On the Iditarod Trail (More)

Here is Rebecca of Snowhook’s overnight report on the progress of our team in the greatest dog sled race on earth. Looks like a literal case of rebooting:

Few teams have completed their mandatory twenty-four hour rest, many are in progress and a few hold outs are taking the long break further up the trail. Resting as planned in McGrath, AJ and the team will sleep and eat and eat and sleep during the layover. And, not a moment too soon.

Communication from the trail is limited, yet word from the trail is that the dogs are doing well, yet AJ is ‘banged up, but mobile.’ In the many miles of melee that stretched from Rainy Pass to Nikolai, AJ pin-balled from tree to tree. His starting sled was damaged early on leaving him to navigate the worst of it with a broken runner and brake. How do you stop a team on treacherous terrain sans properly working equipment?—Any way you can. AJ wore holes straight through the soles of his boots which were new this season. Thankfully, another musher in McGrath had an extra pair for AJ to use for the rest of the race.

From McGrath, we can expect AJ to stop briefly in Takotna and then continue onto Ophir. He may stop on the trail between Takotna and Ophir, or he may not. Reports are that the trails are hard and fast. AJ will do his best to pace the team.


Despite the trials on the trail, our hearts are with Melanie.

Thanks, Rebecca. And now, welcome to friends of Chet to Brava (in memory). And here, courtesy of ML is something too cute to ignore:



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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 7:52 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.

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

  1. O'Howlers
    8:23 am on March 6th, 2014

    Good morning. My heart is also with Melanie.

  2. Masquers
    9:06 am on March 6th, 2014

    And our hearts too.

  3. Barb & Maggie
    9:09 am on March 6th, 2014

    Good morning all, and thank you for an update from Rebecca. The picture of AJ pin-balling from tree to tree is a vivid and scary one.

    We too woke up thinking of Melanie this morning. Glad her sons are there with her today.

    Umm, happy that Spence like our photo of the Goldens yesterday.

  4. Wolfie
    9:17 am on March 6th, 2014

    Thinking also of Melanie and Amalia.

  5. Herd's Mom
    9:22 am on March 6th, 2014

    In airport in Anchorage, thinking of AJ and Melanie.

  6. Wose-the small and meek
    9:30 am on March 6th, 2014

    We here are thinking of Melanie, Amalia, Truman, the Pixie, AJ and the team.
    Love you all.

  7. B. Stover
    9:33 am on March 6th, 2014

    It sounds as though AJ had to use his boots as break. Yark! (Thank you for the report Rebecca and Spence.)

    I love the picture Barb! It reminds me of that commercial called “Puppy Love.” Who could resist a Golden. (Teddy RR!!)

    Good morning all.

  8. Masquers
    9:38 am on March 6th, 2014

    Herd’s Mom & Daddy Dog: Wishing you a comfortable flight, on this the first leg of your trip home.

  9. Wose-the small and meek
    9:41 am on March 6th, 2014

    Sharon and Daddy Dawg, wishing you a safe, smooth flight back home.

  10. Wose-the small and meek
    9:43 am on March 6th, 2014

    I would love to have a Teddy RR of my very own.

  11. O'Howlers
    9:44 am on March 6th, 2014

    Safe travels, HOH ‘rents!

  12. BearSpiritDog
    9:48 am on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you, SnowBella, for all Wonderfully Written Updates on Team Snowhook and for posting the Evening Prayers on your blog.

  13. B. Stover
    10:06 am on March 6th, 2014

    The Insider “current standings” shows the first six mushers in at Cripple. That’s not on this year’s route is it?

  14. B. Stover
    10:23 am on March 6th, 2014

    I looked it up and since it is an “even” year and the race uses the “northern” route, Cripple is part of the trail. Perhaps I have the wrong map…sigh.

  15. Riö -The Evil Pug
    10:29 am on March 6th, 2014

    Boots!….As breaks!…snort!….The Giant is my Hero.

  16. Riö -The Evil Pug
    10:33 am on March 6th, 2014
  17. Whitey-Lance
    11:16 am on March 6th, 2014


    The Giant is 3.5 minutes into the video. Yeep!

  18. B. Stover
    11:18 am on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you Rio.

  19. O'Howlers
    11:31 am on March 6th, 2014

    Yeep! Yeep! The Giant looks ok !!!!!

  20. ML
    11:49 am on March 6th, 2014

    Honest Barb, I didn’t try to hog the photo credit.

    Not even 8 here. More snoozing required.

  21. Whitey-Lance
    11:51 am on March 6th, 2014

    The team is out of McGrath.

  22. ML
    11:59 am on March 6th, 2014

    Honest Barb, I didn’t try to hog the photo credit.

