On the Iditarod Trail (More)

Many thanks to Rebecca for this nail-biting report from the land of ice (and apparently not enough) snow:

Mother Nature is a leading lady on the Iditarod stage that should be given her due credit. Thanks to little to no snow, pre-race reports of poor trail conditions did not stop at the Steps, the Gorge and the Burn in the first third of the race. Lack of snow on the coast was reported in the weeks leading to the starting line. The overland trails may offer bumps without cushion and be more dust that snow. And, trails on the ice will likely be glare ice which provides little to now traction. Combine the ice skating rink with the high winds that are now howling and it can be easy to lose the trail. To provide the team as much opportunity for traction in the sea ice sections including the upcoming Norton Sound, AJ will likely remove the booties from the dogs’ paws and rely heavily on the studs in the bottom of his borrowed boots.

While I draft this post at shortly after midnight, the team has yet to leave Shaktoolik and begin their run toward Koyuk. It is likely that when the team does leave the checkpoint, they will have company of other teams that appear to be waiting out the weather. There is safety in numbers.

Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times—it’s going to be a wild ride.

Our hearts are with Melanie.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 10:24 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.

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

  1. B. Stover
    10:35 am on March 11th, 2014

    Apparently Michigan is going to get another six to ten inches of “Alaska’s” snow. (It’s sunny and warm in Florida.)

    Go Snowhook and stay safe.

    Good morning all.

  2. Barb & Maggie
    10:36 am on March 11th, 2014

    Wow, that is scary! At least AJ is in a safe place right now. Better to wait out the high winds.

    Thoughts are with Melanie and her family this morning.

  3. Herd of Hounds
    10:47 am on March 11th, 2014

    Good morning, everyone! There aren’t too many cushions left around our house. What a race! Pawsitive thoughts to AJ, Snowhook family, Melanie and family.

  4. Cherokee
    10:54 am on March 11th, 2014

    Morning all ! My Mom can’t decide if all of you are crazy for following this Iditarod stuff or not. She is completely stressing out, worried for the dogs, worried for the people, and cursing my Godmom (the O’Howlers Mom) for getting her hooked on this, but can’t stop watching the tracker and trying to stay on top of what is going on!!
    Maybe I should just give her some cheesecake.

  5. Wose-the small and meek
    11:05 am on March 11th, 2014


    Cherokee : I do believe cheesecake is an excellent choice for whatever ails you. In fact, Grizz and I had some at the Cheesecake Factory on Saturday. YUM-MY!

    RIO! I love the picture with you and Alice sitting together looking out the window.

    HEH! We are in for some more snow over the next few days. Maybe the Iditarod should be run in the Adirondacks.

    Big love to Melanie and her family.

    Thinking of our Pixie. Please try and rest as much as possible. Hope the Plunderfest pups will be tip-top soon.

  6. Diane C.
    11:17 am on March 11th, 2014

    Hello again–Before I disappear for the rest of the day I thought you’d be interested to hear that the L.A. Times had a brief item today about the lack of snow ion the trail (with a less-than-brilliant pun on the word “mush”)
    Bright blessings Melanie, Team and all.

  7. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:23 am on March 11th, 2014

    GAH!…I just checked on the race while Staff was not guarding her computer…GAH!GAH!…I’m scarit and worrit today…sniffle!

  8. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:24 am on March 11th, 2014

    Maskers!…Excellant reporting last night!…snort!…What a Kool Kat you can be at times…chorkel!

  9. Siber-H
    11:35 am on March 11th, 2014

    You guys, don’t worry. What is happening now is all part of running the Iditarod. I don’t remember there being any serious storms on the coast since the blog has been following the Iditarod.
    Libby Riddles won the Iditarod in 1985 by going on in a storm when all the other mushers and teams stopped to wait out the storm.
    The mushers know what they are doing. AJ for sure knows what he is doing.

  10. Masquers
    11:39 am on March 11th, 2014

    (with one eye open from my soft warm pillow)
    Thank you, Riö, sniff.

  11. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:43 am on March 11th, 2014

    Dawson!…She was up all night with Maskers…snort!…I bet she is going to be in a really good mood today…heh!heh!

  12. Herd of Hounds
    12:23 pm on March 11th, 2014

    The weather report from Shaktoolik has snow falling today, Thurs. and Fri. Winds gusting up to 38 mph.

