Iditarod Day 1

Here is Rebecca’s (CEO of Snowhook) overnight report. Many thanks, Rebecca!

Nenana is an interior village on the road system, and it is where I was able to meet AJ and the team a handful of hours after they left the starting line in Fairbanks. As we waited for teams to arrive, excellent hospitality was offered by the residents of the village. Warm food, friendly greetings, and the use of their community center, not only welcomed mushers, but mushers’ handlers as well.

Teams were able to receive limited support in Nenana, the first of sixteen checkpoints. Mick, Jodi and I loaded straw, water, dog food and AJs food onto an inexpensive plastic sled and waited for the team to arrive. At one minute after four in the afternoon, the team checked into Nenana. After parking the team, a quick vet check, and restocking the sled with supplies, AJ stuck to his plan to rest the team for a few hours. Given the cramped space to camp the dogs, AJ opted to move from the main dog lot and find a quieter location to rest the dogs.

We can expect to see AJ break up the 90 mile stretch between Nenana and the Manley Hot Springs checkpoint into two parts. He will run, rest and the run again.

I arrived home late on Monday evening and was greeted by the dogs remaining at home. Those of us, the left-behinds, will watch as the dogs of Snowhook Kennel make the run from Fairbanks to Nome.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 8:13 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.

77 Responses to “Iditarod Day 1”

  1. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    8:45 am on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you Spence and Rebecca for the excellent reporting. Safe travels to the dog team and AJ, and also the Plunderers who are heading home today. And Rio too, where ever he is!

  2. O'Howlers
    9:24 am on March 10th, 2015

    Good morning, all. Thanks for the report, Rebecca. Let the cheesecake eating commence.

  3. Tupper and Gilly
    9:27 am on March 10th, 2015

    Good morning all. It will probably be a quiet day on this here blog as some are traveling, some are visiting and some have eyes only for little green flags.
    We are so grateful for all the wonderful reporting and pictures from up north. Thanks to all the travelers for bringing us along.

  4. dawson
    9:38 am on March 10th, 2015

    Thanks to Spence and Rebecca for filing that report.

    T&G: If you still need someone to post a prayer on Wednesday could you SDD me. In my sleep deprivation and jet lag, I can’t find your address.

    I’m into Seattle and awaiting next flight to Vancouver. I will be sleeping all day
    once I get home, I hope.

  5. B.Stover
    9:44 am on March 10th, 2015

    Interesting report. I wonder why the sled has to be restocked so soon.
    I’m glad that there is snow there.

    Good morning all.

  6. Tupper and Gilly
    9:48 am on March 10th, 2015

    Dawson – will do, and thanks.

  7. dawson
    9:55 am on March 10th, 2015

    BStover: Typically, the musher carries only enough supplies to get the team to the next checkpoint where they will restock for the next leg of the journey. They don’t want to carry any more weight than necessary.

    Golinka: Thank you. Enjoy your travels.

  8. B.Stover
    10:00 am on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you Dawson.

  9. Diane C.
    10:22 am on March 10th, 2015

    Good morning everyone–thanks for the splendid reportage so far, may everyone travel safely (wherever they’re traveling) today.
    I’m taking Conan to visit the wellness place this a.m., then I hope to be back and tracking continuing excellent progress for the team and all of us.
    Be well, all.

  10. Diane C.
    10:28 am on March 10th, 2015

    …and a belated “Amen” for lat night’s prayer…

  11. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    11:35 am on March 10th, 2015

    Good morning, everyone. I haven’t forgotten to do my job. Just haven’t been able to get to a ‘puter when there was signals or service. Also, the gozillion fotos I took won’t down load 🙁 I will try, try again. Traveling back to Anchorage today. Bd, di bd di bip Nore mews as it becomes available.
    P.S. AJ looked more like a Sasquatch than our Giant when he left Fairbanks.

  12. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    11:37 am on March 10th, 2015

    GAH…”MORE NEWS” not nore muse (dyslexic fingers? or is that a Malapropism or some other dumb thing I seem to be afflicted with?)

