On the Iditarod Trail (More)

Here’s Rebecca’s (CEO of Snowhook, our team in what has started as a very tough Iditarod race) report. (The broken bones she refers to seem to be all human – see link below, in which Justin Savidis, our AJ, is quoted. Thanks to C.Hobbit for the link.)

Little to no snow, stumps, rocks, and ice add up to one thing—one hell of a ride. Beaten and battered mushers arriving in Nikolai have shared the horrors of the trail between Rohn and Nikolai, a section of trail that is now littered with sled parts and equipment. The canine athletes fared much better than their human partners. In the past 24 hours, the race has ended for 11 teams because of broken bones and other injuries and sleds that are damaged beyond repair. It is likely this section of trail will claim more victims in the hours to come.

My heart took up residence in my throat as I waited for word that the team reached Nikolai. After resting the team for several hours, they are back on the trail and headed for McGrath where AJ intends to take his 24. Teams are required to take one 24 hour break at any point during the race, another 8 hour rest on the Yukon River, and final 8 hour layover in White Mountain. When he reaches McGrath, AJ will transfer his sled bag from the sled he drove during the first third of the race to a lighter weight finishing sled. We have not had the luxury of sending out a second sled in past years leaving AJ to make due with repairs he made on the trail for the duration of the race. This year, a second sled is less a luxury and more of a necessity given the trail conditions. I hope Rose and Grizz understand how much we appreciate their sponsorship of AJ’s finishing sled. Knowing that AJ has the second sled waiting for him in McGrath eases my worried mind.

As I think about the trail the team has traveled, I recall a conversation AJ and I had about the rumors of treacherous terrain in the days leading up to the starting line. I said he would have to be pretty tough to handle the trail. He agreed and then remarked that Melanie is tougher than he is. Melanie is in our hearts.


And thanks to ML for this Alaskan memento:




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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 8:29 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.

112 Responses to “On the Iditarod Trail (More)”

  1. B. Stover
    9:03 am on March 5th, 2014

    Excellent report Rebecca. Thank you.

    The article was interesting. I’m assuming that when a musher “loses” the team it means that the musher loses control of the dogs. This is getting even more nerve-wracking. I hope the trail is in better condition during the remainder of the race. I read somewhere that there is more snow further on but I don’t know if that is accurate. Gulp!

    Good morning all.

  2. Howlers
    9:15 am on March 5th, 2014

    Good morning, Bee, Admin, and all. I wonder about the “losing” the team remark too. This trail is sure taking a toll on many mushers. In retrospect, it seems ITC made a mistake in deciding to keep the Restart in Willow. If they had started out of Fairbanks, where would the trail have met up with the normal trail? Would they still have had the awful stretch from Rohn to Nikolai?

    Meanwhile, we are all happy to have the ‘rents back home. Mom has piles and piles of wash, and is still in her pjs. Pop had to get up early and go to work.

  3. Wose-the small and meek
    9:24 am on March 5th, 2014


    Welcome back to all the Plunderfest travelers!
    RIO! Maybe next year you and I can go back to Alaska, where we both left our hearts.

    Big love had hugs to Melanie!

    We here are very worrit about our Pixie, the Giant, and the Snowhook dogs. Strong prayers going out to the Giant that he remains healthy and whole during the race, and that the dogs remain healthy and able to guide AJ to nome without serious incident.

    Pixie, Grizz and I both know how much the new sled means to Snowhook. Please know that it was a gift from the heart.

  4. O'Howlers
    9:39 am on March 5th, 2014

    I just read a good post about how sad it is for mushers to scratch or be dropped. I wish I could post it here, but it talks about the huge effort and pheniminal $ amount needed to get to the starting line. To have your dream blow up after that is truly heartbreaking. Here is just one paragraph that i am stealing:
    “The amount of time, energy, and money that goes in to even getting a team to the starting line of Iditarod is astounding. Sign ups are $3000. Food drops cost about $6500 but could be slightly more or less depending on what exactly each musher sends out and what they feed. Each busted sled you hear about is at least $2500. With the exception of the perennial favorites, most mushers do not have big name sponsors to get them to the starting line. Their sponsor is a visa card, a work ethic you wouldn’t believe was physically possible, and a few really generous fans who step up to the plate and help us remember that we’re not actually all that crazy for having dreams. Many Iditarod mushers go back to work after the race is over simply to pay off the debts that racing Iditarod has incurred. Scratching, is truly heartbreaking. ”

    My heart goes out to those mushers who have had to drop out of this year’s iditarod. And once again, THANK YOU to Griz and Wose the Small in Stature but Large in heart, for providing the finishing sled.