  13. ML
    12:35 pm on March 11th, 2014

    When I went to bed last night Jeff King was a sure bet. Now he is out out out along with Hugh neff and still Aily comes in second. Where did those pesky Seavy’s come from?

    I leave this beautiful state at 0 dark thirty in the a.m. Could someone send a pug to sit on my bulging suitcase?

  14. O'Howlers
    12:41 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Hugh neff scratched. AJ is now #30 which of course means nothing as practically everyone is stopped at the same checkpoint, so it will be like starting fresh when they finally leave Shak.
    That rookie is still sitting still 16 miles out of Shak!!!!

  15. BearSpiritDog
    12:44 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Apparently I Woke Up from a very bad dream this morning Barking & Growing. Has that ever happened to you?
    Aily was winning…then she didn’t.

    Dawson pulled a Late-Nighter. Good thing the train is late and she has a chance to get in some Extra Snooze Time before they have to leave.

    Hounds: You say youse have a FEW Couch Cushions left?
    We Here have NONE.

    O’Howlers: OMD. Hugh Neff too? What a Strange Race. Worrit here too about Katherine Keith. Looks like she started out on the ice then stopped.

    Siber-H: You have Many Years of Experience watching The Last Great Race and we on the Blog are so happy to have the benefit of it. In addition to that, we can always count on you to be the Calm Voice of Reason.

  16. O'Howlers
    1:01 pm on March 11th, 2014

    This year seems like 2 years ago, when they weren’t letting teams leave Shak because there was a backup in Koyuk. It seems to be a backup in Elim, but teams have now started out from there.

  17. Barb & Maggie
    1:20 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Boobear, Sorry it isn’t going to work for you to come in for the PIG meeting. Would love to see your mom again.

    Plans have been revised. Barb is now leaving here at 4:30. Looks like Staff and Dawson should arrive in Chicago around 6:40 (rather than 3:40). Will be heading east at 9:30, if there are no further delays.

    Have the wind conditions settled down yet between Shak and Koyuk?

  18. Macy the min pin
    1:23 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Oh my! I just realized Mom will be home tomorrow. I guess my party days are over for now. Me and my sweetie sure had some fun times, but I will just keep the details to myself.

    Go A J!

  19. c.hobbit
    1:30 pm on March 11th, 2014

    ML: I hadn’t realized that you were staying this long although I was wondering why you hadn’t talked about being home yet. Oh well, safe travels and I know your doggies and husband will be glad to see you.

    Just got back from the vet. Sadie’s x-ray showed no stones in the kidneys or her bladder. But the vet pulled out yet another ultrasound photo and said there was something that she had seen from the beginning that now is more visible and pointed to a circle within Sadie’s bladder. It is either a hematoma filled with blood or cancer. The lab test for cancer is $200. Of course, I’d have rather had cancer eliminated months ago instead of suddenly it being a option now. The problem is that if it is cancer, Sadie would be in pain–she wouldn’t want her stomach touched. With all the tummies I give her, that certainly isn’t the case. So she is missing a major sympton of the disease. Also, if it is cancer, there are no surgical options.

    I am thinking that I need to check out vets in Wasilla who deal exclusively with dogs rather than seeing a general practice vet. With all the mushers in the valley, there should be at least one good dog vet in the area. I have lost faith in being nickeled and dimed to death with tests, special foods, pills, etc. Pondering….

  20. Cherokee
    1:34 pm on March 11th, 2014

    The record for most scratches was set in 1980 and again in 2007, when there were 24. Just might surpass it this year.

  21. O'Howlers
    1:38 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Oh Sadie! We hope it is not cancer!
    It is a good idea to look for a better doc.

    Cherokee, Man of Statistics !!

  22. BearSpiritDog
    1:47 pm on March 11th, 2014

    SiberH: We have a Question: Watching the Mushers reach the Burled Arch and their sleds being checked out for all the Necessary Tools & Equipment…Has there ever been a Musher Disqualified for lack of these requirements?

    Barb&Magpie: Haven’t heard any News about the Wind Conditions in Shaktoolik. The Teams haven’t moved.

    CHobbit: It Sounds Encouraging that Sadie Bear allows the tummies. A new Vet sounds like a good option.

    Hi Cherokee! It is So Good to have you on the Blog with us.

  23. Barb & Maggie
    2:02 pm on March 11th, 2014

    We think a second opinion and another vet would be a good idea.

