On The Trail

“You took one of those cold and flu remedies last night?” Spence says.

“Uh-huh,” says Admin. He’s not looking good today.

“And now your head feels like cotton?”

“More like wool.”

“And you possibly changed the clocks the wrong way?”


“Here’s what Rebecca has to say about the Iditarod. They’re so brave and smart. In the middle of a grueling challenge like this it can be  hard to keep your spirits up. Only human. Keeping spirits up is a real nation within sort of thing. Take Chet, for example.”

Me? They’re talking about me? If I’d known that was going to happen I might have paid attention from the start.

I don’t think there is a team on the trail that has more devoted fans that AJ.  The Plunderers really are something special.  The prayers that Amalia and Leonard have written are a thing of beauty and very timely.

As I waited for the gates to open to collect dropped dogs, Garrett and Jesse from the women’s correctional facility, my cell phone rang.  The call was from an unknown number, but I knew it was AJ.  In Galena he was given the opportunity to check his email.  He finally received the news that our dear girl, Rory passed away.  He called for details, he called to grieve, he called because he could not believe the sad news.  Telling him in this way, apart from one another rivaled the heartache I felt when I received the call from the vet.

For thirteen minutes—seven hundred and eighty seconds we spoke—first of Rory, then the dogs, the race and of home.  It was a tough day on the trail, and tough days combined with lack of sleep can cause a lot of different emotions.  He expressed concern that he was disappointing me and the Plunderers with his slow run time on the trail and his place in the standings.  Nonsense.  I spoke of enthusiasm, devotion, pride, support, and understanding what it is to have a dream.  “Promise?” he asked.  “Promise.”  He wants to do the Plunderers proud.

Having nothing to do with terrain, this middle section is always a tough sectin of trail.  No longer new, not yet near the end.

Jesse and Garrett were welcomed in the kennel tonight with sniffs, tail wags, and head bumps from the Nation Within and belly rubs and ear scratches from me.  Handler Jeremy had a healthy does of kibble, meat and water waiting for both.  Frank will be the next team member who will arrive home from the trail.

Welcome Annie.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 9:59 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.

169 Responses to “On The Trail”

  1. BearSpiritDog
    10:25 am on March 11th, 2012

    We have only this to say
    All are sleeping in today?
    Heh! and Good Morning too!

  2. Staff
    10:29 am on March 11th, 2012

    Dear Rebecca, I hope AJ doesn’t think we are in this because we want to back a winner. We are in this because we want to back the dream of a friend of ours. The dream is in the doing and not in the winning. (Although none of us will mind if you win.) To be able to follow you and AJ on your trip is our dream. We did our best to help you make our dream come true.

    You and AJ can NOT disappoint us. Just by dreaming your dreams you have fulfilled ours.

    In other words tell that tall lunk to stop worrying about this.

  3. Staff
    10:30 am on March 11th, 2012

    Morning bear!

  4. Rose
    10:30 am on March 11th, 2012

    Good Sunday Morning All!

    (whispering)Admin, I think you may have just set the clocks the wrong way. Sure you didn’t mix a little wine with that cold medicine.

    Rebecca: Please tell AJ when he comes home, that he could NEVER, EVER disappoint us Plunderers. He is a man of honor,devotion, humility, kindness and love! A man who dreams, and chases them. All these things are certainly more important than winning. AJ is always a hero in our hearts.


    Jesse and Garrett:WhoooooHoooo! Great job!

  5. Staff
    10:31 am on March 11th, 2012

    Yeah Rose! What you said!

  6. Masquers
    10:37 am on March 11th, 2012

    My dear Bella: Rose is right. AJ is will always be a winner to the Plunderers. To us a winner is someone who follows his dream.
    To know you, the Giant and the Snowhook team is an honor & privilege.

  7. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:37 am on March 11th, 2012

    AJ!…He is a Giant among men and a Hero in my pugnacious heart!…snorkel!

    Staff!…“Tall Lunk”…heh!snort!heh!…How come Alice’s face is always at the top of this here blog?…grunt!

  8. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:53 am on March 11th, 2012

    Rebecca!…Her report made my freind get all snuffely…sniff!…and she doesn’t even have a cold like poor ole Admin…wuffle!…He caught that damned cold in Florida I bet. Or on the plane coming back. Those planes are the worst for contamination and germs and sickness…wheeze!

    Admin!…All of us here, even Beau hope you feel better real soon…sneeze!snort!

  9. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:58 am on March 11th, 2012

    Nulato!…Hey! AJ and the A-Team are on their way to Nulato!….Wooooo!…This is Golinka and the StoryTellers Checkpoint!…Yippeeee!WOOOOOOO!….This is a very special checkpoint for two very special Plunderers!…snort!snort!

  10. Mollypop's Mom
    10:59 am on March 11th, 2012

    Oleys – Ned looks beautiful. What kind of adjustment period does a horse go through when he’s been rescued? From your pictures, he looks contented already.

  11. B.Stover
    10:59 am on March 11th, 2012

    Staff said it very well. We Plunderers are enjoying every minute of this.

    Setting the clock the wrong way….LOL! How about a family whose members each set the clock forward without any of the others knowing.

    Good morning Chet and all.

  12. B.Stover
    11:01 am on March 11th, 2012

    I hope Admin feels better soon.

  13. dawson
    11:02 am on March 11th, 2012

    There is not only one winner among those who run the Iditarod. To start the Iditarod necessarily means you have already prevailed over many circumstances and challenges. Among the winners are all those who have made it to the starting line despite the obstacles that inevitably present themselves. And the dogs. Let us not forget the dogs. We love you AJ and even if you win the Red Lantern or (dog forbid!) have to scratch, you will still be a giant of a winner in our books. Go Snowhook!

  14. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:03 am on March 11th, 2012

    Yeah, what they said.

