I’m back – my first good road trip in 6 months

Well, my friends, I’m back. I found someone with the skills needed to solve my health mystery. I’ll tell you more about that at the end of this post. Yesterday was Day 12 of feeling better, and I did the final test – I drove out to Kluane Lake and back. It was a wonderful day, an exciting day.

I asked Cathy if I cold have her Jeep for the drive – Bella and Tucker are much more comfortable in it than in my car. On my last refresh of the weather forecast as I was getting packed up, it changed from Sunny to Cloudy with Snow Flurries – oh well, I was going anyway.

We left the house at 09:30, with the temperature at -12°C (+10.4F). That’s the Alaska Highway ahead in the first photo, as we left Mary Lake.

Leaving Mary Lake, Yukon
The Jeep was filthy so I stopped at the car wash as we passed through Whitehorse. It was 10:08 when we reached the junction of the Alaska Highway and the North Klondike Highway to Carmacks and Dawson (Km 1437 of the Alaska Highway).

The junction of the Alaska Highway and the North Klondike Highway to Carmacks and Dawson.
The open road at 10:26. I stopped here at Km 1466.9 to take a couple of photos and post one to Facebook.

Km 1466.9 of the Alaska Highway, west of Whitehorse
At 11:20 we stopped for a walk at the Canyon Creek Bridge rest area. The log bridge was built on the original Kluane Wagon Road to the Kluane goldfields in 1904, then was rebuilt for the original Alaska Highway. You can see the old road climbing across the slope ahead.

The historic Canyon Creek Bridge
Just north of the west end of the bridge is a log cabin that served as a roadhouse and store during the Kluane Gold Rush.

A log cabin that served as a roadhouse and store during the 1904 Kluane Gold Rush

A log cabin that served as a roadhouse and store during the 1904 Kluane Gold Rush

Approaching the big rocks of Kluane National Park, at Km 1554.

Approaching the big rocks of Kluane National Park, at Km 1554 of the Alaska Highway.
By 11:45 it was clear that the weather forecast was going to be wrong – I could see lots of blue sky ahead. Not mandatory for a good day, but very welcome.

Snowy peaks along the Alaska Highway near Haines Junction, Yukon
The view ahead right at the Km 1600 milepost. I still don’t trust that I’m going to continue to feel good, and I was deeply enjoying this, stopping often.

Km 1600 of the Alaska Highway, west of Haines Junction, Yukon
Transitioning to sunny skies, with a layer of cloud above me but sun on the mountains.

Snowy peaks along the Alaska Highway west of Haines Junction, Yukon
The 400mm lens compresses the highway and brings the mountains even closer. I shot the next photo right at Km 1620.

Snowy peaks along the Alaska Highway west of Haines Junction, Yukon
Between me and that section of road is Christmas Creek. This was shot right at the Km 1630 milepost.

The Alaska Highway climbs away from Christmas Creek near Kluane Lake.
I had planned a major stop at the pullout at Km 1642.1, but wind was bitterly cold and the snow was deep. Bella was loving it, though. She was digging as if she was after something, then rolling as if she’d found something stinky 🙂

Bella my husky/shelty cross playing in deep snow at Kluane Lake, Yukon
“What are you laughing about?”

Bella my husky/shelty cross playing in deep snow at Kluane Lake, Yukon
Okay, let’s go, I’m cold!

Bella my husky/shelty cross playing in deep snow at Kluane Lake, Yukon
The cabin in the next photo, at the foot of Sheep Mountain, belonged to Captain Alexander Clark Fisher, who died in January 1941 and is buried above the cabin. You can see more photos and the article that appeared in The Whitehorse Star upon his death, here.

Alex Fisher's cabin at Sheep Mountain on the Alaska Highway
There was a fairly high probability of seeing Dall sheep on the highway at Sheep Mountain, but no luck.

There was a fairly high probability of seeing Dall sheep on the highway at Sheep Mountain, but no luck.
Still feeling good at 1:00 pm, my hope to go to Destruction Bay for lunch had turned into a plan.

The Alaska Highway along KLuane Lake
I had an excellent burger at the Talbot Arm (saving some fries for my doggies), but as I was about to leave I saw a Facebook post about Tserber, the dog that’s been lost in this area for months. There was a possible sighting just past the airport. I couldn’t ignore a message like that – things happen for a reason – so instead of starting for home, I continued on another 25 km to the Duke River. All I saw, though, was some intriguing tracks just before the Duke River – the sort of tracks a nervous dog might make? The inch of snow last night made them too indistinct to ID. Poor Tserber… 🙁

Tracks in the snow
At 2:30 I made a U-turn at the Duke River and started for home. The huge “gold pan” at Burwash Landing, repainted last year, looks great now.

The huge 'gold pan' at Burwash Landing, repainted last year, looks great now.
We stopped for another walk at the Sheep Mountain interpretive centre. The wind was making great patterns in the snow.

Wind-created patterns in the snow along the Alaska Highway

Wind-created patterns in the snow along the Alaska Highway

There were lots of sheep visible, and they seemed to be making their way slowly down towards the highway, but I couldn’t wait for them to possibly reach the highway and I wasn’t dressed to hike up to them. A group of about 10 people had hiked up to them, and the sheep didn’t seem to be bothered at all by them.

Dall sheep on Sheep Mountain, Yukon

Dall sheep on Sheep Mountain, Yukon

Heading back into the clouds – looking east across Christmas Creek at Km 1630.6.

