On the Iditarod Trail (More)

A heartwarming overnight on the progress of our team. Thanks to Rebecca, Snowhook’s major domo.

I may have been present when many of our pups take their first breath in this world and there when, as dogs, they take their last breath. I may work to socialize rescues and help them find their place in the kennel, yet a different bond exists between AJ and the dogs he takes on the trail. They return home from the race with a secret language that only they speak. This bond, this marriage between musher and mutts, is the reason the dogs will follow AJ’s lead as they cross sea ice, face down the barrel of treacherous terrain, and are slanted by howling winds. This bond—one of trust—is a beautiful thing.

The team is past the Norton Sound just a few short hours ago. This is the same stretch of the race in 2012 that they were lost for several hours. On that race, as AJ twisted and turned the team through a maze of jumble ice, he was discouraged. He sat in front of the team and thought about his plan and their options. They jumped in his lap and in a tangle of dogs and man, they comforted each other. It was then that AJ decided their race was not over, yet. Fortified by their bond, they eventually made their way to Koyuk. This bond will carry the team to the finish line this year.

Dogs are wonderful creatures.

***

Head bumps to Melanie.

Congratulations to Dallas Seavey, winner of the 2014 Iditarod!

Welcome Riley, Train & Mercury, Charlie.

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

  1. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:23 am on March 12th, 2014

    Traveling!…On the Train to Chicago!…snort!…Catching up on some important reading…heh!heh!

  2. O'Howlers
    11:25 am on March 12th, 2014

    Good morning afternoon Chet, Spence, Admin, and Rebecca.
    Hurray for Elim, and for Wookie!
    Rebecca’s post today made Mom cry. We don’t know why.

  3. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:26 am on March 12th, 2014

    GO SNOWHOOK!…I hope the team is traveling faster than I am…wheeze!

  4. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:35 am on March 12th, 2014

    Finally!…We reached the Buffalo train station…sniff!…Then we had to wait for MollysMaw. In the meantime I watched Staff sew a Purple Butterfly onto a shirt…grunt!…I may have made a few impatient YEEEP! YEEEP! YEEPING! noises and let a few farts…sniff!sniff!

  5. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:36 am on March 12th, 2014

    Suddenly!…I found myself outside waiting for MollysMaw…Yeep!!

  6. Masquers
    11:39 am on March 12th, 2014

    Howlers: Same thing here…sniffles and sobs.
    Riö: You are so kool!
    GO SNOWHOOK!!!

  7. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:40 am on March 12th, 2014

    Waiting!….STILL WAITING!….grump!

  8. Diane C.
    11:40 am on March 12th, 2014

    Hey Rebecca and everyone–what a beautiful thought with which to begin the day (and then more pix of the traveling pug!).
    Edgar, Pretty, Conan and I all send head bumps to Melanie, (with a waft of iridescent purple), also to those on the road, those on the trail, and those of us following along at a cyber-distance.

    I also wanted to ask if anyone knows anything about the apparently self-published work of one JK Brandon (some of which feature a dog narrator who lives in AZ–strangely familiar in his speech/thought/narration patterns). Thanks for any information. Information or not, have a wonderful day.

  9. B. Stover
    11:41 am on March 12th, 2014

    Yes, dogs are wonderful creatures. (So are cats.)

    I received a musher alert that AJ checked into Elim at 7:46 AKDT. According to the tracker, he’s out of Elim and on the move.

    Good afternoon all.

  10. Diane C.
    11:43 am on March 12th, 2014

    OK, that last should have read either “…the works of JK…etc” or followed with the phrase “…which features…etc”) Must read before posting.

  11. B. Stover
    11:45 am on March 12th, 2014

    Diane: Amazon has a JK Brandon page. I haven’t read anything of his.

  12. O'Howlers
    11:48 am on March 12th, 2014

    Bee, Our tracker shows AJ still in Elim.
    Mom is making us add that horses are wonderful too. She is saying that her bond with her horse is even stronger than with us us ! Reason? she has been completely lost at times and completely scared at other times, and she and her horse only had each other, much the way it is for AJ and the team (minus the blizzards, sea ice, Dalzell Gorge, etc.). She understands the way you come together at those times.

  13. B. Stover
    12:07 pm on March 12th, 2014

    AJ’s flag just turned to orange so yes, he’s still at Elim.

  14. Tupper and Gilly
    12:22 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Greetings all.
    The house is filled with all kinds of smells as Mama starts cooking for the big Plunder Party tomorrow.

    We should clarify that these are GOOD smells, as opposed to the “aromas” that may be wafting once a certain kidnapped Pug arrives.

    But now, everywhere Mama looks she sees another thing of housekeeping that needs attending prior to the arrival of the gang. We tell her not to be so panicky – no matter how much she vacuums and cleans and polishes and dusts, the Wrotten Kats and Gilly and I will do everything in our power to shed all over everything, and the Kats have volunteered to put pawprints on all glossy surfaces.

