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.
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.