Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Not All Endings Come in Neat Little, Nicely Wrapped Packages.

First off, my apologies for being quiet on the blog this winter. Recent decisions, although solid and needed, have weighed heavily and left me 'non chatty'.

I was very saddened to see the Canadian Challenge Board forced to have to cancel their race for this winter. I had SO been looking forward to it.

An evening on the computer had me 'redirected' onto a stage race in Ft St James, BC this coming weekend.

Training had been going really well, despite some less than ideal weather and I was excited. Stage racing is not the ideal format for my dogs - which tend to be slower than Alaskans, but able to work on less rest. Stage racing format doesn't allow me to take advantage of that but the dogs have been running strong and fast.

And then the weather took another turn for the ick.

Temperatures for Ft St James (and here) are above freezing everyday this week and anywhere from 5 - 7 C for the weekend.

It seemed to me like I was now just simply setting the team up for failure.

That isn't something I feel good doing to my team, so I'm simply not going to do it.

There are some races in March, but I have flights booked and have made a commitment to Iditarod for judging.

For the first time in over 20 years I'm not going to be racing this winter.

No doubt, it hurts - but, in words I've said hundreds of times over the years - IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Just like my last Iditarod didn't turn out like I'd planned, neither has this season - and like Iditarod, there will not be a 'do over'.

It is my intention to find and run some smaller races next season, but I am still done with mid distance racing.

The thing is that this sport that has consumed me for over 20 years has provided me with some of the most spectacular and moving moments in my life - and some of the most horrible and heart-wrenching.  How it ends is just one of the moments. I can either focus on the spectacular and moving moments or the horrible and heart-wrenching.

Anyone care to guess which I'm going to choose to remember?

Yeah, not even a contest.

When I sit in my rocker sipping my coffee (or wine) I'm going to remember great times with great dogs on great trails with great conditions. That is the takeaway.

And those who know me even a little bit know that dogsleds, bikes, sheepdogs, and much more are bigger features in my future than that rocking chair for a LONG time yet.



Darrel & Linda Ferguson said...

Karen, I know you only know me a bit from the last year and I know you don't know how much I admire you. My story is that I was an active person who loved the outdoors until I started to fall for no reason. I spent five years trying to find out what was wrong, finally someone saw that I was not lazy that I had something wrong. Many doctors later I was diagnosed with intermittent MS. I do not let it stop me, just as your new phase of life will not stop you either. I still take my dogs on runs..I with a walker outside the fence, them behind th fence, when we get back we wrestle on the living room floor or outside in summer. Life changed, I still get in my car and travel to Montana once a year, to Canada fishing every year. I still have a lot of things left to do and take each new challenge as I've seen you do. You are my inspiration for my next quest. I look forward to watching yours.

Becky and Husky Ryn, from Iowa, U.S.A. said...

So many adventures shared with your fans (AKA friends).....we only support you and hope that you will continue to share your adventures with us. I've learned so much from your blogs, watching you interact with your pretty sled dogs and Bet and Twig. You teach from the heart, whether you know you are teaching or not. You share the beautiful scenes you see along the trail and show us to look for the unexpected - things we look over without even realizing it. No, the end might not be nicely wrapped, but the package is still beautiful!

Sheryl Moul said...

Karen, the love of adventure doesn't go away ... the adventures just change. I don't see a rocking chair any time in your future except for at the end of the day after a great adventure with some amazing dogs. Thanks for always taking us along for the ride!!

Vickie said...

Karen, first off, just what I have seen on Facebook, you are far from a rocking chair, other than to drink your coffee or wine. Being new to your website, I have been taken on many wonderful adventures with you and your curle tails. At times I felt as though I was experiencing the rides with you. Your videos and camera making me almost feel the snow and wind in my face. I do not know much of anything about dog sledding, but I love all animals, but huskies have always been my breed of dog. I have two now and had four in the past. I see how much you love your animals and their love for you. Do not feel too sad, you still have many, many more adventures ahead.


Anonymous said...

First of all Karen you do not know me but I follow you and your Kennel in all that you do as we have dogs from some of your earlier lines . This year has been a yucky year for all dog sledders whether it is for pleasure or for racing in all parts of Canada and even more so here in Eastern Ontario.
Dogs and your enjoyment are the most important and that is what we all feel. Next year will bring on new adventures for you and the curly tail, the herders and the watchdogs.
Keep us all posted whether here,or on Facebook, the adventures of you and your Kennel always bring a smile to me.

Nannette Morgan said...

Hi Karen, I have to "ditto" what others said earlier! I'm sure you will still enjoy your adventures regardless of the size or length or type just as I will following you!

We are still your fans, regardless! Happy trails!


thecrazysheeplady said...

I am a friend of Jenny's who "met" you a few years ago when the cartoonist did a cartoon with her or about her or maybe just Bet... I fell in love with your fun and educational blog and in turn followed you on the Iditarod with the wayward GPS and am now a complete Iditarod junky. Even if you stop racing completely, you will always be my favorite musher. Maybe some year a volunteer from KY will get to shake the hand of a race judge in AK. Until then, I'll enjoy following whatever you get into.

e. davis said...

Keep strong and carry on I say! Looking forward to reading about your future adventures and I'm sure you have many more to come! Forget about that rocking chair for awhile and mush on. Happy trails to you and the Curly Tails and Border Coolies:)

Karen Ramstead said...

Thank you all for the amazing comments!!! <3