    We just want to help.

  15. O'Howlers
    12:43 pm on March 12th, 2014

    T&G, The Plunderers will not even notice if your house is clean or dirty, polished or not polished, shedded in or not. Your home is so warm and welcoming and HAPPY that they will be too darn glad to be there to notice anything else (except of course your newly painted, bright kitchen).
    So sayeth our Mom.

    and about that Pug…Mom said there was absolutly no smell/scent/odor/nada from that particular pug.

  16. BooBear
    12:49 pm on March 12th, 2014

    From last night….Good job, Wookie! And we are glad you had some help last night.

    Staff, have you lost more weight? You look so slim in those pics!

  17. BearSpiritDog
    12:54 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Diane: We Will Check Out J.K. Brandon and report back. Woof!
    You and Melanie are Forever in Our Gratitude for links to CITY, an All Time Favorite here.

    Tupper&Gilly: Oh, those Heavenly Smells coming from Your Mama’s Kitchen!
    We haven’t been in your home Except in Spirit, but know the words of the O’Howlers Mom ring true.
    Welcome is Written On Your Door.

  18. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:14 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Mr.Tibbs!….Well, MollysMaw finally picked us up at the train station…snort!… We are in her apartment where I got to meet the Famous Mr.Tibbs!….Wow!…What a Looker!…chuffle!

  19. Masquers
    1:15 pm on March 12th, 2014

    ML flying over Missouri. In 10 minutes we’ll meet you in St. Louie.
    Our pug continues on his great Buffalo/New England Adventure with the P.I.G.s

  20. Herd of Hounds
    1:25 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Gah, our mom is late, late, late. Took the s i l’s new girl (who he moved in while we were in AK ) along to the v e t for puppy meds needed while she is gone (for the HOH, not the girl). Hey Wolfie…kids, life is nothing if not grand! Then to the grocery for Marketation. Then checking on Rio’s uipside down adventures, then checking on AJ…now she says nap but we are wide awake. Perhaps the Dirty Digger Daddy Dawg will spoil us rotten while mom is gone, sniff, sniff, sniff.

  21. Herd of Hounds
    1:27 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Another GAH. Meant step s (not s i l). Too many kids and relations to keep up with. We will concentrate on AJ in Elim.

  22. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:27 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Sammie!…Here is Lil Sammie hogging the chair…snort!…No wait, this is LuLu. No, I think it is Lil Sammie….sniff!sniff!… Okay, this is LuLu for sure…wheeze!

  23. Diane C.
    1:28 pm on March 12th, 2014

    B. Stover, Bear Spirit Dog–thank you for your quick responses. I am also thinking of everyone at Plunderfest as I prepare to disappear once again (Pretty, Edgar and Conan may continue monitoring this blog; I can’t tell for sure and I’m fairly certain they can’t type (plus I think Ed and Conan BOTH have episodes when they forget where they are or what they’re doing–or possibly are just ignoring the rest of the world…)

  24. Herd of Hounds
    1:54 pm on March 12th, 2014

    We are just glad to see Rio is making an obnoxious lummox of his Pug self. See you with cards in tote soon, Rio. -the HOHmom

  25. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:01 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Gang!…Here is Me! and the gang!…snort!

  26. Wose-the small and meek
    2:06 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Plunderfest East Coast! Wooohoooo!!!
    RIO! Let me know if the book you were reading on the train is any good. It is on my to be read pile. Must be tough reading upside down. You are really having the time of your life! What does your friend think about all this?

    TYB just NEVER takes a bad picture ever! He quite a handsome dog!

    This morning’s post from our Poxie made me cry. But in a good way!

    Big love to Melanie !

    GO SNOWHOOK!

  27. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:07 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Friends!…Lulu and i are becoming very close friends…grunt!…She hogs all the space no matter where she is at…wheeze!…They packed us in the little carrier because we are getting ready to go somewhere…gasp!

  28. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:09 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Leaving!…Here we go. We are off!…snort!…No farting LuLu!…sniff!

  29. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:13 pm on March 12th, 2014

    LuLu!…No Kissing either!…gah!spit!

  30. Herd of Hounds
    2:16 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Looks like Rio is have a high ole time :)

  31. O'Howlers
    2:19 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Hey! AJ is out of Elim!!!
    Mom was so busy working and hogging our computer, we missed it!
    Woo Hoo!!! Onward Snowhook!

  32. O'Howlers
    2:20 pm on March 12th, 2014

    and still 12 dogs!!!!

  33. BearSpiritDog
    2:21 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Rio: Some have mentioned up-side-down photos…just to let you know…OUR Photos are Right-Side-Up! Heh.
    And, BTW, Very Nice One of 4 Pretty Plunderers & a Pug.

