Iditarod (More) (Corrected)

There’s a lot of inside baseball sort of stuff in the Iditarod, as we can see from the overnight report from Rebecca (CEO of Snowhook, our team in the world’s greatest sled dog race). But first, here’s musher AJ (Justin Savidis) with two stars of the team at the ceremonial start. Their names: Chet and Bernie! And note the patch on AJ’s arm!


There have been some questions accompanied with a yeep and/or a yark—such is the nature of a Plunderer—about why AJ did not claim his eight in Tanana. This eight is race fan shorthand for the mandatory eight hour layover each musher is required to take at some point on the Yukon River. There is also a mandatory twenty-four hour layover to be taken anywhere and then another eight in the checkpoint of White Mountain.

According to race standings, AJ spent almost eight hours in Tanana, but not quite. It was not enough to declare his eight. This does not worry me. I have full confidence in AJ. However, there are a variety of possible answers to this question. He may want to take his eight later on the river. There are other long runs along the Yukon that would warrant an eight hour layover chaser. There is also the possibility of human error on either the musher or race official’s part. He may have calculated incorrectly, or he may have been told the incorrect time.

The trail is about trusting your training and being adaptive to the reality of the race, good or bad. Weather can be a reality you did not anticipate. Trail conditions can be better or worse than expected. Your own mental or physical can play a role in your race strategy. The conditioning of the dogs, their appetite, and their attitude may require a musher to adjust their plans for better or worse. In 2013, despite running at the front of the pack, the dogs caught a stomach bug. AJ adjusted his race to nurse the dogs to health. Instead of pushing them, he slowed the dogs. He cared for them, and rested them much longer than he planned. They returned the favor when AJ came down with a stomach bug in the final third of the race. He did not slow, but they cared for him by delivering him to the next checkpoint. Things happen on the trail and more often than not, I will not be privy to the story until we reach Nome.

AJ has invested his time, energy and love into the dogs. They know him and trust him. He knows and trusts them. This is why not taking his eight in Tanana does not concern me.

We can expect AJ to twenty-four in Galena.




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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 8:37 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.

85 Responses to “Iditarod (More) (Corrected)”

  1. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    8:57 am on March 12th, 2015

    And we are now safely into Ruby, with the handoff to Teddy and Wookie in Spirit, to watch over the Snowhook team and help send them on their way safely and securely to their next checkpoint. Go Snowhook!!

  2. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:03 am on March 12th, 2015

    Good morning all.

    Off to work, so will be checking in on Snowhook throughout the day.


  3. Billy's Buddy
    9:18 am on March 12th, 2015

    Relieved that Golinka and the Storyteller are safe.

    Good morning all.

    Go Snowhook!

  4. B.Stover
    9:37 am on March 12th, 2015

    Rebecca is making me laugh about the yeep and yark!

    Good morning all.

  5. bluecat
    9:44 am on March 12th, 2015

    Good morning, Everybody.

    Does anyone else Seriously Doubt AJ would calculate Anything incorrectly?

    Onward Snowhook!

  6. B.Stover
    10:18 am on March 12th, 2015

    Note that today’s post has been “corrected” and now gives Rebecca’s full report.

  7. O'Howlers
    10:45 am on March 12th, 2015

    Good morning, All! Rebecca, thanks for the update. We never doubt AJ’s strategy, but we do not have the same faith in the ITC officials’ tracking and manual records. They may have been too busy DQing Brent Sass for having a music and alarm device on the trail. Go figure.

  8. Tupper's Mama
    11:14 am on March 12th, 2015

    Good morning all. Thanks to all of you, especially Rebecca for updates on the race. When we planned this trip, we just never thought about the overlap and didn’t realize how much we would miss watching those little green flags.
    We also appreciate BlueKat and Dawson for taking in leadership of the prayers. We knew that internet would be spotty at best out here, and those prayers are as much a part of Iditarod as cheesecake and booties.
    Does anyone feel the inspiration to lead tonight?
    The Storyteller and I have been invited to a ceremony out among the red rock cliffs this evening. There won’t be Internet, but I can guarantee there will be powerful prayers emminating from that gathering. We are preparing tobacco ties (a traditional prayer offering) to be given tonight, and will ask that all pray for AJ and the team to have the best run possible, and get to Nome quickly and safely.
    (The dogs are all wearing medicine bags of sacred herbs and pollen to protect them. AJ too)

  9. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    12:57 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Good morning, everyone! WE are lazy bones here this AM. Hobbit and her hotel and Sadie bear are fantastic!
    We climb on a plane tonight and fly the red eye to Seattle then on to Charlotte, NC and then to Chattanooga. Point of interest…there is a place in AK called Chattanika, wow, both Indian/native words. Will research this and report back.
    Have a thrilling, traveling (tiresome?) Thursday all!

  10. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    1:26 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Looks like AJ dropped two dogs in Ruby and Philip dropped another one (his third) in Tanana. Lance Mackey and his brother are dropping in the standings but hopefully both can make it through.

  11. BooBear
    1:28 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Beautiful prayer last night. Amen and thank you.

    Hobbit, do you mean that there are 58 total dogs at the kennel or 58 left after AJ and Philip both took 16 dogs?

    Mom hates having to work when she wants to blog and track the race!!

  12. c.hobbit
    1:49 pm on March 12th, 2015

    BooBear: I was meaning the total number of dogs is around 53.

  13. Billy's Buddy
    1:55 pm on March 12th, 2015

    I just read Rebecca’s full report and have to say that I would wager there is 100% agreement with her on this blog about trusting AJ. I feel so privileged to be a small part of this great adventure!

  14. dawson
    2:17 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Thanks Spencer and Rebecca for the latest from the Iditarod. I trust our favorite musher.

    The Siberian Huskies, Dima, Cherokee and SiberH, have handed off to the Goldens, Wookie (in spirit) and Teddy the thrill and honor of sponsoring a checkpoint. Ruby is the checkpoint and our team is moving so fast down the trail that it is hard to keep up. I have a feeling that Zeta is on the trail as well.

    Here is an archival video from Ruby, AK. that may be of interest.

  15. Siber's Mom
    2:40 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Thank You Rebecca and Spence! YARK!! GO SNOWHOOK!!!
    This is so exciting! I am sure Zeta is also there helping the guys out. She would be a newbie but, hey, she is a sled dog and will pick it up quick.

    Once again, Rudy and Molly are spending the afternoon with Auntie Siber-H Mom. If I didn’t know their folks as well as I do, I would suspect they are trying to move the girls in with me.

    I trust AJ and I do not worry about his decisions.
    Tupper’s Mom, Thank you for the medicine bags AJ and the dogs are wearing.

  16. BooBear
    2:57 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Siber’s Mom, the other day driving to work, Mom saw a beautiful husky just rolling all over a several day old skunk road kill. She laughed because she remembered Siber saying that he didn’t mind the smell at all and wasn’t real sure why it bothered you so much.

  17. Masquers
    3:13 pm on March 12th, 2015

    A little late today…lots of errands to run and work related issues…but finally here we are.
    Loved Rebecca’s comments…yeep % yark (SiberH) and the “8 hour layover chaser”. snicker.

  18. Masquers
    3:14 pm on March 12th, 2015

    yeep & yark!

  19. dawson
    3:24 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Tupper’s Mom: I was given a medicine bag to protect me during my travels and I always carry it with me. I know that I have had great luck in all flights and connections for several years now, the last one being the 5 flights home from Fairbanks. Problems anywhere along this itinerary would mess up the works. The only problem I had was when I was sitting in Gate C8 instead of C4. C8 was my seat number not the gate number but luckily I noticed in time to catch the flight. Barely, but that counts when catching a plane.

  20. Masquers
    3:27 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Here’s a foto of Wyatt, AJ, Dawson (the musher!) and Mr. Fireslippers returning from a run at the kennel last Friday.

  21. BearSpiritDog
    3:38 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Time for a Snack!

  22. Herd of Hounds' Mom
    3:39 pm on March 12th, 2015

    So glad I chedked the itinerary this AM. Thought we left really late but NO! we leave AK at 4. Thank all the dogs for looking out for fools and idiots.

    P.S. The DDD and I haven’t figured out who is the fool and who is the idiot!

  23. BearSpiritDog
    3:43 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Hounds: Neither, Nor

  24. BearSpiritDog
    3:49 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Another Cool Photo from the Kennel: C.Hobbit, Mr. Fireslippers, Rio, Staff

  25. Siber's Mom
    4:03 pm on March 12th, 2015

    BooBear, The crazy Sibers do not mind the smell of skunk at all. They seem to like it. The smell is suppose to be the skunks defense mechanism but it doesn’t work on Sibers.
    They will go ahead and kill a skunk.