    Tell AJ that he had us at hello.

    Tell AJ that you are both our heros. That this race has opened up a world that I didn’t even know existed. And it has enriched my life.

    When my boys were playing little league, I told them that I had two expectations: that they do their best, and that they had fun. I was never all that concerned with the final score, because really, at the end of the day, it was just a number.

    In my book, not only is AJ is winner, but we all are.

  15. Barb & Maggie
    11:04 am on March 11th, 2012

    Did you perhaps mean “Tall Hunk”?

    We are happy to be joining everyone on this beautiful sunny day.

    Welcome home Jesse and Garrett.

    Hope Admin feels better.

    We are going to go out and play in the garden. No planting, just a little pre-plant cleanup. Can’t believe we can do this in March! We are cleaning out old tomato vines and cages, getting ready to do some spinach, onions and lettuce in a couple of weeks.

  16. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:08 am on March 11th, 2012

    And now, as AJ heads towards

  17. OleyHowlers
    11:14 am on March 11th, 2012

    Bella, Staff said it so well. We are living our dream vicariously through AJ. We support the team so that we can travel to Nome with him. We have never in our lives had the opportunity to know a real live Iditarod musher and we thank you for allowing us into your lives.
    When we first joined this here blog and read of the Plunderers enthusiasm for the Iditarod, we were ambivalent. As a long-time Siberian family, Mom and Pop had mixed feelings about the Iditarod. While they have always loved the sport of mushing, they were not sure of how the huskies were raised or trained or pushed to compete. Through ypur eyes, we have learned that your family is just like ours, filled with love and devotion and encouragement for each other and the Members of the Nation. This is why we so enthusuastically embraced Snowhook and will continue to do so.
    Please tell AJ for us that he fulfills our every hope and dream: that of challenging the elements along with his team and more importantly, taking such good care of his team. We want to accompany him all the way to Nome, of course. But we continue to love that for AJ and you, the team’s welfare is paramount.
    Thank you for this opportunity.
    (whispering) We vote to raise funds for a new sled.

  18. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:16 am on March 11th, 2012

    It is a beautiful day indeed!

    A few months ago, mom purchased a vintage Singer 500A Slant O Matic Rocketeer sewing machine at a yard sale for $20. She finally pulled it out, oiled it, and it is a beauty! Sews like a charm! We think it was manufactured in 1952 or thereabouts.

    Whoo hoo, mom scored!

  19. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:18 am on March 11th, 2012

    (whispering) Yes, indeed. Go Snowhook in 2013!!!!

  20. Melanie
    11:20 am on March 11th, 2012

    You all have taken the words “write” out of my fingers! Sniff. Though not sure what Wölfie meant about Ff…

    Been a busy morning. Like AJ who has headed out, we headed out. Zoë took Dan to my sister’s church. I took Patsy to the groomer. We met back at the house and did the Walk / Run. Beautiful. Got back. Relieved my sister to get back to her duties. Zoë’s gone to pick up Patsy. At 2 we are furthering the cause of science by my sister coming back with two of her students and their mother. They are checking the pawness of dogs for the science fair. Not sure what’s it’s about, but they need dogs that are treat motivated. Snicker …


    (whispering … Rebecca, please tell AJ that I don’t care if he wins. I am riding along with him, trying not to weigh down the sled too much. Having a chronic illness keeps me from so many things, that his and your dream of the Iditarod makes my world larger. Thank you, Melanie)

  21. OleyHowlers
    11:22 am on March 11th, 2012

    Mollys Mom: Ned does indeed seem very contented and enjoying his new stall and pasture. He is a very relaxed guy. The others are still not quite sure what to make of the newcomer, so we introduce him slowly. Yesterday, he spent time with Annie, while the others were in an adjacent pasture. Today, both Shiek and Annie are with Ned. We think the others will get their turn very soon. It is traumatic sometimes for a herd to reestablish their hierarchy when one leaves or a new one arrives. Today, Pop will start riding him with Mom and Annie.

    Where is Siber-H?????

  22. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:28 am on March 11th, 2012

    I am not certain what Wolfie meant by Ff either.

  23. Melanie
    11:31 am on March 11th, 2012

    Oh where, oh where has our Siber-H gone?
    Oh where, oh where can he be?
    Is he lost in the Iditarod web site too long
    Oh where, oh, where can he be?

    Hmmm. what does YSAS where under his black dress shirt for the last day of coat checking?

  24. Melanie
    11:37 am on March 11th, 2012

    The following three pictures are taken by Marc Lester of ADN.

    The infamous Farewell Burn …

  25. Staff
    11:38 am on March 11th, 2012

    Barb and Maggie, I said lunk and I meant lunk. If he is worrying about US then he is being a lunk-head. Oh, and he is tall.


  26. Melanie
    11:38 am on March 11th, 2012
  27. Melanie
    11:39 am on March 11th, 2012

    Jeez Louise, no wonder many musher had trouble!

  28. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:44 am on March 11th, 2012

    Wow, amazing photos!

    I am getting worried about Siber. And Wookie has been awfully quiet.

  29. BearSpiritDog
    11:50 am on March 11th, 2012

    Staff: Thank you for copying the Evening Prayers to Dish.

    We here didn’t have a problem with the cursed Time Change…the solution? Leaving a couple of clocks always set to DST we are never caught unawares. Actually, the two clocks always showing the same time are a pendulum and satellite clock, more difficult to adjust so left alone. And…remember…it is always showing a different hour across the time zones. Heh…we are now on Mountain time…Rio and Siber-H on Central time.
    Speaking of…WHERE IS SIBER-H?

  30. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:54 am on March 11th, 2012


    I am sorry that you are sick and that you feel better soon.

  31. BearSpiritDog
    11:59 am on March 11th, 2012

    Admin: What Wolfie said.