  34. BearSpiritDog
    2:23 pm on March 12th, 2014

    a Pug & a Lovely LouLou too

  35. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:24 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Finally!…Dawson is ordering me some LUNCH!…gurgle!…I am starvin’ marvin!….yeeep!

  36. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:26 pm on March 12th, 2014

    LUNCH!…gobble!gobble!…snort!…What is it? I have no clue…wheeze!

  37. Herd of Hounds
    2:29 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Check the PUG’S ID. Is he old enough for more than h2o?

  38. BearSpiritDog
    2:30 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Rio! Woozer! That Lunch Looks GOOD…think I’ll go and have some too.

  39. BearSpiritDog
    2:32 pm on March 12th, 2014

    but Hey! It’s a BRUNCH…My Favorite of favorites.

    Hounds: You Know H2O is the Nation Within’s Drink of Choice.

  40. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:39 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Sharper!…Here is a sharper photo of me and the gang….snorkel!…I messed up the first one…wheeze!

  41. Herd of Hounds
    2:45 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Oh, gang! Our mom will be there tomorrow with purkle!

  42. Herd of Hounds
    2:56 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Looks like our AJ is really rushing fro Nome!

  43. Tupper and Gilly
    3:05 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Oh we are loving the pictures of the P.I.G.s en route. Guess this makes Rio an Honorary P I G too, huh?

    So, Mama called the hotel to confirm the catered breakfast of gluten free goodies for Friday morning. And guess what. The Sales/Catering person she booked the hotel with quit her job in a huff 10 days ago, and wiped all her records. The new hotel person had NO idea that Plunder Party 2014 was about to descend upon them.
    And the front desk did’t have the rooms reserved either.

    Fear not, intrepid travelers. Mama put on her bull dozer horns, and got things straight. The Breakfast Meeting of P I G will now be in a private dining room, with the gang having access to the breakfast buffet – and special gluten free offerings for anyone needing them.
    AND, there are now rooms reserved and guaranteed, and at $20 less than they were before.

    tee hee

    Those hotel folks should know better than to mess with OUR Mama!

  44. Masquers
    3:05 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Min-Pin: Quick! Get everything in order! Your mom is on her flight home and will be there soon, soon, soon.
    Herd’s Mom: Don’t forget to send moi your flight info! (to & fro)

  45. Staff
    3:13 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Wow Amalia you are so good. We are impressed. Thank you for keeping an eye on the Clarion.

    Did Rio tell you that our luggage was not forwarded from Chicago? Evidently the people in MSP who were supposed to route it through the entire trip just sent it to Chicago. Yeep. These clothes are going to get old…sniff And I do mean sniff.

  46. Herd of Hounds
    3:21 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Holy schnike for the travellers on the road. Plunder Investment Group, they had better have our reservations. :)

  47. Siber-H
    3:22 pm on March 12th, 2014

    The pictures are right side up for me.

    Rio, LuLu likes you. I can tell.

    Very nice post by Rebecca this morning.

  48. Herd of Hounds
    3:41 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Masquers/ Chattanooga Lovell to Charlotte Douglas 9:14 am U.S. Airways Express-PSA Airlines Charlotte Douglass Airport, NC 9:14 A.M.
    US Airways-Flight US 1756 Charlotte Douglas Airport to
    Hartford Bradley Int’l 11:59
    Return:Sunday 3/16 US Airways flight US 1717 to Charlotte Douglas. US Airways Flight US 4630 Charlotte, NC 10:40 to Chattanooga arrive 11:54

  49. Masquers
    3:43 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Hurray for the Royal Mum!
    Staff: Sniff. Many years ago this same thing happened to my mom on a bus trip to Milwaukee. Her suitcase wasn’t transferred when she changed buses and ended up in Chicago.
    Paws crossed that your suitcases and youse will be reunited soon.
    In the meantime…good thing you and Dawson look good in purple.

  50. Tupper and Gilly
    3:48 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Staff – we could always make the 2014 Annual Plunderer Investment Group Meeting into a toga party.

    just sayin’

  51. Staff
    3:57 pm on March 12th, 2014

    http://2knitwits.blogspot.com/2008/09/toga-toga-toga.html

    I already have 2 TOGA’s planned this year, but I can always do a third.

  52. Herd of Hounds
    4:05 pm on March 12th, 2014

    What’s all this about purple?

  53. Tupper and Gilly
    4:23 pm on March 12th, 2014

    You know – we don’t often see our gang in the Chet’s Friends windows. But recently, it’s almost like they are being handpicked, just for us. Right now we have Kat the Dog Looking Fierce. Not sure if it is a happy coincidence, or if possibly there are Powers That Be that are working on it. But we sure do appreciate it.

  54. Herd of Hounds
    4:37 pm on March 12th, 2014

    toga, toga, toga….where will we so many purple togas?

