Posts Tagged ‘Melanie’

Iditarod (7): Memorial Edition


March 14th, 2016 Posted 8:29 am

Many thanks to Rebecca, CEO of the Snowhook team, for this overnight Iditarod post. It will mean a lot to people here who knew Melanie.

I often write these posts in the late hours when sleep will not come and while I wait for the #46 flag to diligently march across the map in three minute increments. This is one such post. Sometimes the words come easy and other times they are forced, they take greater effort that I want to give. Yet, tonight, although simple, I feel the words are with me.

Tonight there is a team running the long trail from Kaltag to the first checkpoint on the coast with a purple ribbon tied to the sled. Neither the color of the ribbon or its sparkles are the musher’s style. No, not even close. However, instead of being removed as the sled is rigged for the race, the ribbon is tightened. The ribbon is a remnant of a race dedicated to a woman who battled cancer. It is a reminder of a woman who was one of Snowhook’s champions. It is a way to honor someone we call friend.


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Posted in Chet The Dog

Iditarod: A Special Post From Rebecca of Snowhook


March 14th, 2015 Posted 7:54 am

(Cast of characters: Rebecca – CEO, Snowhook; AJ – musher; Melanie – a great person, Plunderer, and friend of this blog. The rest should be self-explanatory.)

I could report about Team Snowhook having finished their mandatory 24 hour layover in Galena. I could write about the opportunity to take leave of the Yukon River and run overland to Huslia, the next checkpoint. However, my thoughts have turned to something unrelated to run and rest schedules, GPS trackers and race standings.

A year ago, Melanie passed away. And, practical and rational as AJ is, will tell you that he does not believe it is a coincidence that Melanie waited until the team crossed the finish line of a race dedicated to her to cross the Bridge. While this year’s race is not dedicated to our Heartfriend, she is with him on the trail.

After the Ceremonial Start, as AJ prepped his gear for our trek to Fairbanks for the restart, I witnessed something special. Unbeknownst to him, I watched as AJ removed the purple ribbon—a remnant from the 2014 Ceremonial Start and a way to honor Melanie— from our Ceremonial sled and tied it to his race sled. I spoke when I saw this, surprising him from behind, “You’re taking her with you?” His response was simple, “Yes.” And, why would he not?

Melanie was not only a good friend to each of us and welcoming, she was one of the loudest voices in Snowhook’s cheering section. Heaven help me, I think about her every day. I think of her when I am stressed or making big decisions, or playing with the dogs. I do not think I am alone when I say I feel blessed to call her my friend.

Melanie is on the trail, Melanie is on the trail, and for this AJ and the dogs are supported and lifted by her spirit.



Chetspeak on Sunday


July 27th, 2014 Posted 8:51 am

(This is to Melanie, in memory.)

What was Bernie talking about? I had no clue. I put my paw on his knee, for no particular reason. The car shot forward.

“Hey, Chet! What the hell?”

Oops. Had I pressed down a bit too hard? I laid off.

“It’s all right, big guy. Sometimes you don’t know your own strength.”

Whoa! Don’t know my own strength? Had to be one of Bernie’s jokes. He can be a funny guy with jokes – take that time he found some pink streamers and stuck them on the handle grips of a bunch of bikes parked outside a biker bar and then waited for the bikers to come out. And that was just the beginning of the fun! But take it from me: I know my own strength.

– from The Sound and the Furry (now in paperback).

Welcome to the gallery: Edgar!


Melanie: From the Berkshire Eagle


March 21st, 2014 Posted 8:48 am

Welcome new friends Lacey & Bleu (stretching).


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