  5. B. Stover
    9:43 am on March 5th, 2014

    Welcome back home Howlers.

    CHarris: Thank you for the reports last night.

  6. Tupper and Gilly
    9:46 am on March 5th, 2014

    Whew – we went to bed just knowing that AJ really was ok. The Storyteller did some extra prayers asking for the team to get through the hazards and we know AJ has the training and the good sense to do so.

    We are so sorry that the trail has knocked out so many good teams. Their hearts must be so heavy.
    But they gave their best. They ran well. And they deserve their rest now.

    Rebecca, Hobbit and Spence – thank you so much for keeping us up to date.

    We are off to spend the day with Melanie. We will give her all your hugs and laughter and humor and support.

  7. BooBear
    10:24 am on March 5th, 2014

    Hopefully, there will be more snow as the race continues. It is heartbreaking to hear about mushers having to drop out so early in the race . After reading OH’s post, you realize how much AJ and Rebecca sacrificed and lost when he dropped out to find Whitey Lance.

  8. Masquers
    10:34 am on March 5th, 2014

    Team Snowhook has checked into McGrath!!!

  9. Riö -The Evil Pug
    10:47 am on March 5th, 2014

    BooBear!…When AJ dropped out to find Whitey, he lost a lot, but he also gained all of our hearts and supports….sniffle!

    McGrath!…Oh Hallelujah!!…snort!…Twirling and Spinning and Twirling even faster!…WOOOOOOO!!!

  10. O'Howlers
    10:47 am on March 5th, 2014

    Kat’s godmom reported that Cherokee was laying on his Snowhook blanket last night and would not come up to bed with everyone else, for the first time. He finally came up just before midnight, about the time Snowhook reached his checkpoint!!!!

  11. Whitey-Lance
    10:52 am on March 5th, 2014

    Ditto what Masquers said. Yeep!

    Scratch! I may or may not have caused the Giant to scratch in our first Iditarod. I forget the whole story. We run on a bootstrap budget meaning our race funds are a third of other mushers’. The funds go towards the nation within first and AJ second. Combine this with my folks being all-in type of people and to have a dream unrealized was heartbreaking. There is no other word for it. The scratch haunted the Giant and the Pixie. It is something weighs on your mind until the start of the race a year later. The first time our team crossed the finish line in Nome, the Giant picked me up so my paw could touch the burled arch. My Lady said this is one of her favorite memories of all time. It pushed away the ghost of scratching the year before.

  12. O'Howlers
    11:00 am on March 5th, 2014

    Whitey-Lance, Mom told us she met you you you!!!! She said that moment was one of her dreams fulfilled.

    Yesterday was so exhausting for those traveling and those watching trackers, and those traveling while trying to watch trackers. We are all taking our 24 today, along with OFM.

  13. Wose-the small and meek
    11:01 am on March 5th, 2014

    Hurray! The team is in McGrath !


  14. Wose-the small and meek
    11:02 am on March 5th, 2014

    Whitey-Lance : Is this checkpoint where the Giant picks up the finishing sled?

  15. O'Howlers
    11:03 am on March 5th, 2014

    Hello to Kirby and Macy and all of the Small Dogs!

  16. Kat's Godmom/Cher-Bear's Mom
    11:16 am on March 5th, 2014

    Yes the OH is correct, for the first time ever, Cherokee would not come upstairs to bed with the rest of the pack. Instead this is how I left him downstairs for another hour plus. I didn’t know what time the team hit Nikolai until this morning and realized how oddly coincidental it was with about the same time Cherokee came upstairs to bed!!!

  17. BearSpiritDog
    11:22 am on March 5th, 2014

    O’Howlers: Yes, we will…take our 24 with OFM.
    From this point on, and for the first time ever, Team Snowhook will have the Luxury of Traveling to Nome in a Brand-New-Sled. The Mighty Wosengrizz, which will carry them to Nome on Wings of Love.
    And, for that We Are So Grateful.

  18. Mollypop's Mom
    11:28 am on March 5th, 2014

    Barb, last night you asked about Niagara Falls. The water still flows and the ice has piled up from the bottom into big piles. The temps are finally supposed to be in the 30’s so that won’t melt any of it. Many photographers are there capturing the spectacle.

