Catching up – winter and dogs and photography and Christmas…

It’s been 5 weeks since I last posted. There hasn’t been much going on as my activities are still very limited, but I promised that I wouldn’t go silent for long periods, so here’s what I have been doing.

The Whitehorse airport is one of my happy places. Whenever I go to town I have a list of expected arrivals and departures and try to time my errands or meetings to catch some of them. The first photo of the action on the ramp with the fancy new snow-clearing machine going by was shot on December 19th.

Winter action at the Whitehorse airport
The following day, I caught an interesting atmospheric phenomenon created by an incoming 737. At -16°C and 85% humidity, jets make their own weather as they approach to land. Notice that it’s not smoke from the engines, it’s clouds of vapour created by the flaps.

At -16C and 85% humidity, jets make their own weather as they approach to land.
A better look at the plane making the little clouds, Air North’s Boeing 737-48E C-FANB.

Air North's 1992 Boeing 737-48E C-FANB
This new rig looks like it does a great job of getting snow and ice off the runway.

Clearing snow off the runway at the Whitehorse airport
The older rotary puts on a more impressive show, though πŸ™‚

A rotary plow clearing snow off the runway at the Whitehorse airport
The airport is easy for me – I drive by it on my way to other things, and the photos come easily. The thought required for creative photography is still beyond me, and writing this blog is far more difficult than it was before the accident.

Air North action at the Whitehorse airport in the winter
I waited for the arrival of Air Canada’s Airbus A319-114 C-FZUL that afternoon (December 20th). It was 20 minutes late, but while I was waiting I was able to help a couple from Vancouver who had gotten badly stuck below my planned shooting location across from the Alaska Highway truck scales. I had taken the Tracker, and it’s always stocked with recovery gear, so that was quick and simple. The next photo was shot at 4:07, exactly 20 minutes after sunset.

Air Canada's Airbus A319-114 C-FZUL
On December 24th I did a morning outing to pick up a few last-minute things at 2 grocery stores. I left the driveway at 08:50, and was heading home on the Alaska Highway at 09:35 (35 minutes before sunrise). Quick and simple. When I headed for home it was -6C in town, -13 at home. The next photo shot on the Alaska Highway gives you an idea of just how little snow we have this year.

On the Alaska Highway at dawn in December
Christmas was particularly quiet this year. There were no decorations, no presents (well, we never do presents), just a couple of wonderful meals with friends, one on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day. I had plenty of assistance offered while I was working on the turkey stuffing. πŸ™‚

All my fur-kids watching me working on Christmas dinner
We’re babysitting for a couple of weeks. Paddler is an easy fit – he’s pretty much a part-time member of our pack, which he joined as Maverick, a member of YARN’s Airplanes2 litter 10 months ago. Bella and Tucker both love playing with him, especially in this incredibly mild weather we’ve been having.

My dogs Bella and Paddler
I’ve been doing some more scanning of documents and slides, most of which then get turfed. This is the painful part of slide scanning. I can think of many reasons why I shouldn’t toss them, but these many binders of slides have to go. Some – a few, like early Alaska Highway images – I may be able to rehome.

Throwing away slides after scanning them
The City of Whitehorse does a wonderful job of lighting up the city for the holidays, and I’ve been wanting to get out for some photos. By evening, I never have enough energy to do it, so on December 31st, I headed out just after 04:00 while I still felt okay.

My driveway at 04:00 on December 31st
The SS Klondike was my first stop. The lights here have been scaled back from what they used to be, but it’s still beautiful.

Christmas lights on the steamboat SS Klondike at Whitehorse, Yukon

Christmas lights on the steamboat SS Klondike at Whitehorse, Yukon

The huge tree that’s installed in front of the railway station on Main Street was one of my two primary targets, and it’s best seen before normal people get out of bed. The next photo shows it from the Main Street side.

Christmas tree and railway station at Whitehorse, Yukon
And here’s the Front Street view.

Christmas tree and railway station at Whitehorse, Yukon
City Hall is always done up nicely.

