The Good, the Bad and that’s Life!

Iditarod Tr Seward

It’s a lot easier to write about sunny days filled with blue-green water and purple mountains than to write about the other less pleasant times.  This past week was filled with bad weather and pain, hubby’s physical pain and my emotional challenges.

It started with the rain in Seward, one week ago.  Bone chilling buckets of water forcing us to stay inside.  Then the wind blew howling in off the bay.  The problems with David’s shoulder were worsening; he’s constantly rubbing his shoulder and arm with pain on his face.  On Monday, he finds me at the library and we head to the Steward general store that’s selling Alaskan style rainproof coats for 50% off.  Our Tennessee rain jackets were not doing the job!  Then we drove to Exit Glacier to see the national park.

husband in new coat Exit Glacier

Posing at Exit Glacier in the new waterproof jacket.  (Feeling good at that moment.)


City park next to our campsite in Seward.

rain in seward

View 0n Monday from the Casita in Seward


Breaking camp rain-free is a blessing and we are heading toward the Chugach National Forest and Portage Valley.  A side trip to the town of Hope provides some scenic vistas.

road to Hoperoad to Hope

The Williwaw campground honors our senior pass thus costing $9 for the night. Hubby grills halibut, shooing off mosquitoes with one hand and holding his shoulder with the other, all in the pouring rain.

This is no fun!  There’s lots of hiking trails here and wonderful new plants to see in the forest but we pack up and head out trying to find warmer, drier weather.  And it’s become apparent that medical help is needed as the pain just keeps getting worse.

Wednesday is just awful!  Some comfort sounds good after the days of cold and wet and we opt for a site with an electric hookup in Anchorage.  Ship Creek RV Park is in downtown and the helpful work-campers recommend an orthopedic clinic.  We unhook and David tries to drive while I read road signs and interpret directions to the doctor.  It’s a nerve-wrecking trip as the pain has increased to an unbearable level.

The doctor gives him steroid shots and prescriptions for pain pills, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers.  The shots do nothing to ease the pain and he is walking out the door in the same distress.

This is where I am just about to lose it.  Over 5,000 miles from home and trying to care for someone I love in the tiny trailer!

(I hesitate to elaborate on this unpleasantness….but decide to keep it in the story as it’s the truth, though not pretty.)

The next two days are rest days for him and chore days for me with laundry and grocery shopping.  And I learn how to navigate Anchorage using the voice directions on my smarter –than-me phone.Anchorage downtown

downtown Anchorage

Flower beds in downtown Anchorage.


traveling small

Smart Car and trailer that caught my eye…envious of their gas mpg!

All the meds seem to be working…..not working great but he’s in much less discomfort.  By Saturday we are heading toward Denali National Park and Fairbanks.  The weather forecast for Fairbanks looks much, much better.  Maybe some sun and warmth will help the patient.

Talkeetna is about a hundred miles north of Wasilla and there’s several campgrounds there.  We arrive and flee the town within 45 minutes!  Can’t drive as the tiny town is full of people in the streets… After all, it is still the holiday weekend.

New plan is to spend the night on the side of the road.  We love the price and after 3 nights of $36, we feel like economizing.

Crossing a bridge, we notice several small motorhomes on the river’s gravel bar.  With a little exploring and a lot of guts (or stupidity to travel such a bad road) we arrive at our new boon docking site.

I’ll let the pictures tell this story.  This is the Susitna River, 5 miles north of Talkeetna.




The tiny bird on the gravel bar is really not so small.  He’s one of two bald eagles that are fishing the river.


We enjoyed watching the eagles and the local kids on their 4 wheelers

Sunday we arrive at Denali National Park…there’s no campsites available so we head back down the road and pull over with other RV’ers 

Pull over on the Parks Hwy south of Denali.


Hubby is slowly getting better……the sun is trying to shine and we are taking it a day at a time.  Thanks to everyone for the support!   

Posted from site B-40, 12:30 PM, Denali National Park


  1. Oh my Lord....bless your hearts. I was hopeful the steroid shots just taking a bit to kick in and ease that pain. My biggest fear of being off far way with one of us ailing. Did they think there was a tear...we just went through that surgery. Hopeful rest might help...a sling so he doesn't aggrevate it anymore? Did they offer any stretches maybe...