  19. Herd's Mom
    11:35 am on March 5th, 2014

    Good morning, everyone! We worry along with everyone else and can blame the ITC for bad decisions but ultimately…well, we just pray that OUR Snowhook team remains safe and whole. A dozen scratches this morning 🙁 We can’t imagine how hard the trail is. We are taking our 24 today as well, our last 24 in Alasks before heading south. Thank you AJ and Rebecca and Luna and BelleStar and Whitey-Lance and Wyatt and Elmer and Leonard the dog and Mick and Jodi the people and the Hobbit and Sadie and the rest of the Alaska crew for accepting us with open paws and hearts. Thank you Plunderers here who made our cheeks hurt with laughter and happy tears. Thank you Plunderers at home who have traveled with us vitrually each step of the way.
    Have a warm, worn down (but not out) and welcome Wednesday.

  20. BearSpiritDog
    11:44 am on March 5th, 2014

    Cherokee: We Dogs Know!

    Golinka: We all are there with you in spirit as you spend Time With our dear Melanie.

    Wolfie: Your Post of Yesterday was One of the Best we have read.

    Herd’s Mom: And, Our Heartfelt Thanks to All of You at Plunderfest who gave All of Us a virtual trip of a lifetime.
    and to C.Hobbit for opening her home AKA The Hobbit Hotel to all of you.

    The Plunderer Family grows closer and closer.

  21. Siber-H
    11:51 am on March 5th, 2014

    Thank you Rebecca.
    Thank you C.Hobbit for last night’s reports.

    Love the picture of Cherokee! He is such a handsome boy.

    Whitey-Lance That is one of our favorite photos of all time…you touching the burled arch in Nome.
    About your now famous walkabout…you didn’t do anything that I wouldn’t do.

    T&G Glad you are going to spend the day with Melanie. Give her love and hugs from us.

  22. Herd's Mom
    11:51 am on March 5th, 2014

    OK, back to school for “can you find the differences?” Each of these fotos were taken on a Wednesday. One on the 26th of Feb, the other on the 5th of March. Which is which?

  23. Herd's Mom
    11:52 am on March 5th, 2014
  24. Herd's Mom
    11:56 am on March 5th, 2014

    If you guessed they are in chronological order you win. Your prize is knowing that you are indeed a true Plunderer. ( If you oopsed, know you are still a true Plunderer but have been reading every other word 🙂 )

  25. Barb & Maggie
    11:56 am on March 5th, 2014

    Wolfie and BSD have expressed our feeling very well. We are glad Amalia is spending the day with Melanie, and giving her our love.

    Dalzell sounds like a total nightmare. It sounds like it was a very bad decision to include it in the run this year. There will no doubt be more scratches before it is over.

    Howlers, happy to hear everyone is OK at your home base.

  26. Dawson
    11:57 am on March 5th, 2014

    Thanks to Spencer, Chet and arebecca for the update on the race. I am so relieved that the team is in McGrath and now in possesion of the new Wosengrizz sled.
    Wose & Grizzley: I have to thank you again for providing the Wosengrizz. Of all the donations from Plunderers this one is a dogsend to us all.
    ML: Your tsunami sign made the tip top! Hat tips!
    In the middle of the night I was looking for updates on the Iditarod site. I do not trust their information and would do better to look on Chet the dog’s blog.
    Cherokee and Dima: Thanks for helping our team through one of the most difficult parts of the trail.

  27. O'Howlers
    12:08 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Ditto on Wolfie’s post last night. The two interlinked journeys were so beautifully described.

    And now about ML’s tsunami photo…each of us on that (in)famous trip to Whittier had to be giggling when we saw that this morning. The story behind the photo was a hoot!!!!

  28. Meashka
    12:10 pm on March 5th, 2014

    I wonder if AJ has been hearing a Sibe talking to him thru the rugged terrain. I just know Dima would have a lot to say about it.

  29. Masquers
    12:18 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Hi Dawson! Enjoy rest time before you set off on your next big adventure.
    Today’s is a workday for my mom so we will be off the blog for a while.
    Later gators!

  30. c.hobbit
    12:37 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Looks eerily familiar…

  31. c.hobbit
    12:54 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Carpola! This is ridiculous. I finally opened my drapes and this is what greeted me and Sadie…it looks like I will start the day shoveling snow and all my guest shovelers have disappeared!