  13. Billy's Buddy
    12:59 pm on March 10th, 2015

    I am impressed with and thankful for all of the news and photos.


    Happy trails to you travelers.

  14. c.hobbit
    1:02 pm on March 10th, 2015

    {{{sigh}}} Guests are beginning to check out of the Hobbit Hotel. Sadie seems to realize thar for each guest leaving it means two less hands to pet her. The Hobbit Hotel will be missing 8 hands today! However HOH and Digger are checking in tonight so she will be happy until Thursday afternoon. On Friday she will be very unhappy when she realizes that no guests means no bacon. Poor Sadie.

    1:12 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Oh poor Sadie. She will have to adjust to a quiet house again, with fewer patty-pats. Life is tough, Sadie girl! Your mama is an excellent hostess.

  16. Staff
    1:12 pm on March 10th, 2015

    justin is still number 10 in time. Right now he and many other mushers are resting at Manly Hot Springs. They are at mile 155 on the route.

    Here is a link to Sebastian’s story about Manly Hot Springs

  17. Staff
    1:28 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Hey Barb, We are twins.

    It was sad to say farewell to Nana last night. sniff. I am so glad we got to meet. I am not much of a traveler so the most I have traveled is to meet Plunderers. I would encourage anyone who can travel to go to visit a plunderer. Any plunderer. Everyone I have met has been wonderful. I think we should try to get a Plunderer meet and greet going. We could call it a reunion even though most of us have never met.

    Oh, Philip is third from the last. I hope he can keep going. His analytics profile shows he keeps stopping (for just a few minutes) and starting. I remember when Justin’s profile looked like that. This year Justin’s profile looks very steady and compares favorably to the well known names in the sport.

  18. ALR
    1:51 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Even a Plunderer meet at an airport stopover is a total delight! Meeting Sharon and the DDD was the highlight of my week! My Yellowstone friends call a meetup a Loonian, as we are known as the Yellowstone Loons. Plunderers…..Hmmmmmm Plunderian? Doesn’t sound quite right…Plunder Onian….Nope 🙂
    Plunderer Plethora…ack! Plunderbuss? Come on, surely there is a better term out there!

  19. Tupper and Gilly
    2:08 pm on March 10th, 2015

    ALR – We just call them PlunderParties or Plunderfests. And they are the best things in the world!

    So happy to hear AJ is going along as per his plan. We know Phillp has trained hard, but this is Iditarod after all. It will ve a real test of musher and dog.

    Had to make an emergency run to a department store. One of our two carry-on bags bit the dust. It was only 28 years old. Went to get a new one and lo and behold, there is lots of new technology with carry-on bags too. So now we have two, matching, up-to-date bags. Woo hoo. Snazzy.

  20. Staff
    2:16 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amalia, I know what you mean. Going to the luggage store in Minneapolis was FUN. I changed my mind several times but only had to go back once. 😉

  21. Siber's Mom
    2:29 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you, Rebecca

    Staff, You are also doing some fine reporting.

    I am busier than I would like to be during the Iditarod because Molly and Rudy’s mom keeps bringing them over for trial visits before they will be my actual house guests next week. So far, the girls are doing fine. The weather is nice so we are spending a lot of time outside.


  22. Staff
    2:43 pm on March 10th, 2015

    The hostess with the mostest at the Hobbit Hotel. And Sadie.

  23. Staff
    2:45 pm on March 10th, 2015

    We are about to leave for the airport. I can’t tell you how much fun it is at the Hobbit Hotel. It is just like being at home only better. The finest way to travel.

    It will be good to get home to the cats, but I will be sorry to leave. sniff

    Thank you Hobbit!

  24. Martha
    3:07 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you Rebecca for the update. I was out sick yesterday. Today when I went back, some of the students told me that the race had started already! They are going to the site and “watching”. I am so happy for their enthusiasm.
    Thank you to all who have been posting pictures. And prayers.