    Cherokee, Another thing to think about is that the year they had 24 scratches, they also had more starters. I believe it might have been 84 as compared to 69 this year. If you look at the % we are getting very close.

    We just got a call from Staff. They are still about 6 hours out. We have given up the plans to meet for dinner before boarding the train at 9:30. She said there was an avalanche on the tracks west of them, and theirs was the first train to get thru.

  24. Cherokee
    2:11 pm on March 11th, 2014

    B&M – I wondered about the percentage of starters to scratches, but decided a nap in the sun sounded much better than figuring that out.

  25. Herd of Hounds
    2:12 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Ah, the joys of travel are as unpredictable as the weather.

  26. Barb & Maggie
    2:29 pm on March 11th, 2014

    According to our figures if there are 17 scratches this year so far, that is 24 1/2% of the starters. The year that they had 24 scratches there were 84 starts we believe. That would be 28 1/2%.

  27. Cherokee
    2:31 pm on March 11th, 2014

    there are 19 scratches/withdrawals so far this year so 2735%

  28. Cherokee
    2:31 pm on March 11th, 2014

    there are 19 scratches/withdrawals so far this year so 27.5%

  29. Cherokee
    2:31 pm on March 11th, 2014

    darn, my paws aren’t cooperating!

  30. Siber-H
    2:36 pm on March 11th, 2014

    C.Hobbit, Mom says she would take Sadie to another doctor. Make sure you get the records, tests, and x-rays from the vet she has been seeing.

    Bear, I do not remember a musher being disqualified for not having everything in his sled that is required. This must mean in my recent memory it hasn’t happened to any of the mushers that were leading the pack.

    It did happen in the Yukon Quest a few years ago. An ax was missing from one of the leading mushers sleds. He wasn’t disqualified, but he had to wait out a pretty serious time penalty.

  31. O'Howlers
    2:40 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Cherokee, How did you learn to do that math? We here thought the answer was 2.

  32. Cherokee
    2:48 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Apparently I am better at math than figuring out how to work this here little blog since my name keeps showing up in blue! Hopefully I figured it out this time. Now back to napping while Snowhook is at a halt

  33. Barb & Maggie
    3:01 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Cherokee, Your math is correct at 27.53%. We figure that if there is one more scratch than we will top the old record. Do you agree?

  34. O'Howlers
    3:03 pm on March 11th, 2014

    The rookie who left Shak is holed up in a small shelter cabin! Yay!

  35. BearSpiritDog
    3:06 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Yark! WHAT is going on with Our Mushers Group in Shaktoolik?
    I’m about ready to start Barking & Growling again and nobody wants that!

    There is one bit of Good News…Katherine Keith is On the Move!

  36. BearSpiritDog
    3:24 pm on March 11th, 2014

    SiberH: We Here did find out how the Winnings Are Paid.
    1st – $50,000 & Dodge Ram Truck
    2nd – $47,000

  37. BearSpiritDog
    3:31 pm on March 11th, 2014

    ….3rd – $44,000
    Payouts Decreasing in Increments of $3,000
    then $2,000 and $1,000 for the 1st 30 Mushers.

    After that Everyone Who Finishes the Race receives $1,049

    Why, Why, Why is there No News?

  38. Siber-H
    3:33 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Bear? Are they waiting out a storm in Shaktoolik?

  39. BearSpiritDog
    3:34 pm on March 11th, 2014

    SiberH: If that were the case then Why Is Katherine Keith Proceeding Towards Koyuk?

  40. Siber-H
    3:35 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Bear, Great detective work! I have never been able to find that winnings information.

  41. Siber-H
    3:41 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Bear, I don’t know She is a rookie. If they are waiting out a storm, I can’t believe a rookie would go on.
    Libby Riddles trained in the same conditions she found herself in on the coast. That is one reason she was able to keep on mushing when the other teams stopped.

  42. BearSpiritDog
    3:42 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Perhaps they all have Made a Pact to Go As a Group.

  43. Barb & Maggie
    3:45 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Barb is turning off the computer and heading for the train station. Instead of arriving just before 4:00 Staff and Dawson are now scheduled for 7:22. They will probably be even later than that. Will give you an update later.

    Safe trails to AJ.

  44. BearSpiritDog
    3:54 pm on March 11th, 2014

    And Happy Rails to You, Barb.

