So we got a phone call from Karen this evening
letting us know before we saw it on the computer that she was going to
scratch. I'm not going to go into full details as that's not my place
but I just wanted to let you all know she is fine. Bottom line, she is
very sick. She has seen a doctor and they figure it's food poisoning
or salmonella and it will start to lift in about 3 to 4 days. She has
not eaten in two days and does not feel like eating, she is throwing
up non-stop (from both ends) and just feels it's bad enough to call
it. The dogs are fine and running great - no problems there.
I would just like to say that I know my sister
pretty well and in my opinion (just my guess I'm not going off
anything here) is that she felt she was sick enough that she could not
do the job 100%. By that I mean watching over those dogs and keeping
everyone in good sprits. Karen and I feel the same way here and would
do anything for our animals so if going out on that trail again meant
she couldn't watch the dogs like she wanted and would have had to take
some of the attention away from them to look after herself she simply
wouldn't do it. She would never do anything to jeopardize her team -
and that is one of the reasons I love her so much.
She did a great job out there and we couldn't be
more proud of her. She was faced with a difficult decision and we feel
she has made the right one.
She is truly and remarkable woman and sister.
Thank you Jim, I couldn't have said it better myself. I would just
like to add that you no longer have to whisper. Karen is pretty doped
up on the meds that the doctors have given here and even the new
mushers showing up to the checkpoint haven't woke her up.
Well with all that said, we're still in Unalakleet and the ITC
(Iditarod Trail Committee) has arranged to have the dogs shipped to
Anchorage today. Karen might be able to go out on a later flight and
I'm on my own. All commercial flights are full, and the next flight
that the dogs can go on is Tuesday. So because the dogs come first,
there going out and Jamie Nelson is making plans to use my dog truck
that is parked at the Anchorage airport to get the dogs back to
Willow. When and how I'm getting home is still unclear at this time,
maybe someone in Unalakleet needs a ceiling fan.
Once we are all together again, and Karen is feeling better, we
will have to pack the truck and start the 3 day trip home. There's
lots of snow in Alberta so we'll be able to do lots of puppy training
when we get home. And Karen's talking about doing the 300 mile trip
down the Athabasca river that got cancelled at Christmas, but who
knows maybe she's had enough of rivers for a while.
Alaska Daily News