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Sometimes the road trip can be as fun as the actual trip

by Matt Johnston

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Sometimes the road trip can be as fun as the actual trip by Matt Johnston

Sometimes the road trip to your trip can be just as exciting and memory filled as the actual trip. I found this to be trip the summer I was suppose to go hiking in Kluane National Park in Yukon Territory, Canada. But my story begins long before I even left for my trip.

I wasnít going to leave for my trip until late June, so I was working as a summer camp counselor for my dad for two weeks. The first week I found myself getting really tired, really fast. I mean I would get out of bed, eat breakfast, and be ready to sleep again. This was unusual for me and I was also getting a throat infection at the same time. Just for precaution sake, I went to a walk in clinic to get checked out. The doctor there said it was only a throat infection and he gave me some medicine. OK, so I am fine right? Wrong. During my second and supposedly last week at the camp I still wasnít getting better. This time I went to my real doctor to get a good diagnosis. Well his diagnosis wasnít good, he said I had mononucleosis, mono, the dreaded kissing disease. That is something that every school boy wants to get because it puts you out of commission for about a month. But my problem was that I didnít have a month, I had a week. I called up the leader of my trip and told him the situation. He said that if I was better in about a month that I could catch a ride with the person who was dropping off the food for the first food drop. It was either that or no trip at all.

The next month was torture. My parents wouldnít let me do anything but sit inside all day long. That would be fine in some circumstances, but I was at a rural summer camp, people running everywhere doing fun things, and I was stuck inside with nothing but one TV channel. Letís just say I got cabin fever really fast. Finally the end of the month came, I was better, so I started my journey. I retraced the path that my group had taken about three weeks ago. I flew from Chattanooga, TN, where I live, to Memphis, St. Paul, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and finally Whitehorse, the capitol of the Yukon territory. The next morning at 6 am I got in the fifteen passenger van along with the driver and food and proceeded to drive for about three hours. We met my group which had stayed in a town because of boot problems, the leaderís boot had basically lost itís sole. It was great to see everyone again, I knew three of the guys and only one person was new. The five of us got back in the van and drove for about three more hours and got dropped off on the side of the rode, literally. The Kluane Wilderness Reserve was sitting in front of me waiting for me to start my trip.

The rest of the group was use to the weight of the packs, they had been out for fourteen days before I showed up, but I survived. We hiked up the mighty Donjeck River, which looked like chocolate milk, and onto Wolverine Plateau. My leader kept saying that I would be able to see the range from up top, but when we got there we were in the middle of clouds. Two days later, one week into my trip, I finally go to see the range, and it was beautiful and big. We hiked around for a total of twenty two days and during that time I saw the most beautiful place ever. We were on a prairie about 6,000 feet high, when all of a sudden it began to slop downward into a huge valley. The valley was inclosed by huge snow-capped mountains and the "creek" that ran in the middle of the valley was big too. I just stood in awe of this place all night. I could tell you of so many memories of the hiking part of the trip, but there is still plenty to tell of the roadtrip.

We hiked out of the mountains and onto the Alaskan Highway, and a Cafe. The van was going to meet us there later that day, so we had plenty of time to relax listening to music and eating the best hamburger I have ever had(I donít know if that was because of the trail food or if it was really that good). We got picked up at 8 that night and drove all the way back into Whitehorse, arriving at 2 am. Our motel reservations werenít until the next day and we didnít want to spend the money, so the public park gazebo was our home for the night. The next morning brought our first big shot of society in a long time and things that we had been craving like Dairy Queen Blizzards and all you could eat buffets were at our fingertips. Lunch was decided to be an all you can eat Chinese buffet and since we had walked for three weeks, we decided to walk to the restaurant. It was a little ways away, but the suspense made it that much more enjoyable, until we go there and found out it was closed. This posed a problem, we were all hungry and wanted lots of food. Pizza Hut was the next best option, so we started to walk, all the way across town. But that pizza did taste good.

The upcoming night provided the most memorable night of my life. We went to see the 9 oíclock show of Die Hard 3 in the movie theater. It was an all right movie, except all the Canadians didnít get the American jokes, especially the ones about Hillary Clinton. After the movie was over we went back to our hotel where a wedding reception had been going on for a good while. I will tell you that this wedding was the most alcohol filled reception I have ever seen. But that didnít bother us because a very, let me stress very, intoxicated individual invited us into the reception. Everyone was either drunk or getting there, so we thought why not. We chose a table in the back by the buffet, that buffet soon became our supper for the night. This may not have been a strange scene except that we werenít dressed for the occasion. I was in shorts, T-shirt and a baseball hat. They others were dressed about the same, save one. He was wearing green army pants with silver studs on them, combat boots, a black motorcycle shirt and a shaved head. Donít get me wrong, he is a great guy, he was just really out of place at the wedding. People soon started to look at us and point, wondering who we were. But I donít think they minded, they were to drunk to even care. The motorcycle dressed guy then tried to get a dance with the bride, but she said that she was dancing with a flowergirl, so he go rejected. Later my leader began talking to a local guy just sitting outside the reception. As the conversation went along we found out that he was crashing the party too. Whitehorse is a strange place.

This ended my stay in Whitehorse; we left the next morning to start home. It was still almost a week before I got home and that provided plenty of time to make even more memories. But I feel that I will stop my story now and let you begin your own roadtrip.

About the Author

You can contact Matt Johnston for more information.


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