  55. B. Stover
    4:48 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Sam: Casillo checked into White Mountain where there is a mandatory eight-hour layover.

  56. Riö – The Evil Pug
    4:49 pm on March 12th, 2014

    News!….Rebecca is en-route to Nome as I type…snort!…She says she needs to meet up with a Gaint…snorkel!

  57. Macy's mom
    4:49 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Hope no one was looking for me anywhere I was supposed to be today. The flight out of Anchorage was delayed for de-icing. Therefore, when we arrived at Phoenix, our ship had sailed, so to speak. They set us up with another St. Louis to Dallas deal, but I said, how’s about you just send us to DFW and be done with it. Didn’t get our first class seats, and mother and I sat on opposite ends of the aircraft, but we are home, home, home. The original flight would just now be getting here, by way of St. Louis. I have been up since yesterday morning, so I imagine it will be an early night. The sick mister has left a disaster, but it will have to wait until tomorrow (at least).

    I brought the pups some Yummy Chummies. They wish that I had brought more.

    Y’all all have fun now.

  58. Masquers
    4:52 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Macy’s Mom: BSD told me he had a feeling that youse weren’t on that plane. sniff.

  59. Dawson
    4:56 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amalia: Thank you for being the Pink bulldozer on our behalf. Now if you could only get those Amtrak guys to sens our luggage forward. I will certainly not be noticing any stray dog hairs. I will be wearing clothes for the third day straight! Peeyou!

  60. Masquers
    4:57 pm on March 12th, 2014

    With a smile on his face and a vision of the Pixie in his head, the Giant Races to Nome.

  61. Masquers
    4:59 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Dawson: Time to hit the thrift stores! (as if you had time)

  62. Riö – The Evil Pug
    4:59 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Slap!…Lulu is always jumping on the furniture and trying to head-slap me when I go by….grunt!…I think she is part Kat…sniff!

  63. Riö – The Evil Pug
    5:02 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Tail-End!….And she seems to be fascinated with my tail….grunt!…Lulu what are you doing back there?…wheeze!

  64. Riö – The Evil Pug
    5:04 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Gah!…She clipped something to my tail…grump!…Lulu you come back here and take this thing off….sneeze!…Right now!

  65. Tupper and Gilly
    5:07 pm on March 12th, 2014

    This is just a question, and we probably know the answer but….

    AJ and others were forced to take a more than 8 hour layover due to the wind storm. Can they not use that against the mandatory 8 hour layover at White Mountain?

  66. Tupper and Gilly
    5:07 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Rio – purple is YOU!

  67. BearSpiritDog
    5:10 pm on March 12th, 2014

    After a couple of Disasters with Lost Luggage (not lost…just Somewhere…that ISN’T Where You Are) Nana vowed NEVER to check her bags again. Of course on a train or bus sometimes one doesn’t have any choice in the matter.

    Heh. Quite the Interesting Trip so far.

    But if we know the Pink Bulldozer, Someones are going to be getting a call.

    Rio: Looks like you’ve Made a New Friend.
    (Good Grief! She DOES look like a Cat in that photo)

  68. Riö – The Evil Pug
    5:10 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Tupper!…I was thinking the same thing but I bet the answer is No!No!No!…grunt!

    LuLu!…She keeps kissing me…..gah!spit!

  69. Riö – The Evil Pug
    5:14 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Gah!…I can’t get away from her….yeeep!yeep!yeeep!

  70. Dawson
    5:20 pm on March 12th, 2014

    T&G: The mandatory 8 hour at White Mountain is designed to stop mushers from running straight on through to Nome without resting their dogs, so no, the other 8 hour rest cannot count for this mandatory rest at White Mountain.

  71. O'Howlers
    5:22 pm on March 12th, 2014

    The train trip sounded like lots of fun, but oh my! No luggage!!! Mom worried about that all the way to Alaska.
    All of the eastward travelling Plunderers look great! Glad we don’t have to smell youse. Heh!
    ML, we are glad you made it home safe and sound, and with one less flight needed! Yummy chummies!!!! We love those. Hows come Mom didn’t bring us any of those from Way Up North???
    T&G, we think the answer is NO, but we thought that would be the fair thing to do also.

  72. Diane C
    5:23 pm on March 12th, 2014

    I’m loving the pictures of everyone, but can someone ID some of the humans? I recognize Staff and Dawson, but (apologies, I’m still a newbie here)

    http://www.chetthedog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/The_Gang-1.jpg,

  73. BearSpiritDog
    5:35 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Mandatory Layover or Not we can be assured AJ Would Rest the Team in White Mountain.

    Diane: In the Photo from left to right: Dawson, Staff, Barb (of Barb&Maggie) and the Hostess with the Mostest, MollyPop’s & LouLou’s Mom.

