from Alaska, with adorable Sibe puppies sitting on a sled. That was so so sweet of you intrepid travelers. Thank you so much.

  33. BearSpiritDog
    1:40 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Oh, Dog. How Did Jeff King get Ahead?

  34. Masquers
    1:43 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Dear Beau: Wonderfluffing is a necessary part of life.

  35. Herd of Hounds
    1:47 pm on March 14th, 2015

    We here at the HOH think it is a wonder if mom fluffs at all! We also love to watch the race stats. At least the iditarod Insider is sorta/kinda keeping up today :)

  36. BearSpiritDog
    2:00 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Hounds: A Condundrum…Sorry we paid the money for the Insider, but at the same time, Glad we did.

  37. Herd of Hounds
    2:08 pm on March 14th, 2015

    BSD, we feel like you about the Insider but at least we are not completely out of the loop. One thing good is that $$ to Iditarod is tax deductible.

  38. B.Stover
    2:16 pm on March 14th, 2015

    “Watching Jeff King bedding down his dog team, it was showing that he was cold and tired. ”

    That is a quotation from the Insider report. What is the subject of the first “sentence”? This irritates me…. Sorry.

  39. Herd of Hounds
    2:20 pm on March 14th, 2015

    HRH B, perhaps if the writer had said ….it was obvious that… Oh, heck, we cannot educate the entire world, just one idiot at a time. And now this idiot and her herd are going to nap and have sweet dreams.

  40. O'Howlers
    2:21 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Don’t worry about King, BSD. The race still has a long way to go.

  41. Herd of Hounds
    2:24 pm on March 14th, 2015

    HRH B, perhaps Sebastian and his comment, King makes sure his dogs sleep comfortable should have been comfortably so it didn’t grate on the ear so much. Perhaps it is becauses Sebastian’s first language wasn’t English?

  42. Siber's Mom
    2:30 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Rebecca, Thank you for the tribute to Melanie. She will always be a part of all of us. She is missed, but she will always be with us.

    Bear, Thank you for your message to Siber-H…sniff

    GO SNOWHOOK!!!

  43. B.Stover
    2:31 pm on March 14th, 2015

    I’d suggest, “As I watched Jeff King bedding down his dog team, it was obvious to me that he was cold and tired.” His error is a dangling modifier. If someone is writing for a “public” audience, they could at least write grammatically correct sentences. (That’s why I get irritated by errors from Amazon reviewers.) Sigh.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangling_modifier

  44. Diane C.
    2:33 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Can anyone reading this doubt for even a moment that Melanie is right here with us? Still, I was a little teary too, reading about the ribbon.
    I need to catch up on the progress of the splendid Snowhook Team, then observe Pi Day in Melanie’s honor (and that of a hard-working transcendental number).
    Go Snowhook!(Cheesecake is a kind of pie…)

  45. B.Stover
    2:33 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Forgot (which is the way irritation affects my mind): The link in the above message is the Wikipedia explanation of “dangling modifier.”

  46. Diane C.
    2:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    HOH–You make a good point about chaning in to a language other than one’s first (Germans speaking English tend to use “good” as an adverb because that’s apparently fine in German; it always sounds odd coming right in the middle a sentence that is otherwise beautifully put together).
    B. Stover–Try not to let it get to you (or at least not too much)–if it does, the language criminals win.

  47. Diane C.
    2:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    HOH–…and that was supposed to be “changing” rather than “chaning”…

  48. B.Stover
    2:43 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Diane: Another of my problems is that I’m sure the author is getting paid to write for the Insider. Sigh…again.

  49. c.hobbit
    3:06 pm on March 14th, 2015

    There are times I struggle to catch my breath when I think of our heartfelt friend. I am also thinking of Amalia today remembering that she lost one of her dearest friends (who introduced her to the blog).

    Last year on the blog we were all exhausted with sadness. The trail was so brutal, the six puppies were critically ill and our friend was dying. I bless Amalia for determinedly posting in the days that followed and helping us regain our blog spirit and voice.