The Alaska Highway at Christmas Creek in February
I love mountains and their infinite moods…

I love Yukon mountains and their infinite moods...

I love mountains and their infinite moods...

This awesome sundog stopped me for a few photos near Bear Creek summit. It was being caused by snow and ice driven off the mountains by the wind.

A sundog near Haines Junction, Yukon

The clouds were broken and the light was beautiful on the way home, but I didn’t take any more photos. Tucker had asked to come up for a snuggle and I didn’t want to disturb him. We got home at 6:15.

I left my backpack on the table when I got home. What a nut! 🙂


So, what has happened with my brain injury? Well, just before Christmas, Brook Bouquot, the daughter of people I know, called and asked if she could come over and do an osteopathic session with me. Absolutely. My body’s reaction to that session, while very negative initially, made me think that osteopathy was a path I needed to follow. Unfortunately Brook wasn’t going to be back in the Yukon for a month, and it felt like weekly sessions were needed, so I sent emails to both osteopaths in Whitehorse, asking to be added to their lengthy waiting lists. I soon got a reply from Lindsay Charron, saying that she’d take me on and see if she could help.

My results from my first 3 sessions with Lindsay were vague. There was nothing I could really put my finger on, but for a couple of days I’d feel “lighter.” Then all of a sudden 13 days ago, literally overnight, I felt better. Not 100% but dramatically better. I cautiously began testing that. Trips to the grocery had been awful – that was now okay. Lunch with friends had to be short – now I could stay as long as I wanted.

My cognitive abilities have largely returned – I was able to go to a meeting about a complicated subject, and understand it. Creative photography is again possible.

For our 12th anniversary, Cathy and I went to The Cut Off restaurant and had a wonderful evening eating a wonderful meal and listening to Steve Slade. I was able to stay for a couple of hours and had 2 beer. This was amazing.


So the drive yesterday was the final test. And my body and my brain showed no negative results. Murray is back.

Although very optimistic, I’m still very cautious about what’s going on. I’m seeing Lindsay for another session today – I still have neurological issues to work on. While I’m still trying to figure this all out, for now I’m going to rejoice at where I am. The past 6 months have changed me, no doubt. I will never forget how dark things got, with a wheelchair beside my hospital bed. Yesterday, though, Cathy booked a rafting trip in Chile for me during our Antarctica cruise in December-January.

Value every day, my friends.



Comments

I’m back – my first good road trip in 6 months — 19 Comments

  1. Oh Murray, I’m so glad that you’re feeling better! Just in time for Spring❤ Looking forward to your posts and pix of your fur kids😁😁

  2. Murray,
    I’m Julie, the owner of Tserber the lost dog. Several people mentioned you to me and I was sent the link to this blog post.
    I wanted to say two things quickly. One is to thank you for looking for him, I won’t give up and it’s people like you who will help me bring him home.
    The second is more personal, I myself had a life changing and debilitating injury/incident about 6 years ago. It changed everything in my life and the road “back,” for me, was to any form of life, definitely not the one I had before. I’m so happy to hear that things are going well for you. It sounds like you’re on your way back to enjoying life for what it is. I know driving through the mountains for me was is bitter sweet, I love being back among them, just not the reason.
    You are truly right, live each day to its fullest as you have no idea what happens next. It sounds like you’re doing a great job if that. Enjoy that trip to Antarctic! That’s going to be amazing.
    Thanks again,
    Julie

  3. I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling better. Here is to continued success o your recovery. Hugs

    • Glad to hear the future is sprouting some happy gazing ahead. Looking forward to a repeat picture of you sitting on a high hill side in the sun amongst the fresh growth of early summer and the two furry friends beside you.

  4. That is amazing news – it was a very, very pleasant surprise as i came looking for the camera lens you use for the auroras for a TA post.
    Being on the road to making these dreams become plans, that have a really good chance of fruition, is always good news.

    and,
    I splurged on a 4K monitor; the pictures of the mountains with blue sky looking amazing.

  5. Welcome back dear Murray…..everybody was really routing for you and here you are ! Take it easy and one day at a time and like spring is close by, you will awaken to a bran new you.
    Maureen

  6. That’s wonderful news Murray. I am so glad that you are much better and will be able to do the things you love

  7. great photos. makes me long for the mountains. sigh.
    i think the canyon creek bridge was built by sam mcgee. i thought it was on one of the signs there. makes a legend real.

  8. Great news Murray, and beautiful photos. You really touch a lot of peoples life with your stories, and your wisdom. Stay well.

  9. OUTSTANDING…!!! I hope the recovery continues to full and continued good health and your usual spring and summer plans press on!

    The photos and little trips are welcomed, more so with the good news about your health that made them possible.

  10. Great to hear Murray!
    Looks like you are finding your way forward. And from the sounds of it, you’ll have plenty of time to get ready for Chile too!

    I will say, the pics made for a great break here at work. It’s been a trying week here where we have been pounded with snow and I have had the flu which has put me behind in the project I am on. A healthy dose to mountains sure went a long way to prepping me for my afternoon of trying to get it all done for next week.

  11. So happy to hear that you’re well on the road to full recovery! Looking forward to seeing lots of new creative photography. Chile has long been on my bucket list of places to see. And a rafting trip sounds like the perfect way to see it!