    Now there is a Stirring of the Teams……

  45. Cherokee
    4:11 pm on March 11th, 2014

    I heard from my Godmom that the teams are still in Shaktoolik because somebody (non musher) passed away in Elim. Or something like that, these ears are getting old so I might have mis-understood the details.

  46. Teddy Ruff Rider
    4:16 pm on March 11th, 2014

    And we are out!!!!!!!

    MUSHER ALERT: Justin Savidis checks out of Shaktoolik at 13:06 (AKDT) on March 11

  47. Masquers
    4:20 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Cherokee: We heard the same thing…that the Elders were attending to this and were unable to prepare the checkpoint.
    Family & friends know how crazed we get during these 2 weeks of the running of the Iditarod, so pretty much leave us alone; but now and then some unsuspecting soul comes along and promptly gets whacked upside the head (figuratively you understand).
    Thanks for the heads up Teddy!
    AJ & the team are off at 8 MPH.
    The watching/waiting game begins again!

  48. Teddy Ruff Rider
    4:29 pm on March 11th, 2014

    I suspect that there are a lot of pillow cushions that are in serious jeopardy just about know. I know some at our place are.


  49. Teddy Ruff Rider
    4:32 pm on March 11th, 2014

    I just checked the standings. Eight teams left Shaktoolik at roughly the same time (within 15 minutes of one another) and a ninth team departed about 13 minutes later. Looks like the logjam has loosened, and with that many teams, hopefully that will make the passage to Koyuk easier.

  50. BearSpiritDog
    4:33 pm on March 11th, 2014

    There is a Sense of Relief knowing they Travel Together As A Pack.

    TeddyRR: We Love You!!!
    (whispering) is Zeta watching the race?

  51. O'Howlers
    4:48 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Go Snowhook!

  52. Riö -The Evil Pug
    4:49 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Lead!…My trakker just updated (a minor miracle!!) and AJ is in the lead of the pack….WOOOOOO!…Course this could be an optical illusion and some of the other teams are not updating…wheeze!

  53. Riö -The Evil Pug
    4:50 pm on March 11th, 2014

    No-Lead!….sniff!… Now it is showing our team fourth in the pack to Koyuk!…wuffle!

  54. Masquers
    5:22 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Riö: My stupido trakker did the same thing this morning…first Dallas was ahead…then Aliy…then Dallas. Plus with 2 windows open the trakkers were giving conflicting information.
    We here are about ready to put paws over eyes and hope for the best. Of course, that is an impossibility with our team in the race.
    At least AJ hasn’t lost his GPS like happened one year.

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

    Yeeep!….The Team is quickly approaching the ice. This is a very scary part of the race…sniffle!…Crossing the ice to Koyuk – at least AJ and the A-Team are not alone this year…wheeze!

  56. ML
    6:14 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers, in case you want to know here is my flight info for tonight.

    US 511 from ANC to PHX, US 652 to STL, AA 166 to DFW

    I hope to be able to check on the race….

    (Insert music). By the time I get to Phoenix …..

    Happy Rails to those headed out tonight. Y’all have fun now, ya heah?

  57. O'Howlers
    6:16 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Safe trip, ML.
    Also happy rails to Staff and Dawson and Barb.

  58. Herd of Hounds
    6:17 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Yes, AJ is on the scary (to us) ice but not completely alone. And look, he still has 12 dogs on the sled 🙂

  59. c.hobbit
    6:19 pm on March 11th, 2014

    So many journeying souls. Take care…
    SNOWHOOK: Run steady, run safe.

  60. ML
    6:23 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Good-bye dear Alaska, you were great. Sniff

    The mountain is Sleeping Lady, waiting for her lover to return. If you enlarge the picture, Anchorage is in the lower left. This was taken from waaaaay up in Arctic Valley, on military land, near an old Nike missile base. There is also a small ski area up there, and me without my skis, again.

  61. O'Howlers
    6:26 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Nice picture ML.
    And here is a nice interview of Ailey, explaining why she had to stop in Safety.

  62. O'Howlers
    6:31 pm on March 11th, 2014

    My tracker has AJ out in the front of the pack. Woo Hooo! Go Snowhook!

  63. c.hobbit
    6:49 pm on March 11th, 2014

    O’Howlers: I hope you are right! Whoo Hooo

  64. BearSpiritDog
    6:52 pm on March 11th, 2014

    O’Howler’s: O..M..D. What An Interview!!! and What an Incredible Woman!!

    The Wind on the Coast must still be very bad. It is taking Buser forever to go those last 22 miles. Like he is Running Standing in Place.

  65. Masquers
    7:12 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Thanks, ML! I’m on it!
    btw: Mom’s niece in St.Louis says the temp there today is a balmy 75…Florida weather! Just last week they had a big storm storm and another one is on the way. She is enjoying the brief respite of spring for a couple of days despite the grim forecast ahead.
    And speaking of ahead…it looks like we are…Go Snowhook!!!

  66. Mollypop's Mom
    7:12 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers, can you track the Amtrak train those P.I.G.s are on. I can’t find it. I can find some tracking information but it doesn’t include their train. They are on the Lake Shore Limited 448. Originally they were going to arrive here in Buffalo at 9 AM. I need to pick up the rental minivan and then pick them up at the train station. It would be very helpful if I knew what time to do this.

  67. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:33 pm on March 11th, 2014

    MollysMaw!…It is very hard to get information out of traveling plunderers….snort!…I would tell you all I know if I knew anything…grunt!…I have no idea where the hell I am right now….heh!heh!…Thank dawg for Internet on Trains…chorkel!

  68. BooBear
    7:33 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rebecca, any way you can tell us which 4 dogs have been dropped. We know Orion was first, then Natty, then another dog, then Quig. Still don’t know who #3 was. It’s okay….you can tell Mom if it was Jem and his nose. She is very proud of him for making the team and going as far as he has.

    Hope the pups are doing better.

    Go AJ !!!! Go Snowhook!!!!!!!

  69. O'Howlers
    7:35 pm on March 11th, 2014

    We think Rebecca is probably on her way to Nome.

  70. O'Howlers
    7:38 pm on March 11th, 2014

    BSD, didn’t you love when Aliy was asked about coming in 2nd three times in a row, and she said it’s better than scratching! Heh! Take that, JK!

  71. Mollypop's Mom
    7:41 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rio, I’ll be picking you up along with the other guys tomorrow morning. We’re going to Niagara Falls so you had better be careful – you might slip over the edge.

  72. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:42 pm on March 11th, 2014

    MollysMaw!…Are you sure we are on this train?…sniff!…I do not see Buffalo as one of the stops….heh!

    * Train 448 of 03/11/2014.
    * Lake Shore Limited
    * +—————- Station code
    * | +———– Schedule Arrival Day
    * | | +——– Schedule Arrival time
    * | | | +—– Schedule Departure Day
    * | | | | +– Schedule Departure Time
    * | | | | | +————- Actual Arrival Time
    * | | | | | | +——- Actual Departure Time
    * | | | | | | | +- Comments
    * V V V V V V V V
    * ALB * * 1 325P * 519P Departed: 1 hour and 54 minutes late.
    * PIT * * 1 429P * 630P Departed: 2 hours and 1 minute late.
    * SPG 1 548P 1 553P 745P 755P Departed: 2 hours and 2 minutes late.
    WOR * * 1 657P
    FRA * * 1 735P
    BBY * * 1 903P
    BOS 1 910P * *

  73. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:43 pm on March 11th, 2014

    MollysMaw!…I thought you were going to carry me around in Lil’ Sammies carry-case….snort!…The one I’ve seen her in from time to time….chuffle!

  74. BooBear
    7:44 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Looks like the group are off the trail some. Glad there is a group of them

  75. O'Howlers
    7:46 pm on March 11th, 2014

    We are so afraid of the sea ice, so Mom gave us each a piece of cheesecake. NY style, of course!

  76. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:48 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Prayer!…I will be posting the evening prayer for Golinka tonight…snort!…I am the Official Prayer Poster…chuffle!…Do not be late and do not post something completely irreverent right after the prayer….grunt!…It will be here at 8:00pm sharp blog-time…wheeze!

  77. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:00 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Creator – we thank you for this day, and for the freedom we have to travel about in your world. We see not only the land of our family, but we travel to distant places to be with friends, to learn new ways, to open our eyes to the beauty all around us.

    Tonight, many of this family are traveling. We ask you to watch over all of them, keep them safe and guide them to their destinations.

    We ask you to protect AJ and his dogs as they travel through storms and icy paths. Give them vision to find their way, give them endurance to continue their journey. We ask you to keep the finish line in AJ’s heart, let him know that each step brings him closer to the one he loves.