  32. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:08 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Late!…Speaking of fotos, I finally got some of Dawson’s fotos….grunt!…I will post them as I can…sniff!…Better late than never I guess….grump!

    Snowhook!…Here is one of me hanging with all the guys at the Snowhook Kennel!…snort!

  33. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:12 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Junior!…Someone (tall) put me up on the Truck!…snort!…It took forever to get down from there…wheeze!…Junior was chorkeling over this big-time…grunt!

  34. Howlers' Mom
    1:21 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Sure, Hobbit. Sure, sure we believe you that you have fresh snow today.

  35. Diane C.
    1:26 pm on March 5th, 2014

    (Heart gradually coming back down from throat)–thanks to everyone for providing coverage and information. A relief to know that so far, OK. The entire Team continues in my prayers, as does Melanie. Hard travelers hope you are decompressing well now you’re back. I’m still mightily enjoying the Rio pix. Everyone haev a wonderful and safe day.

  36. Barb & Maggie
    1:27 pm on March 5th, 2014

    We wish we could send some of our snow to Dalzell. We are now at a season total of 73.4″, and the 4th biggest in our history. 77″ is # 3, so we may reach that this weekend unless it becomes a rain event.

    Melanie is in our prayers right now.

  37. Pancho
    1:33 pm on March 5th, 2014

    To pass the time during our 24, I’m thinking about blurring to Melanie. I’ve never been sans a certain someone for this long before and it feels strange. I think Melanie has an inner Outlaw that would make me feel at home. I’m sure of it.

    Melanie: I will take care of you. While Golinka holds your hand, I can hold the other with my tail. I’ve never been a pillow before, but I’ll give it a go.

  38. SnowBella
    1:36 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Diane: My heart doesn’t fully take leave of my throat until the team crosses the finish line in Nome.

  39. ML
    1:36 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Good morning from snowy Alaska. CHobbit beat me to telling you all that it is really coming down.

    Nyah , Nyah to all you Plunderfesters who gave me a hard time about my Tsunami sign. Heh

    I just have to say ditto to all the great comments today. My brain is taking a 24 without me.

    Later taters

  40. Dawson
    1:39 pm on March 5th, 2014

    ML: Snort!

  41. c.hobbit
    1:41 pm on March 5th, 2014

    First you have to dig out the snow shovel….

    Almost every year I fall for a “false spring.” This is my small shovel. My big shovel developed a wobbly handle and I see no visible screws to tighten. If I had known I would need it again, I would have had Ray use his mechanical ability and see if he could fix it. Bummer. It is snowing as fast as I shovel. My driveway is much narrower now since my vertigo makes me sick to look down or up. I am just pushing snow to the side.

    ML and HOH: where are you? I need backup to confirm all this snow.

  42. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:44 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Rebecca!…You best go take your 24 right now….grunt!

  43. Barb & Maggie
    1:44 pm on March 5th, 2014

    This is in response to those researchers that did the MRIs on the Goldens and BCs last week. They could have saved all that time and money!

  44. c.hobbit
    1:44 pm on March 5th, 2014

    I, too, am holding Melanie close and dear. She and Zoe should be receiving a package from me today. May both feel the love and blessings being poured down on them from near and far.

  45. Barb & Maggie
    1:46 pm on March 5th, 2014

    And this is for Teddy RR.

  46. BearSpiritDog
    1:54 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Barb&Magpie: Here too-Record Snow (100 inches) in the Passes.

    C.Hobbit: Isn’t that Always the Way.

    ML: Thanks for the SDD.

    (whispering) heart is still thumping…it will take a while to return to it’s normal beat.

    Sending more Bear Hugs, Purrs & Prayers to Melanie.

  47. Barb & Maggie
    1:56 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Whoever came up with the name Wosengrizz is a genius. It was definitely NOT John Travolta (for those who saw him on the Awards show Sunday – hahahha.)

    ML, Thank you, we feel special!

  48. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:02 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Snow!….Oh no! Has CHobbit been buried under all that snow?…wheeze!

  49. Howlers' Mom
    2:12 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Oh boy, Hobbit is still trying to convince us it snows in Alaska. As if.
    ML, another funny moment from the Whittier trip! Will Admin be using that photo in tomorrow’s post?

