I AM ONLY ONE .. BUT STILL ..
I AM ONE ..
I CAN NOT DO EVERYTHING .. BUT STILL ..
I CAN DO SOMETHING ..
AND BECAUSE I CAN NOT DO EVERYTHING ..
I WILL NOT REFUSE TO DO THE SOMETHING THAT I CAN DO ..
This writing by Edward Everett Hale changed my life when I first read it on a University of Michigan letter sent to me about fifty (50) years ago. When I get ‘stuck’ .. when I find myself ‘overwhelmed’ .. ‘out-witted and out-matched’ .. I call upon this philosophy and I try to do the something .. I try to do the one thing .. that I can do ..
WHEW ! What on earth can I do at this moment?
I know that there is no possible way that I can write all that I want to write ..
BUT I CAN at least write something just to get myself ‘going again’ after two-some-months away from my web site here.
As I write this Post .. Patti and I are back in Anchorage Alaska. The two of us left our home in the Village of Manley Hot Springs Alaska last Wednesday evening the 4th of December 2013 at 6:45PM in the ‘Pitch Black Dark’ of an Alaskan ‘New Moon’ Winter Night. We were headed initially for Fairbanks Alaska some one hundred sixty road-miles (two hundred and seventy kilometers) away.
On our motor-trip we drove our 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. I have named him Mister R. Richardson Richtoffen. In the first photo below he patiently rests and sleeps as he waits for us in our driveway.
Below is a second photo of ‘Richtoffen’ as he sits in front of our Manley Hot Springs Village Medical Clinic and Laundromat. In the back we have a full (75-inches long) twin-bed mattress upon which we can stretch full-out and sleep really well! As part of our ‘survival gear’ we have an extremely warm, extra-long, down-filled, arctic sleeping bag with pillows and down-filled booties to keep our feet warm when sleeping as we travel.
Since we could not take photographs during the dark-of-night .. I wanted to show you what the road looks like during the ‘very dim daylight’ of an Alaskan winter day.
Below is a close-up photo of the shrubbery to the right of the road in the above photograph.
I snapped the below photo of the road last October on my way out to Manley Hot Springs before the winter snow began to fall in earnest.
The drive into Fairbanks took us about six hours to complete. On a zero-to-ten winter rating scale .. it was a nine or close to ‘as good as it gets’ considering it is winter. In terms of an absolute scale based upon summer/winter/spring/autumn I would rate the drive as a four. If you have a problem in the winter .. especially during the night time .. YOU HAVE A PROBLEM believe me. When we left, the temperature was about ten degrees below zero ( -10 F or -23 C) which is cold enough to cause a major life-threatening (you could freeze-to-death) health problem IF you were to lose your engine heat. For this reason you carry survival-gear with you at all times so you can ‘bundle-up’ if you do lose your engine heat.
The ‘bottom line’ is simply this: driving one hundred and sixty miles in the dark of night with a – 10 F temperatue is-not-for-everyone!
About sixty miles from the Village of Manley Hot Springs is Ptarmigan Pass. The below photograph shows what Ptarmigan Pass looks like in the ‘winter-daylight’.
This word Ptarmigan comes from the name of the Alaskan State Bird .. the Willow Ptarmigan.
About ten or so miles beyond Ptarmigan Pass Patti and I had a ‘little drama’.
We suddenly encountered a section of road with severe wash-boarding. Going downhill my speed had ‘crept-up’ a little too much and when I encountered this wash-board section of roadway suddenly I lost control of my Chevrolet Suburban truck!
With no warning what-so-ever .. suddenly the rear of my truck swung violently to my left and I thought .. “We are going into the left ditch!”.
As I instinctively ‘counter-steered’ my truck to the left to attempt to avoid this fate (going off the road into the left ditch) my steering-over-correction caused us to then swung violently to the right and I thought .. “We are going into the right ditch!”
Again .. with absolutely no-thought-whatsoever .. I instinctively ‘counter-steered’ my truck (this time to my right) and suddenly we were in-the-middle of the road pointing straight and the crisis was over.
I am talking about a FRANTIC FIVE SECONDS!
Left .. Right .. Straight .. end of crisis!
My heart was racing and my legs and my arms were shaking and Patti was happy that she was not driving the truck. Two brand new ‘pucker marks’ were added to the front seat of ‘Richtoffen’.
“That was that Baba Kaps?” .. Yep!
We two arrived into Fairbanks about 2AM Thursday morning.
(What’s that you say Manley readers? The math doesn’t add up! When we got to the junction of the Elliott Highway with the beginning of the Dalton Highway and turned right to head for Fairbanks .. we pulled into the long truck pull-off on the right a few miles up-the-road and we stopped. I got into the back of our Suburban and I SLEPT for about an hour. I needed to rest and settle-down and re-focus before driving the next eighty miles into Fairbanks!)
Then last Thursday the 5th of December Patti and I headed south down the Parks’ Highway for Anchorage.
En route south to Anchorage we stopped in Nenana Alaska (one hour south of Fairbanks) and we visited the offices and the staff (Rick and Kathy) of Radio Station KIAM located at 630 on the AM Radio Dial .. The Voice for Christ Radio and Ministries.
Below is a photo of our sweet little church in Manley Hot Springs Alaska.
Tick-Em-Off. Tick-Off my friendly places and land-marks on the three hundred and seventy five mile (625 KM) road south from Fairbanks Alaska to Anchorage Alaska. Nenana/Healy/Denali National Park/Cantwell/The Veteran’s Monument/Talkeetna Junction/Nancy Lake/Willow/Houston/Wasilla/Anchorage.
Patti drove the leg from Nenana to Cantwell while I SLEPT in the back of our Suburban. By this point-in-time we were again in the ‘pitch black’ dark-of-night as I drove from Cantwell to Talkeetna Junction where both Patti and I SLEPT for a full hour. Then I drove two plus hours into Anchorage.
We encoutered some freezing rain and poor visibility en route and we counted four vehicles off the roadway in the center median and off in the ditches beside the Parks’ Highway.
We two were pretty well exhausted by the time we got to our condo here in Anchorage about 10:30PM the evening of Thursday the 5th of December. As I write these words we two are still pretty tired.
Well That-Is-That! Not bad at all for ‘starters’.
Smiles from Cap and from Patti.
- TURNAGAIN ARM OF COOK INLET .. A TIDAL ‘ BORE TIDE ‘ ..
- OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN ..