These days I was thinking about why I was doing this trip and what had happened the last years. So I looked it up and on Dec 11, 2012 I had my first major surgery for cancer. At the time of diagnosis that was threatening , not only to me but the whole family.
And although I had professionally taken care of many cancer patient over the years myself this felt totally different.
Anyway – 5 years later I am still alive and doing well but during these 5 years I have gone through another 2 major and many more minor surgeries , not to name radiotherapy , chemotherapy etc. Each one of these treatment fortunately went well (as a surgeon I can tell that that’s not always the case) and the last PET scan just now showed no evidence of tumor.
So why am I sharing this at all ? This medical history of course goes along with other major changes that finally led to the decision to do this trip now instead of waiting any longer like for retirement or so. Of course when your out of business for a longer period others who are still in business will take advantage of you not being there – so that’s what also happened to me. I don’t blame anyone – it is my personal problem to have trusted in these people in the first place – I probably should have known better. Finally I decided not to continue as I had for all these years but rather cut at this point and do what I had been dreaming of and what kept me going through all the treatments and all the hard times. I should mention that of course one other major thing that kept me going was my family, my son and all the real friends around me !
But just for myself this trip is it. I had been dreaming of Alaska ever since I was a kid – so now I was there and I loved it. Unfortunately the circumstances did not allow to stay longer – so I will have to come back soon, probably in winter to experience another aspect and to do dogsledding and other great things.
So here I am on this somewhat special day in Death Valley NP driving to Saline Valley because Suzanne Stirling who I met on the parking lot in Quincy, CA had told me that it was a great place to visit.
I can tell you that she was perfectly right ! I get there after a 3 hours drive in partly bad gravel and washboard . It´s an oasis amidst the desert. There are hot natural springs and everyone is soaking naked (never seen that before in the US) . there is lot of room for camping and enjoying the remote and very special place. Most people I talk to come here regularly. There will eventually be events here on Thanksgiving or Chistmas.
So I sit in the pool for hours watching the sun go down , watching an incredible sky and enjoy this special day at a special place.