Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mad props to Dea

Dea prepares for the 11-mile trudge out of Tolovana Hot Springs

The howling wind swirls millions of snowflakes around the tiny cabin. Occasional gusts make our warm refuge shudder vigorously as we anticipate fragments of the structure beginning to peel away with each successive blow. The cold and driving snow surreptitiously creep into our warm sanctuary through any available gap. This was another epic trip for some of our group out to the springs about a 100-miles north of Fairbanks.

I was accompanied by my friend Dea on this recent excursion. Dea is still patiently waiting for a kidney transplant. In the meantime she is into her third year of linking herself up to a dialysis machine which acts as a surrogate kidney that removes waste products from her blood and excess fluid from her body. If she misses even one of her tri-weekly treatments she would not be here with us today.

Dea's motivation to rise each morning and live a normal lifestyle under the difficult circumstances she is challenged with everyday is unequal to anything I can possibly imagine. She is out experiencing a life that is unfathomable to other dialysis patients. This past weekend...her passion for adventure gave her the endurance to plow through shoulder high drifts, post hole for hours through crotch deep snow, and brace herself against howling winds and subzero wind chills. Its difficult for me to express in a series of words the admiration I have for this very special person in my life.

The high-noon sun reflects from the surface of hot water

Frost feathers illuminated in the mid-day sunlight.

After the storm - a portion of trail on Tolovana Dome I effortlessly skied down which was broken by Dea and the others.

11-miles later after arduously breaking trail and being buffeted by 50F below wind chills. Dea made it back to the car with a big smile on her frosted face. She is truly an inspiration for all of us that have the pleasure to share our lives with her...


Brian Jackson said...

Amen to everything you wrote Ed. Dea is an absolute animal!

Lisa Kiwi said...

Aaah Ed, tears to my eyes! What a wonderful post. I can just feel your energy, Dea's too, and the whole groups. Excellent times. Thanks for posting!

Lisa Kiwi said...
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Karen Travels said...

Great post!!

Dano Kiwi said...

Awesome post, Ed, and fantastic job getting out to Tolovana Dea! You guys are inspirational. Arohanui.

Jules said...

yeah we all always have that option to turn around and wait out the bad weather... hard to image living without that option. special people in special places. glad to see you acknowledging it all.

life is good down here, but i sure do miss the skiing and my ski buddies. and Ed you'd be proud of me - i do actually miss the cold air. I think I can appreciate your obsession with cold weather more now that i'm in mildville usa.

i will be very homesick on Christmas - would love a long ski around the goldstream and then dinner at Ed's. Miss all you guys -

Ida said...

I like your blog and I envy all the things you and your friends get too see during your trips. I wish I had the motivation to get out there too. I should because we have some astonishing nature here in Sweden as well!

Beautiful pictures too!

take care! / Ida

Storm said...

People in France tell that the North is really cold ( where I live ) . When I see your pictures, I know they're wrong ;)

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