  32. AbbietheKitty
    11:59 am on March 11th, 2012

    You have a Rocketeer. Whoo Hooo, you go girl. I love the old machines and the look of the Singer 500. It got its nickname because of its Rocket like took. Amazing isn’t it that a machine that is 60 years old can work so nicely if you just give it a little oil and grease the gears?
    If you need any help with it just join Vintage Singers on Yahoo Groups. They have manuals available and links to lots of information about the older singers. Of course to some of us a Rocketeer is a newer machine, but it is still one of the good ones.

  33. B.Stover
    12:00 pm on March 11th, 2012

    How does one adjust a satellite clock? I have three and they are all still on EST.

  34. AbbietheKitty
    12:00 pm on March 11th, 2012
  35. AbbietheKitty
    12:03 pm on March 11th, 2012

    and here is another link with lots of information and a link to a manual.


  36. Staff
    12:04 pm on March 11th, 2012

    What is a satellite clock?

  37. Masquers
    12:10 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Welcome to your Forever Home, Mr Ned.
    Staff: Bear was the one who mentioned Satellite clock. It is a digital readout from our satellite dish (which no longer is connected to programming) For reasons unknown to us it hasn’t adjusted since the last time change.
    Siber: Do we need to organize a search party?

  38. Mollypop's Mom
    12:33 pm on March 11th, 2012

    B. – Your satellite (atomic) clock will have a small switch somewhere so you can set it to use Daylight Savings Time. DST isn’t used everywhere so you have to tell the clock that you use it.

  39. Macy the Min-pin
    12:45 pm on March 11th, 2012

    AJ can’t have the red lantern. I think I heard Mackey say that he was getting it, heh heh.

  40. Barb & Maggie
    12:48 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I bet Annie will be the boss. If you don’t have a stallion, won’t the mare usually push the geldings around?

    We love AJ, Rebecca, their dogs and the experiences that we are having. Winning is not the important thing to use either.

  41. Masquers
    12:57 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Macy: Hrmmmph. After Wolfie mentioned him whining on the video yesterday, blaming his team for all his woes, we think he deserves the Red Lantern. That guy just doesn’t know how to lose gracefully.

  42. Gus & BooBear
    1:09 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Silly AJ for worrying about disappointing us!! We are having so much fun getting involved in this experience and Mom and Dad are seriously thinking about getting to Alaska one year soon to meet AJ, Rebecca and the dogs and make it to the start of the race! We can’t voice anything better than the other have already about the Plunderers feelings on this, so we won’t try. Rebecca, we were concerned that with the dogs getting injured or ill, that AJ wouldn’t even get to run the race. That would have been disappointing, but even that would not have damped our enthuisasm for snowhook! If you talk to him again, tell him to run safe and run strong….we’ve got his back.

  43. B.Stover
    1:12 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Mollypop’s Mom: I’ve tried setting the clock forward on the weather station atomic clock but it doesn’t seem to agree that DST (which I have “on”) has started yet.

  44. C.Harris
    1:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    If we are planning for 2013, I think Spence and Admin should plan on visiting Alaska and covering the Iditarod next year. Chet can visit Snowhook and give his perspectives (and keep Rebecca safe while AJ is gone). And since there are a few published Alaskan mystery writers, I am sure appearances can be scheduled.

    Are we going to design a 2013 Chet the dog Iditarod patch?

  45. Masquers
    1:31 pm on March 11th, 2012

    AJ and the team are 14 miles from Golinks & the Storyteller’s Nulato checkpoint.

  46. Masquers
    1:34 pm on March 11th, 2012

    B: Our weather station clock adjusted automatically and is showing the correct (EDT) time. snicker.

  47. Mollypop's Mom
    1:44 pm on March 11th, 2012

    B. – Your atomic clock gets its signal from Fort Collins, Colorado. It looks like your clock hasn’t updated yet. Put the clock in a window that faces west. You may have to wait overnight when the signals transmit better.

  48. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    2:03 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Wow, I just looked at the course on google earth, and it is incredible.

  49. Masquers
    2:09 pm on March 11th, 2012

    A really nice video of the late Susan Butcher’s husband, David Monson & their 2 daughters, running a 25 yr. tribute race from Galena to Nome.
    Also, we are now following TOT (teacher on the trail). Does anyone know how she is getting from checkpoint to checkpoint?

  50. Tupper and Gilly
    2:12 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Are we home in time? Have we missed AJ getting to Nulato?

    Mama was at the clay place all morning and then was in the Mud Room here at home. She just looked at the clock and realized what time it was. (told ya, she does tend to get lost in her clay)

    Thank you to all the Plunderers who expressed so beautifully what all of us feel about winning with AJ and Rebecca. As far as we are concerned, we won months and months ago.

  51. Macy the Min-pin
    2:23 pm on March 11th, 2012

    As far as disappointing us goes, well, think of it this way, is there anyone among us who could even TRY the race? My guess is no, so AJ, you are living it for all of us. I like the way Jan Stevens is taking it, an adventure of a lifetime, so enjoy the trip.

  52. Masquers
    2:29 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Macy: Did you say yesterday Jan Steves is running with a companion?

  53. B.Stover
    2:33 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thanks Mollypop’s Mom. I’ve put the atomic clocks in a west-facing window.

  54. Melanie
    2:38 pm on March 11th, 2012

    My sister, two of her students and one mother have just left after testing the Pack for Pawness. It had something to do about right pawed (likes new things), left pawed (less) and ambidextrous (have no idea).

    The young ladies had designed their testing themselves. Ummm, they have never met a Newf before and had been testing Labs and smaller dogs. One of the tests was seeing which paw did the dog use to get a treat from under a piece of furniture.


    The Pack just moved the furniture with their heads!! Franklin was best. He just picked up the chair and gobbled in the same move.

    So the Pack turned out to be ambidextrous. Have no idea what that means, but they had a blast getting treats!