    Interesting you can find spots to dry camp along the road...nice catch on the river. Sure the times you drop the dime and get electric is like a dream.

    I'm off to check your forecast..weather is sure messing things up for so many...sure we'll get a real sense of that soon.

    May things brighten up for you...xxoo

    1. We really enjoy camping outside of the normal campgrounds. In Alaska the law says you can stop anywhere on the side of the road and stay overnight unless it is marked "no overnight stays".

      They did not offer any stretches but said that he could have physical therapy.....still considering that possibility. Things are better!

  2. Wow, Lynne... the most gorgeous scenery imaginable -- combined with wind, rain, cold -- and pain. My heart goes out to you and David. Hope it's all good from now on.

    You are becoming an intrepid boondocker. You won't be afraid of anything when you get home, will you? :)

    Yes, the gas mileage on that tiny car and trailer is great... but can you imagine weathering a freezing downpour in it? I'll go for the comfort (and the furnace and the stove) of the Casita any day!

    So very glad to hear that David -- and the weather -- are on the mend! Hope it continues to get better.

    1. I don't know about fear and home. Things are so different in the West (and northwest.)

      I always feel very safe when there's a half dozen of rigs parked around me.

      Thanks for the good thoughts ....we are enjoying the Park.....even if it's raining again.

  3. So sorry for all the pain and aggravation. But, just think how much better you have it than all those pioneers settling Alaska a century ago.:-) Seriously, hope David is feeling better and the weather conditions improve for you. Really like your new campsite. I'm taking notes of the places you stop. Next year, hopefully..

    1. Hope you can go next year! Our pain saga is a testiment of why one should not wait too long to experience this majesty.

      We are in the Riley Creek campground at Denali Park.....$11 a night with the senior pass. John S is around the corner from us!

  4. Oh my, oh my. What a trip with a variety of adventures. Understand the hurt in David's shoulder, I pulled a tendon away from the bone in my right shoulder last August. Hopefully, with the return of some decent warm weather, his shoulder will improve and the pain will lessen.

    1. You did not seem to be in too bad of shape when we met you last September......how long did it take to heal? I think this all started when he possibly pulled something.

      Thanks for the good wishes...it is better now.

  5. So good to meet you today. Looks like I'm bobtailing back to Fairbanks tomorrow for more dog medical supplies.

    1. John, it was also great to meet you, BJ and Turk and we are both sad that poor Turk was attacked.

      Drive safely today!

      We just reserved 3 more nights here.....love this place!

    2. Glad to hear you got some additional nights. Hope you get some sunshine soon!

  6. Lynn, thanks to Tinycamper's blog, I was able to find your blog and follow you on your journey. Your pictures really bring everything to life and gives me something to dream about seeing once I retire and can travel more.

    I am sorry to hear about David's medical issue but glad you blogged about it because we need to be prepared for such events when traveling.


  7. Hey. It is so good to hear from you....and thank you very much for the blogging support. I did not know if I should discuss what is really, really happening!

    Are you Cynthia A. M. or another Cynthia? That sounds real stupid but....just wondering?

    Tiny Camper is such a gem, isn't she!

  8. Lynne,
    Yes, I am Cynthia A.M. There seem to be an issue with my account and how it will let me sign in.
    As for Tiny Camper, she is an inspiration to us all. I am always amazed at the projects she undertakes and masters. I hope as soon as I recover from my knee surgery and husband for shoulder surgery, I can venture over to her side of the state and do come camping together. There is a number of plants I want her to teach me to identify.

  9. Lynne...Wow...so sorry to hear David is still having problems with his shoulder..sure puts a damper on the enthusiasm of the adventure...I appreciate you telling us your camping spots...I'm taking notes...Hopefully the sun will break out and the Meds. will kick in...take care...Horst

    1. Thks...we see some blue skies this am, pain has lessened.
      Typing on the tiny keyboard....smart phone....best can do for moment.

  10. Hoping David's shoulder will be much better soon!! Never good to be in pain...sending a happy thought your way!
    Your pics of the Alaska scenery is just amazing!! Mike and I are enjoying following along...one day, one day!!

    1. So pleased that you are enjoying the posts!
      Hope you can get up here.....our time is getting shorter....must return some day.