  74. BearSpiritDog
    6:34 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Team Snowhook at the Golovin Checkpoint..FLYING Down the Trail!

  75. O'Howlers
    6:54 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Bear, Golovin is not really a checkpoint, is it?

  76. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:00 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Checkpoint!…It better be a checkpoint because my friend sponsored it for Me and Beau…grump!

  77. O'Howlers
    7:01 pm on March 12th, 2014

    This feels like deja vú all over again. Heh heh!

  78. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:02 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Plan!…Great as I planned the team did not stop there but blew on through it!….Woooooo!

  79. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:09 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Supper!….What’s for Supper??…snort!….HOT-WINGS!….Woooooo!
    …Real Buffalo Hot-Wings….Zow!…This is my share…sniff!

  80. Tupper and Gilly
    7:15 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Hey P I G’s – do not, we repeat do NOT let the Pug have all those hot wings! You will be trapped in a small moving vehicle with him tomorrow. And then he will be at our house, and Mama just redecorated!

    Rio – Back Away From The Wings!

    Do It Now!

  81. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:17 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Slurp!…Gobble!gobble!…gurgle!…burp!…Gobble!Gobble!…Hey, where’s the Beer to go with these awesome hot-wings?…grunt!fart!

  82. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:18 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Tupper!…Slurp!Gobble!gobble!…gurgle!…burp!…Did you just say something?…heh!heh!…That trip tomorrow is going to be something!…WooooWheeee!

  83. Herd of Hounds
    7:24 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Dirty daddy dawggy says hot wings give doggies the poots :) :) Glad you are several states away.

  84. Staff
    7:27 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Reports from the station are that the luggage was at Chicago and it will be on the train tomorrow morning. We are looking forward to clean clothes. I sure hope the train is on time tomorrow.

  85. O'Howlers
    7:31 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Did youse know that when King got in all that trouble in the wind storm, he flagged down snowmobilers for a ride, and LEFT HIS DOGS!!!!!

  86. Staff
    7:31 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Diane C.
    Barb of Barb and Maggie is the one with the curly hair and Judy is the one with the straight hair. Jay is the one who is male and Tyb is the one with the 4 legs who is not Loulou.

  87. BearSpiritDog
    7:41 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Checkpoint! Yes & No…But, Hey Look at Our Team Go!!!

    NOW…10 Miles out of White Mountain and a Good Night’s Rest Awaits our weary Snow Dogs & Marvelous Musher…WoooHooo!!!

  88. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:56 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Jeff!…King left his dogs in the storm? What a jerk!…grunt!

  89. Tupper and Gilly
    8:00 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Creator – we thank you for this day, and for the safe travels of all who are far from home. We thank you for the rest they will have, a deep and peaceful rest to sustain them through the rest of their journey.
    Tonight AJ is closer to the finish line. His courage and his honor have held him up during this difficult race. The strong hearts of his dogs have sustained them through the terrible trails. The partnership this team has will bring them across the line together, and their love will be obvious to all.
    Tonight, Melanie is closer to the end of her journey on this earth. Let her heart be at peace, knowing how much she is loved; knowing how many lives she has touched, knowing that she has lived an honorable life.
    Creator – we ask you to lead the team to Nome, bring them through the ice and winds; bring them through the night and the fog. Let the finish line burn bright in their eyes that they may see their goal so close at hand.
    We ask that the team sleep well this night at White Mountain. Let them sleep a deep and restoring sleep as a tribute to all they have done.
    Creator – tomorrow the team will rejoin Rebecca, and all will be a family again. Let us celebrate the joy of a job well done, of reuniting of loved ones, of testing themselves against all odds and finding the courage and the strength to do the impossible. We are grateful to be a part of this family and this adventure. We ask you to wrap AJ and Rebecca and the team in the comfort of our love.
    Creator – we thank you for this day, and for the safe travels of all who are far from home. We thank you for the rest they will have, a deep and peaceful rest to sustain them through the rest of their journey.
    For then they will be home.

  90. c.hobbit
    8:02 pm on March 12th, 2014

    God bless and watch over Melanie and her family. Amen.

  91. Wose-the small and meek
    8:04 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen.

    Love you, Melanie.

    Sob.

    Love you, Pixie, AJ, and the team.

  92. O'Howlers' Mom
    8:10 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen.
    I am so afraid I am the person holding Melanie back, because I am so sad and afraid of not having her. I’m sure I am not the only one. It is so extremely difficult to let go.
    I am trying to make peace so that she can be at peace. I love you, Melanie. Please rest my dear, sweet, loyal friend.
    Tomorrow, Snowhook will reach Safety, Melanie’s checkpoint. What a fitting name.

  93. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:20 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Emotional!…A very emotional night here for me….sob!sob!sob!…A great prayer and Melanie is on my heart – it is very heavy tonight…sniffle!

