As predicated, Karen phoned yesterday. She was in a very, very good mood. She was half way through her 24 hour rest, and had just finished sharing a lobster with Palmer Sagoonick. This time she was very talkative and all I had to do was a lot of "mmmm's", "oh yah's", and "sounds good to me". She shared a few stories but she can talk a lot faster than I write...but here go's.
Just outside of Tanana she was admiring the northern light that I was talking about the other day. She was staring up in the sky as the dogs were moving down the trail, when she finally looked forward to see were the dogs were going she got whacked in the head by a Sweeper. A Sweeper is a branch that sticks out over the trail that the team and sled can get under but you can't, unless you duck, she didn't. She says that she still had a headache yesterday. Now I call her "Karen Bumponhead".
In order to lessen some of the work load on herself in preparing for the race Karen had her Mom make up the kits that she uses in checkpoints to clean up. These kits contain things like, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, washcloth and such. When we packed the drop bags all we did was grab one of these "personal packs" for each checkpoint and throw it in a bag. So the other day Karen goes to use on of these packs, opens it up and sees a dark brown chunk wrapped in paper. Karen thinks to herself "oh my what a nice surprise, my mom packed me some chocolate", and took a big bite out of it...
Well needless to say, those of us that have been getting 8 hours of sleep each night might have quickly noticed that it was SOAP, not chocolate, BEFORE we bit into it. What Karen had to say next cannot be printed on this family page, but its a good thing that she had her mouth washed out with soap already :)
One last story. As Karen was running to Ruby at night she was drifting in and out of consciousness, when she looked down and saw something dragging in her team. When she was able to focus her eyes on the problem she saw that it was Odie's harness, and there he was running beside it naked. Now I don't know how this could have happened because in order to take a harness off you have to undo the neckline. I'm sure that Karen will be scratching her head about this one for a while, probably right above the big bump on her head.
Karen also talked to me about how she's learning lots about how to "race" from other faster teams, that she normally doesn't get to hang around with. She also said the times that you see for mushers checking out doesn't mean that that's when they actually left. The rule says that you must leave within an hour of signing out.