I stood on a glacier!

I have just returned from an amazing trip to the Yukon. It was a week of non-stop fun and movement! I really did stand and run around on a glacier in the St. Elias mountain range. The trip to the glacier was in a small ski plane with my friend Mike who is just finishing a summer of flying people in and out of the mountains.

Mike, his wife Liz and daughter Isla have been in the Yukon for the summer. I know them from Ottawa but they now live in the Northwest Territories.  I’ve been mulling over the idea of visiting them in the Northwest Territories because it’s not often you have a reason to travel to that part of this country. It didn’t take much for my sights to adjust further west when the opportunity presented itself. Liz and I first talked about the idea in May but due to limited Internet and cell coverage I didn’t hear from her again until July 27. I had put the idea aside thinking it wasn’t going to work out. It took me a day to make arrangements, and my ticket was booked for August 22.

I am grateful that I have the level of physical fitness that I do. I have written about including push-ups and squats into a daily routine. I have covered the importance of participating in cardio activities on regular basis. All of my daily activity opened so many doors for me on this trip. To start with my hosts are 10 years younger than me. We walked, we hiked, we clamoured up and over huge boulders. I kept up with them every step of the way. One of the biggest challenges was climbing in and out of the small plane on the glacier. I did manage to do that without falling head first into a snow patch.

There were other things, like having to use the washroom in the middle of the night. There was no trudging down the hall. No, it was an outside walk to the cabin that held a common kitchen and washrooms. There’s a whole process involved. Getting dressed, finding the headlamp (there was no electricity folks) and the bear spray. I was convinced that the grizzlies were there waiting for me each and every time. I can now report that I did not see a bear in that area. I did see the Northern Lights and a shooting star that was bigger than any other I have ever seen. Getting up in the middle of the night was totally worthwhile!

On my last day in the Yukon we hiked up Sheep Mountain. I can’t tell you how high we got, but I did notice how it became a little difficult to catch my breath after walking up the steep incline. It was fascinating how it felt different from the altitude I am used to. On the flip-side, coming down what we had walked up was a challenge to my legs.  They are still a little sore.

Years ago I defined success for me as “freedom”. I continue to live by that definition. One aspect is physical freedom. To me that means I always want to be in good enough shape/health to do the things I want to do at any given moment. I did everything I wanted to do during this trip without concern or hesitation.

I will admit, I didn’t keep up with my daily push-ups while I was there but I’m back at them now.  On the flight home, I met the most amazing woman from Nunavut. We’re now “friends” on social media. That could be the next trip that I have to be ready for! Anything is possible.


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