    As Rebecca is traveling to Nome tonight, we ask you to watch over her, and keep her safe. Please lift her in your caring arms, heal her from ills, and giver her restoring rest. We ask you to give her serenity while she waits for the one she loves to come to her.

    As Staff, Dawson and Barb make their way east, we ask you to keep them safe and make their journey one of lightness and laughter and friendship. We thank you giving these friends bound this time together to celebrate life.

    As Melanie makes her way towards her path, we ask you to be with her and all her family. Creator, please give them all courage, and peace. We thank you for giving us this time with Melanie, for she has made such a difference in so many lives. As we think of her friendship and caring, we ask you to carry her gently, until it is time for her to come to you.

    Some of our travels may not be across the roads; we may be traveling in our own journey of learning how to best live this life you have given us. We ask you to be our guide, to help us live in a way that is honorable, caring and generous. We ask you to show us the way to live a life that is pleasing to your pattern.

    Creator – we thank you for this day, and for the freedom we have to travel about in your world. We see not only the land of our family, but we travel to distant places to be with friends, to learn new ways, to open our eyes to the beauty all around us.

  78. Wose-the small and meek
    8:03 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Thank you, Rio.



  79. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:05 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Message!…I also have a message from Rebecca…snort!…She says she is “fine” but very busy caring for sick puppies and preparing to go to Nome…wheeze!…I’m sorry, but I am still worrit about her and the puppies and Her!Her!Her!…guffle!

  80. BooBear
    8:10 pm on March 11th, 2014


  81. O'Howlers
    8:12 pm on March 11th, 2014


  82. O'Howlers
    8:15 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Do youse think Katherine Keith is lost? Creator, please guide her too.

  83. Mollypop's Mom
    8:23 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rio, that schedule that you listed is what I found out on the Internet also. It seems to be for the same train earlier in the day because it lists ALB which is Albany and then it’s already late departing Albany. We know that’s not the case.

    Also, the carrier that you saw a little Sammy in is way too small for you. I have another carrier for you that goes up to 20 pounds.

  84. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:23 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Lost!…It really looks like she may be lost…sniff!…She over-shot Koyuk by what looks like about 2 miles….wheeze!…I hope she figures it out. Maybe when it gets dark and she can see the lights of the city she will turn an go the right way…wuffle!…Poor thing has had a very long day…grunt!

  85. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:24 pm on March 11th, 2014

    MollysMaw!…20 pounds…heh!heh!cough!…Okay.

  86. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    8:33 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rio. A great prayer. Thank you. Amen.

  87. Masquers
    8:37 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Amen & Amen
    Thank you.

  88. O'Howlers
    8:38 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Katherine Keith is finally in Koyuk, after 24 hrs and 45 mins.

  89. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:40 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Lounge!…I like lounges…sniff!…They smell great. Especially train station lounges. This is where I met Tom and Jim today in the lounge…heh!…We hung out and then Jimbo tried to touch me so I jumped and ran for my life…wheeze!

  90. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:44 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Destination!…I hope these two know where we are going and what time we will get there…sniff!…I had to put on my special glasses to hide from ole Jimbo…wheeze!

  91. BearSpiritDog
    8:46 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers is Katnapping. Preparing for Another Late NIght.

    MollyPop&Loulou’s Mom: Would like to help you out but that Train Schedule looks like the New Math…and you know how we are at math…2 is as far as we go.

    Will Check on Katherine Keith…she Looks Okay from here…Koyuk is probably where she is now.

  92. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:46 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Keith!….She is my hero…Wow!…What an ordeal! What a strong person…chuffle!

  93. O'Howlers
    8:53 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Watch the video of Buser getting into Nome. He is not doing well.

  94. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:57 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Martin!…Oh he does not look good – or sound good…sob!sob!sob!…I really thought he had this one. He had a very tough race. Unbelievably strong willed guy. Unbelievable…wheeze!

  95. Billy's Buddy
    8:59 pm on March 11th, 2014

    I’m a bit behind, but thank you and Amen.

  96. O'Howlers
    9:02 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rio, Halfway thru this race, we thought Martin Buser was unbeatable. In the video he said he has let his dogs down since Day 2. Sad.

  97. Masquers
    9:04 pm on March 11th, 2014

    MPM: Working on Macy’s Mom’s flight schedule but took a break to see what I could find.