    Not even 8 here. More snoozing required.

    Yark, theone night I miss the news…..

  23. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:00 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Yip!…Yip! Hooray!…snorkel!

  24. BearSpiritDog
    12:00 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you, Whitey-Lance! GO SNOWHOOK!! Swift & Safe on The Mighty Wosengrizz!!!

  25. B. Stover
    12:02 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you Whitey-Lance.

  26. O'Howlers
    12:08 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Still 15 dogs! Yay!!!
    Onward Snowhook!

  27. Masquers
    12:08 pm on March 6th, 2014

    It is wonderful to see our Giant looking so good and hear that the team is injury free.
    A million thanks again to Wose & Grizz, without whose help we would not be on our way to Nome. Many sleds are in pieces and without a second sled cannot go on.

  28. Oley Howlers' Pop
    12:13 pm on March 6th, 2014

    When we met Whitey-Lance!

  29. Siber-H
    12:14 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you for the fine reporting, Whitey-Lance.
    The video you gave us a link to is one thousand times more interesting and informative than the Insider videos.
    AJ did good in the interview. He always does.

  30. O'Howlers
    12:15 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Shiek is running out to meet the team now!!!!

  31. O'Howlers
    12:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    In that video, Coach Whitey-Lance was sharing his race expertise with our mom!!! Oh yes he was.

  32. O'Howlers
    12:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    In that PHOTO, Coach Whitey-Lance was sharing his race expertise with our mom!!! Oh yes he was.

  33. c.hobbit
    12:38 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Borrowed boots? I hope they are the right size. Boots too big or too small are horrid.

    Thinking of Melanie and her family.

  34. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:39 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Photo!…WOW!…That is a great photo of the Howlers Maw and Paw meeting Whitey Lance…snort!….I hope Melanie gets to see that one…snuffle!

  35. O'Howlers
    12:49 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We just watched a video of the Takotna checkpoint. There was a lot of food. But we noticed a horse who looks a lot like Leo, wearing a sign that said “Onward, Snowhook”. Sounds like the equines got AJ special clearance to blow thru that pop stand. Heh!

  36. bluecat
    1:01 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers – we’ve always called Leo The Wonder Horse.

    AJ, dreamy and well-spoken. Of course! Onward, Snowhook.

    Sending sunshine to Melanie and Truman and their caretakers.

  37. BearSpiritDog
    1:23 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Shiek & Leo will help guide Our Team to Run like the Wind!

  38. Wose-the small and meek
    1:33 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Whitey-Lance, thanks for your reporting, and for pointing us to the video interview with the Giant. Glad to hear that the dogs are well, and that the Giant looks well too. He is the most handsome musher of them all,

  39. Masquers
    1:33 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Love the photo of the Howlers ‘rents meeting the infamous
    Whitey-Lance. The one who brought us to SnowHook, AJ & Rebecca and the Last Great Race.
    The rest, like they say, is history.

  40. Wose-the small and meek
    1:35 pm on March 6th, 2014

    O’Howlers: Great picture of W-L with your mom and pop.

  41. BearSpiritDog
    1:37 pm on March 6th, 2014

    O’Howlers: I Watched that Video…will return after a Morning Snack.

  42. Chet The Dog
    1:38 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Yikes – the photo credit for the goldens should have been Barb & Maggie! Sorry. – Admin

  43. O'Howlers
    1:42 pm on March 6th, 2014

    That dang tracker is not updating!
    (Texas-speak…taught to Mom by ML)

  44. Masquers
    1:55 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers: It seems it needs to be manually refreshed by taking the mushers off the board and renewing the individual GPS flags. This certainly doesn’t work like it did last year…another great improved version by the Insider (NOT!).
    One thing we do like are the news links over on the right.

  45. Barb & Maggie
    2:05 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Hey Chet and Admin, thanks for the shout-out on the photo. We really didn’t mean to whine about it, but glad you(and Audrey and Pearl) liked it.

    Now going to go back and watch the video.

    Thank you again for the Wosengrizz. Who knew how important it would be!

  46. Oley Howlers' Pop
    2:11 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Awesome Dawson with the infamous Whitey-Lance.

  47. Whitey-Lance
    2:21 pm on March 6th, 2014

    The team is in and out of Takotna. AJ dropped a dog.

    When I met Howler’s maw, I couldn’t help but hug her.

  48. Whitey-Lance
    2:22 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Same goes for all the Plunderers I met. Hugs, hugs, hugs!

  49. Wose-the small and meek
    2:28 pm on March 6th, 2014

    That is a great picture of Awesome with Whitey-Lance!

    Thank you for the team update, W-L!