  55. Rose
    2:44 pm on March 11th, 2012

    OHs: I posted on yesterday’s blog this morning, but Mr. Ned looks like quite a gentleman. Love the picture of Kat introducing herself. By the way, is Kat’s tummy better?

    Belle Starr; Any checkpoint of mine is yours!

    SiberH: Where are you????? Are you okay?

    Is our handsome musher at Nulato yet?? It is the Royal’s checkpoint…Whooohooooo!

  56. Masquers
    2:45 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Just read her blog on the trail: http://www.livingmydream2.blogspot.com

  57. Tupper and Gilly
    2:45 pm on March 11th, 2012

    We are getting very concerned about Siber. We can’t beleive he would be willingly missing any part of the race. Does anyone have the contact info for his Mom?

  58. dawson
    2:47 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Melanie: Ya gotta love the pack and their “pawlessness”.

  59. Rose
    2:48 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Iditarod 2013, indeed! My pledge is sponsore a checkpoint for Rory, and one for myself and Belle Starr, and offer any other help I can!!!!

  60. B.Stover
    2:51 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I can just see the Newfs moving the furniture and gobbling treats!

    I have an email address for SH so I’ll send a message.

  61. Riö – The Evil Pug
    2:53 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Time!…What time is it?…grunt!…Who cares? Its Sunday and my friend is home covered with glue and little bits of paper. All is well…sniff!

  62. Masquers
    2:55 pm on March 11th, 2012

    No response yet to our message sent at 9:54 am (PST) Perhaps he has company or the iPaw/computer equipment is on the fritz?

  63. Wookie of Chevy Chase
    2:56 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Rebecca. I’m a little late today (mom and dad took me on a bunch of errands after our walkies this morning), but I would just completely echo what everyone else has said. You and AJ have enriched this blog and our lives in so many ways by sharing your dream with us. There is no possible way that we could be disappointed in AJ, whatever the outcome. You have given us the thrill of a lifetime (or at least for a lifetime until Iditarod 2013, when we will be ready to do it all again, assuming you and AJ are). The special bond that exists between you and AJ and between both of you and the dogs in your kennel family, and your willingness to extend that bond to us, is just incredibly special. We will be with you all the way for as long as you want us to be, gladly and without any hesitation. Wookie

  64. Mollypop's Mom
    3:01 pm on March 11th, 2012

    All this talk about atomic clocks takes me back to my much younger geek days. In 1983 (29 years, yikes!) I bought a kit and made an atomic clock. It even had an RS-232C interface which plugged it into a PC. Since PCs had been around only a short time, the date and time had to be entered manually, otherwise the PC thought it was January 1, 1980. I thought that was the coolest thing ever!

  65. Siber-H
    3:05 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I’m here…Everything is fine and I’ll be back to the blog in a little while.

  66. BearSpiritDog
    3:10 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Siber-H! Thank Dog.

  67. Tupper and Gilly
    3:15 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Whew – now we can enjoy the race again. Thanks for checking in Siber.

  68. Masquers
    3:19 pm on March 11th, 2012

    MollysMom: Computers have sure changed since the 80’s. And what about those mammoths from long ago? Now they run at warp speed are self-correcting and totally amazing.

  69. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    3:25 pm on March 11th, 2012

    This year we were SRSs.

    Snowhook ‘s Rookie Sponsors.

    And we did really well. Next year we can do better.

    Hmmmm….I wonder where Rebecca is?

    Thanks for checking in, Wookie.

  70. Masquers
    3:25 pm on March 11th, 2012

    For those of you who don’t have Gypsy, AJ is about 2 miles from the Nulato checkpoint.

  71. Tupper and Gilly
    3:34 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thanks for the Nulato update Masquers.

    By the way, Mama says she is really dating herself, but in high school she had to take a course in Data Processing. At that time, all the data was on big 4×8 punch cards. The machine used to “type” the holes into the card sounded like a machine gun. And for the final exam, the teacher gave easch student a 1 foot tall stack of punch cards that had to be sorted properly. Only if you did it right, did you see the picture that he had drawn on one side of the stack. If you didn’t do it right, it looked like a Picasso or a Salvadore Dali.
    Talk about a totally obsolete skill set.

  72. Masquers
    3:38 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Royals! Woooohooooo! AJ and the team into your checkpoint!

  73. Siber-H
    3:38 pm on March 11th, 2012

    We had an unplanned trip up in the mountains to help Husky Rescue fix some wind damaged fence. It started SNOWING so we spent the night up there and had a slow trip home because of the SNOW until we got through the canyon and to lower elevations. I had a grand time. I was able to follow the Race some on their computer.
    Sun, 60 degrees, no snow here. What did I tell you, Mollypop’s Mom.

    Spence, Hope you feel better soon.

  74. Snowhook Bella
    3:44 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I’m here, but I can’t bring up Chet’s on my laptop for some reason.

    Thank you for all your words of support. When he returns home I want to show him all the posts so he won’t think I was just making it up when we spoke last night.

  75. Siber-H
    3:46 pm on March 11th, 2012

    All of you have already said very well how we feel about AJ, Rebecca, and the dogs. Heck, We don’t care where AJ places in the race. He could never disappoint us. It is the adventure of it that enchants mom and I…the trip through the wilderness with your best friends. This year, we are running the Iditarod with someone we care about and we are having a fun trip.

  76. B.Stover
    3:53 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Wow! Mollypop’s Mom made an atomic clock! Now that is talent!

    Thank you for checking in SH and for your rescue help. I’m also glad you got to have fun in the snow.

  77. Tupper and Gilly
    3:53 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Siber – your Mom is such a good person to help husky rescue. Gee – is fencing really important for Siberians?
    tee hee

    Hip hip hooray!!!