    Our hearts are with our dear friends who are journeying thru difficult hurdles, one to fulfill his dream, and one to follow the path handed her. And our hearts are with their loved ones, who must watch and wait, and who are unable to help though they would like to. This is truly a momentous time on this here blog, and we all travel with you. Please feel us by your side.

  50. Herd's Mom
    2:22 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Rio, It is a possibility that CHobbit could be buried if the snowfall continues. Walking around downtown Anchorage this A.M. was deserted with all types of plows/shovels…trucks, 4-wheelers and shovels.
    Melanie is in my thoughts and as I try to describe thing, I pray she can see them in her mind’s eye. Blue, white and grey mountains all around. snow in all shades of white to grey, depending on age, tourists, all shades also, depending on age. You can tell the tourists, we are wearing the hats, fur collars, gloves/mittens. The locos, er locals, have on hoodies, go figure.

  51. Pancho
    2:24 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Oops! I may have overshot the landing a bit. I ended up on Golinka’s lap. After the nice-to-meet-yous, I gave Melanie a head bump and wrapped my tail around her arm. It has a mind of its own—my tail that is. I can’t speak for Melanie’s arm. I feel less sans being next to Melanie.

  52. BearSpiritDog
    2:29 pm on March 5th, 2014

    O’Howlers Mom: Another Beautiful Post. Sniff.

  53. BearSpiritDog
    2:34 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Herd’s Mom: Very Touching Description of the landscape for Melanie.

    Pancho: Thank Dog you are by her side. Good Boy, good dog.

  54. Tupper and Gilly
    2:47 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Pancho – Mana says she really needed that hug you gave her. And even tho Melanie is sleeping, she has a little smile.

  55. Wose-the small and meek
    2:50 pm on March 5th, 2014

    O’Howler’s Mom: Beautifully said. sniff
    I just woke up from a Kat nap underneath the beautiful Rose quilt. Youse guys always give me comfort.

    I am glad that Pancho and the Royal Mum are with our beloved Melanie.

  56. Herd's Mom
    2:58 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Review time, class. (no audible groaning permitted) Go back to this A. M.’s post of the view out the window. Notice the mountains are missing in the 3/5 foto…Why?

  57. BearSpiritDog
    3:03 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Herd’s Mom: It’s Snowing, it’s snowing…..

  58. Pancho
    3:09 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Golinka: What do you know, I needed the hug you gave me back. I love it when things like that happen. Being a first time caregiver and not the gentle type, Luna gave me some Smooching tips: be gentle, don’t jostle, don’t steal anything, give more love than you take, don’t think about stealing anything, nobody likes a cover hog, don’t think about thinking about stealing anything, and draw the pain and ills away from our dear friend. She said if Rio makes an appearance all the same rules apply, but added one more: no farting.

  59. O'Howlers
    3:14 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Any of youse with Insider (except NOT Bella): be sure to watch the video about Jeff King’s “Amazing exhibition of sled driving” for an idea of what these mushers have gone thru the past day.

  60. Whitey-Lance
    3:16 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Howlers: We couldn’t help it. My Lady and I watched that video after the team reached Nikolai. Yeep! Yark! Splort!

  61. Herd's Mom
    3:16 pm on March 5th, 2014

    BSD: Good answer! We thought it was because they took them out for cleaning, but that only happens in So. Cal.
    Golinka: if you notice an extra newf around and she gets a bit pushy, tell her to get her tail back to TN. Pookey just told me the darling Darah thought it appropriate to practice her blurring to River Bear.

  62. Teddy Ruff Rider
    3:23 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Barb and Maggie. Thanks for the photos. Those are definitely my guys!

  63. O'Howlers
    3:24 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Another picture of our Giants, now that I can finally see all of my photos.

  64. Herd of Hounds
    3:27 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Darn that 3-legged tattle tail. I may be young but I can be gentle, oops, sorry I stepped on your foot, Golinka. I’ll just curl up and lie down here ah. Now, could someone get the drool on my lip? Thanks Mac and Mattie. ZZZzzzzzzz

  65. Barb & Maggie
    3:39 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Howler’s mom, so beautifully expressed. Love and strong prayers this afternoon for A.J. and Melanie. She knows how much we care.

  66. Riö -The Evil Pug
    3:39 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Jeff King!….YEEEEEEEEP!…Splort!

  67. ML
    3:48 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Teddy, the little guy in the yellow scarf reminds me of your brother Wookie in his genial host picture.

    I am sitting her watching the snow and trying not to move. CHobbit got rid of me just in time my back is now taking ITS 24. All I have to do today is eat and sit. Yea!