  50. BooBear
    2:29 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Oh, my!! I wonder if the dropped dog is Jem and his noble nose! He has already made it much farther than last year.

    Thinking of Melanie and hoping she is enjoying the reports of the race.

  51. BooBear
    2:30 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I’m beginning to think Whitey Lance was photo bombing all the pics!! Only because he is super handsome.

  52. Diane C.
    2:33 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Hello All–And thanks for the updates, photos, and prayers to which I add a heartfelt “Amen”. I’m AFK most of these next two days but long to check back for news of all this blog family and the Snowhook Team. You are all in my prayers and in my heart.

    (Where is Rio?)

  53. Pancho
    2:35 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I thought being still while staying with Melanie was going to be hard, but it’s not. All I want to do is be quiet and still and well behaved. This never happens. I’ve wrapped my tail around her wrist so I can absorb any hurt. I love our Melanie and so here I stay.

  54. O'Howlers' Mom
    2:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Pancho, your other half stays still too, at least while he is waiting to run run run! Lefty never even got up while The Giant was putting his booties on him. I was afraid he would stay on the ground when the team left for the Starting chute, but fear not. When it was time to run, he was a-running!

  55. Wose-the small and meek
    2:47 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Pancho, You are a good dog. We all love Melanie too. Will you let her know that?

  56. Barb & Maggie
    2:47 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Pancho, you are a good boy!

    ML. LOL! We knew it wasn’t you – someone was reading every other word.

    Great interview with AJ. We forgot what the A stands for in AJ. Can someone remind us? Also good interview with Jensen before AJ. Why do they call him the Mushing Mortician? Is that his profession, or is there another reason for it? He certainly had bad things to say about the snow-less trails, didn’t he?

  57. c.hobbit
    2:59 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Barb & Maggie: AJ stands for “Angry Jesus.” There is a story behind that.

  58. Masquers
    2:59 pm on March 6th, 2014

    HOH’s mom & daddy dawg preparing for touch-down in MSP!!

  59. Siber-H
    3:01 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Love the pictures of Whitey-Lance with the Plunderers.

    Barb, Jensen really is a mortician.

    AJ….angry Jesus

  60. O'Howlers
    3:03 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Masquers, we cannot get his tracker to update no how, no way. It has not updated for an hour!!!

  61. Masquers
    3:09 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers: I see what you mean…damit!

  62. Barb & Maggie
    3:11 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thanks, we knew the J was for Jesus, but couldn’t remember the A part.

    Jensen did a good Jamaican accent in that clip too.

  63. Siber-H
    3:13 pm on March 6th, 2014

    It was once fun to set here and watch the tracker update on our screen…every twenty minutes, I believe it was. The outside air temperature was also included in the information the tracker gave us….sigh

  64. Masquers
    3:15 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Okay…if you go to current race standings it says he has checked in and out of Takotna…however my crappy Iditarod-musher-email-update has not advised of this.

  65. Masquers
    3:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    The GPS FINALLY updated!
    Siber, We agree and are so frustrated we are about ready to turn it off.

  66. B. Stover
    3:31 pm on March 6th, 2014

    CHarris: Thank you for the excellent map and bookmark.

  67. Barb & Maggie
    3:38 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Has anyone read any of the Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen? We like the tv series and just checked out a book, Ice Cold. Just started it, but it is one of those books that catches you from the get-go.

  68. B. Stover
    3:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    The site that Rebecca gave us earlier is very good.


  69. Pancho
    3:51 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Who’s a good boy? Me! That’s something you don’t hear everyday.

    Small, but Mighty: Golinka says Melanie knows that we all love her. This, I have to believe. I’ve never known Stinky Mama to lie. Skip over details like a venue had already been booked before my Lady agreed to do a one woman show. No matter. I ignore details all the time like doing something I’ve specifically been told not to do. Small stuff.

  70. Siber-H
    3:51 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Next year I may use the Alaska newspapers and tv stations for Iditarod information instead of the Insider.

    Thanks Stover for the link.

  71. Masquers
    4:03 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Diane: Riö was here earlier.
    B&M: We had not heard of the book, but it sounds good. Any book that grabs your interest within the first few pages is our kind of story.
    Out of the five leaders only Martin Buser has taken his 24. The back of the pack is advancing steadily.
    Good link, B. Thank you.

  72. Whitey-Lance
    4:05 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Siber-H: We here at race watching central have gone old school and are relying more on the race standings that are manually updated rather than the sporadic tracker. Right now, the GPS is sort of working. Gah! We are disappointed in the lack of communication and videos of a broader spectrum of the trail and mushers.

  73. Masquers
    4:12 pm on March 6th, 2014

    AJ & the team checked into Ophir about 10 minutes ago!

