Posts Tagged ‘C. Harris’

On the Iditarod Trail (More)


March 5th, 2014 Posted 8:29 am

Here’s Rebecca’s (CEO of Snowhook, our team in what has started as a very tough Iditarod race) report. (The broken bones she refers to seem to be all human – see link below, in which Justin Savidis, our AJ, is quoted. Thanks to C.Hobbit for the link.)

Little to no snow, stumps, rocks, and ice add up to one thing—one hell of a ride. Beaten and battered mushers arriving in Nikolai have shared the horrors of the trail between Rohn and Nikolai, a section of trail that is now littered with sled parts and equipment. The canine athletes fared much better than their human partners. In the past 24 hours, the race has ended for 11 teams because of broken bones and other injuries and sleds that are damaged beyond repair. It is likely this section of trail will claim more victims in the hours to come.

My heart took up residence in my throat as I waited for word that the team reached Nikolai. After resting the team for several hours, they are back on the trail and headed for McGrath where AJ intends to take his 24. Teams are required to take one 24 hour break at any point during the race, another 8 hour rest on the Yukon River, and final 8 hour layover in White Mountain. When he reaches McGrath, AJ will transfer his sled bag from the sled he drove during the first third of the race to a lighter weight finishing sled. We have not had the luxury of sending out a second sled in past years leaving AJ to make due with repairs he made on the trail for the duration of the race. This year, a second sled is less a luxury and more of a necessity given the trail conditions. I hope Rose and Grizz understand how much we appreciate their sponsorship of AJ’s finishing sled. Knowing that AJ has the second sled waiting for him in McGrath eases my worried mind.

As I think about the trail the team has traveled, I recall a conversation AJ and I had about the rumors of treacherous terrain in the days leading up to the starting line. I said he would have to be pretty tough to handle the trail. He agreed and then remarked that Melanie is tougher than he is. Melanie is in our hearts.

And thanks to ML for this Alaskan memento:




Congratulations to Snowhook!


March 16th, 2013 Posted 9:20 am

Our team in the Iditarod, greatest sled dog race on earth. Here’s a wonderful wrap-up from Rebecca, Snowhook’s  indomitable CEO.

I fell asleep— a long overdue rest—last night without thought of anything else including the update from the finish line.

C. Hobbit and I had use of vehicle yesterday so we drove to Farley’s Camp where teams cross the road as they near Nome.  As the winds blew, I we looked and looked for the team.  Out of no where, the team made and appearance.  It was whiteout conditions at dog level and AJ was wearing his white wind suit.  The only thing that tipped me off to his presence was his orange gloves radiating through the white and the wind.  I tried to give AJ his favorite soda, but he handed it back saying it was too windy and he needed to hold on to the handlebar.  C. Hobbit and I raced back to town and to the finishing chute.  We were informed that it was a race to the finish between AJ and another team.  This is the second time AJ has finished less than two minutes after the musher in front of him.  I was so proud of the team and AJ as they crossed the finish line.  

Each year after the team has crossed the finish line, AJ has lifted up a dog above his head to touch their paw to the burled arch.  In 2011 it was Whitey-Lance in celebration of staying with the team and not going on a wanderabout.  Last year, to show appreciation for a career well run, AJ lifted his main lead dog, Annabelle above his head to mark her retirement.  Who was it this year and why?  Lead dog and Annabelle’s daughter, Twig.  AJ caught the flu or stomach bug on the trail.  With exhaustion and the inability to keep anything in his stomach, he was in poor condition.  A friend of the kennel who was volunteering at the Elim checkpoint, reported that he tried to get AJ to rest even longer because he was in bad shape.  Rarely running a dog in single lead rather than double, he put Twig in the single lead position, a responsibility she proved to manage well.  As the race continued, AJ’s health deteriorated.  Calling on the team, Twig single led the team on the coast.  She rallied and cared for AJ as he had done for team and the team responded to her leadership.  For this—for her care, her tenacity, her resolve—AJ lifted Twig above his head and touched her paw to the burled arch in gratitude.  Thank you Twig, you are our special girl!

C. Hobbit at the finish line, and Twig:



Iditarod: Nome, Here We Come!


March 13th, 2013 Posted 10:14 am

Reporting from somewhere in southern AZ (and congrats to Mitch Seavey):

Excellent news from Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook Kennel, our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth:

I picked up C. Hobbit Harris at the airport today in Nome.  She decided AJ’s finish line cheering section should consist of more than just me, so she made the trip.  I am honored and thankful for her friendship.  

Shortly after her arrival, we walked to Front Street and watched the first two teams cross the finish line, Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zikle respectively. As for AJ, our team, he and the dogs made it safely off the sea ice between Shaktoolik and Koyuk.  This is much different than last year when Plunderers watched the GPS tracker stray off course, the trail markers were non-existent having blown away in a high wind storm, and the jumble ice created a maze for the team to navigate.  This year the team had a much easier go of it and made the trek in less than seven hours.  

Next stop, Elim!

And here are three members of the team, Orion on top, Quigley and Garrett below.

OrionQuigley and Garrett

Welcome Molly; Penny (Jay and Marcia’s new sled dog).


Iditarod (More)


March 7th, 2012 Posted 9:15 am

“We’re back from Sleuthfest,” Admin says. “So much catching up to do. First – a link for following the race:

And second, here’s something from a sleepy Rebecca.”

“And who wouldn’t be?” says Spence.

“Absolutely. Here’s Rebecca, of Snowhook Kennel:”

The team has traveled through several challenges between the starting line and the first checkpoint of the interior of Alaska—the Steps, the Gorge, the Buffalo Chutes, a glacier and the Farewell Burn.  A handful of hours ago, Snowhook less one left Nikolai and are on the way to McGrath.  AJ stayed in McGrath for five days while he searched for our wandering Whitey-Lance in 2010.  Two of Whitey-Lances’ pups, Marco and Abe are named after two residents of McGrath who aided AJ in the search.

“Love those details about Whitey-Lance’s pups,” says Admin.

“And how about this photo of Plunderer extraordinaire C. Harris with musher AJ and Rebecca before the start?”

“I love it.”

Welcome Sasha and Smokey, Chester, Marcie Jolie, Conan.


The Books

powered by wordpress | site by michael baker digital