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To start reading from the beginning, go to May 11, 2008.

Our next stay over was in Whitehorse Yukon
Territory.  I love the country around White Horse and the Yukon into Alaska. It has
been a million years since Donny’s and my trip but I can still feel the
air and smell the pines. I belong there but circumstances and career
choices have kept me away.

At the Whitehorse airport two couples wanting to get to Skagway. There are no commercial flights so were
asking private pilots to take them. They approached my pilot, Donny.
White Horse to Skagway is a mountainous pass through potentially rough
weather but where some pilots might be cautious, Donny was challenged.
The path parallels the famous Chilkoot Pass and the Klondike gold rush.

I stood aside while Donny was apparently negotiating their trip. I was excited about
the detour trip and seeing Skagway until he sauntered over to me to say
he would be taking them and leaving me at the Whitehorse airport
overnight. He would be gone between eight and 10 hours. Having been
approached in my bed the night before by an intoxicated stranger, I
could not believe he was leaving me there in the wilderness to fend for
myself with no place to stay but a rustic airport lounge. My “no big
deal” response to the lecherous event the night before turned to panic.
My panic was uncontrollably expressed as livid anger. When he and I
first left Golovin my Uncle Martin told him to take care of me and bring
me back safe. If Donny respected anyone, it was his father. I surprised
myself with quick thinking that secured my safety by sternly telling
him, “You promised your father you would get me back safely. I’ll tell
him you left me here alone.”

A couple years later, living some 90
miles west of Golovin in Nome, my apartment was attached to a church rectory. The church
rectory was attached to the pastor’s residence. People were always
coming and going in the rectory. One late night a drunken man was trying
to get into my apartment through the outside entrance. I ran out the
inside entrance into the rectory, up some stairs into the pastor’s home.
Dan, my companion from my first trip to Golovin, was house sitting for
the pastor’s family. Dan was watching TV in the living room when I
barged in with white fear on my face. I told him a drunken someone was
trying to get into my apartment. Dan didn’t budge. He calmly made some
comments about a secure lock . . . yadda yadda and got back to the
program I interrupted. His unconcerned response deeply imprinted in my
brain that men don’t and possibly can’t know the vulnerability of women
and wouldn’t be there as a defense. I was instantly jealous of their
ability to maneuver in this world without constantly assessing their
situation as to safety and self-defense. I had to make sure I could take
care of myself before relying on men to protect me.

It didn’t register with Donny the precarious situation I was in last night — that
if not for his presence that man would probably not have accepted my
rejection, especially under the influence. My stern threat of telling
his father, however, caught him a little off guard and he reluctantly
told the two couples he couldn’t fly them after all. After gassing up
the plane we were on our way again, just the two of us.

(to be continued) copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved

Youtube video of commercial jet landing at Whitehorse,
Yukon

Whitehorse

Whitehorse

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