  74. O'Howlers
    4:16 pm on March 6th, 2014

    The tracker looks like he is in Ophir, but our Current Standings still are not saying that. W-L, we complained about that to ITC via FB.

  75. Tupper and Gilly
    4:16 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Pancho is indeed a good doggie. He and Mac are sharing watchdog duties, watching to make sure that Melanie always has a warm, furry puppy to touch.

    Her boys and their lovely ladies are with her now. She is warm and snuggled into her bed, surrounded by the cards and pictures and gifts you have sent.

    The Storyteller was with her today, making sure that her path is bordered by good medicine and will be an easy road to travel. He did this for her father, and promised her he would do the same for her if she ever needed it.

    She knew we were there. She knew what he was doing, and she is peaceful. We talked about the beauty of this world, and the wonders of the next.

    All of you who know Melanie’s sense of humor will love this. It seems that this past summer, Melanie got Zoe a beautiful tie dye shirt, in bold vivid colors. But it was a large, and tiny Zoe couldn’t wear it.
    Today, however, she was bundled up in layers with a sweater on top, and put this shirt on over the ensemble like a jacket. She went in to see Melanie and asked her to open her eyes. She told Melanie to look and see that she was wearing the shirt, and it wasn’t too big, as long as she wore layers under it. Melanie did open her eyes, looked at Zoe and said, “told ya”, and went back to sleep with a grin on her face.

    That’s my girl.

  76. SnowBella
    4:23 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I am holding a certain puppy on my lap right now and holding our Heartfriend in my heart.

    Storyteller: Thank you for all you do for our chosen family and for our dear friend.

  77. Siber-H
    4:31 pm on March 6th, 2014

    T&G It gives me such peace of mind to know that those who love Melanie are with her now. We love her too and all of us are with her.

  78. Siber-H
    4:35 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Whitey-Lance, I wondered how you guys at race watching central were managing with the new, improved Insider. Me too, I am using the race standings a lot more this year.

  79. Tupper and Gilly
    4:36 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Siber – the other day she did ask us when you were going to make an honest spy out of Natasha.

    just sayin’

  80. Siber-H
    4:41 pm on March 6th, 2014

    YARK!! Well, Natasha does have the newest Porsche 911 model.

  81. Pancho
    4:43 pm on March 6th, 2014

    My other half is up top right now. Lefty—what a guy. He is a thief’s thief. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss him.

    Golinka: Now that the Storyteller has done a blessing for our Heartfriend, should we not say her name? I ask because we want to honor the blessing and our Friend. Please let me know and I will make sure to follow your lead.

  82. Dawson
    4:46 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Our Melanie is surrounded by those she loves. Thank you to all who are there, making her feel at ease, comforting her and helping her on this journey.

  83. Tupper and Gilly
    4:49 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We can sing Melanie’s name, and pray for her easy journey. Once she has left us behind, we do not use her name so she will not feel called back to us.

  84. Pancho
    4:52 pm on March 6th, 2014

    T&G: Thank you for letting me know. We here at the kennel couldn’t remember and we did not want to undo the gift given by the Storyteller.

    Patsy is up top. That must mean she is on Melanie duty, too.

  85. B. Stover
    4:56 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I echo Dawson’s statement.

    Ophir is Brandy’s checkpoint.

  86. Barb & Maggie
    5:33 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We are glad The Storyteller was there to give Melanie special blessings for her journey.

    Correct me if I am wrong Amalia, but I think we can use creative ways to refer to Melanie after her passing. For instance, “The One who loved the color purple”. Or “The One who planted lettuce in a gutter garden”. Or “The One who painted goat hooves”. I think we can find many ways to describe our dear friend.

  87. Tupper's Mama
    5:42 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Yes Barb – that is fine. And we are only saying that this is what WE do – others may or may not feel the need, and that is fine too. We are sure that everyone has their own version of the afterlife – no one is wrong – no one is “more right”.

    My version of the next world has to do with beaches and warm waves and sun. The Storyteller sees a cool, tree covered mountain top. But somehow, we know we will be together.

    We always have been.
    We always will be.

  88. Wose-the small and meek
    5:49 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We here are happy to know that our Melanie received the Storyteller’s blessing.
    It is a comfort to know that Melanie is surrounded by love.

  89. Barb & Maggie
    5:58 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you Amalia.

    Barb’s version of the next world has to involve dogs and beautiful gardens.

  90. c.hobbit
    6:01 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Even though I am sad, my heart is filled with gratitude and peace. There is deep joy in remembering all the happiness that Melanie brought to the blog. Our Melanie…so funny, so smart, so giving. She has been a role model for me and I cherish the time we ‘spent’ together. She is dearly loved by so many and that is the ultimate tribute to how she lived her life.

