Learning, always learning.

This week was a huge learning curve for me, both good and bad. I learned more about myself as an athlete and where I am physically. I also learned a lot about America. I have had my views shifted again on what the United States culturally is like. Finally I also learned what it felt like to be an adult. No, I’m not saying I’m still a boy (although some of you would argue that I still act like a 12 year old) but what it really feels like to have adults concerns and worries. I’ll explain.

 On Monday evening I picked Lauren up from the Airport, she had been down in Colorado at her Brothers graduation, we came home and had a nice dinner, relaxed then went to bed. Around 11:10pm I was awoken to Lauren coughing and gasping for breath. Long story short, I took her to the ER.

She wasn’t having an asthma attack, it just appeared like that. She was suffering from Croup, a children’s virus that rarely appears in adults where the throat is constricted and closes the airway. No amount of puffer was going to help. After two shots of adrenalin and a dose of steroids it finally settled and we were released from the ER at 6:30am the next day. I had 20 min of bad sleep for the whole night. Sitting there worrying about Lauren and hoping things would settle was a scary experience. I was almost utterly helpless in this situation and it was a fairly scary learning experience. Sitting and worrying about someone at their bedside was a new experience I didn’t want to discover. Lauren is going ok now she just has a cold with a lingering cough but nothing too serious.

 

On a lighter, more 12 year old note I have been enjoying one of my favourite pastimes, climbing mountains. Yet still, even though I consider myself to be pretty good at running up hills I’m again getting put back into school. These APU boys who I’ve been training with are just machines up hills and have the ability to keep running when I’m forced to walk or bound. I’m learning to keep running but it’s a brutal learning experience. Still it’s all awesome fun! I’m feeling like I’m putting a lot of good sessions together.

The crew runs off on me as i stop to take a photot
The crew runs off on me as I stop to take a photo.
Beautiful day, 21 degrees but still a marbled layer of ice sits on the lake.
Beautiful day, 21 degrees but still a marbled layer of ice sits on the lake.
Looking back down the South Fork of Eagle Valley.
Looking back down the south fork of Eagle Valley.
Chasing the boys up Indian House Mountian
Chasing the boys up Indian House Mountain.
Running back down the ridge line and as usual getting left behind as i snap away.
Running back down the ridge line and as usual getting left behind as I snap away.

Recently it was Memorial Day here in the US, much like our ANZAC day but without many noticeable events to mark the occasion it was just a holiday on Monday. A lot of people have a three-day holiday and go camping. Lauren had recovered enough that we thought we’d go camping just for a night east of Anchorage near some glaciers. It was spectacular being in these meandering valleys surrounded by rolling hills and mountains with streams and rivers bubbling along. We spent a day scrambling over a glacier in shorts and T-shirts it was just so warm. To me this was the real Alaska summer I had in my mind, endless forests and wilderness as far as the eye could see.

Roading tripping along the Glen Highway.
Roading tripping along the Glenn Highway.
Ice.
Ice.
Possibly the heart of the glacier? A waterfall appears out of the Ice wall and pours into a glacial lake at the bottom.
Possibly the heart of the glacier? A waterfall appears out of the Ice wall and pours into a glacial lake at the bottom.
Adventuring through the rivers and ridges of the glacier
Adventuring through the rivers and ridges of the glacier
On Matanuska Glacier.
On Matanuska Glacier.
Road trippin
Road trippin’ with the glacier visible in the distance.
Road trippin
Road trippin’
Our little camp spot beside the little Nel China River.
Our little camp site beside the little Nel China River.
Dinner sitting on the river stones
Dinner sitting on the river stones warmed by the sun.

Sadly my fellow human beings and their idea of camping shattered my serenity and tranquility. Lauren and I had pottered out in our car and pitched a small tent beside a stream. Everyone else that was taking the opportunity to have a holiday in the wilderness had just brought the city with them. No one was camping, everyone had brought huge camper homes and RV’s and towed behind were quad bikes and All Terrain Vehicles (ATV). It was like a scene from a Mad Max movie, these machines just ripping around the forest and roads causing destruction and chaos. No one was hiking or walking if it wasn’t wide enough for a vehicle they either knocked down trees till it was or they just didn’t go that way. Not my idea of respecting  the fallen or an accurate representation of what Memorial Day should be. It was a pretty disgusting experience and although I loved camping and adventuring with Lauren I think next year I’ll pick my weekend camp dates a little better or find another area where hiking is the main mode of transportation.

ATVs
ATVs
I love how the tent has been set up on the trailer in this picture.
I love how the tent has been set up on the trailer in this picture.
These are the some of the ATV camp sights in basically abandoned quarries.
These are the some of the ATV camp sights in basically abandoned quarries.
ATVs driving along the side of the road
ATVs driving along the side of the road

Still, Summer in Alaska continues to be amazing and sunny and I’m loving life!

Train hard, Rest easy, Live for the moment.

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