On the Iditarod Trail (More)
Why are we so enthusiastic about Snowhook, our team in the Iditarod? Just read Rebecca’s overnight race report and you’ll know.
The team has arrived safely in Ruby, the first checkpoint on the mighty Yukon, and the second of our dropped dogs are now home. I picked up Natty, a lead dog today. She is currently on the loveseat and snoring.
The team made quick work of the run from Cripple to Ruby which is no surprise on the hard and fast trail. I expect him to rest the team for several hours before continuing down the Yukon River onto Galena. Pacing the team does not merely mean riding the brake to keep the team at a steady gait rather than running too fast. Pacing is also about what AJ does when he’s off the trail.
Whether he’s camping on the trail or resting the team at a checkpoint, AJ will tend to the dogs quickly so the dogs can get as much rest as possible. He will give each dog straw to communicate to the dogs that resting is the name of the game. While snow melts in his cooker and he prepares a meal of kibble and meat, AJ will remove booties from the dogs’ feet and examine each member of the team. He will rub their muscles and paws with ointments, and cover them with dog jackets and blankets. This routine is all about efficiency. The quicker he tends to the dogs, the more they are able to rest. When his chores are complete, he will tend to his own stomach, any equipment repairs, and eventually, his own heavy eyelids. Depending on how long he intends to rest the team, AJ’s work will begin again in a few short hours as he prepares another meal for the dogs, re-examines each dog, and puts booties on 64 paws.
Melanie remains in our hearts.
And, thanks to ML, more of what it looks like up there:
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 8:50 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.