  91. Barb & Maggie
    6:14 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Beautifully said C. Hobbit.

  92. Masquers
    6:16 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amalia & Leonard are there, Zoe, her Sons, her family are all there. We, the Plunderers are there too with the One Who is the Heart of Us All.
    This Love for our dear Friend has brought us all together.
    Because of this she will take her Journey in Joy, knowing she is Surrounded by Love and that We Will Meet Again.

  93. Barb & Maggie
    6:17 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Masquers, there are a number of books in the Rizzilo and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. Ice Cold is about # 3, but I think there are at least a dozen if not more.

  94. O'Howlers
    6:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Hobbit, That is a lovely way to frame this moment. Although, along with the happiness I feel to have a friend so wonderful and funny and loyal and true as Melanie, I am also sad to know that I will not hear my dear friend’s voice or read her updates. It is unbearable for me. But I will try very hard to focus on the happy Melanie we all love.
    Amalia, I am so glad you are with her. Please hug Zoe for me.

  95. Siber-H
    6:21 pm on March 6th, 2014

    C.Hobbit, Thank you for saying so well what is in all our hearts.

  96. O'Howlers
    6:25 pm on March 6th, 2014

    That was Mom.

    Us? We want to say that it looks like AJ has left Ophir, at least on our tracker, though not in the standings or in an email.

  97. c.hobbit
    6:26 pm on March 6th, 2014

    There are moments when I have tears in my eyes and my throat closes. It is hard but I am glad when are together in this moment.

    I went out and bought a double bunch of daffodils. I stare at the bright yellow lighting my kitchen and think of Melanie.

  98. O'Howlers
    6:27 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Mom has our ipaw all wet.
    Chicken Lady, Isabel keeps laying in the nest box. All day. No egg. What os up with that?

  99. c.hobbit
    6:28 pm on March 6th, 2014

    There are moments when I have tears in my eyes and my throat closes. It is hard but I am glad WE (gah) are together in this moment.

  100. Barb & Maggie
    6:35 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers, Spring is almost here, so it sounds like Isabel is getting “broody”. That means she has gotten the idea in her little chicken brain that she wants to be a mom. Some breeds are more likely to go broody than others. Remind me, is she the Buff? If so, they tend to be really good mothers. Doesn’t matter that you don’t have a roo, she will want to set anyway.

  101. O'Howlers
    6:40 pm on March 6th, 2014

    But why no eggs in the box? It is like she can’t lay. And yes, she is the Buff.

  102. ALR
    6:42 pm on March 6th, 2014

    As a stranger to you all I hesitate to speak, but hesitation is weak and speaking up is strong, and I want to be strong. I have been following all of you since the beginning of ths blog….but except for once, early on, I have held back. I have another chat family so like this one, but hinged together by Yellowstone National Park. This Chet The Dog family has built and bloomed so beautifully and these last few days give witness to that for sure. As you all walk this particular path may you feel the blessings and encouragement from all of us out here who read and pray with you. From the youngest puppy at Snowhook to the East Coast of this country and beyond, comfort and joy.

  103. Barb & Maggie
    6:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    When they decide to “set” they stop laying. Is she just peacefully staying in the box, or doe she act like something is wrong?

  104. O'Howlers
    6:46 pm on March 6th, 2014

    It was Danny Seavey who gave his boots to AJ. There is a writeup about Seavey Secrets on Insider.
    If Danny is the same size as Mitch, no way those boots would fit. Mitch Seavey is smaller than me!

  105. Barb & Maggie
    6:47 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR, Thank you for your kind and comforting words.

  106. O'Howlers
    6:49 pm on March 6th, 2014

    She is sitting quite peacefully, and when we brought her indoors to examine her, she sure seems fine. Thank you, barb. You have put my mind at ease. You know Izzy is one of my favs.

    ALR, thank you so much for your kind words.

  107. Barb & Maggie
    7:03 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers, This idea of hers is likely to last 2-3 weeks.
    They eat little, and do not like to get off the nest. If a egg is under her she will get quite huffy when you try to remove it. They sort of puff up and make cranky little sounds if you disturb them.
    There is nothing more fun then letting a hen hatch some chicks and then watch her tend to them. Only problems – 1. you will have to keep her and the chicks separate from the other hens, as some will kill another hen’s babies, and 2. likely you will end up with some roosters.

  108. Masquers
    7:05 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you, ALR. Your words mean a lot to us.

  109. Wose-the small and meek
    7:26 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR, thank you for your words of comfort.

  110. O'Howlers
    7:37 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We met Dallas is smaller than Mom; not Mitch.

    So Barb, she will snap out of this broody thing on her own, right? There will b no chicks.

