On Saturday we headed back out to our berry covered wilderness, and gathered more cranberries! There were way more where we stopped this time, and some of them were ripe. You know, we were better off picking them when they weren’t quite ripe. Ripe cranberries are as delicate as wild blueberries! Easy to squeeze and mush. We picked around those ones, and ended up with a decent haul!

More than a cookie sheet – this time we used the lasagna pan to get them into the freezer!

Mmmmm look at how beautiful!

On Sunday, we loaded up the trailer and headed for Whitehorse. A doctor thought it would be a good idea now that I’ve had cancer, to take a look see in my colon, and why not an endo/gastric scope to check out the top plumbing at the same time.

Since we have a trailer now, we decided that camping sounded way more enjoyable than three nights in a hotel so we took Hank and headed south.

Usually the drive to Whitehorse is 5.5 to 6 hours. But hauling this trailer is super costly on our gas mileage. Going just 90 km/hr for better mileage meant the trip was over 7 hours. At least the weather was gorgeous!

We stayed at the Takhini Hot Springs Campground north of town. Nice and quiet and private with places to hike and hot springs to soak in.

I got to do none of those things. On Monday I started the colonoscopy prep. Haven’t had the pleasure? Well I was given two packages of crystals. I was to mix the first package with water at noon on Monday, and the second 6 hours before the procedure on Tuesday. I was not to eat anything on Monday, or before my 11am scheduled time slot on Tuesday.

The crystals weren’t just a laxative. They had “purge” in the name. It came with instructions to drink 3-4 bottles of Gatorade in the 4 hours after the dose. Want me to skip the details? HA that doesn’t sound like me though, does it?

Well it really wasn’t that bad. Not eating was weird, because eating is a bit of a habit. Grabbing a snack or thinking of what to prepare for lunch or supper. Nope, no food for me. For a day and a half!

Two hours after the first dose, the “purging” started. It really wasn’t bad. There was no cramping like I would expect with a laxative. Just several trips to the bathroom to expel very liquidity … everything. It left me cold and tired. I stayed by the trailer and read a book and listened to the radio, while Jeff went shopping, did errands, and later did some nice scenic hikes with Hank.

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Hilltop Trail

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On Tuesday morning, I was up early for my second dose, then stayed up drinking all my blue Gatorade. They specifically said not to drink red or purple. I soon saw why.

They say you are ready for the colonoscopy procedure when you are expelling clear yellow liquid. But with the blue Gatorade, it was green. Very green. haha!

Jeff dropped me off at the hospital a couple of hours before the procedure, so they could start getting me ready.

That meant registering me as a day surgery patient, getting me a “stall” in their staging area, and getting into a gown, and head netting.

Next came the IV insertion. Guess what. It didn’t happen. I let them know I can be a tough one to successfully poke. They got the vein light, wrapped and heated my arms, and then started poking.

After two failures, they said they’d wait and let the anesthesiologist to do it. They took off my socks and took a peek at feet and ankles. They found a few veins that excited them, and said the IV was likely going to go in my foot. Uhm… WHAT!?

Luckily the anesthesiologist is a bit of a vein whisperer. He worked his magic, put the band super tight around my arm, let me hand hang, cleaned and rubbed it, and got it on the first try in my left hand. YES!

They had me turn on my left side and put a plastic mouthpiece in my mouth and starting giving me the happy juice in the IV. I remember trying to scratch my nose a couple times and my hands were quickly pulled back down. I remember asking some dumb questions, like how far does the scope go down. They said all the way into my stomach and I said “WHAT” and next thing I knew that part was over and I remember moaning with pain in my abdomen. Turns out that was just all the gas they pump you full of to take a peek inside. Next thing I knew, I was being wheeled back to my curtained stall and was brought a muffin and apple juice and was told to let the farts rip!

They had warned me earlier that they may have to freeze my throat for the endoscope and that I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink for 4 more hours. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case, so I could finally eat!

They removed the IV and I got dressed and had to wait a few minutes for the doctor who wanted to see me. She said the colonoscopy showed nothing, all clear, and that my prep work was excellent. Can I brag about that? Hahaha, take her notes and stick them on my fridge?

However she found these polyps at the top of my stomach, and one just below my stomach in my duodenum, well maybe, she wasn’t sure if it was just a bit of a pocket or if it was a polyp. Either way, she had no concern, and said the polyps were the type that antacids cause (uhm, WHAT? Again, who knew that?) Because I’ve had cancer, she took a sample of both for pathology just to be careful and thorough. It’ll be two months until I hear.

Afterwards I had been thinking for two days what my first meal was going to be. We were in the city! I could have almost anything! And all I wanted was one of those little cheeseburgers from McDonalds, the kind you get as a kid, you know, with the processed cheese, pickle slice, onions, and ketchup?

Jeff bought me two. I knew I was supposed to be considered impaired for 24 hours. No driving. No signing of legal documents. I felt pretty normal. But looked at Jeff as I eat that delicious burger and asked him where the second one went. Turns out I was already half done the second! Whew I was hungry!

We went back to trailer for a great afternoon nap. Later we met Jeff’s friend and his wife for wings at a local tavern. I felt okay, but still had some bowel purging issues, if you catch my drift, and now today, a day later, I feel a little off. Probably because I rushed into eating, and ate burgers and wings! Probably not the best idea. Back to toast tonight.

The drive home today (Wednesday) was slow and steady, hauling the trailer, with lots of stops for Hank the knucklehead to pee or pull our arms off as he raced off down a trail.

We saw a gorgeous huge male elk, with his full impressively large antlers climb up on the highway in front of us. He scrambled off before I could get a photo. Then it happened again! Another big male elk and I missed it again.

Then we saw a bear! A grizzly I think! And it wanted to race?

Hank didn’t see the wildlife, and he was plenty bored and restless. He seems to always have to stand on our shoulder belts, or stand on the middle console, or lean on us, or just otherwise be a nuisance.

He was cute at times. He’s just SO WEIRD!

On the way south we noticed the forest fires in the area had really started to spark up again. There were smoke plumes all over.

We heard that Steward Crossing was under a two hour notice evacuation alert and the nearby forest fire was aggressively spreading towards the highway.

Luckily the highway was still open when we passed through, but Stewart Crossing wasn’t sitting idly by waiting for the fire to roll in. There were fire crews all over setting up hoses. It is just a little community, maybe 60 people, a couple hours south of Dawson City. I had always assumed that most of the population works for the highways depot there. All the equipment in the highways lot was being mobilized, graders, dump trucks, it was all out into the parking lot like they were either going to use it or move it all.

We stopped briefly to use the outhouses and it was quite smokey!

That smoke hung thick all the way to Dawson City, where ash is covering everything here. Flakes and chunks of ash too, not just grit.

It looks like a really foggy day in town, but it is not fog.

Hopefully the fire doesn’t hit the highway, or our electricity and internet service will be at risk again!

We got the trailer unpacked and vacuumed out. It is just about time to winterize it. I’m almost sad to see it hibernate. We really like it! It’s is the perfect cottage on wheels!

Overall, not how I would choose to spend a week, but glad the weather was nice for camping. I wanted to sit in a lawn chair and read a book all summer and it finally happened!