  50. Siber's Mom
    3:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    C.Hobbit, Very well said

  51. Herd of Hounds
    4:01 pm on March 14th, 2015

    You know, it’s like the Roseanne Rosanna Danna character on SNL “If it’s not one thing, it’s something else.” And that is how life is. Without this we might get complacent. Mush on! Go Snowhook.

  52. Billy's Buddy
    4:02 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Very well said, C.Hobbit. Thank you.

    And thank you, Amalia.

    I received the puppy post card yesterday and forgot to mention it and how it brightened my day.

  53. Herd of Hounds
    4:04 pm on March 14th, 2015

    And if mom doesn’t get a particularly slobbery kiss from Rio for being 51st, she will be sure Darah Thea gives Rio a Saliva BATH!

  54. Herd of Hounds
    4:21 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Noticed spring was coming. The yard is full of white and yellow Daffodils and the visitor to the house (our red geranium) is blooming.

  55. Herd of Hounds
    4:36 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Our friend’s day, Pi Day, spring is coming and life goes on. Isn’t that what the flowers and all of these memories tell us. With us, in thought, in memory and in our friends, we all go on.

  56. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    4:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    In case you haven’t noticed, they have adjusted AJ’s time in Tanana to give him his eight hour layover there, so he has done both. (You can confirm this by clicking on his musher profile and they show his times at each stop on the bottom). They clearly have had timing problems in Tanana, because they previously had similarly adjusted MIchelle Philips time also to give her an eight hour layover there (when initially posted, she had a layover of 7h55m, which they were not crediting as an eight hour layover). Interesting, neither Allie Zirkie, Mitch Seavey nor Aaraon Burmeister (running 1, 3 and 4 respectively at present) have done their 8 hour layover yet, which is supposed to be taken on the Yukon River. Not sure if that will become an issue later on or not.

  57. Wolfie
    4:40 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Was it in 2013 that The Giant got lost in the Sea of Block Ice? That was so scary!

  58. Wolfie
    4:42 pm on March 14th, 2015

    And let’s not forget the Plunderer’s by proxy that we lost this year: Rick, Truman, and Siber’s paw.

  59. O'Howlers
    4:44 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Hobbit, thank you for saying what we all are feeling. And Amalia, thank you for helping us to keep our spirits up while you were suffering the loss of your dearest friend.
    It has been raining here all day, and we were out there in all those puddles and mud, cleaning barn and chicken coops. Now we are damp and chilly, but fed.
    Hey! We see on CurrentStandings that AJ has his 8-hours. When did that happen? We have sure been distracted this year. We need to get back on focus.

  60. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    4:44 pm on March 14th, 2015

    For those with the Insider, you should watch the interview (just posted) with Lance Mackey. He has “cut the cord” with his brother Jason allowing Jason to go ahead. Lance is still committed to finishing the race though (although adding that he might finish a month behind his brother); he just didn’t want to hold his brother up any more.

  61. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    4:45 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Howlers — check my post above re AJ’s 8 hour layover.

  62. Wolfie
    4:45 pm on March 14th, 2015

    I am glad they adjusted the 8 hour layover issue. As Mr. Baker can attest, one does not want to annoy the Plunderer’s, especially where AJ is concerned. And I am thinking in particular of one curley tailed pug.

  63. O'Howlers
    4:45 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Oops. We were slow tyoing, and now we see Wookie’s Paw’s post. So it was Tanana. We knew they had that messed up. We just knew it. Mom tried to get ITC to re-check it, but they seemed unconcerned.

  64. Tupper's Mama
    4:51 pm on March 14th, 2015

    The veil was thin today.
    We went to eat breakfast this morning. The lady sitting next to me said she liked my pretty purple shirt.I told her I was wearing it in honor of my best friend who passed away. And I told her I liker HER purple shirt too. She said she was wearing it to go visit her grandmother in the nursing home. She told me “Grammy Melanie always loves to see purple”.