    This is all that came up…don’t know how helpful it is.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014
    Chicago, IL – Union Station (CHI) to Buffalo, NY – Exchange St. (BFX)
    9:30pm – 8:58am (Mar 12)
    10 hr, 28 min
    48 Lake Shore Limited

  98. Tupper's Mama
    9:07 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Greetings family –
    Rio – thank you for being the Poster Pug.

    We had an event to go to tonight. The Storyteller was being awarded a Quilt of Valor for his honorable military service. He didn’t know anything about it. He thought there was a guest speaker at his VFW meeting tonight and so that was why wives were invited.

    There was a speaker and she gave a very interesting presentation about Quilts of Valor. Then she said she was here tonight to present a special quilt. Then she called the Storyteller up, and talked about his military service.

    Boy, was he surprised. Tears may or may not have been shed by more than a few people. But there was a standing ovation.

    sniff, sniff.

  99. O'Howlers
    9:07 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Third dog dropped was Frank.

  100. O'Howlers
    9:09 pm on March 11th, 2014

    T&G,s Maw, we are so happy that Leonard was honored by his VFW post. He certainly deserves it.

  101. Diane C.
    9:11 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Cherokee–Impressive math skills.
    C.Hobbit–Please keep us apprised of Sadie’s situation.

  102. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:11 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Leonard!…Congratulations!…Wooot!Woooot!…What a guy! What a guy with a Quilt around his shoulders!…Wooooo!

  103. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:13 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Howlers!…Are you sure Martin said he let his dogs down since day TWO???….gasp!…That cannot be right….gah!

  104. Diane C.
    9:17 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Thank you Rio, and Amen.

    Congratulations and complimenti to Leonard–the quilt is gorgeous and a fitting tribute.

    Thinking of all of you–stationary or travelling–as night falls in the warm south.

  105. c.hobbit
    9:19 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Leonard looks wonderful! How wonderful and thank you for sharing.

  106. O'Howlers
    9:19 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Rio, we heard him say that in the video of him getting to the Finish.

    Goodnight from here. We will be checking the tracker from our warm, soft bed.

  107. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:24 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Buser!…I listened to it again and could hardly hear him speak…sniff!…I know he seemed upset – but I did not hear the part about letting his dogs down…wuffle!…Maybe I just do not want to hear it come out of his mouth…grunt!

  108. Wolfie
    9:26 pm on March 11th, 2014


    I am, as always, thinking of Melanie.

  109. Wolfie
    9:27 pm on March 11th, 2014

    And congratulations to the handsome storyteller!

  110. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:28 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Koyuk!….The Koyuk Bound Gang looks to be about 10 miles away from the checkpoint…wheeze!…This has been a very uneventful trip to Koyuk and I for one am very happy about that!…Wooohooo!

  111. BooBear
    9:35 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Congrats to the Storyteller! What an honor.

    Oh my goodness! Jem and his nose are still in the race! I’m very proud of that boy. Wonder if he is paired with Rio Jr?

    OH, how did you find out about Frank?

  112. BooBear
    9:37 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Will they be penalized for coming onto land so far from the checkpoint?

  113. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:40 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Boobear!…I think they are all just getting off the ice as soon as possible…yeeep!…And thank dawg for that! I do not think thare are penalties on how the teams get to the checkpoints…heh!

  114. Masquers
    9:55 pm on March 11th, 2014

    In the Insider interview with Aliy she mentioned the open water and the fear of the very strong winds blowing them into it. Perhaps that is why the others are going onto land early…for safety purposes.
    We are so comforted a lot of them are traveling together. They will all arrive safety to their destination.
    Leonard! Congratulations to the Storyteller!! What a wonderful and fitting honor. You must be so proud Golinka. sniff.

  115. bluecat
    9:55 pm on March 11th, 2014


    What a handsome Storyteller and quilt for a job well done. There appear to be sleeping dogs in the background.

    Love the pictures of Rio traveling with his people. Keep ’em coming and have fun.

    Maybe you guys are good with it, but it feels like this race has lasted twice as long as it did last year. Safe travels to AJ and Rebecca and all the mushers and puppies. Yeep!

  116. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:05 pm on March 11th, 2014

    BluKat!… I myself am ready for our Team to be home safe and sound…snort!…It has been a brutal race, no doubt about it. When I saw that tough old Martin Buser reach Nome in not such good shape, I realized what a toll the elements are taking on the dawgs and the mushers…wheeze!…I am very ready for it to be over this year. Never thought I would think that way, but I do right now…sob!