  26. BearSpiritDog
    4:07 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Siber’s Mom: Bear and Siber-H are Twins!

  27. dawson
    6:13 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Hey! Lookie there!
    I got to drive the sled and the dogs actually “hawed” for me. It was a gas!
    I love the picture of the Hobbit and MrFireslippers and Staff!

  28. O'Howlers
    6:22 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Mom just got home and checked her email. AJ is in and out of Galena!

  29. O'Howlers
    6:24 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Dawson, Mom thinks you are very lucky. She did not get to drive, or even stand on the runners. She says it is because Pop did that, and managed to fall/jump off. That guy has no balance whatsoever.

  30. O'Howlers
    6:29 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Hmmm…the GPS Tracker shows our team resting. Is this another email screw-up?

  31. Martha
    6:32 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Someone made mention that my sister’s first anniversary was coming up. It is on Sunday. I think the way I can honor her best is to introduce a class of sixth graders to the Iditarod. It is going well. Yesterday we compared our class to a team that is getting ready to race. Some are leaping up and down. Others might not be so excited. But when that race starts, we are moving as a team.

  32. O'Howlers
    6:39 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Martha! We love that way to honor our great friend. Excellent.

  33. dawson
    7:24 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Galena already!

    Teddy and Wookie (in spirit) decided to run a little extra from Ruby checkpoint into Galena where Melanie, Rick and Truman (sniff) will take over their section of trail. SiberH showed up too with Dima and Cherokee, they don’t want to stop and there’s some old-time Snowhook dogs there too, so there is a gay old time happening on the trail.

    This race is going fast.

    Probably a good thing because I am getting nothing done. I have all but dropped out of school (Richard III).

  34. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    7:45 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Dawson, you have already shown that you are a dog handler and now you are ready and able to become a musher.

  35. c.hobbit
    7:52 pm on March 12th, 2015

    O’Howlers: you need you come back to mush a team for real. Sharon and I are already planning booking rooms in Nome and doing the finish line in 2016. By end of day April 1st, all rooms are reserved (although one hotel that I was wait listed on did call me last month to see if I wanted the room for this year). There are 3 hotels in Nome but 1 I won’t stay at. We both are hoping to book a couple of room in case a Plunderer wants to experience Nome. SPENCER: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

    Sharon and Digger leave soon and I will track them if RIOMAS doesn’t have their information. They leave Anchorage at 4:10 pm and arrive in Chattanooga tomorrow around 9 am. YEEP!

    So the Hobbit Hotel is empty and Sadie Bear seems depressed. Either it is because the guests are all gone or the bacon is all gone. You decide.

  36. c.hobbit
    8:09 pm on March 12th, 2015

    So do you remember last month I posted about having permanent makeup done on my eyebrows (tattooing). This afternoon I had the first of three sessions to do my lips. Best case scenario: I have Angela Jolie lips. Worst case scenario: I have duck lips. Swollen bright, dark burgundy lips which will fade down to a natural color. Swelling should go down in a couple of days and then the pealing will start. Good thing Rio isn’t here to make fun of me.

  37. c.hobbit
    8:23 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Oooo…Sharon’s & Digger’s plane delayed. And so it begins. They do have a 2-hour layover in Seattle so they have some time to get there.

  38. O'Howlers
    8:26 pm on March 12th, 2015

    We just got back down to the house. Spring is in the air, and horses are shedding (and muddy!). Mom is so bery happy to be playing with her horse again. All winter, she was too busy emptying frozen water buckets, and lugging fresh ones. And try mucking stalls when horses have been confined in them day after day, week after week. Now the work is less, and the fun is so much more. Yay!

  39. O'Howlers
    8:28 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Hobbit! What on earth are you doing to your lips, and why? Is it botox?

  40. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    8:32 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Hobbit, My first reaction was why are you doing this? But then I remembered that I have given thought to my own lips. They have gotten so much thinner as I have gotten older and I hate them. I have often thought that if I had more money that I would consider having collagen put in. But then I think, what if it goes wrong. Is it risky?

  41. Tupper's Mama
    8:34 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Dear Plunderers – we are dashing out the door to get to the ceremony on time. We have requested a special honor song for AJ and the team.
    Tonight’s prayer is coming from our beloved Nana – thank you so much.
    We will report back in later.
    Oh and by the way – dinner- Green Chili Stew! Woo hoo

  42. Tupper's Mama
    8:38 pm on March 12th, 2015
  43. c.hobbit
    8:41 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Only a short delay and Sharon & Digger are on their way home

    Barb and O’Howlers: I just hate reapplying lipstick all the time and trying to pencil my eyebrows. That is the reason I am doing this.

