Friday, August 8, 2008
Working as a driver on the Klondike Highway, we go many miles between towns, thus without seeing signs of civilization. It's an amazing feeling, living in an area such as this one, so far removed from huge populations as most places we've lived. There's also however, a scary thought that accompanies this awe, a thought that, I believe, most locals have to accept: if anything goes wrong, there most likely will not be anyone to save you. This thought was drilled in pretty well this week when a road worker who had a heart attack in the middle of the Klondike Highway was discovered eventually by a traveler, who then attempted the task of resuscitation only to find the efforts were in vain; the man died. In the middle of nowhere. There was no one there to save him. As tragic as this was, I couldn't help but wonder if the people who accept these positions know that these kinds of situations are possibly around each and every corner. The closest town may be an hour away, but that does not mean they medical staff that can assist. Therefore, rescue may then be sent from 200 miles away. But by the time they reach the problem, it's most likely too late. Even an airplane cannot be dispatched quickly enough. So, I think it's interesting that in more populated areas of the world, people are so heavily reliant on doctors and hospitals- even just the thought of knowing there is a hospital within a few miles provides much needed comfort. But in the Yukon, you don't have time to get to a doctor or hope that someone will find you and save you. If you don't try and save yourself, there's little chance that anyone else will help you any better. It is this acceptance one living here must have, that nature is larger than us. We must surrender to this fact, and realize that although we are powerful, there is none more powerful than Mother Nature. She does not care that you just spent your life savings on this trip to Alaska and the Yukon - it will rain anyways. If you are hiking the Chilkoot Pass, she will not stop the snow from falling in mid-June. Accepting that there's no conquering her is really all we can do in life, particularly for those living in harsh climates of the world.