Tuesday, February 10, 2009

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Our trip to Roroslopet race on February 5, ended in Svenstavik. Below you can read the whole story, as I wrote it the day after.
Our dog truck, fully loaded with the huskies, equipment, sled, food, etc., loaded on a tow truck that will bring us to Östersund. How will we find a way to get it to Strömsund later?

Should I laugh, or should I cry? Well, that was my major concern yesterday. But as our dear friends Zdenek and Lidunka, as well as few others suggest, one has to laugh about things, so that the good energy spreads around and pushes away the bad one..

We didn´t go anywhere yesterday. Or I should say, we went to Svenstavik, 50km south from Östersund, about 3 hours drive from our home. All eight chosen athletes for the Roroslopet, and all the equipment that we packed and prepared since Wednesday, loaded. Several kilometers before Svenstavik, the engine stoped dead and that is where the trip to our first race of the 2009 season, ended. Later we found out that the turbo in the engine has broken down completely.

Thank to a nice man that drove by, we got pulled to the nearest gass station, from which we called the tow truck, which brought us back to Östersund later. The bill was equal to the starting fee of Femundlopet. We ended up in Östersund, at the front of authorized Mitsubishi workshop. Thank to (not only very nice but also very patient) Richard and Ingela, we got the chance to get safely back home. Richard took our empty dog trailer and drove a nearly 3 hour trip to Östersund (we got a new load of snow yesterday, thus really slow driving) to pick us up. As we waited for him, we dropped the dogs, gave them a light soup and some dog treats, and spent some 101 time, cuddling, massaging and playing with them. They did not protest at all, about the short travel and the lift they got, high up on the tow truck, and were glad for our individual attention, and played and goofed on their drop lines around the dog truck. We reloaded all our gear, food, the sled and all eight dogs (Taz, Galena, Star, Misa, Frostie, Balto, Goosak and Nugget) into the trailer and headed back home.

If you think that it was the end of the story, you are actually quite far from being even near. Another hustle began, when we needed to find an emergency supply of dog food for our fellow mushers Jindra Zelenka and Jana Hola, from Czech Republic, who start today in Femundlopet 400, and whom we were bringing extra dog food. After some desperate phone calls, and a great aproach and effort from all Troll Hundefor representatives, we got the hungry Czech huskies Troll Ekstrem dog food delivered to their truck. Pheeew. Huge thank you to Roar and Torgrim from Troll Hundefor company. You rock, guys!

Even greater hustle started with trying to find someone who could bring us two sleds that we ordered from Czech Republic, and which Jindra and Jana brought us to Roros. The hunt started last night and by this morning I pretty much had the picture of who is in which checkpoint and at which stage of the race, and who is in Roros, hanging around the starting area, or following to the checkpoints along the race trail. After a very short night sleep and hot phone lines since early morning (and many cups of hot tea and coffee), at 3:00 pm, both sleds were loaded off Jindra´s truck in Roros, at the property of our friend Malin Aspaas´s uncle, to wait there until the banquet, where fellow mushers Nisse Upström and Claes Arvidsson will pick them up after the race and bring them to Sweden.
Malin (owner of Hidalgo) also picked up equipment we ordered from Troll and arranged a lot, including the storage of the sleds at her uncle´s place. Another friend Hågen (owner of Striker) offered to help withdraw our team from the race.

Our thank you to all of our friends, sponsors and fellow mushers, is heartfelt and our gratitude endless.
God does work in mysterious ways. I wasn´t sure what to take from this experience at first, as the racing season so far is far from enjoyable and as a few friends told us last night "it looks like it isn´t your year this year". But now I see the purpose of it clearly. It showed us how the mushing comunity is strongly connected and how folks help fellow mushers in need. And most of all, it showed us that we are extremly fortunate to have friends one can fully rely on. Real friends. And that, in this time, is not just a huge fortune, but also quite a luxury. We feel very blessed!

The story still doesn´t end, though, without telling several details, as yesterday Richard took six of our dogs for a shorter training run, to get them moving, while we´d be at the race, and his sled runners broke by themselves, 2km into the run. He managed to get the team turned around and safely back home.

As we were on our way to Roros and Richard just getting back from training, Ingela was comming back from shopping in Strömsund and slid into a ditch, just about 4km before our house. Nothing happened and everybody is ok. Richard pulled her car out, hooked up our trailer and went to pick our team and us in Östersund.

We all agreed that we´ve defintely had better days than that. Today, it is kind of quiet around the house (after all the phone calls to Norway ended). Everybody is relaxing - watching movies, reading books, sharing stories on their bloggs.
Tomorrow we´re all out to run dogs! - or at least, that´s the plan :)


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