  44. BearSpiritDog
    8:59 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Dear Creator, We come to you with Love in our Hearts. Our Prayers are with both AJ & the Snowhook A-Team and with Philip & the B-Team. We know you are watching over these teams as they travel the Iditarod Trail on their way to the finish line. All Plunderers, Past and Present run by their side. We thank you for your continuing blessings and for watching over them as they travel on their way to Nome. Amen.

  45. ML
    9:08 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Let me add my amen now for whatever prayer is to be prayed tonight. I am off to bed so I can be at work at 7 a.m. to decide if I really want this job or not.

    peace, y’all

  46. ML
    9:08 pm on March 12th, 2015

    oops, amen

  47. O'Howlers
    9:11 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you, Bear.

  48. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:12 pm on March 12th, 2015


    Eight!….I am so glad Rebecca explained the Eight…snort!….I was scratching my butt on her rug trying to figure out why he did not take it….gruffle! … We must place all our trust our Giant Musher and his A-Team!….WOOOOO!….And the Lord of All Creation of course to watch over them on this journey…snort!snort!

  49. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:14 pm on March 12th, 2015

    MollysMaw!….I do not get why that Rayvon is in the top 12….sniff!….He just does not make my ears perk up at all…grunt!

  50. c.hobbit
    9:17 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you BSD

  51. Siber's Mom
    9:19 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen, Thank you, Bear

  52. Masquers
    9:24 pm on March 12th, 2015

    That Bear is a dog of few words, but I know they come from his heart.
    Amen ^..^

  53. bluecat
    9:25 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you.

    Rio – we trust AJ. The email says he’s out of Galena and the GPS tracker says he’s resting at Galena – that’s where we get confused.

  54. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:28 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Blu-Kat!…Maybe he and the team are resting just outside of Galena….snort!….Ever think of that, eh smartie Kat?…heh!heh!

  55. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:31 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Martin!….Look at Martins stats in the GPS. He is bib #4 at mile 444 going .4 miles an hour….heh!heh!…That Martin! What a four-ce of nature…snort!

  56. BearSpiritDog
    9:38 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Rio: Very Cool Stats!

  57. Masquers
    9:39 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Blukat: We are very confused too. The GPS tracker is a bust this year.
    I know Siber would be very upset with it right about now.
    To get our minds on other things, here is another great foto of Dawson and Staff at the Musher’s Banquet.

  58. Martha
    9:57 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen. Thank you.

  59. BearSpiritDog
    9:57 pm on March 12th, 2015

    According to SnowBella, the team will be Resting in Galena until
    Tomorrow Afternoon (if my calculations are correct they are taking their 24).

  60. Tupper's Mama
    9:59 pm on March 12th, 2015

    We wish you could have all been here with us tonight. The sky had been overcast all day. When we got to the red rock cliffs, the clouds moved aside and stars surrounded our gathering.
    This was a prayer session for a friend who is in late stage Parkinson’s. After his prayers were offered, traditionally other people bring forth other concerns for prayer. Our prayer was for AJ and the team to get to Nome quickly, safely, healthy and happy.
    AJ was given a new name by one of the Elders. It translates to He Is Not Cold For He Has Good Dogs.
    We humbly concur

  61. BearSpiritDog
    10:07 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amalia & Leonard: We are Thankful your Powerful Prayers backed up our humble one.
    The Name for AJ is Good & True.

  62. Tupper's Mama
    10:07 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Thank you Nana. Your prayer was perfect.

    We have some interesting company at our hotel. We got home this afternoon to see 4 of these cars in the parking lot.


  63. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:08 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Golinka!…What would my name be?…sniff!…I’m thinking it is, He is Hungry For He Has Not Been Fed…grunt!

  64. Tupper's Mama
    10:16 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Rio – we are thinking more like He Is Stinky Cuz He Poots A Lot.

  65. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:25 pm on March 12th, 2015

    MollysMaw!….My fave of all so far is Tyanna…wheeze!…I absolutely love her. Everything about her. And she is only 16 years old – only 2+ dawg years…heh!heh!….She is so amazing. I can’t wait each week to see what she will do and and she always amazes me….chuffle!

  66. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    10:30 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Thank you for the evening prayer. And Amen.

    Golinka, What is AJ’s name in the native language, before translation?

