• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 21s

Injured musher beating the odds returns home

By Kate McPherson 7:10 AM December 5, 2014

Despite having three broken vertebrae, musher Karin Hendrickson is exceeding medical expectations and was released from Alaska Regional Hospital Thursday night.

“I’m not messing around, I’ve got stuff to do,” Hendrickson said.

Her friend Jennifer Hawks said she was surprised by the early release.

“I didn’t believe her until I came here and talked to the staff myself to hear it from them,” Hawks said. “Because knowing her she would be ready to go and they weren’t ready to let her go and I would be kidnapping her basically.”

Hawks has been by Hendrickson’s side, or helping at her property in Willow, since the Nov. 25 crash when a woman drove an SUV into Hendrickson’s four-wheeler and 14-dog team during a training run on a trail next to the Parks Highway.

Hendrickson was told it could take weeks of rehabilitation before being discharged, but she had no intention of staying in the hospital for that long.

“I’ve got to hold still, I have to rest, I can’t be jumping around I can’t get knocked around, I can’t slip and fall,” Hendrickson said of the doctors orders.

“Which basically for me means no time with the dogs, they can come inside to visit me one on one, but I can’t be out with dogs, I can’t be doing anything physical.”

Not moving will be one of the hardest parts of recovery for the physically and mentally strong Hendrickson, who was preparing for the 2015 Iditarod when she was hit.

“It’s still going to be an incredibly hard season for me because the dogs are still going to be running, they still need to get out and they are going to get to race, which is what they love to do — but I don’t get to be a part of it,” Hendrickson said.

While in the hospital, Hendrickson announced she is handing over her Iditarod position to Bryan Bearss, who will run her dog team.

“It’s amazing for any musher to share their dogs with someone else, let alone take them on a 1,000-mile race across the roughest trail in Alaska,” said Bearss as he walked Hendrickson out of the hospital.

“It’s Karin’s Iditarod, it’s her training, it’s her race, I’m just going to pretend I’m her for the dogs and make it happen,” said Bearss, an Anchorage teacher who ran the 2006 Iditarod.

Hendrickson and 38-year-old Bearss are good friends and she says, “He’s a hell of a musher.”

“My very first race as a rookie he loaned me his lead dog and she helped me get through some really tough weather,” Hendrickson said.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Trump administration to issue new Syria sanctions

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 7:20

    WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials say the Trump administration will issue new sanctions against Syria as early as Monday as part of its ongoing crackdown on the Syrian government and those who support it. Two officials say that the sanctions are part of a broader effort to cut off funding and other support to Syria’s […]

  • Lifestyle

    At least global warming may get Americans off the couch more

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 7:09

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A new study says global warming’s milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, a rare, small benefit of climate change. With less chilly winters, the study forecasts that Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent […]

  • Lifestyle

    Astronaut breaks record for most time in space by American

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 6:04

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Astronaut Peggy Whitson has another record under her space belt. Early Monday, the International Space Station commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in orbit by an American. That record was set last year by Jeffrey Williams. Whitson already was the […]

  • News

    Fairbanks recycling center project $150,000 over budget

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 5:57

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – The Fairbanks North Star Borough is seeking out additional funding to start up a recycling program, as the project is facing a $150,000 cost overrun. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the borough is looking to open a community recycling center at a warehouse in Fairbanks by July 1, when the Fairbanks […]

  • News

    Kodiak Borough legalizes commercial pot; city ban remains

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 5:53

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – The Kodiak Borough Assembly has voted to lift its commercial marijuana ban, although it is still illegal in the city’s jurisdiction. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the assembly voted Thursday 4-2 in favor of lifting the ban. It is unclear how soon people who have applied for state licenses will be […]

  • Bloomberg to world leaders: Ignore Trump on climate

    by Associated Press on Apr 23, 17:36

    NEW YORK (AP) – New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg says he wants to help save an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions. The former New York City mayor addressed his intensifying focus on climate change an interview with The Associated Press. Last week, he released a new book, “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and […]

  • Sports

    BLM seeks public input on proposed Red Devil Mine cleanup

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 23, 17:17

    The Red Devil Mine is located on the Kuskokwim near the Red Devil Creek between Crooked Creek and Sleetmute. It started mining in the ’30s, picked up steam in the ’50s and ’60s but has not operated since the 1970s. The problem is that there’s mercury, arsenic and antimony in the soils left behind by […]

  • Students sue Trump administration over climate change

    by CBS News on Apr 23, 17:07

    EUGENE, Ore. — Avery McRae has been passionate about the environment for half a lifetime, and she’s been worried about climate change since kindergarten. Now, at 11, she is really getting serious. She recently signed on to sue President Trump and the U.S. government. “Trump is not doing anything to help stop climate change,” she […]