  111. Tupper and Gilly
    7:38 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Thank you ALR. All prayers gratefully accepted.

  112. Barb & Maggie
    7:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Howlers, It will take her about3 weeks to get over it. Her temp will rise when she is broody (better to warm the eggs and babies), so you can speed things up by cooling her off. Get her off the nest a couple times during the day if you are home, and at night you can put her back on the roost with the other hens. That will help bring her temp down. They say putting them in a wire cage helps, but I never had the heart to do that, so I am sure you won’t either.

  113. ML
    7:46 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I am getting cabin fever big time. Tomorrow we may finally get out. My uncle plays crying in your beer songs all day long. Arrrooooooo I may be from Texas, but country music is not my favorite.

    ALR, thank you for your kind words, and the reminder that Others are among us.

  114. Siber-H
    8:18 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR Thank you for joining us and your kind words. You are always welcome to be a part of this blog.

    Macy’s Mom, That is a lovely photo.

  115. ALR
    8:26 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I hope you will think of the ‘others among you’ as additional support and not voyeurs. I feel I know you all even though I have been mute and I participate every day. Masquers, BSD & Nana, I feel particularly close to you all. I read you live on Camano Island and my favorite aunt lived there many years. Her name was Edna and she was real estate woman extrordinaire. I live in your State in Vancouver. It is a gift you all have been given to have these close friendships. I will be praying with you all for your dear friend and your favorite musher and the dogs.

  116. Dawson
    8:31 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR: The kindness of (almost) strangers never ceases to amaze me. Your words touched me. Thank you for being strong and speaking out.

  117. Pancho
    8:42 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR: Your words warm the cockles of my sled dog heart and I don’t let just anyone near those. I think we do forget that there are those who are part of this here blog, but do not post. We have this chosen family and then those members we don’t know, yet. From Snowhook’s perspective, thank you for your support. At this time when hearts are heavy, feeling so full of love and gratitude for our time with Melanie that we feel we might burst, I would invite lurkers comment to let Melanie know you are thinking of her.

  118. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:51 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR!…Finally a stranger on the blog I like right off the bat…snort!…I only know of one other lurker that I love, but she is known to all of us, her and her famous pretzels. Oh and all the good base ball players her team has given my team…snort!…I knew I could work baseball into this if I tried really hard…heh!heh!

  119. BearSpiritDog
    8:58 pm on March 6th, 2014

    ALR: You have proved it is true! Six Degrees of Separation.
    We are all linked together by our common interests.
    But who would have ever guessed we would become such Good Friends too.

  120. ALR
    8:58 pm on March 6th, 2014

    What! Rio likes me? I expected a few snorts and odors! I have always liked you you you, Rio oh Evil One! My Schnauzers Murphy and Zoe adore you, too. Hmmmm, I might have to speak up more often! I’ll see you at prayer time, Rio.

  121. Tupper and Gilly
    9:00 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Creator – tonight we are singing. The stars and the trees and the mountains are singing. The moon shines on the snow with a melody too beautiful for our ears. We are singing of your gifts, and the love we feel on this earth. Creator, we are singing.
    On this night, we sing brave heart songs to support our team. We sing medicine songs to heal AJ’s aches. The woods and the trees join in our songs, to speed the sled and carry the dogs. The frost and the ice sing songs of the cold, the fun of the running, and the promise of the trail. We ask you to hear the prayers of our songs; let AJ be whole and without any pain, keep the dogs safe, and keep their hearts strong.
    On this night we sing songs of the life of our friend. We sing of her laughter, her jokes and her wisdom. We sing of the memories of puppies, and her pride of her sons. We sing of the support she has given to us, when we were in need, she was our rock. Our songs will not mourn, but will be for her dance; her dance will be joyful without cane or ache. We ask you to hear the prayers of our songs; hold Melanie close, and let her heart hear the wondrous music that swirls all around.
    We lift up these songs; the songs our hearts make to celebrate life and the gifts of our friends. Our circle of friends grows ever larger, welcoming the gifts that each of us bring. We thank you for each of the friends in our lives. Our hearts reach across these dark starry skies, and hold one another, bound by nothing more than the love we all share.
    Creator – tonight we are singing. The stars and the trees and the mountains are singing. The moon shines on the snow with a melody too beautiful for our ears. We are singing of your gift of Melanie to our lives. We thank you for giving us the time we have shared. Creator, we are singing, please hear our prayers.

  122. O'Howlers
    9:04 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amen. Thank you, Amalia.

  123. Pancho
    9:04 pm on March 6th, 2014


  124. Wose-the small and meek
    9:06 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amen. sob

  125. Masquers
    9:10 pm on March 6th, 2014

    We Sing these Songs with Love in our Hearts and are Grateful.