  78. BearSpiritDog
    4:01 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Siber-H: Although unplanned…Nice Adventure!

    Royal’s Mum: Nana might remember some of what you are talking about from her post-college days. snicker. Even in the late 60’s companies would have a Data Processing Department. Those guys and gals were always treated with the highest respect and they ruled the roost.

  79. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    4:04 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Yes, it is all about relationships! And I love all youse guys!

  80. Tupper and Gilly
    4:05 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Ummm – BSD – Mama was talking about the mid 70’s. Guess her high school curriculum was already obsolete, and they just didn’t know it yet.

  81. Rose
    4:12 pm on March 11th, 2012

    SiberH and Rebecca: Glad you are back with us!

    Yahoo, AJ is at the Royal Checkpoint!!!!!

  82. Snowhook Bella
    4:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    ALERT! This just in from the trail: Race officials in the Nulato checkpoint are reporting an unexpected occurrance. Mushers have claim that their teams have become distracted. The cause of this distraction is suspected to be the appearance of two twirling corgis at the checkpoint. More as the story devlopes.

  83. Siber-H
    4:16 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thank you guys for your SDDs.

    Love the airplane flight video…wish they could do that over the Bering Sea and the coast, but the weather would have to be good.

  84. dawson
    4:19 pm on March 11th, 2012

    T&G: My dad has some of those punchcards in the garage, or in the basement or, more likely, both. Also reams of huge computer paper with the horizontal light green and white stripes, the holes along the sides and perforations between each sheet.
    Wolfie: That is a blasting fine sewing machine!
    Melanie: Awe-inspiring photos from the trail by Marc Lester. Thanks for finding them.
    SiberH: You had a snow adventure. Happy dog!
    Golinka and Storyteller: Are we there yet? Nulato? Your checkpoint! I cannot thank you enough for the nightly prayers that help us feel the wonder of this universe and of each other.
    Oley Howlers: Mr. Ned is nice color. I have the human version of “hay belly”.

  85. Jasper the Poodle
    4:22 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Pork roast, mashed taters and carrots were a hit yesterday for dinner. Mom decided to make shepard’s pie for dinner today. She used the mashed taters, carrots and some of the crock pot juice to make the pie. My nephew was looking in the fridge for pie, we had to educate him on what shepard’s pie is.

    I am enjoying this sunny, warm day here in the western part of the mitten. Mom took me for a walk and she had to wear her sunglasses! Windows are open, heat is off. Nice.

    Ditto on all the Snowhook comments. We are honored to be a part of your adventure, we do quite a bit of vicarious living through others.

  86. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    4:23 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Twirling Corgi’s???

    Those little rascals!

  87. Siber-H
    4:28 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Jasper, I am getting great meals vicariously from your blog posts.

  88. Siber-H
    4:28 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Jasper, I am getting great meals vicariously from your blog posts.

  89. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    4:30 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thanks Dawson. It came with a pristine cherry wood cabinet. (best $20 I ever spent!)

    Hey staff and Dawson, I need to get some bobbins and a couple of feet. What is the best source?

  90. Mollypop's Mom
    4:36 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Okay, Siber-H, I can’t take it any more. No more snow talk unless it’s the Iditarod. Our ski season always goes into April. Well, guess what – we’re closing this Saturday, March 17th, for crying out loud. I feel sorry for the Canadians because this is their spring break. They always come here to ski.

  91. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    4:42 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I am sorry, MPM. That is tough on the local economy.

  92. Tupper and Gilly
    5:00 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Twirl Twirl

  93. bluecat
    5:24 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Rebecca – I’m echoing what Everybody has said. A.J. and you are our heroes. We’re also grateful for the powerful prayer words offered up each night (thanks for remembering my dad last night) that include all of us and make our bonds even stronger.

    Onward Snowhook. Feel our purrs and tail-wags of encouragement. They’re with you always.

  94. Melanie
    5:47 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Have just finished reading the latest of the comments to Zoë. It’s a nice way to end the day.

    Glad AJ is safe into the Nulato checkpoint. I hope those two twirling nut bugs didn’t bother the team.

    I know that it’s supposed to be 5:45 but why does my body tell me it’s 10 pm?

  95. Barb & Maggie
    5:53 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Glad to know Siber and Wookie are both ok.

    Time to go take a hot shower, after working outside for a couple of hours. Body is not used to this after a sedate winter. May not be able to move much longer!

    Does anyone know how many miles have been traveled and how many still to go? Inquiring minds want to know.

  96. Snowhook Bella
    5:57 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Bluecat; I can’t remember if I told you, but there is a soundtrack to Outlander. AJ gave it to me as a gift. I listened to it last night as I drove to get Garrett and Jesse. I think you might enjoy it.

  97. Mollypop's Mom
    5:59 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Melanie – The blog is still an hour behind, if that helps.

  98. Snowhook Bella
    6:01 pm on March 11th, 2012

    B&M: The team has traveled 563 miles thus far and have 345 miles left until they reach Nome.

  99. Melanie
    6:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Hmmm. I hadn’t even noticed about the blog. We need a traveling song.

  100. Masquers
    6:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Siber: Posting a double D…does that mean you get twice as much?

  101. Riö – The Evil Pug
    6:20 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Double!…SiberH is here!…snort!…SiberH is here!…snort!…I am here too, but supper will be calling my name in a few minutes so I will be up there begging!….Wooooo!

  102. Rose
    6:22 pm on March 11th, 2012

    345 miles left until your Giant and doggies return to you, Rebecca. I think AJ’s return calls for a celebration at “The Canyon of Heroes.”

  103. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:23 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Hey, y’all! I’m coming in late today. First Mom had church, then there was something after church. Then she did some grocery shopping. Then Mom went to see “Harvey,” which was a play put on by the local high school and one of the kids in the handbell choir played Dr. Chumley. And then she and Dad went to the “Not-High” store to get some plant fertilizer and a new gate for the backyard fence because someone — not naming any names here! — kept peeing on the old gate and it ate away some of the metal. Am I mighty or what???