  117. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:16 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Close!…I am estimating less than 2 miles till our team reaches SiberH’s Checkpoint, Koyuk!…wheeze!…So close to safety. So close. Run team, run!…snort!….Then rest.

  118. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:35 pm on March 11th, 2014

    YEEEP!…Our Team is really really really close to the town now…snort!…Almost there….Yes!

  119. Masquers
    10:38 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Almost to Koyuk!
    Hope they’ll take a little break.
    Going to take one myself. BBL

  120. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:39 pm on March 11th, 2014

    DAWG-DAMNED TRAKKER….grump!…huffle!…This is so frustrating not seeing him move. …growl!…I have had it up to my ears with this thing…gasp!

  121. Riö – The Evil Pug
    11:00 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Koyuk!…He is into Koyuk…sniff!…The trakker finally updated after I blew a fuse….wheeze!

    Maskers!…You take the late shift…grunt!

  122. Masquers
    11:11 pm on March 11th, 2014

    Macy’s Mom is leaving the Great State of Alaska at 1:56 tomorrow am. Working on her schedule as we speak.

  123. ALR
    12:18 am on March 12th, 2014

    Tonight’s prayer…..very beautful and right to our hearts and God’s heart, I am sure. Thank you to the ones who put the feelings of our hearts into words and to the Pug Guy who got it to us at the right time. Amen and amen once again.

    That Mr. Storyteller….what a handsome dude! The quilt is lovely. And I can just imagine the fun times being had by the Plunder Group. Is train travel all it’s cracked up to be, Rio?

  124. Cherokee
    4:52 am on March 12th, 2014

    And they are on the way to Elim!
    Good morning all!

  125. O'Howlers
    5:56 am on March 12th, 2014

    Morning! AJ left Koyuk after the rest of that gang, probably because he had to lead them to Koyuk.

    BooBear, Mom asked Philip who dog #3 was…that’s how she learned it was Frank.

  126. Wookie of Chevy Chase in Spirit
    7:55 am on March 12th, 2014

    Wookie here.

    Hi everyone. Just to let you know that I have successfully and stealthfully infiltrated the team and am helping to lead the way to Teddy’s and my checkpoint at Elim. Teddy, even as a young pup, is helping monitor the weather and trail conditions for us and together we won’t let the Plunderers down.

  127. Dima in Spirit
    8:06 am on March 12th, 2014

    Hey Wookie! I will see you between Koyuk (Siber-H and my checkpoint) and Elim!!! No way the team can get lost with you leading the way.

  128. Wose-the small and meek
    8:10 am on March 12th, 2014

    Wookie, I am confident that between you and Teddy, you will guide AJ and the team into the waiting arms of his Pixie.

  129. Wose-the small and meek
    8:12 am on March 12th, 2014

    Melanie, AJ, the Pixie, and the team are in my hearts today.

  130. Wose-the small and meek
    9:23 am on March 12th, 2014

    I just wanted to mention that the Storyteller is looking very handsome. What a wonderful honor! The quilt is beautiful , and suits the Storyteller perfectly.

  131. BearSpiritDog
    9:30 am on March 12th, 2014

    Wookie & Dima here with me to Greet a New Day on the Iditarod Trail.
    Team Snowhook runs Swift & Protected into the waiting arms of their Beloved Pixie.
    Melanie, as always, is in our Hearts and Prayers as she continues on her next Grand Adventure.

    Good Morning to ALR, Cherokee, O’Howlers, Teddy (on the trail with Wookie) and our dear Wose.

  132. Wose-the small and meek
    9:59 am on March 12th, 2014

    Good morning Bear Spirit Dog! With Dima and Wookie by your side I know you are guiding our team safely to Nome and our Pixie.

  133. Masquers
    10:38 am on March 12th, 2014

    Good morning, Rose!
    Good morning everyone!
    Macy: Your mom will be landing in Phoenix any minute now!
    Then on her way to St. Louis, the next leg on her journey home to you, you, you!

  134. Masquers
    10:40 am on March 12th, 2014

    her plane taxiing to terminal!

  135. O'Howlers
    10:49 am on March 12th, 2014

    AJ is in to Elim.

  136. Wookie of Chevy Chase in Spirit
    10:51 am on March 12th, 2014

    Delivered safe and sound.

  137. BearSpiritDog
    10:53 am on March 12th, 2014

    Good Job, Wookie, Good Job.

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