Posts Tagged ‘plunderers’

Pride and Joy

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February 4th, 2017 Posted 8:01 am

Haven’t shown this in some time: the C&B-themed patchwork quilt made by the Plunderers (an active subset here at the blog). It hangs in the office where all the writing gets done, a thing of beauty and a good luck charm.

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Posted in Chet The Dog

Yesterday

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January 25th, 2016 Posted 7:54 am

Photo from a Plunderer* (Meashka)

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* A lively sub-group here at the blog.

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Posted in Chet The Dog

Snowhook Update

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January 23rd, 2016 Posted 8:12 am

As some of you know, this blog – and an enthusiastic sub-group called the Plunderers – are big supporters of Snowhook, a wonderful and humane dog-sled racing kennel up in Willow, Alaska. The Iditarod is the big race, of course, but there’s way more to it than that. Here’s an update from Rebecca, Snowhook CEO. (AJ’s the musher.)

“If I’m not mistaken there are some key sporting events this weekend—the Broncos and the Patriots battle for the Super Bowl among them. For us at Snowhook, it’s a little closer to home.

Snowhook found the starting line of the first mid-distance race of the season on Friday. AJ left the start of the Northern Lights 300 relaxed and calm (such is the nature of my particular musher even when facing competition). However, there may be an added reason for his laid back approach to this race, make that two reasons.

One, he’s not racing to compete. That’s right, AJ is racing to not race. There is no purse, no monetary difference for coming in first or last place or any of the positions in between. For AJ, it will a fun run. This brings us to the second reason we can expect to see AJ hold back on his competitive spirit. The second reason is bib #12, a bib number belonging to a musher who left the starting line a little less calm and not quite as relaxed as AJ. And, for good reason. He’s a rookie.

Joe has his sights set on running the Iditarod next year. To do that, he must qualify—much like the Broncos and the Pats must qualify to play in the Super Bowl—by completing at least two 300 mile races and one 200 mile race. Once a musher crosses the finish line in Nome, he or she does not need to re-qualify to race again in the Iditarod. With the burled arch in Nome in mind, he approached Snowhook last fall to achieve this goal. Since that fall day, Joe has given this goal his full commitment.

As a veteran of the Iditarod, AJ does not need this race, but Joe does. Veteran mushers have all been rookies, including AJ. The learning curve for mushing is steep, and the learning curve in racing was straight up for us.

In Snowhook’s first race, we did a lot of guessing on how to prepare, what to include in drop bags, and how to plan a run/rest schedule. And, our learning the hard way continued on the trail. Once AJ reached the layover checkpoint of his first race, he searched to find his race routine. As he tended to his dogs, a young racer approached him for a favor. The favor?—He quietly asked AJ if he could undo the knots on his bib for him. “My mom tied double knots and I can’t get into my pockets. Mushers keep everything from booties to ointments for the dogs and snacks in their pockets. Pockets are important—lesson noted and learned.

In that same race many years ago, another rookie lit the sleeve of his parka on fire while showing off. Believing that going up in flames is a poor race strategy, AJ advised this musher to stick his arm in the snow—near disaster averted. Once the band of race rookies–their numbers around AJ growing— finished their chores, one asked AJ what they should do next. His response was simple: I have no idea.

Success for AJ in this race is seeing Joe complete the first of three qualifiers.

Thank you to the Plunderers for making this and many of AJs starting lines possible.”

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Congratulations Snowhook

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March 21st, 2015 Posted 9:09 am

Our team in the Iditarod reached Nome yesterday, passing under the famed burled arch. Congratulations to AJ (musher), Rebecca (CEO) and all those brave members of the nation within. Rebecca has taken the time to write nightly updates, for which we’re very grateful. Here’s her last, sent without much of an internet connection:

After eleven days on the trail of encountering -60 temperatures, high winds and fierce storms, Team Snowhook crossed under the burled arch in Nome. Following our reunion under the arch we spent a long time tending to the dogs: feeding, straw for bedding, getting the thumbs up from the vets, and feeding again, walking the dogs, massaging and feeding once more. And, then we slept.

AJ filled me in on stories and some details of the trail over pizza (thanks Sharon and Digger). He is very proud of the dogs. I am very proud of both AJ and the team, very proud.

The dogs will return home today and we will follow on Monday.

***

We sincerely appreciate the Plunderers’ support and friendship. We are honored to be called ‘your team.’ Thank you.

(Photo credit HOH)

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