    Anyway, Rebecca, please tell AJ not only what everyone else said, but that we’re basking in the glory of knowing him! When Mom did her Iditarod storytime and told everyone that she had a friend who is a musher in the race, they were quite impressed! So now Mom is sharing the cachet of being an adventurous sort, even though the closest she’s ever been to the Iditarod was living where there was snow — and hating just about every minute of it!

  104. OleyHowlers
    6:29 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Hey everybody, we are back. Mom and Pop have been outside with us all day. Pop rode Ned and Mom was on Annie of course. At first, Mom was afraid Annie would do something dumb because she was obsessed with Ned. But wonder of wonders! She really likes him. And he is perfect. They rode a really long time, and both horses looked totally relaxed and happy…ears forward. They rode in the ring first. That was just so-so. Then they rode the fields…near and far. Woo Hoo! They were all so happy.
    Afterwards, they put them back out with the other 3 and sat there for an hour or two. All were relaxed and just eating grass. Then as they were stepping indoors, Mom glanced back and saw Chato running at Ned, really mean…biting him and poor Ned was up against the fence and trying to kick his way out. Amazing, because Chato is a scaredy cat. He got some nicks on Ned but nothing bad before they separated them and put Chato in a pasture by himself.
    Chato must be jealous because Pop is riding Ned and Annie is hanging with him. Hopeully time will fix this.

    Rose, Kat’s belly is fine these days. Mom gave her half a pepto bismal tablet in the evening for 3 or 4 days. Since then she has not had a problem. But with the stuff that pipsqueak eats, who knows.

  105. Melanie
    6:31 pm on March 11th, 2012
  106. OleyHowlers
    6:33 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Woo Hooo! AJ is at Golinka and the Storyteller’s checkpoint!!!! Wow, T&G, honors to you!

  107. Staff
    7:10 pm on March 11th, 2012

    For parts on Vintage Machines email to Cindy Peters at stitchesintime@earthlink.net. Tell her Nancy Drew sent you and describe what you need and let her know you have the 500A Singer.

    She is inexpensive and very fast shipping.

    She is from Lake City MN but ships All Over The World! A great resource for those of us with vintage machines.

    She can also send you a catalog or give you a link to her webshots catalog pages.

  108. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:10 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Kirby, I am impressed! Good work for a little guy!

    Melanie, you are so right!

    We need to dedicate a traveling song to Snowhook for this adventure.

    Hmmm mm mm……….


  109. Tupper and Gilly
    7:23 pm on March 11th, 2012

    How about

    Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
    Keep movin’, movin’, movin’,
    The Plunderers are approvin,
    Keep them doggies movin’ and slide
    Don’t try to understand ’em,
    Just run and yark and be glad of ’em,
    Soon we’ll be living high and wide.
    Boy my heart’s calculatin’
    My true love will be waitin’, my Bella’s at the end of my ride.
    Move ’em on, head ’em up,
    Head ’em up, move ’em out,
    Move ’em on, head ’em out and slide!
    Set ’em out, ride ’em in
    Ride ’em in, let ’em out,
    Cut ’em out, ride ’em in and SLIDE!.

  110. B.Stover
    7:23 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I like Melanie’s suggestion. Love the Beatles.

  111. Staff
    7:24 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Traveling Prayer Written by Billy Joel, but the version by Dolly Parton….


  112. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:34 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Song!…Move ‘em on, head ‘em up,
    Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,
    Move ‘em on, head ‘em out and slide!
    …heh!snort!heh!…Good one Tupper!…chorkel!

  113. Princess Sam
    7:35 pm on March 11th, 2012

    O Howlers, how is Ned after is attack by Chato? He’s in a new place, a wonderful forever place, but does he know that now? I worry, can’t help it. Ned is so beautiful, a big wonderful creature, with all the feelings and hurts and frights.

  114. OleyHowlers
    7:42 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Sam, Ned is fine now. He was very scared while Chato was trying to attack, but he is so laid-back. He seems to let everything roll off and was very perky and happy to see us just now and got nicker-makers (treats). Also, Annie was at his side immediately, as was Shiek. So he knows he has allies.

    Traveling Prayer by Dolly Parton is great and so appropriate.

  115. Barb & Maggie
    7:46 pm on March 11th, 2012

    OK, this is our last post till after the prayer!

    Cute Irish Setter pic! How did he get out of that?

    Thanks for the milage update, Rebecca.

    We like the Rawhide song. Very clever!

  116. Melanie
    7:46 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I’ve been singing to them all!

    Love T&G’s song. Who knew that Twirling nut bug Corgis could be so talented?

    FENCES! With the Proud KirbyT (Mac and Franklin are in awe) and poor Mr. Ned.

    Our neighbors 2 down, have the same problems when they introduce new horses. They are glad they have different pastures.

    Dawson, sorry to hear about the hay belly. Hmmm. wondering if there are such things as hay hips.

  117. Melanie
    7:49 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Forgot to mention …

    Was cleaning out a closet and behind a box full of stuff was a birthday gift for OTAS. Cool … Of course, I bought it 4 or 5 years ago. Looks great! Guess he’ll get it this June. Or maybe earlier.

    Signed the Scarecrow

  118. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:56 pm on March 11th, 2012

    My nominee is ‘Wolf(ie) Creek’, by Dan Fogelberg. It is on YouTube but mom isn’t smart enough to post it. It is awesome.

    Standing by now for Vespers.

  119. Tupper and Gilly
    7:59 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Creator – we thank you for this beautiful day, a day when the sun was dancing on the water, when the breeze ruffled ripples became a ballet of glistening highlights. This was a day when the water sparkled in beauty, and moved with gentle and unassailable power.