    It was a message. I know it was.

    But she promised to give her grandmother a hug from me.

  65. B.Stover
    4:52 pm on March 14th, 2015

    There is a brief article about Zirkie and the other female mushers in this year’s Iditarod in today’s NYTimes along with 14 pictures.

  66. Herd of Hounds
    4:52 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Whoo hoo! GO SNOWHOOK!

  67. Masquers
    4:55 pm on March 14th, 2015

    A beautiful red geranium is indeed a sure sign of spring.

    CHobbiti: Yes, very well said.

  68. Wookie'so and Teddy's Dad
    4:57 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amalia. It was most definitely a message. Peace be with you on this most difficult day.

  69. Herd of Hounds
    4:58 pm on March 14th, 2015

    AJ is moving again! Philip is about 11 miles out from Huslia. Both have credit for their 8 and 24’s. Perhaps someone gave the ITC a bag so they could get their poop together.

  70. BearSpiritDog
    5:00 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amalia, Yes, it truly was a Sign. A Definite Sign. Sniff.

  71. O'Howlers
    5:05 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Tupper’s Maw, that story gave Mom a chill up her spine. The veil is indeed thin. Did you tell Rob and McKey? They are both posting a lot about their mom today.

  72. BearSpiritDog
    5:06 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Nana says the Awesome One wore Purple the whole time she was in Alaska.

    Wolfie: We are thinking the unnerving Norton Sound Episode was in 2012…the year Melanie made the Video.

  73. BearSpiritDog
    5:15 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Nana just saw Snowhook’s Tribute to Melanie on Facebookie. Now she is bawling again.

  74. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    5:17 pm on March 14th, 2015

    We agree that was a message from another dimension.

    Beautiful spring day. Saw some crocus and daffodils popping thru the frozen ground, but still are watching for our first robin.

    Thanks for all the updates on AJ. Glad the officials got the times corrected.

    Bear, Have you seen The Judge? Great movie, great cast, great acting.

  75. O'Howlers
    5:23 pm on March 14th, 2015

    AJ’s tracker has not updated for 51 minutes. If he has left Huslia, we can’t tell.

  76. BearSpiritDog
    5:40 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Barb,Magpie,Lucy: No we have not seen the Judge yet, but will look it up and put it on our list based on Your Recommendation.

    O’Howlers: Our Frustration with the GPS Tracker is reaching the breaking point. At this point we are flying without notifications and Depending on Others for race details. Refreshing is not helping. Growl.

  77. Herd of Hounds
    5:50 pm on March 14th, 2015

    The tracker showed AJ running but now resting again in Huslia…?que pasa?

  78. Tupper's Mama
    6:11 pm on March 14th, 2015

    BSD. please ask Nana to check her SDD

  79. ALR
    6:13 pm on March 14th, 2015

    About all I can say today for sure is Wow! Such beautiful tributes and honor to Melanie speaks to the great hearts that still listen for her. I fear that, though I posted here fairly early, I was too infrequent to understand. I was taken up in work and my relentless trips to Yellowstone! And now today I recieved a postcard from Alaska……with a gray wolf on the front! One could only delight in the coincidence (or not :))as the constant attention wolves get in Yellowstone often seems like the concentrated attention our team and others are recieving in the Iditarod! Thank you Sender of Postcards!

  80. ALR
    6:21 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Let me add that I don’t sit on hillsides and watch wolves all day when in Yellowstone, but I have been checking the stat pages quite often and noticed the change in AJ’s listing regarding the 8 hour rest. I was confused! Can anyone explain how this Lisbet Norris is showing neither the 8 hour or 24 hour rest taken? She is #41. I especially check on AJ and Phillip, but kind of wonder about strategies as compare what the various racers have done.

  81. Riö – The Evil Pug
    6:22 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Resting!…My tracker updated Flag_19 13 minutes ago – our team was still in Huslia then….snort!