  126. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    9:11 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Another heartfelt and moving prayer. Thank you Amalia for speaking so eloquently for all of us.

  127. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:13 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rose!…I am sob!sob!sobbing! too…sniffle!…Dear beloved Melanie, know that I am thinking of you up close and personal…slurp!smooch!sneeze!

  128. Siber-H
    9:17 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amen, I, too, am sobbing.

  129. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:19 pm on March 6th, 2014

    AJ!…I also worry about how beat-up The Giant is right now…sniffle!…He has to be so sore. I am glad no broken bones or strains have plagued him. At lease we do not know of any yet..wheeze!….Stay safe AJ. Keep the A-Team safe no matter what…snuffle!

  130. Masquers
    9:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amalia & Leonard, Thank you for singing this song for that one in our hearts and for the ones who continue on the trail for her.
    ML: Thank you for that beautiful picture. It couldn’t be more perfect.

  131. O'Howlers
    9:20 pm on March 6th, 2014

    AJ is out of there.

  132. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:26 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Team!….Run like the wind!…snort!snort!….Go!Go!Go!

  133. Dawson
    9:26 pm on March 6th, 2014

    I will treasure the gifts of joy and laughter that Melanie has given me for my lifetime.

  134. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:29 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Cripple!…It looks like a really long way to Cripple on our GPS Tracker mappy thingy….wheeze!

  135. Siber-H
    9:35 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio, 73 miles

  136. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:38 pm on March 6th, 2014


  137. Siber-H
    9:42 pm on March 6th, 2014

    CHobbit and all the rest of you that were so thoughtful to do this:

    I got my Iditarod package in the mail today! Love all of it…the autographs and everything.
    The Husky will make a great centerpiece for the table. I’ll just put a few pine sprigs around him as a decoration for Christmas dinner. This will be a surprise for mom.
    THANK YOU!!!

  138. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:43 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Waiting!….Anybody wanna play some cards?…sniff!

  139. ALR
    9:43 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amen and amen. It feels good to join in this song. Thank you so much.

  140. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    SiberH!…WooooHooooo!…I am so happy you got all that stuff so quickly…Wow!…Thank you to whoever sent it (CHobbit!!)….snorkel!

  141. Barb & Maggie
    9:48 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Tonight we are singing and Amen. Thank you again.

  142. Tupper and Gilly
    9:56 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio – we have three spades, two hearts, a diamond and two clubs.

    Whaddayou holding?

  143. bluecat
    9:57 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Amen. Creator, hear our prayer.

    ALR – thank you for letting us know you’re there.

    ‘Night all.

  144. c.hobbit
    9:59 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Smoochies to Siber-H

    Welcome ALR (aren’t Schnauzers supposed to be stubborn doggies?)


  145. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:06 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Tupper!…I have four Aces and a King up my fur…snort!….I win!..wheeze!

  146. Pancho
    10:22 pm on March 6th, 2014


  147. Tupper and Gilly
    10:27 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio – you lose. Both of our hearts are kinds and two of our spades are too. Plus all the rest are aces.

    Pay up Pugster.

  148. Tupper and Gilly
    10:27 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Kings – dammit you otter, KINGS

  149. Whitey-Lance
    10:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Orion is home and resting comfortably. The dancing giraffes are warming up for their second act. He was dropped for a sore wrist.

    Natty was also dropped, but she is not home, yet. There is a photo of her in today’s photo gallery on the Iditarod site.

  150. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:47 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Natty!…Orion!…Please tell me they are (were) not the leaders of the pack…snort!

  151. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:48 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Poker!…Is my game. Pure and simple. No wild cards ceptin’ the Joker…grunt!

  152. ALR
    10:48 pm on March 6th, 2014

    C.Hobbit, one of my schnauzers, Mr. Murphy is a bit stubborn and often pulls like a sled dog. But my dear little Zoe is not stubborn at all. We do consider them to be more expensive than a health club, but they do keep us walking every day!

  153. Masquers
    11:03 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Siber: So it’s about 10 to 12 hours to reach Cripple? That means they probably won’t be there before morning.
    Whitey: We here thought Orion was a leader too…a hurt wrist… Ouch!
    HOH: Your mom and daddy dawg should be seeing you soon, soon, soon!

  154. Whitey-Lance
    11:03 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio: Natty is a lead dog, and a good one at that. Orion is not a lead dog not because he isn’t a good dog—he’s a rescue dog that turned out to be a champ on the trail for the Giant—but because he is way down on the pecking order. I’ll have to check, but I think the pups out rank him. He’s a great dog, but no one will follow him.

    Hide and seek—that’s my game.