    Rebecca!…She wanted me to express her AMEN and all her grtitude to all of us for our support. She is in Nome right now checked into a Motel….snuffle!…I am hoping she gets some rest tonight…wuffle!

  94. Billy's Buddy
    8:21 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen.

    Safety to AJ and the team.

    Love to Melanie. She is one of the most worthwhile people I have ever met.

  95. bluecat
    8:23 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen.

    Love the Rio & LouLou pictures.

    I didn’t know trains lost luggage, just like airlines.

    (whisper) I’m up top. Maybe T&G are right about the Powers That Be.

    Thoughts with Melanie and family.

    Onward to the finish, Snowhook, in Melanie’s race. Godspeed.

  96. Daniel Montague
    8:27 pm on March 12th, 2014

    I am Melanie’s brother of 60 years. I cannot express my sincere gratitude of all the love and support you all have given to my dearest sister.
    Yes, her time is near. Seeing AJ and the mutts over the line is the last thread that holds her to this earth.
    She is being watched over by her two dearest boys, our enduring mother and sweet sister Martha.
    No one holds her back. She is and always has been her own person. And I see her having such a grand time in her last moments seeing Snowhook over the line.
    I cannot begin to tell you of the incredible, loving life we have had together for 60 years. I am glad she has touched your lives.
    She is my HERO.
    Very shortly she will fly into the arms of her Beloved Creator.
    Look for the shooting star in the Arctic sky.
    Brother Daniel

  97. Tupper's Mama
    8:28 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Howler’s Mom – we know you love her dearly. We know you treasure her. But you are not holding her back.
    For whatever reason, her body and her mind have not agreed yet on her destination and her timetable.
    Our love, all of our love can be felt in her heart. She knows we only want her to be at peace and not in pain.
    And trust this – as much as she means to you, you are very dear to her heart. Each one of you out there – she calls you all friends, and that is not a word she takes lightly. She would entrust any single one of you with any treasure, any secret that she had.
    Your support has helped her through the past two terrible years. She said to me on many occasions that the blog was the only thing she could count on to keep her sane.
    And we all have to remember – Melanie is now, and has always been a woman who would do things on her own time.
    Please be at peace. And know that you have been a beloved friend of a truly special person.

  98. BearSpiritDog
    8:32 pm on March 12th, 2014

    We Are Thankful to Gather Together all the nights of This Race, at This Time Each Day to Hear the Beautiful Words of Prayer and to echo them in Our Hearts.

    We Believe Melanie Will Know When to go.
    We Believe This Race Dedicated to Her has been A Miracle for Us All.
    We Believe the Creator Knows Our Hearts & Hears Our Prayers.

    Thank You Amalia & Leonard
    Amen & Amen

  99. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:41 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Daniel!…Brother! Well, you just put me over the top tonight…Sob!Sob!Sob!

    Team!…The team is very very near White Mountain now….sob!sob!sob!

  100. O'Howlers' Mom
    8:42 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Daniel and Amalia, thank you. Those are words I needed to hear.
    Onward Snowhook. For Melanie.

  101. BSD & Masquers
    8:46 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Daniel: Your words are treasured by everyone on this blog.
    However much Melanie said we meant to her, please know she meant a thousand fold more to us.
    As one of the Plunderers described it – she is our heart.
    Words can never express how much we will miss her.

    Melanie We Love You. Go in Peace.

  102. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:46 pm on March 12th, 2014

    White!…Is the team in White Mountain???…grunt!…My trakker did not update….wheeeze!

  103. Masquers
    8:49 pm on March 12th, 2014

    About Jeff King: Before everyone jumps to conclusions…we heard King stayed with his dogs for two and a half hours…when help finally came there were others to lead his dogs to the cabin at Safety. The problem was the dogs couldn’t be transported by truck because of the almost hurricane force winds. Reportedly, so strong the windshield was blown right off a Snowmobiler’s sled.
    Kat only knows how Dallas and Aliy made it to Nome…and from the looks of them when they arrived…just barely.

    Riö: AJ and the Team are 1 mile from White Mountain at last update.

  104. O'Howlers' Mom
    8:49 pm on March 12th, 2014

    MUSHER ALERT: Justin Savidis checks into White Mountain at 17:41 (AKDT) on March 12

  105. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    8:52 pm on March 12th, 2014

    BSD said it so well; there is nothing further that needs to be added. Thank you Daniel for your message.

  106. O'Howlers
    9:08 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Good night. Rest well, Snowhook Dogs.

  107. BooBear's Mom
    9:08 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Melanie, you are loved! Enjoy your race…AJ and his dogs are running for you.

    Thank you, Daniel. My husband often marvels at the intense friendships this blog has created. Please know that Melanie and her entire family are very, very important to us and always will be.