  25. ALR
    3:39 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Tupper & Gilly’s Mom……Plunderfest is perfect! Love it. Have a good trip with your new luggage!

  26. B.Stover
    3:58 pm on March 10th, 2015

    I’m so glad that Martha’s students are watching the race. I hope they also go to the Snowhook blog to see photos.

  27. O'Howlers
    3:59 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Should we be worrit about Philip’s team?

  28. Billy's Buddy
    4:29 pm on March 10th, 2015

    O’Hs: That is what I’ve been wondering. Our boy Jem….

  29. B.Stover
    4:46 pm on March 10th, 2015

    I think Philip will be fine.

  30. dawson
    4:54 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Philip might get the Red Lantern. There are 5 former Red Lantern winners (last place) in this year’s Iditarod. None of them want to repeat although there is no shame in finishing the Iditarod in any place.

    I made all my connections and got home safely. Sore and happy muscles.
    I want a nap.

  31. c.hobbit
    5:09 pm on March 10th, 2015

    I seem to recall that AJ had entered a race last month just to get his team used to being around other teams (he finished in 4th place). Philip’s team didn’t get this “orientation” so the newer dogs might get more distracted on the trail and tangle lines that have to be straightened out. That would be one reason for all the starting and stopping. Also I am sure Philip is being very careful.

  32. c.hobbit
    5:13 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Staff’s plane should be leaving within 15 minutes. The skies are clear so they should have beautiful mountains views as they fly south.

    A quick hour of housekeeping (changing bedding and vacuuming) and the Hobbit Hotel is ready for the next guests. Right now it seems so quiet and empty. I have loved all my guests and have invited them to return. The Hobbit Hotel is open year round.

    Having a strengthening cheesecake.

  33. Billy's Buddy
    6:13 pm on March 10th, 2015

    CHobbit: Time for a strengthening glass of wine here.

    Youse are not going to hear me whine (wine) about the weather in my part of Wisconsin today. Sixty-two degrees, sunny, and melting snow. The other buddy reminds me, however, that we are due for one more “big blow” before spring arrives, and he checked today that the snowblower is in good running order.

  34. c.hobbit
    6:14 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Just heard from Nana. She just landed in Seattle. I dropped her off at airport last night and told her to call if she didn’t get on the plAne but she didn’t. We were concerned since she didn’t post on the blog third morning. Hope she has “quick” drive to her son’s where she can rest up.

  35. O'Howlers
    6:15 pm on March 10th, 2015

    We love the photo of Hobbit and Sadie, the hostesses with the mostest. Hobbit, your hair looks so pretty.

  36. O'Howlers
    6:17 pm on March 10th, 2015

    We just got the email that AJ has chcked out of Manley Hot Springs. Onward Snowhook!

  37. O'Howlers
    7:08 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Fern spent last night with her sisters, and she just went into their coop for tonight. So far so good.

  38. c.hobbit
    7:29 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Way to go Fern!

    Staff took the photo of me and Sadie. It turns out that Mr. Fireslippers is a member of the Camera Clutz Club. Nana and I had poised for photos down in Whittier. The sun was shining so Fireslippers couldn’t see the screen. When Nana checked her device later, there were no photos. She figured out that he must have been pressing the on/off button when snapping the photos. I was happy to welcome him into our club

  39. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    7:31 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Howlers, we are keeping our paws crossed. It will be great if she can rejoin her sisters. How are things looking there for your spring planting? We here are still thinking last week in March for onions, garlic and shallots. Not doing peas this year and not enough room for potatoes.

    Roast beef hash from left-over roast is cooking. Aroma is wonderful!

    Lucy is about to celebrate her first year here. She arrived right after Barb returned from her Plunderer visit last March. She is such a joy!