  68. BearSpiritDog
    3:51 pm on March 5th, 2014

    We Here will wait a while to watch “That Video”.

    Yark! Ramey Smyth is Flying Like the Wind!

  69. Barb & Maggie
    4:06 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Son Josh just called and said, Hey did you see that all those Mushers are scratching? We’re like, Yeah, we know Josh!

    Just got an email from David Rosenfelt (Barb is one of his closest friends, Snicker). Anyway, he has two new books coming out this year, Without Warning, on 3/25, and Hounded, an Andy Carpenter book, in July. He is also doing another big tour in July to benefit animal rescue groups. If anyone involved in animal rescue wants to get involved, email him at davidrosenfelt@aol.com. Last year he toured in 13 cities.

  70. c.hobbit
    4:18 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Still snowing. Shoveled driveway for the second time this morning so I could leave and join Sharon & Digger for lunch. We will be trying a relatively new restaurant, Fat Ptarmigan. Review to follow, maybe photos.

  71. Herd's Mom
    4:22 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Lunch should be fun, but not the same now that the other Plunderers and Rio have gone home…south from Alaska 🙁

  72. Herd of Hounds
    4:37 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Mrph, mrph, SNORT. Oh, was I snoring, sorry. (She may only be 13 months old, but she is a world class snorer!)

  73. Masquers
    5:22 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Stupid GPS!!! Why do we even bother? It shows Ally going 9.4 miles an hour…staying at the same race mile…and updated 18 hours ago. She and the team must be on an Iditarod treadmill.

  74. Whitey-Lance
    6:12 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Masquers: We here are frustrated with the lack of videos and communication from the trail. This combined with sporadic GPS updates means this could be a high cheesecake consumption year.

  75. ML
    6:19 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Beautiful Russian Orthodox Church near the Hobbit Hotel

  76. Masquers
    6:50 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Beautiful photo ML!
    Whitey-Lance: Making a note to buy stocks in Sara Lee now.

  77. O'Howlers
    7:15 pm on March 5th, 2014

    ML, Thank Dog you finally got a picture of that church!

  78. Masquers
    7:56 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Forget the crappy Insider…like Siber says…the Alaska Dispatch is the most reliable source for news.


  79. Herd's Mom
    8:06 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Another local paper, the Anchorage Daily News ADN.com/iditarod has fotos, and great articles.
    Phun,Phantastic time at Fat Ptarmigan with the Hobbit.

  80. Siber-H
    8:15 pm on March 5th, 2014

    I hope Natasha gets to see that church while she is there.

    The luck of the pug…he leaves the day before CHobbit needs help shoveling snow.

  81. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:16 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Worrit!….We here are worrit about all those Rookies who are in the worst part of the trail right now….snuffle!…I seriously worry that someone will be critically injured. Especially after watching Jeff King run that gorge…yeeeep!

  82. O'Howlers
    8:31 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Friends, Golinka has asked me to post the prayer written by her and The Storyteller tonight, because they will be outside, joined by many friends who are gathered for the prayer. Please try to read the prayer at Plunderer Standard Prayer Time tonight, so that Melanie and AJ can feel the power of all of us who love them.

  83. Wose-the small and meek
    8:42 pm on March 5th, 2014

    O’Howlers, I’ll be there.

    Just saw the most recent musher picture of the Giant with his glasses on. He is one of those people that look good wearing glasses. Not wearing them too.

  84. Wolfie
    8:51 pm on March 5th, 2014

    I’m here also.