  108. Masquers
    9:08 pm on March 12th, 2014

    White Mountain…then Safety…then (H)Nome.

  109. Siber-H
    9:15 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen and Thank you Amalia and Leonard for the truly beautiful prayer.
    Thank you Daniel. Melanie’s family is very dear to us and we thank her for sharing her family with us.
    Melanie is a special person and we love her so much.

    We are so proud of AJ and the dogs and this Iditarod they dedicated to Melanie.

  110. Cherokee's Mom
    9:19 pm on March 12th, 2014

    I also want to selfishly add my own plug into this evening’s prayer. Cherokee has really been struggling the past few days with today being much worse so my addition is:
    Tonight Cherokee is also closer to the finish line after a long hard fought battle with kidney failure and cancer over the past 18 months. His strength and his spirit have been amazing and inspiring to me and to all that know him. I pray for him to have some peaceful days left here on this earth with us and I also pray that I listen carefully to him to know when he is telling me that he is ready to leave this earth and to find the strength to do that for him.
    Amen.

  111. c.hobbit
    9:20 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Thank you Daniel. I know our sadness is only a fraction of what her family is feeling but am grateful for the love that has poured forth between us all. I think we have each been missing her but want to honor her by continuing the humor and friendship on this blog as best we can right now. She would have adored Rio’s travels and been right in the midst of all the fun.

  112. Siber-H
    9:29 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Cherokee’s Mom, Amen. We will keep him and you in our prayers.

  113. Herd of Hounds
    9:41 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Dawson, Staff, Barb/Chickenlady, Judy.

  114. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:47 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Hurting!…I am hurting tonight in oh so many ways…sniffle!…But I have learned something very important today. Never ever go anywhere near LuLu’s bowl of kibble. Do not even look sideways at it…ouch!

  115. BearSpiritDog
    9:48 pm on March 12th, 2014

    We think Cherokee is one of the Most Beautiful Dogs we have ever seen and his mom has one of the Most Beautiful Spirits.

    Love & Comfort for All Who Need It tonight.

  116. Herd of Hounds
    9:52 pm on March 12th, 2014

    tonight, Sweet Melanie, our best friend, Cherokee our new friend, and Rio we have tear as we go nighty night.

  117. c.hobbit
    9:57 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Bless Cherokee and family with peace. May they hear our prayers and feel our love. Perhaps it is in the sad times that we most realize our gratitude and appreciate the gifts it brings us.

  118. c.hobbit
    9:59 pm on March 12th, 2014

    I think Rio might even be missing Beau.

  119. Herd of Hounds
    10:00 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Justin has 7 hours in White Mt. On to Nome. GGGGoggggg Snowhook.

  120. Masquers
    10:35 pm on March 12th, 2014

    This has been quite an emotional day for all of us.
    We have shared laughter and tears, hope and prayers.
    Now it is time to say good night to our friends on the blog.
    We will be up before morning’s light to welcome our team to Nome.

    Dawson? Maybe I’ll see you here.

  121. Macy's mom
    11:12 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Such hard times for some here, while others have such joy. Such is life. Amen.

  122. Macy's mom
    11:14 pm on March 12th, 2014

    And AJ, please keep Car-In in your rearview mirror, heh.

  123. Whitey-Lance
    11:35 pm on March 12th, 2014

    Amen to all the prayers said on behalf of the team. It has been a couple of days since anyone from the kennel posted, but it does not mean we aren’t thinking of you. No, it does not.

    My Lady is now in Nome. She can’t wait to see the Giant and the dogs. She says she won’t feel homesick anymore once they are reunited.

    ML: My Lady snorted outloud. Ha! We prefer the rear view mirror idea, too.

    Head bumps and peace to Melanie and her family. We are blessed to call her friend.

  124. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    1:59 am on March 13th, 2014

    Amen, amen, and amen.

  125. BearSpiritDog
    4:48 am on March 13th, 2014

    As the almost Full Wolf Moon shines brightly through the trees, the teams Prepare to Leave White Mountain. Some are Already Racing Along the Trail.
    We Wait Patiently for the minutes to tick away.
    It will soon be our turn.

  126. Masquers
    4:53 am on March 13th, 2014

    Team Snowhook has left White Mountain!

  127. BearSpiritDog
    5:18 am on March 13th, 2014

    Racing Down the Trail in the Moons Early Light with the Spirit Team running by our side.
    What a Beautiful Sight!
    Newfs as Big as Bears, Small Dogs of All Sizes and Every Breed in Between.
    There are Horses & Parrots…Beloved Friends of All Kinds.
    At the Front of Them all…Flies a Raven.

  128. Herd of Hounds
    5:33 am on March 13th, 2014

    BSD: Beautiful. Mom is in Chattanooga airport heading for Plunderers east, praying no snow on the route.