  82. Riö – The Evil Pug
    6:32 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Enroute!…Our team was enroute to Huslia for 15+ hours. So we can assume they will not leave this checkpoint until 15 hours later….snort!…I’m guessing around 10:30ish tonight….grunt!

  83. Wolfie
    6:32 pm on March 14th, 2015

    ALR, I am confused also. It seems as if the Insider stats are not always accurate, so things aren’t making any sense.

  84. Herd of Hounds
    6:33 pm on March 14th, 2015

    It amazes me tht with today’s technology, communication is not allowed. a a step back to the 1920s. Heck just look at Brett Sass :( If the route stays the same, why does communication matter soooooooooooooo much?

  85. Riö – The Evil Pug
    6:34 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Wookies_Paw!….Thank you for pointing out that AJ has been credited his 8…snort!….I don’t know why, but I was really worrit about that 8 hours..sniff!….Now I am relieved and feeling great!….WOOOOOO!

  86. Herd of Hounds
    6:36 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Car 54, Where Are You?

  87. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    6:42 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Just got our mail and we also received a surprise post card with 3 puppies on it. Thank you Dawson, or someone else if you didn’t send it. I have it sitting next to my computer.

  88. Herd of Hounds
    6:43 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Let’s look at the things that really matter…Jodi’s job…

  89. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    6:48 pm on March 14th, 2015

    That job looks familiar! Just finished doing some poop scooping myself. Hidden treasures under the recently melted snow!

    Now, we are firing up the grill for the first time this season. Baked potato, baked onion and shrimp on the barbie! Yum.

  90. Teddy Ruff Rider
    6:53 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Rio. My paw was very worrit about that too, which why he has been watching it so closely. The most important thing is that AJ’s situation has been correctly resolved and he has been credited with both layovers. We may not have the full story until the race is over as to what actually happened. In case that it would have been necessary for AJ to have filed an appeal, my paw had already prepared a first draft of his appeal brief. Just in case . . .

  91. Herd of Hounds
    6:58 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you, Barb. You have managed to put so much back into perspective!

  92. BearSpiritDog
    7:18 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Teddy: Thank Dog your Dad has all contingencies covered! What a Relief to hear AJ was credited with the 8 hour layover.

    Thanks to SnowBella’s Updates, we know AJ and the Team have left Huslia.

  93. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    7:28 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Someone has asked about Lisbet Norris not having any layovers yet. She is another casualty of a Tanana screw-up. She is showing a Tanana layover of 7h58m which is not credited as an eight hour layover. I am sure that will have to be corrected too in due course as well.

  94. BearSpiritDog
    7:39 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Is this possible? Is the GSP Tracking actually working? For the Very First Time we were able to see the little Green Flag moving on down the line.

  95. c.hobbit
    7:44 pm on March 14th, 2015

    SnowBella posted on FB that AJ left Huslia with 14 dogs at 2:40 AST.

  96. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:46 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Wow!…I was not expecting our team to leave Huslia so quickly…snort!snort!…This is exciting! I get to watch them move along the trail tonight – tracker-paws crossed that is….guffle!

  97. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:48 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Teddy!…I’m so glad your Paw is on top of all things paperwork!….snort!snort!

  98. Herd of Hounds
    7:51 pm on March 14th, 2015

    No BSD, the GPS is yet again FUBAR. Now we see 19 mushers running with no statistics. No time. No nada. What is Insider doing with our $$s. How demoralized are they trying to make mushers feel? What in heaven’s or hell’s name is the ITC doing with with the tracker? We are not happy or pleased. No wonder there are laws against monopolies such as ITC. This is ridiculous!

  99. Herd of Hounds
    7:55 pm on March 14th, 2015

    We are serious. AJ is at NO mile mark on our stats. It shows him running (as are 18 other mushers). It also shows B. Sass (who was DQed) ahead of AJ. Is this how they are justifying putting their time glitch into mushers’ time? What a load of carpola!