  85. O'Howlers
    9:00 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Creator – we thank you for another day on your beautiful earth. We have heard the songs of birds, and touched the nourishing snow. We have seen the wonders of the sunset, and felt the air surround us as surely as a comforting blanket. It is a wonderful place that you have given us, with many blessings.
    During our lives, we make many journeys on this earth. They may be travels of the road, with miles passing beneath our feet. They may be travels of the heart, when we share love; or travels of the mind when we learn new things.
    Often times, Creator –these journeys are hard. There may be obstacles in the road. There may be heartbreak, or opinions that make it difficult for us to get from one place to another. And yet we travel on.
    Creator – we thank you for giving us the spirit to go on. We thank you for that giving our souls the willingness to overcome these obstacles and find the end of our journey. And we thank you for the safety that greets us at the end.
    Tonight we thank you for watching over AJ and the team as they traversed the hazards of the trail. We know that AJ is carrying forth a prayer for Melanie in his travels, and we are grateful that he and the dogs are now safe and taking their well -deserved rest. We ask you to comfort them, let them sleep a healing sleep, let them know they have journeyed well, and bravely and that there are new wonders to behold in the days ahead when they are refreshed and renewed and ready to journey on.
    Tonight we thank you for watching over Melanie as she has traversed the hazards of this life. We know you have heard our prayers, and we are grateful that she is safe and taking her well -deserved rest. We ask you to comfort her, let her sleep a peaceful sleep, let her know that she has journeyed well, and bravely and that there are new wonders to behold in the days ahead when she is renewed and ready to journey on.
    Creator – the journey of life seems so very short. The journey of the Iditarod seems so very long. But hear our prayer that these two travelers will be kept safe in your care. We ask you to bring AJ home safely to his Rebecca that they may live in joy and celebration. When Melanie must take the road before her, we ask you to guide her to those who await with love and open arms and wagging tails.
    Creator – we thank you for another day on your beautiful earth. We have heard the songs of birds, and touched the nourishing snow. We have seen the wonders of the sunset, and felt the air surround us surely as a comforting blanket. It is a wonderful place that you have given us, and each journey we have will be another blessing.

  86. c.hobbit
    9:03 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. Melanie…may you hear our prayer and feel our love. Thank you for inviting us into this journey you are taking.

  87. Wose-the small and meek
    9:03 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Just lovely. sniff


  88. Oley Howlers' Pop
    9:04 pm on March 5th, 2014


  89. SnowBella
    9:05 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. Thank you.

  90. Siber-H
    9:10 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. Thank You. sniff

  91. Masquers
    9:11 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Thank you from our Hearts for this Beautiful Prayer.
    Golinka & the Storyteller for writing it.
    The O’Howlers for posting it.
    And all of us reading it.
    Amen. Amen.

  92. Belle Starr
    9:11 pm on March 5th, 2014

    My photo is up top. That can only mean Melanie knows I am thinking of her and love her with all my sparkly sled dog heart.

  93. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    9:11 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. Beautifully said.

  94. Barb & Maggie
    9:13 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. We pray for a safe journey for A.J.as he continues along the trails with his ready team. We pray for a peaceful journey for Melanie, as she continues on the path before her.
    Thank you Amalia and Leonard for another beautiful prayer.

  95. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:13 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Dear Melanie!…Amen…sniffle!…I hope she knows how much we here love her…sob!sob!sob!

  96. Wolfie
    9:20 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. That was beautiful. Thank you.

  97. Dirty Digger Daddy Dawg
    9:26 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen. And to Melanie, Sharon’s friend Godspeed, safe crossing.

  98. Herd's Mom
    9:31 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen and amen.

  99. Tupper and Gilly
    9:32 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Rio – she knows. Trust us, she does know.

  100. ML
    9:49 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Amen from all our bunch as well.

  101. bluecat
    10:06 pm on March 5th, 2014


  102. Whitey-Lance
    11:45 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Orion is the dog AJ dropped earlier in the race. My Lady received the call this evening. Orion will return to the kennel tomorrow.

  103. Dawson
    11:56 pm on March 5th, 2014


  104. Herd's Mom
    11:56 pm on March 5th, 2014

    Safe trip home, Orion. Good start on a bad trail.

  105. c.hobbit
    12:32 am on March 6th, 2014

    The last of the Plunderers fly home in the wee early morning hours. I know they all have dogs and other loved ones who they are eager to return to. Safe travels to all.

  106. Herd's Mom
    12:37 am on March 6th, 2014

    Oh Hobbit… we will miss you and Sadie dog. Oh dog in heaven, why were we put so fat apart?

  107. Masquers
    12:50 am on March 6th, 2014

    Herd’s Mom: Please check SDD.

  108. Masquers
    12:52 am on March 6th, 2014

    Safe travels to all Plunderers.

  109. Staff
    1:23 am on March 6th, 2014

    Safe journeys for Melanie, The sister of my heart. Peace be with her.

  110. c.hobbit
    2:23 am on March 6th, 2014

    Staying up late thinking of Melanie. She is the best friend that I never met.

  111. ML
    2:41 am on March 6th, 2014

    Lest anyone forget, I am still snowbound in Chugiak

  112. BooBear
    5:18 am on March 6th, 2014


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