  129. Whitey-Lance
    5:49 am on March 13th, 2014

    My Lady is having trouble accessing the interweb as Melanie would say. She will have more access once Nome wakes up and she can get on different wifi. Until then, she is praying for a safe journey between White Mountain and Nome. Yark!

  130. bluecat
    5:54 am on March 13th, 2014

    Ride on the wings of the wind – Aj and puppies and Melanie.
    Godspeed.

  131. Herd of Hounds
    5:56 am on March 13th, 2014

    AJ and dogs, finish the journey safely. Our hearts are with y’all.

  132. Masquers
    6:02 am on March 13th, 2014

    Herd’s Mom: Likewise…smooth flight to you…as you prepare to join the East Coast Plunderer Party. You will be on my radar.

  133. O'Howlers
    6:34 am on March 13th, 2014

    Safe flight, HOH. We are surprised you are flying again so soon. Mom hated those flights so much. It will be a very long time until she can bring herself to fly again.

    Run safe. Run strong, Snowhook. We are very proud of our team.
    Another dog was dropped at White Mountain. Job well done, whomever.

    To Melanie’s checkpoint, Safety!

  134. Masquers
    6:41 am on March 13th, 2014

    Moving on down the trail…all eyes are on the green flag…#34.

  135. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:55 am on March 13th, 2014

    The numbers of the spirit team continue to increase, traveling easily in a go to trot. Brandy, Wookie, and Mollypop! Hello Teddie, heart of our hearts! Bess, Franklin and Amazing Grace!

    How beautiful they are, with the Moonlight shimmering on their coats!

  136. Masquers
    8:00 am on March 13th, 2014

    Dear Wolfie: And, how beautiful your description of the team!

  137. O'Howlers
    8:17 am on March 13th, 2014

    Sasha is i sisting on being Lead Dog on the Spirit Team. Figures.

  138. O'Howlers
    8:18 am on March 13th, 2014

    Sasha is insisting on being Lead Dog on the Spirit Team. Figures.

  139. Masquers
    8:22 am on March 13th, 2014

    Heh, heh. Sasha wants to lead the team to Nome.

  140. Wose-the small and meek
    8:25 am on March 13th, 2014

    Thank you Daniel for your kind words. Melanie is a true inspiration, and I love her very much. May you, your sister, Zoe, and Melanie’s two wonderful sons be embraced in the loving arms of the Creator.

    Cherokee’s Mom, the newest family member. May the Creator offer both you and Cherokee love and peace. Cherokee loves you very much, as much as your love for him. He will be welcomed to the Rianbow Bridge by many, many friends.

    Pixie, We here feel the excitement and love that you feel for the Giant and the dogs as we all await his arrival in Nome. We know that the Giant has run the best race possible, because he was running for Melanie. GO SNOWHOOK!

    WE LOVE YOU ALL!

  141. BooBear
    8:30 am on March 13th, 2014

    OH, can you find out from Philip which dog got dropped?

    Cherokee, rest easy, sweetie. Your mom will take good care of you until you are ready to cross the bridge!

    Reading the list on the spirit team which did not include a lot of our babies that have left us this past year made me realize what a tough year we all have had.

    Melanie, you are loved.

    GO SNOWHOOK!!

  142. Masquers
    8:44 am on March 13th, 2014

    BooBear: Gus, Buddy and the other kats that have gone over the Bridge are on the spirit team too, but they are riding in the sled mushing the team!

  143. O'Howlers
    8:51 am on March 13th, 2014

    BooBear, we don’t think anyone will yet know who the last dropped dog is. Since he/she was dropped at White Mountain, we think Rebecca will know first. The dropped dog should make it to Nome quickly we think.

  144. Macy's mom
    9:16 am on March 13th, 2014

    What day is it? Where am I?

  145. Diane C.
    9:17 am on March 13th, 2014

    BSD and Staff–thank you for the information. Still trying to sort everyone and their canine and feline companions out.
    T and G–Thank you for yet another beautiful prayer, to which I can only add Amen, and for continuing news of Melanie.
    Daniel–Thank you for the extra blessing of your communication; I am happy to know that Melanie is surrounded by up-close family love as well as ours.
    May Snowhook complete this race triumphantly as we all continue ours.

  146. Diane C.
    9:20 am on March 13th, 2014

    Cherokee’s Mom–your dear boy is also in my heart. Amen to your prayer for him and may you both enjoy whatever time together is granted you in peace and ease of heart.
    Cherokee–You are a good, good dog. Pretty, Edgar and Conan all send head bumps.

  147. BooBear
    9:21 am on March 13th, 2014

    Masquers, I didn’t doubt Gus was there along with many others. It just seems like a lot of us have lost babies this year.

  148. Masquers
    10:04 am on March 13th, 2014

    Early riser! As the Raven leads the team to Safety…Zoe, Melanie and the River Bears…I am going to take a little katnap.

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