  40. dawson
    7:32 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Manley Hot Springs is a combination checkpoint, meaning that Spencer Quinn’s sponsored checkpoint and Annabelle’s & Dawson”s (the 4 legged) sponsored checkpoint were combined into one checkpoint to accommodate the re-assigned checkpoints for this year’s re-start map.
    Thanks to Spencer Quinn for sponsoring this checkpoint, creating this blog and writing the Chet and Bernie books that have brought us all together to laugh and enjoy life in the moment.
    This checkpoint is also in honor of Annabelle, a champion sled dog and Dawson, a pup who didn’t get the chance to run. Here is Annabelle from the Snowhook Kennels blogspot:

  41. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    7:36 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Hobbit, I think your photos look great. Your hair does not look yellow – it is beautiful. Your eyebrows do not look too dark either. You look good, girl!

  42. c.hobbit
    7:36 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you Spencer.

    For Rio’s Friend…One of my special photos featuring the ground AND my thumb

  43. dawson
    7:49 pm on March 10th, 2015

    CHobbit: You’ve got Mollypop’s & Loulou’s Mom beat in the bad photo department!

    Way to go, Fern. Back in the fold.

    CHobbit looks great!

  44. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    8:46 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Dawson, no fair! I still lead in the Cutting-Heads-Off Category.

  45. bluecat
    9:02 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Creator- thank you for this day. It was a day of thinking about and praying for AJ and our team and Philip and our second team. It was a day to thank Jodi and Mick for seeing Rebecca safely home – to thank Rebecca for overnight reports – to thank Spence for posting the reports.

    We ask safe journeys for traveling Plunderers.

    We ask safety and clear intuition for AJ as he and the team will follow new trails into territory new to them. We ask for resting places that suit them best, either alone or with other trail teams.

    We ask that you grant Rebecca peace, so she is certain she and AJ are not alone in the days and nights to come.

    Creator – we come to you as a family. We share dreams and heartache. Thank you for this time once a day during the race, to come together in gratitude for friendship and to ask for your blessings.

    Creator – hear our prayer.

  46. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:05 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Bluecat, that was wonderful. Amen.

  47. O'Howlers
    9:07 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amen. That was lovely. Thank you, Bluecat.

  48. O'Howlers
    9:09 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Dawson, Thanks for posting the link to the story of Annabelle. sniff

  49. Tupper and Gilly
    9:14 pm on March 10th, 2015

    BlueKat – thank you. Your prayer was beautiful and will surely soar to the Creator.

  50. dawson
    9:20 pm on March 10th, 2015

    MPop’s and Loulou’s Mom: True enough.


  51. dawson
    9:23 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amen to the prayer and thank you, BooBear.

  52. Scout
    9:23 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you.

  53. Wolfie
    9:29 pm on March 10th, 2015


  54. ALR
    9:38 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amen and thank you

  55. Beau - The Black Pug
    9:39 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Amens!…To dat good prayer….sneeze!….Whose knew a Kat could or say a prayer?…snuffle!

  56. ALR
    9:48 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Is Rio still asleep in the dog truck? I worry about that guy when he has been enjoying the ‘shine. One thing is for sure, he had lots of quality time with AJ to work out all the strategy for this race!

  57. c.hobbit
    9:59 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Thank you BlueCat. Amen

  58. ML
    10:03 pm on March 10th, 2015


    And dear friends may I ask for your prayers as I struggle with life and disappointment and did I mention life? I am just not cut out to be alone. I admire those of you who do it so easily.

    Love you family,
    ML out

  59. ALR
    10:08 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Prayer from here, ML, I imagine you are struggling to live the best life you can so as to honor the life you had. It is a day to day thing, and may each day get easier for you.

  60. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:17 pm on March 10th, 2015

    ML!…I will come and stay with you, just say the word!…snort!burp!

    Doc!…Right now I am on top of Ole’ Doc. I am trying to annoy Bellie Button and it is working….chorkel!…She is no where to be seen…heh!heh!….Even from atop Ole’ Doc I can see Rebecca watching The Team on The Screen….Woooooo!…Doc, go get me a beer, will ya?…Oh wait, you can’t….heh!heh!