    Creator – we ask you to let us live with the spirit of the water in us. Each one of us is important, and has tasks and abilities. And when we are joined together and moving together in one direction, the power of this current can accomplish mighty things.

    Creator – let the power of our combined gifts be a river that sweeps the debris from our path. Let this river of love and support take the obstacles from our way, and leave behind only a clean and clear path for us to travel.

    Let the river of our combined gifts provide a gentle and refreshing place to go for those in need. Let them find solace and companionship at the shores of our river, a way to ease their aches, and sooth their pains.

    Let the river of our combined gifts nourish the young and growing things, feeding them, helping them to grow.

    Let the river of our combined gifts lift AJ and the team, and carry them gently, softly along the trail heading always towards the safe harbor of home.

    Creator – let the true gift of this river be that it can absorb as many tears as need be, always taking them in, without changing the course or the nature of the river. Let it always be a place that sparkles in the sunlight, always moving forward, moving on to the next exciting place. There may be storms that ruffle the surface of the river, but underneath, the waters stay the same, moving along, carrying life forth, providing solace, comfort and nourishment.

    Creator – let us work together to be as strong as the river. When we are all moving together as one, nothing will be able to stop our journey.

    Creator – we thank you for this beautiful day, a day when the sun was dancing on the snow of Alaska, and when the river became a ballet of glistening highlights. This was a day when the water sparkled in beauty. Let us watch and learn that we too can move with gentle and unassailable power for the good of others.


  120. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    8:05 pm on March 11th, 2012


  121. BearSpiritDog
    8:09 pm on March 11th, 2012


  122. Siber-H
    8:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Amen, Another beautiful prayer. I am so thankful we can all share the prayers.

    My vote is for Tupper and Gilly’s song because we here lean toward western songs and that is a classic. Great lyrics from T&G.

  123. Barb & Maggie
    8:19 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thank you both so much and Amen.

  124. Masquers
    8:26 pm on March 11th, 2012

    With Wolfie’s permission here is Wolf Creek by Fogelberg There are other versions but no one can play it like Dan:

  125. Melanie
    8:35 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I love the river prayer. Powerful.

    Okay, I’m done in. Chet’s blog says one time, my computer says another and my iPod says something else. My body says it’s after midnight and I hurt.

    So I’m taking my body to heal and relax and sleep.

    There is a conjunction of two planets tonight. Jupiter and Venus. When I took Patsy out they were quite beautiful, but had not gotten very close. I still have a chance tomorrow and Tuesday to see it.

    I hope AJ sees it and remembers that Bella is under the same conjunction.


  126. OleyHowlers
    8:42 pm on March 11th, 2012

    We are a power like the river. What a beautiful concept. Thank you, Amalia and StoryTeller. We are at peace after a beautiful day (except for that one little hitch).

    Chato will not be in the same pasture as Ned for some time…not to worry.

    Mom and Pop just took warm baths and are calling us to bed. Good night all. Run strong Snowhook.

  127. Snowhook Bella
    8:48 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Amen. Thank you.

    Staff: I’ve never heard that Travelin’ Prayer before, but I love it. I couldnl’t help but listen to it a couple of times.

    AJ will likely make a move in an hour and begin the last section of the Yukon before he reaches Kaltag. Kaltag belongs to the retirees!

  128. Snowhook Bella
    8:53 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Two more mushers scratched and one was withdrawn due to injury that needed medical attention. Too bad. I hope they are all okay and find comfort in the ways they need.

  129. Masquers
    9:06 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Good night Melanie. Sleep well. We enjoyed your story of the “lost” B-Day present. Hmmm…sounds familiar.
    T&G: Great lyrics!
    Staff: Liked the Traveler’s Prayer…very fitting.
    Howlers: Poor Ned attacked by a bully? Thank Dog he has allies in Shiek and Annie. Was Chato very close to the other two horses before Ned came along? I guess it was too much to ask that everything go 100 per cent smoothly.

  130. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    9:13 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Thank you, Masquers!

  131. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:13 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Amen!…Beautiful prayer, just beautiful…snorkel!

    Tired!…We’ve all been so busy today because of that lost hour…grump!…But it has also made us all very tired and we will probably go to bed on time which is an hour earlier, but we won’t notice. Been outside alot because of the nice weather here. In the 70’s and nothing feels better!….Wooooo!…Everyone, not Beau or I, was busy cleaning out the old garden and getting the hoses out and hooked up…sniff!…I’ve told Beau to watch out for those hoses, but he won’t know why until he gets blasted the first time…heh!

  132. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    9:14 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Bee, check your SDD.

  133. Staff
    9:16 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I have listened to all the choices and I don’t see why the plunderers have to limit themselves to one traveling song. Let’s do them all!

    Night time for Bonzo…er, I mean Staff

  134. Siber-H
    9:26 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I like Staff’s suggestion.

    We are like Melanie, we don’t even know what the correct time is anymore, but it feels like the government stole 5 hours instead of just one.

  135. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    9:49 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Great idea, guys!

    Love them all!

  136. Siber-H
    9:58 pm on March 11th, 2012


    Night all

  137. Natasha the Nefarious Borzoi
    10:00 pm on March 11th, 2012

    ve have favorite sing for travel.

    Rollin on the river

  138. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:00 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Song!…As much as I like the Move ’em in move ’em out jingle, tell me again why we need a song?…grunt!…I just don’t get it…sniff!…With everything else going on I am not going to memorize the lyrics of some sappy tune…wheeze!

    Energy!…All my energy is focused on AJ and The A-Team getting to Nome safely…chuffle!…That’s all I can do right now besides the odd snuffling in the dirt and grass outside just for a small break…grunt!

  139. Snowhook Bella
    10:11 pm on March 11th, 2012

    The team is on the move and headed to the retirees’ checkpoint!

