A post from a year ago tomorrow

I apologize for not writing more and I'm trying to fix that. It's not for lack of wanting to, it's for lack of inspiration. I'm still in bed almost all of the time except for about a total of 20 minutes a day, so aside from distracting myself with various lying down activities, not much has been happening. Today I was feeling a little homesick for our property in Alaska, and I thought I'd share this post which was from a year ago and we had just left Tok and were heading home on the Alaska highway...  I'm sure missing those mountains right now and looking forward to seeing them again!

The Alaska Highway in Fall

September 13 2012
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We left Tok around noon on Monday. We got out of town a little later than we had wanted, but we got on the road and that's the important thing. It's always hard to say goodbye. While we were packing up, it started to snow, just lightly and they were big fluffy flakes. It was a beautiful morning and a perfect farewell. 

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It was overcast as we left town... and then closer to the border we ran into... 

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Snow! 

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The border crossing at Beaver Creek (Yukon), which is usually quite fast, was a little slower. Fish & Game had a secondary check point set up to check for people taking fish and game out of Alaska for commercial purposes without a license - which is a very good thing. A lot of people do this apparently and it's harmful in several ways. The agents were all really nice guys, and we were glad to see them there checking people.
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We had a gorgeous afternoon for driving. We drove slow because the scenery was breathtaking. The mountains were clear and snow covered, and we really could not have asked for a better afternoon to drive through Kluane National Park. 

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I've never seen these mountains with any snow, so it was a completely new experience for me, and I loved every minute. It doesn't get much better than getting to see the changing of the seasons in such a dramatic way... the yellow leaves of fall on the trees, and the fresh snows on the mountains and in some places, down lower.

We got to Otter Falls around 9 PM, which is 20 miles East of Haines Junction, and spent the night. They have a nice, reliable campground there.

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By the time we got set up and camped, the dogs were ready for the break from driving, just as much as we were. I tossed together some chili pasta for dinner and read a bit, before we all curled up in bed and fell asleep.

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That night, I woke up in serious pain. This past Saturday, the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, swelled up out of the clear blue. At first I wasn't really worried about it, but by Sunday they had swelled up so much it was really becoming very painful and I could not move my neck. We went into the clinic in Tok and I got checked out. The PA there couldn't tell what was wrong other than the fact I had a lot of swelling. Because we were going down the Alcan, and into no where land after Whitehorse they gave me some penicillin to take if things got really bad, because there are no hospitals nearby for a good stretch of the road.

I had been taking anti-inflammatory meds religiously and that was helping to keep the pain at bay, but Monday it was horrible, my inner ear was killing me and my neck swelled up so bad, even my face on the left side swelled up. It was a little shocking to wake up to. So needless to say, I took pain pills, and put a boiling hot cloth on my neck. I finally got some rest, but Tuesday morning I woke up and started taking the penicillin.

While I was putting things away in the 5th wheel, Kevin came and asked me if we had room for two people in the truck with us. At first I wasn't sure, but we rearranged things to make room. A couple we had seen the night before at the campground, in the office, had broken down and were waiting for a tow since the night before. Since they lived in Whitehorse, and we were going that way anyway, it wasn't out of our way at all and they really wanted to get home, understandably.

So once again, we left a little later, but we were able to help them get home and comfortable. Around 5 PM we made it to our favorite campground in the Yukon, a Government run campground which is in the woods next to a big creek. We camp there almost every year and we have made lots of fun memories there.

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We camped earlier than usual so we could relax, and have a fire. Kevin built a big fire and grilled steaks and I fried up a huge pan of onions. Kevin enjoyed a drink, while I had tea. It was cool outside and I wanted nothing more than a hard apple cider by the fire, but since I'm on penicillin, I had to made due with lemon tea.

After dinner, I made a couple of new friends. The Jays tried to rob us a few times at camp... They tried to take my camera, the dog leads, and one of our sticks. So I thought I'd be nice, even though they did try to steal from us, and offered them a little bite to eat, at least to distract them from our other things...

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Which they happily accepted.

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This morning, we got out of camp early, for once. It rained most of the day and there wasn't much to see. But finally we did see some Buffalo. That was about it though - it was a very quiet day.

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I loved that there was a Raven sitting on the one guys back. There was actually one traveler who stopped his truck and got out of it, and walked over to the buffalo to take pictures. Not smart. We drove on, but hopefully the Buffalo were not in the mood to trample people today.

As we got into the Toad River Valley, things started looking more like fall and less like early winter.

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At Stone Mountain, our trailer brakes started giving us trouble. It was even worse at Steamboat mountain which has a huge grade. We think it's a wiring problem, but we are not sure, so we'll have to work on it in the morning before we head out.

Tonight we are in Fort Nelson British Columbia. It's warmed up a lot, it's about 50 degrees Fahrenheit here, unlike the much cooler temperatures we've had the past two nights. 

Since we have WiFi tonight I was able to check some emails... Apparently one of my ducks got attacked by a raccoon at the farm, but Max, my eldest Great Pyrenees killed the raccoon (thankfully.) However, the duck is injured... it's hopeful he'll recover, but we are not yet sure.

We are going to try and get an early night so tomorrow we can maybe get some laundry done and the trailer brakes fixed before we leave camp. Hopefully we'll make it about 400 miles tomorrow. 

Comments

jaz@octoberfarm said…
i followed your tok time with such interest. rollie doesn't know what he missed. maybe next year rollie! i also remember being so concerned about you having that pain and being in such a remote area. was that when you really started to get bad? what a difference a year makes. i know you are still in pain but at least it is healing pain. we've had rain all day and the cool weather is moving in! i can't wait!
Thanks for the trip to Alaska, it was lovely:) I hope you begin feeling better soon, it's certanly another very long road.
Dreaming said…
Your pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. WOW!
Nadine said…
What beautiful sights! I hope you start feeling better soon i know it must suck having to stay in bed all day.
wendywoo said…
Seeing Alaska has always been a dream of mine, thanks for posting these lovely photos again. A stark, yet incredibly beautiful land. Looking forward to next years pix of it! Keep on healing!
Lana said…
Wow what gorgeous pictures. Camping is the best!! I love being out in nature. I dream of visiting Alaska one day and also seeing the orcas in the sea out there. It is one of my biggest dreams!
My MIL just got back from Alaska. She loves visiting the youngest BIL there.

Beautiful pictures.

Hope you have a happy weekend.
Oh my gosh, these photos are drop dead gorgeous! Those mountains are so majestic and beautiful. I'd love to see something like this in person someday!

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