  155. Barb & Maggie
    11:10 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Good night all. Welcome ALR.

    Wishing a peaceful night for Melanie. You are surrounded with love.

  156. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:10 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Follow!…Yes, it is all about the leaders ability to keep the others following them on a journey from Willow to Nome…snort!…And at a brisk pace…sniff!

  157. Siber-H
    11:18 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Masquers, I am not very good at figuring hours but it will be morning before they reach Cripple. AJ will have to rest and snack the dogs on the way. The fact that AJ likes to run at night always gives me some comfort when he and the dogs are mushing through the wilderness in the dark.

    Cool Runnings tonight to AJ and the dogs.

    night all

  158. Whitey-Lance
    11:19 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio: Bridger was a lead dog and second in command at the kennel when Fargo was the alpha. My Lady always said if Bridger were a man, he would have been AJ and vice versa. She says they broke the mold with both, whatever that means. I do know that several years ago during free play, Bridger got it in his head to go on a walkabout so we—20 or so dogs—got it in our heads to do the same. He was the leader and we followed. AJ hoped on the ATV and set out to find us. He came upon another musher who found us. He was loading us in his truck to bring us home. What did he tell the Giant?—That a certain lead dog was running in front of us like we were all on the line. The musher said it took him a few moments to realize we were all running free, but in formation and following our leader. Bridger never apologized.

  159. Whitey-Lance
    11:24 pm on March 6th, 2014

    SiberH: The Giant likes to run at night and often trains without turning on his headlamp. He crossed the finish line of the first race he ever won and no one met him at the finish line because they were looking for light from a headlamp. The checkers were inside of a local lodge waiting for mushers, so what did we do? We ran the sled up onto the front porch of the lodge and the Giant knocked on the window to get their attention.

  160. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:25 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Apologies!….They are so over-rated…snort!…I wish I had known Bridger and Fargo…heh!heh!….Hey, there is a new show coming out called “Fargo”…sniff!…I bet it is about North Dakota and not the great Snowhook Leader. Too bad…grunt!

  161. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:27 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Giant!….He must have our God-Given night-vision!….Wooooo!….Can this guy get any better! He keeps becoming my Hero all the time!…wheeze!

  162. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:45 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Goodnight!…We here are going upstairs to our warm soft beds…snorkel!…I hope I wake up to My Hero and the A-Team resting in Cripple….chuffle!….Melanie will be on my mind all night long as she makes her way to the next checkpoint…sniffle!

  163. Whitey-Lance
    11:51 pm on March 6th, 2014

    Rio: The Thieves agree with you about apologies. I never apologized for my walkabout come to think of it.

    More to Rio: Flaws! My Lady says the Giant has flaws like he doesn’t like to sing at all. He also ignores when he hurts, and he’ll never be a foot model. My Lady says he feet are her best feature. There, now you know all his flaws. Don’t hold it against him.

  164. Herd's Mom
    12:00 am on March 7th, 2014

    Long day. Home safe, sound and TIRED. Melanie is in all our prayers, even the boarder in the basement! Darah got home just before us and we hope she wasn’t rough. ALR, Welcome and thanks for finding you voice again. Bed is screaming at me, NOW or I will fall over. Plundererfest 2014, love all of you.
    Nighty night.

  165. ML
    12:57 am on March 7th, 2014

    Good to hear that Sharon and Digger are home safely. I am now the only one left on the trail.

    Wrapping warm hugs around Melanie as she heads to the next checkpoint. Macy sends dainty licks as well.

    Random slice of Alaskan beauty.

  166. Wolfie
    1:34 am on March 7th, 2014

    What a day this has been. Even though I am positive that indescribable beauty is waiting for Melanie, my tears continue to fall. The last decade with my boys has been so painful that my tears dried up. Even when my mom died, I could not cry. When Wookie died, it broke my heart. I haven’t cried since. I believe that tears are a necessary part of healing, but oh, how painful loss can be.

  167. Wolfie
    1:40 am on March 7th, 2014

    When Katherine Kubler-Ross was at the end of her journey here, someone asked her to describe her feelings.

    I love her answer:

    “When you stop and think about it, death is life’s last great adventure. Quite frankly, I cannot wait to go dancing through the galaxies!”

  168. BooBear
    5:52 am on March 7th, 2014

    Amen. Melanie, you are loved.

  169. O'Howlers
    7:08 am on March 7th, 2014

    Dancing thru the galaxies. We love that. Melanie will do that.

  170. Diane C.
    7:45 am on March 7th, 2014

    Leonard and Amalia–thank you for the song, to which I am coming late.

    Melanie, thank you for being part of my life.

    Everyone–An early Good Morning and a very good day to all.

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