  100. Herd of Hounds
    8:00 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Finally, AJ is on the chart again at mile mark 503. What is up with the tracker?

  101. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    8:00 pm on March 14th, 2015

    I’m sure glad I poked my head in today, else I’d have missed that beautiful tribute to Melanie. I didn’t know her as well as the rest of y’all did, but I knew (and know) she was (and is) someone special. My Melanie is back in the hospital as they try to help her pneumonia. It’s pretty scary stuff, and I can just say I hope it really is pneumonia. (I’m sure you’ve never heard of anyone actually hoping for pneumonia before.)Anyway, thank you AJ and Rebecca for honoring Melanie today.

    Other stuff for another time.

  102. ALR
    8:02 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you Wookie and Teddy’s Dad. I am only deciphering parts of that long stat sheet they post for free. It’s only my second year following these mushers and their brave and strong dogs. I am glad to know that Lisbet took some rest. Yes, that website needs a new CEO with better hiring practices!

  103. Herd of Hounds
    8:11 pm on March 14th, 2015

    AJ at 503 (still) but moving.
    Buddy and Leno and Hilda, So glad you have poped in to help relieve Iditrod tension.
    Your Melanie will be in our pawrayers tonight. You tell us stories that are enjoyable and fun to retell. Keep it up.

  104. Herd of Hounds
    8:16 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Buddy, your Hilde blog sounds like a normal puppy growing up and that is good. Remember that you are the pack alpha and need to treat her as a parental dog would.

  105. BearSpiritDog
    8:18 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Buddy,Leno,Hilda: Your Sweet Melanie is in Our Prayers.

  106. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    8:28 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thanks y’all. Here’s the most recent pic of Hilda, she’s growing like a weed. Also, this is probably old news, but listen to what I just heard a few days ago.
    http://www.petliferadio.com/animalwritesep85.html

  107. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    8:31 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thanks y’all.. Latest photo is next, thank you moderation. Also, this is probably old news, but listen to what I just heard a few days ago.
    http://www.petliferadio.com/animalwritesep85.html

  108. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    8:33 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Meh. OK, I guess the moderation thingy doesn’t like the Pet Life Radio web site, which has an interview with Spence on the Animal Writes show. Old news, probably, but listen if not. Otherwise, thanks y’all for the encouragement. Here’s the latest pic of Hilda, she’s growing like a weed.

  109. BearSpiritDog
    8:46 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Hilde: Where’s your Photo? It Didn’t Show.

  110. Herd of Hounds
    8:49 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Buddy, your Leno and HIldenare truly fantastic. Love hearing about them. Oops, excuse me while I run outside and drag in barking dog-lips!

  111. Masquers
    8:56 pm on March 14th, 2015

    In a few minutes we will be posting tonight’s very special prayer written by Amalia and Leonard. The beautiful words are theirs; the honor is ours.

  112. BSD & Masquers
    9:00 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Creator – it has been a glorious day; a day of memories and tears and honoring the lives of those we loved.

    Creator, we thank you for those people who blessed our lives. Each one of them changed us, enriched us, and gave us new perspectives. Each one of them made a difference.

    Tonight, we come to you with prayers for those in our history, those in our present, and the ones who will be our future.

    We ask you to let us feel the presence of those we have loved and lost. Let us remember our mothers’ soft touch on our cheek. Let us feel husbands’ strong hands holding ours. Let the sound of best friends’ laughter ring in the halls of our memories, and let us know that brothers and sisters are safe within your hands. We ask to feel the soft, warm fur of our beloved companions, and know that all of us will again dance together among the stars

    Creator, we ask you to bless and protect all those in this circle of our family. Heal wounds and ills, lift hearts and spirits, and comfort those whose hearts still mourn. Your comfort manifests in the love we share, let us feel this special companionship that stretches thousands of miles, and yet is never thinned.

    We ask you to bring all of those who have left us behind to the stars and skies above AJ and the team. As they run across the frozen land, let their hearts be strengthened by the support of those on the other side. Let their endurance be as everlasting as our love for our departed ones.