  67. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:35 pm on March 12th, 2015

    ALR!…Lil’ Daniel Seavey just made it into the top 12…snort!…I was surprised because last night I did not dig him at all…heh!heh!…But he came back to his roots tonight and I’m sure anyone under and over 15 will vote for him…chorkel!…Too cute, and too talented for his own good. Even the big kids in the competition love him by lifting him off the ground and swirling him around after he sang tonight…heh!heh!…He will Twirl far!

  68. BearSpiritDog
    10:39 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Nana is Behind in Everything…Classes, Shows, Correspondence.
    Naps are a Priority.

  69. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:45 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Bear!…Yeah, but Nana is ahead of us all in Great Memories with good friends from Chet’s Blog….chuffle!…She out-ranks us all in meeting and greeting I do believe…heh!heh!

  70. Masquers
    10:59 pm on March 12th, 2015

    HOH left Anchorage at 4:10 pm…on Alaska A/L…arriving Seatac in 40 min. at 8:37 pm PDT.
    Masquers for RioMas

  71. ALR
    11:00 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen to all the prayers and good wishes for He who is not cold for he has good dogs….and the good dogs. Such wonderful words on this blog, from wonderful people.

    And Rio..did you get blurred home or what? Maybe I missed your fly over! Thanks for keeping an eye on my Daniel Seavy, I am so glad he got to the top twelve. And yay for your Tyanna, too.

  72. BearSpiritDog
    11:01 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Rio: Snort!

  73. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:18 pm on March 12th, 2015

    ALR!…I am still in my beloved Alaska, with my beloved Snowhook family…snort!….AND I have secured a position on Ole’ Docs couch. Seems he had to go OUT!OUT!OUT!…((finally))….chorkel!…I knew he couldn’t hold it forever…grunt!

  74. Wolfie
    11:19 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Thank you for a beautiful prayer.

  75. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:25 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Wolfie!…Just so youse know AJ and the Team are resting in Galena checkpoint….snort!..Along with a bunch of other guys and gals…sneeze! shhhhhhh!

  76. dawson
    11:32 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen and thank you, Bear and Tupper’s Mama for the prayers.

  77. Lefty, the Left Behind
    11:42 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Amen even if my amens don’t count.

    I asked if Rio could stay with me as a left-behind while brother Pancho is on the trail.

  78. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:51 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Fill-In!…snort!…A Lefty Left-Behind? I thought I was here to aggravate Ole Doc and keep Bellie at Bay. And be grand company to Rebecca…sniffle!…A Fill-In for Pancho was not in my job description…burp!

  79. Masquers
    11:58 pm on March 12th, 2015

    Riõ, my friend. As long as you are getting fed and have such excellent company it is all good.

    HOH & DDD just landed at Seatac. Where they go from here is anybody’s guess. Lots of flight delays showing on the board.

  80. Riö – The Evil Pug
    12:04 am on March 13th, 2015

    Maskers!…That is the point…sniff!…I am not getting fed in the manner I am accustomed. I do not get cheese and cracker snacks during the afternoon hour. I do not get my own food dish filled with kibble and toppings of chicken and hamburger…sniff!…I get plain old hard chunks of stuff I can barely swallow…gag!…OR my other option is fish-head stew and I will not go there…grunt!

  81. dawson
    12:06 am on March 13th, 2015

    Masquers: Thanks for letting us know about the HOH’s progress. With luck they’ll get home by morning.

    Rio: I hope Lefty isn’t teaching you any bad habits!

    It’s bedtime for Bonzo, morning for Liz and Ruby, hi guys!

  82. Staff
    12:09 am on March 13th, 2015

    Masquers thank you for the excellent pictures. I have saved them and will put them up on Alice’s facebookie page. Whoo Hooo!

    And Bear, we loved the prayer. Thank YOU!

  83. Riö – The Evil Pug
    12:10 am on March 13th, 2015

    Shrinking!…I am wasting away up hear…sniff!…Starvin’ Marvin and wastin’ away in Margaritaville! …sneeze!

  84. ALR
    1:00 am on March 13th, 2015

    Rio, so smart of you to not even dabble in fishhead stew! I am glad you are there with Lefty and Doc and Belle and Rebecca, but it will be an easier blur home with all the weight you will have lost.

    Daniel was great tonight!

  85. Masquers
    2:44 am on March 13th, 2015

    HOH left Seattle at 11:16 PM on Delta 2188 will arrive Atlanta 6:23 AM.
    Flight 5538 to Chattanooga leaves Hartfield-Jackson Int’l at 8:20 AM and arrives Lovell Field at 8:42AM EDT.
    Safe travels!

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