  61. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:17 pm on March 10th, 2015


  62. c.hobbit
    10:29 pm on March 10th, 2015

    ML: you are never far from my daily thoughts and prayers. Be with people–especially on those days when you least feel like it. Family, friends, work, hobbies, church, volunteering–all of it will help. We are rooting for you.

  63. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:37 pm on March 10th, 2015

    CHobbit!…My friend sent me a text on my little Go-Phone and she said she almost packed her bags for good and booked a ticket to the Hobbit Hotel yesterday….snuffle!…I can assume from this text that things are not going well at the Busy-Place right now…grunt!…She also said I should let you know that you look really great in your hair and eyebrows….snort!….I personally think you and Sadie have the same smile….heh!heh!

  64. c.hobbit
    10:39 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Rio: you better get back to the Hobbit Hotel if you want any bacon. It has been dwindling at an alarming rate.

    So while I was hosting Alaska Plunderfest 2015, I accepted a foster male cat who was so heavily matted, he had to get sedated and shaved today. Sweet and affectionate with an alcoholic owner who surrendered him. 24 pounds without his hair! I had been researching large cat breeds but the vet said the he was morbidly obese “equivalent to a 500 pound man.” Cats cannot be put on an vastly restricted diet like dogs can so it is going to be a 6-12 month feeding program and 3-6 months to grow his hair out. I have renamed him “Mr. Big.”

    Here is a not-very-good photo of him with a lion cut. The black patches on his back is where the skin was scaring from the mats. I’ll get a photo of him and Rio together when Rio shows up again on my doorstep.

  65. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:40 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Mr. Big!….snort!

  66. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:42 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Names!…Sometimes they call me Mr Fart. So I can relate….sniff!

  67. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:53 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Gah!…Jeff King and Dallas Seavey are up there with the first starters already. Lance Macky too!…gurgle!

  68. c.hobbit
    10:58 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Here is before photo of Mr. Big. He had mats on top of mats. Mats bigger than my hand. Had to have been in pain.

  69. Tundra
    11:05 pm on March 10th, 2015

    I don’t fully understand this all yet but I feel that this blanket has special meaning….

  70. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:22 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Blanket!…Wow! What a great blanket!…snort!…I could snuffle all over that blanket…Wow!

  71. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:33 pm on March 10th, 2015

    CHobbit!…I forgot to mention your crap-photo which brings back old memories..heh!heh!…And I noticed Mr Big never ventures far from his supper-bowl…chuffle!

  72. Lefty, the Left-Behind
    11:37 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Rio: Mi bacon, es su bacon.

  73. c.hobbit
    11:42 pm on March 10th, 2015

    Great quilt!!!

  74. Staff
    2:15 am on March 11th, 2015

    Staff and Mr.Fireslippers are back at the old homestead. The Turtleman is supposed to be ecstatic that we have returned. We won’t be able to go to sleep for a while. We are on AK time which means it is only 10:00 to us.

  75. Staff
    2:34 am on March 11th, 2015

    According to the leader board Justin is #3! Now this is only the second day so you all know that means nothing at all…but WOW!

    And Brent Sass was found to be using a “device with is capable of two way communication.” So he is out of the race.

  76. c.hobbit
    2:50 am on March 11th, 2015

    Hi Staff. Welcome home. HH very empty and quiet until Digger and Sharon checked in at 9:00 pm. Both are tired….it is not easy driving 700 miles in such a short turn around. Sharon has lots of photos to post.

  77. O'Howlers
    7:00 am on March 11th, 2015

    Good morning. We are happy to hear the HOHs made it safely back to Anchorage. Hope their flights home go well too.
    Glad the Staffs are home safe and sound.
    Poor Brent Sass. We can totally see how he never thought of an iPod being a two-way communication device. What a bummer.
    Hobbit, you are a saint, and we honor your goodness. Mr. Big is a lucky man.

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