  140. Snowhook Bella
    10:24 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Two more mushers just scratched. A scratch is a tough deal.

  141. dawson
    10:25 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Go Snowhook! Have a safe trip tonight. Hugs, scratches behind the ears and tummies to Garrett, Jesse and Frank.

  142. BearSpiritDog
    10:25 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Melanie is right…the blog time has not adjusted. Didn’t we go through this same thing during last fall’s time change?

    Turning in here too because although the clock says eight and it is really seven we got up with the birds chirping at five so…..

    ‘Night All – Bear

  143. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:27 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Kaitag!….Wooooo!… The team is racing towards the next Checkpoint. This one is dedicated to all the Oldies, the Retirees. The ones who do not have to get up tomorrow morning and go anywhere…sniff!… This is not my friends Checkpoint. She will be getting up a whole freakin’ hour earlier to go to the not-so-busy place…grunt!…Leaving me and Beau with her mother. Everything just goes better when my friend is here. Alot Better…gurgle!…I hate that busyish-place sometimes…grunt!

    Goodnight!…WoOOOoooo HooOOOOooo To all the Retiress tonight when AJ and the team make their way there!…chuffle!

  144. Masquers
    10:29 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Bella: Does that mean it is time to retire?
    Hmmm…AJ has about 40 miles before reaching Kaltag…so about 5 hours?

  145. Tupper and Gilly
    10:34 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Bella – we will go to sleep with good dreams of the team running across the snow to Kaltag.
    Since there are no more long 2 or 8 hour stops will AJ rest at each of the checkpoints? He has got to be tired.
    And are you getting any sleep at all?
    And did you lock the door AND take the key?

  146. Tupper and Gilly
    10:35 pm on March 11th, 2012

    we meant of course 24 hour stops
    sheesh – guess we are tired….

  147. Masquers
    10:58 pm on March 11th, 2012

    I heard/read there will be munchies at Kaltag.

  148. Snowhook Bella
    11:02 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Night all youse.

    T&G: There is one more mandatory 8 hour layover in White Mountain. AJ will run the dogs and rest the dogs. He will do his best to rest the dogs as long as they ran if not longer. If they ran for 5 hours, he may rest them for 7. It just depends on how they are doing. It should be another 4 hours to Kaltag. He’ll probably rest the dogs for 4 hours and then head towards Unalakleet, BSD and Masquer’s checkpoint. Because it is a long stretch from Kaltag to Una, he will camp along the way.

    I took a Tylenonl PM last night and slept for about 6 hours only because I knew he was going to stay in Galena for a while. When he stops in Kaltag tonight, I will probably try to grab a few hours of sleep. I like to ‘be on the trail’ when he’s on the trail.

  149. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:06 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Question: what is the difference between a scratch and a withdrawal?

    Bella, is AJ enjoying himself out on the trail? I know that he is tired, but I also hope that he is having fun too.

  150. Snowhook Bella
    11:17 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Wolfie: A scratch is usually the musher’s choice to stop his or her race. A withdrawl is usually at the discretion of the race marshall. It could be for medical reason as one musher experienced today, for a penalty, the team is no longer competetive, etc.

    More to Wolfie: AJ is focused on the dogs and taking care of them. He will work hard for the dogs, yet I am sure he will find highlights and moments of joy among the work, fatigue and challenges. I’m very proud of him.

  151. Masquers
    11:42 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Bella: That is the most important thing to us…that AJ and the team are having a good race…not rushing…enjoying the beautiful scenery and the company of each other. Tonight they race under millions of stars…tomorrow will be on their way to the coast and Unalakleet.

  152. Snowhook Bella
    11:46 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Masquers: I think you might find the weather on the coast interesting to follow. I think the wind is picking up and the temperatures are drop, drop, dropping.

  153. Masquers
    11:57 pm on March 11th, 2012

    Gulp. I’m happy to know he won’t be going there tonight.
    Now twenty miles from Kaltag.

  154. Masquers
    12:05 am on March 12th, 2012

    Unalakleet is reporting “bitterly cold” temperatures at twenty below tonight…tomorrow partly cloudy and above zero…a definite improvement.

  155. Snowhook Bella
    12:08 am on March 12th, 2012

    Masquers: The current temperature at your checkpoint is -20, but feels like -36 with the wind chill.

  156. Masquers
    12:15 am on March 12th, 2012

    You’re right. I missed that little detail. Wonder why it feels so cold…there’s not much of a wind.

  157. Snowhook Bella
    12:20 am on March 12th, 2012

    Not sure why it feels like -36, but I’m happy to be next to the fire tonight. I’m sharing the couch with Coach, the dog not the father and his e-collar. The collar gets a cushion all to itself.

  158. Masquers
    12:31 am on March 12th, 2012

    Poor Coach. How long will he have to wear the collar?

  159. Snowhook Bella
    12:34 am on March 12th, 2012

    Coach will be ‘accessorizing’ until the 15th if not longer. Almost a week with it, and he has yet to master the simple piece of plastic. He’s a love.

  160. Masquers
    12:52 am on March 12th, 2012

    I’m off to watch the last Once Upon A Time…will check back in a few.

  161. Masquers
    1:11 am on March 12th, 2012

    if I can keep my eyes open……

  162. Masquers
    1:34 am on March 12th, 2012

    Bella, Good night…try to grab a couple of kat naps…looks like he’s almost there.

  163. Snowhook Bella
    2:52 am on March 12th, 2012

    The team is in Kaltag!

  164. OleyHowlers
    4:24 am on March 12th, 2012

    Good morning! Woo Hoo ! Kaltag! …. Congrats to all of our retirees and just-plain-tireds (that last part includes me). Next stop will be the coast which just reading the comments above has me shivering. We will read the rest of last night’s later….got to help Mom & Pop get ready to go to work now. Why are they up so early???

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