Posts Tagged ‘Iditarod’
March 25th, 2013 Posted 7:02 am
Here’s a comment from AJ (Justin Savidis) musher and co-owner of Snowhook Kennel, our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth. It came in late last night and Admin wanted to make it easier to find.
A little over a month ago I sat on my couch for the first time in days with nothing to do for a couple of hours. Well that’s not exactly true, I had things to do but I was watching tv pretending without a lot of success that work and mushing didn’t occupy every spare minute of my life.
What I’m getting at with all this though is that at that moment I couldn’t believe how fast a season had flown by and I was staring Iditarod in the face. And then through quite a race it was over.
Now that I’ve had a chance to recover and before another month passes before I know it; the first order of business is to say a simple and significant thank you to all of you. Rebecca and I are extremely grateful that you share in our collective adventure. We just can’t say enough about what your support means.
Mushing at its heart is about musher and the team. You could say it’s a selfish endeavor. However, from the first night on the trail this race was different in that all of you were there in one way or another. Without getting too sentimental it made this race better knowing you all were there. Thank you.
Looking forward to 2014 we look forward to having you along side us again.
Highlights from this year’s race:
Started out great
Team got sick
Midnight river crossings in waist deep water near Iditarod
Musher got sick
Team and musher pulled it together and finished 27 hours faster than last year
Dogs are just heroic in my opinion
Looking forward to carving out another 24 hours next year
Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you again
See you on the trail….
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:
March 14th, 2013 Posted 8:50 am
From Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook, our team in the Iditarod.
At long last AJ and the team have made it to the White Mountain checkpoint where they will enjoy a mandatory eight hour layover before they can continue. Seventy-seven miles remains of their race. Word from a volunteer at a checkpoint is that the dogs are doing well, yet AJ is sick. How sick and with what, I don’t know. But, I haven’t time and time again said that AJ is the strongest person I know both mentally and physically for no reason. They have traveled through unseasonably warm temperatures, slogged through poor trail conditions and have truly plundered on through every trial on the trail. To say that I am proud of AJ and the team doesn’t come close.
The rule of thumb is that teams will cross the finish line approximately twelve hours after leaving White Mountain. The team will leave White Mountain shortly after 5:30 a.m. (Alaska) C. Hobbit Harris and I will prepare to greet Snowhook under the burled arch early afternoon on Thursday. We will celebrate under the arch, care for the dogs, and then engage in an activity that is long overdue—rest.
I want to thank the Plunderers (that includes Spence and Admin) for all your support. For helping us get to the starting line, for cheering us on in person and in spirit, and for being the best damn cheering section. Ever.
Here are two sterling members of the team, Doc and Rio.
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.
Welcome Molly; Penny (Jay and Marcia’s new sled dog).