    Creator – tonight we ask you to be a part of our future. We ask you to watch over Jace and instill in him all the love and strength of his grandmother, for she is an honorable woman. We ask you to be with River, and give him dreams and visions of the grandmother he will have to meet later. Let him live blessed by the love she gave to others. Keep all of the little ones, both human and animal in your hands, caring for them and helping them grow.

    Creator, we thank you for those people who have blessed our lives. Each one of them changed us, enriched us and gave us new perspectives. Each one of them made a difference.

    Creator – it has been a glorious day; a day of memories and tears and honoring the lives of those we loved. Let us all be worthy of the love you have given to all of us.

  113. BearSpiritDog
    9:02 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you, Amalia & Leonard. Once again your words have touched our hearts. Amen and amen.

  114. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    9:10 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you. So nicely said.

  115. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:13 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen, and thank you. A beautiful prayer as always.

    We hope Buddy, Leno, and Hilda’s Melanie is on the road to recovery and back with her family soon.

    MaryLou, thinking of you tonight too.

  116. Herd of Hounds
    9:14 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen.

  117. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:19 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Golinka!….Your prayer touched my friend very much, as she has lost so many so quickly….sniffle!….Amen!

  118. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    9:31 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen, and amen.

  119. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    9:32 pm on March 14th, 2015

    OK, and here’s Hilda’s photo again. Admin, please forgive if it’s in your uploads directory twice.

  120. Siber's Mom
    9:33 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen and Thank you Amalia, Bear, and Masquers for the beautiful prayer.

    Buddy, Prayers that your Melanie will get better soon.

  121. Billy's Buddy
    9:37 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen.

    Please bless Buddy’s Melanie.

  122. O'Howlers
    9:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you for those beautiful words, Amlia and Leonad, and Nana and. Bear, for posting them.

  123. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    9:38 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen.

  124. Wolfie
    9:45 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Sniff. Thank you for remembering Jace. He is a love.

    Thank was a beautiful prayer. Love is everything.

  125. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    9:47 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Does anyone have the prayer from Christmas or New Year’s Eve (I forget which) of 2013? That’s the first one I ever read and wish I’d saved it. I’m not sure if it still lives in the archives somewhere.

  126. Tupper's Mama
    9:49 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Greetings friends – thank you to Nana for being our reliable internet connection.
    Buddy – we are sorry to hear about your Melanie. She will be in our personal prayers later tonight.
    We know you are all so frustrated with the Insider, but can you give us any idea of where AJ is in the order of racers? We are really out of the loop since we can’t access even the race map.

  127. Tupper's Mama
    9:53 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Buddy – if it doesn’t live in the archives, we should have it on our home computer. We can find it once we return home, and email it to you.
    Unless of course MPM, our illustrious archivist can track it down before then.

  128. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    10:01 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thank you and good night all.

  129. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:06 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Golinka!….I was able to take a screen shot of the GPS screen as I see it here…snort!…The shakey arrow is pointing to Snowhook and the yellow is the next checkpoint….chuffle!….You can see who he is running with by the numbers on the flags…grunt!

  130. BearSpiritDog
    10:06 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Good Night to Barb,Magpie,Lucy. We are right behind you. Bear

  131. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:07 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Golinka!….Right click on the image and “Open in new window” to get a better view….sneeze!

  132. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:12 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Pack!….Leaders!…snort!…Aaron Burmeisier and Jeff King!…wheeze!…Ally Zirkle is resting…zzzzzz!

  133. Tupper's Mama
    10:13 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Rio – thank you! Looks like he is going strong.

  134. bluecat
    10:15 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen.

    Thank you for the postcard.

    I miss Melanie’s laughter.