Whitehorse City Hall at Christmas
The MacBride Museum.

Shipyards Park is the main showplace for the light display.

This was the first time I’d seen the City create a large animated light display – the train at Shipyards Park is best seen in a video.

At 05:30 I went up to the airport to catch an Air Canada departure. It was too dark and none of those photos were any good, but Air North’s Boeing 737-55D C-FANF was towed into position to get ready for a 07:00 flight while I was there.

Air North's Boeing 737-55D C-FANF

I really needed to get out, but the Christmas light cruise went badly. I wasn’t feeling well by 05:30 and by 06:00 had to quit after a few minutes at the airport. By the time I got home I was just plain sick and had to go to bed.

I could only spend a few minutes on it yesterday, but I’m still working on restoring the model of the WP&YR container ship Frank H. Brown at the Yukon Transportation Museum. The section of the boat needing the most work, the gantry crane, is almost ready for paint now. Two of the arms were broken off, one was loose, lots of the paint was flaking off (and at some point it had been re-painted the wrong colour), and many small pieces like railings needed to be re-glued.

Restoring the model of the WP&YR container ship Frank H. Brown at the Yukon Transportation Museum
The model railway is a superb location to work on this piece of the boat. It’s an easy place to talk to people about it and other aspects of the museum as well.

Murray Lundberg working on restoring the model of the WP&YR container ship Frank H. Brown at the Yukon Transportation Museum
I did an interview with Dave Croft and Wayne Vallevand from CBC a couple of weeks ago. Very soon after the story went live, I heard from one Whitehorse woman who also had a fall and needed to hear that what’s going on is real. Hearing from Rebecca made my day, since that was my main point in talking about it. Admitting what’s going on in that way feels like its own sort of defeat, and yet is important. You can read the story here.

There, caught up – sort of. My search for a solution to my health problems continues. I’m not getting better – except on days when I do nothing, and that includes computer time.

I love this New Year message. Every day I get to kiss someone who thinks I’m wonderful, snuggle with furry creatures who agree, and can still make art. So maybe I’ll surprise myself and get better, too. I hope that 2020 is kind to all of you.

Happy New Year


Catching up – winter and dogs and photography and Christmas… — 14 Comments

  1. Great post as always. Admire your stamina and love for life. I have you in my prayer heart .

  2. Thanks for this update and wonderful pictures Murray.
    Hang in there and wish you the best for 2020.
    Health is all anyone needs and yours will be back I’m sure, it’s just a matter of time.

  3. We appreciate the effort and the energy that went into the post, the photos and your words…your honesty in sharing that which is your life for now…

    I too, hope that 2020 seems the resumption of the ‘old Murray and your good adventures begin anew and in earnest..

    • Thanks, Brad. There’s an answer out there somewhere. The messages I’ve received have shown me that sharing this journey is important to many people, so they know they’re not alone on theirs.

  4. Love your photos and the Christmas lite up in Whitehorse. Sincerily hope 2020 is a better year for you healthwise and you will find relief from the pain, Happy New Year!!

  5. Great to see a new post from you! I’ve been so caught up in reading your archives that I missed seeing this new post until just now. Love the picture of the Air North plane with it’s bright red tail up against the snowy mountains. And the Front Street view with Christmas lights so makes me want to visit Whitehorse! I admire your persistence in staying active in life in spite of continuing health issues. Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way.

    • Thank you, Beverly. My wife has taken today off work to escort me to Skagway, so I should have some mountain photos to post tomorrow πŸ™‚

  6. Happy New Year Murray! May the new year bring you great health😎😎😎πŸ₯‚πŸ₯‚πŸ₯‚

  7. Hi Murray, its been a while but I just started reading your blog again, I am sorry to hear about you injury. I will be praying for you every day. I so enjoyed your stories for many, many years. Im retired for five years now but i so enjoyed reading about your life and when you had the webcam at your old cabin. You opened a new world just reading your stories. You will get better, God bless, Patsy