Posts Tagged ‘Iditarod crime’

Iditarod (6)


March 13th, 2016 Posted 9:19 am

First, this strange and unhappy story from last night on the trail.

Then, our report from the hard-working Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook, our team (and unhurt in last night’s event). She has also sent in a story she wrote, supplementing the report and linked to below. Chetspeak on Sunday returns next Sunday.

Watching and waiting for the GPS tracker flag to move becomes a professional sport at Snowhook. As past races has taught, the flag—or the damn flag, as I affectionately call it—does not move on command. It is easy to will the flag to move or plead for it to move faster, but what we watch on the screen is different that the reality of the trail. This is where trust in AJ’s judgement comes into play. A lot of factors impact AJs decision to run or rest, to check-in at a checkpoint or blow through it and camp on the trail.

Checkpoints usually offer amenities like water, a designated space for mushers to sleep, and sometimes access to indoor plumbing. The water may or may not be hot, and that space to slumber is not the Hilton. Yet, when a musher is tired, he or she can sleep just about anywhere. The space that welcomes the weary musher can be a gym floor in the village school, or a room in the Elder center. What the checkpoint might lack in Egyptian cotton and high thread count, they usually more than make up for in mushers dozing in their fur covered mushing gear. How could a musher trade the hospitality of a checkpoint for camping on the trail?

The musher may seek out peace and quiet so the dogs can rest without the distraction of teams parked next to them in a dog lot. Or, it could be part of the planned or unplanned run/rest schedule. Typically, but not always a team will match their rest with the time spent running. However, the team’s performance, trail conditions, weather, and the distance between checkpoints impacts when and where AJ chooses to camp the team. Whether camping or at the checkpoint, the care given to the dogs does not change.

When AJ stops to rest the team, the dogs are fed, booties removed, beds made for the dogs, paws checked and muscles massaged. It is then, that AJ will eat. It is then that he might sleep. Each of these tasks is done efficiently as possible. The quicker the tasks are completed, the more uninterrupted rest the dogs receive. But, what about the short breaks we see the team take on the GPS tracker? We have to trust the unknown reason. It could be stopping to untangle a line, switch a dogs position, to snack the dogs. These breaks can also be a time to play, to encourage, to love. In the spirit of Chetspeak Sunday, below is a link to such a tale of the trail.



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