  135. Tupper's Mama
    10:20 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Thanks Rio. Internet is winked out again

  136. Buddy, Leno, and Hilda
    10:23 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Oh, yes, thanks for the postcard. Was wondering what it was, saw mentions of them today, and asked Alena about it. A nice surprise. Also, yes please, do Email to me. Anyone can have my Email if they ain’t got it already.

  137. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:26 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Golinka!….Here is what I do next after I get the big picture….snort!….I drill down closer to AJ and the team and watch him pass other teams…heh!heh!…He just passed Lance Mackey….snuffle!…Lance’s son is ahead, #72. I want to see him pass that guy too…chuffle!

  138. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:39 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Reality!…I am sure all of us are seeing different versions of Reality right now while watching the gps-sortof-tracker…grunt!… So who knows? All I know is I have a vague idea of what is transpiring out there on the trail. Very vague, but at least it is something…chuffle!

  139. Herd of Hounds
    10:46 pm on March 14th, 2015

    At least today we got to see where AJ and the diggies are! Hope that continues. Going to bed now since the o’night flight did us in!

    GO SNOWHOOK!

  140. Herd of Hounds
    11:07 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Buddy, have been reading about the puppy and her relationship with the other creatures. I’m Available at shakverataoldotcom. Hope to hear from you soon.

  141. dawson
    11:14 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen to the prayer. Thank you to BSD & Masquers and Amalia & Storyteller.

  142. ALR
    11:16 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen to another beautiful and strengthening prayer.

  143. dawson
    11:37 pm on March 14th, 2015

    It is a long run from Huslia to Koyukuk so AJ may take a rest partway there. I expect he will pull into Koyukuk sometime during the night.
    The Koyukuk checkpoint is sponsored by the Storyteller and Amalia in honor of the Navajo Code Talkers.

    Goodnight all.

  144. Staff
    11:47 pm on March 14th, 2015

    My sister, the Catty Librarian is here to help with things for a week. It is great to see her! But I will be rather busy and might not post much. I will be lurking though.

    The tracker is working OK for me, but I am not on it constantly so I might be missing some problems.

    Mr.Fireslippers made his famous Key Lime pie today. YUM! We told him he did it because it was Pi day.

    I miss Melanie too.

  145. c.hobbit
    11:47 pm on March 14th, 2015

    Amen.

    Even if you don’t watch the video, looking at the photo is wonderful…northern lights in Huslia as the dogs rest:
    http://www.adn.com/video/video-iditarod-dogs-rest-under-northern-lights

  146. Masquers
    12:00 am on March 15th, 2015

    I know one thing…we can all rest easier knowing AJ got credit for his 8 hours way back when…so now he’s good to go for mandatory rest stops until White Mountain.

  147. Masquers
    12:02 am on March 15th, 2015

    CHobbiti: We had so hoped to see those Northern Lights! Alas it was not to be.

  148. Riö – The Evil Pug
    12:04 am on March 15th, 2015

    CHobbit!…Wow!Wow!…I can hardly imagine being in such a wonderful place…WOW!….What a great link to Huslia! I am imaging one of those sets of dawgs being Snowhook Dawgs….chuffle!

  149. c.hobbit
    5:29 am on March 15th, 2015

    Philip’s wife posted this at 1:20 am AST
    “Due to circumstances beyond his control, Philip and Team had to scratch outside of Galena.
    Know that musher and pups are all well. I’m sure he’ll tell y’all more when he gets home…Be sure to keep an eye on our teammate #19- Justin Savidis as he continues to race toward Koyukuk.

  150. Herd of Hounds
    6:45 am on March 15th, 2015

    SSorry to hear that hilip had to leave the race but glad that he and especially the dogs are well.

  151. Herd of Hounds
    6:51 am on March 15th, 2015

    Insider stats do not yet show that Philip has scratched.

  152. Herd of Hounds
    8:22 am on March 15th, 2015

    Insider stats now updated. AJ has paassed Lance Mackey and Philip out at Galena.

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

    Isn’t today the 15th? Someone’s birthday is today!
    Have a pugcake to celebrate, everyone.

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