It’s a long way to go (but it’s worth it)


When our first daughter was married she went to live in the Yukon. It seemed very far away from our Vancouver Island home, and the next summer when we drove there to visit, we discovered indeed it was — some  2500 kilometres away. Yukon is in the northwestern corner of Canada. It’s sparsely populated, is the home of Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest mountain, as well as the world’s largest non-polar icefield (Kluane). The terrain is mostly boreal forest.

Where we drove, the climate was considered to be subarctic and for a time as we made our way over the ‘Top of the World’ Highway between Yukon and Alaska, we were in the tundra. I would never have broken off any of the plant life to bring home, but near the roadside I found this tiny three inch twisted bit of branch with dried miniature leaves. I still have it thirty years later.

Yukon Root

(To enlarge, click on photo)

I caught my first view of the Northern Lights in the Yukon, and heard my first wolf howl. All of the Yukon scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, but that Top of the World Highway was spectacular. It’s not my photography, but this video will give you a brief taste of what we saw.

The vast wilderness was almost overwhelming. We could drive for an hour and never see another vehicle, person or building. Reaching our destination was an exercise in faith. But it was so very worth it.

There is a writing analogy here. This is November 1st and many writers are undertaking NaNoWriMo — the quest for 50,000 words in thirty days. For novelists who find that total daunting, the journey is one of faith. Yes, it’s a long distance, but if there’s no start made, there’s no destination reached. We have to make the commitment, step on the accelerator, and be prepared for a wild ride.

I won’t be working from scratch this November, but have a revision I need to finish, and it’s a challenge. NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity to hunker down and focus on making my words better. What’s your goal for November?


“The freshness, the freedom, the farness…”
[Robert Service]

~  ~  ~


8 thoughts on “It’s a long way to go (but it’s worth it)

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Great analogy! As the Chinese proverb says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Some of us are not good at the step by step, long haul slog. Power to you and all those undertaking NaNoWriMo this year.

  2. Shari Green says:

    “There’s a land–oh, it beckons and beckons–and I want to go back, and I will.” The spell of the Yukon is a very real thing…

    This is a great NaNo analogy! And it also makes me want to get back to a certain novel of mine…but first, the beachy book! Hoping to power through much of my revision during November.

  3. elderfox says:

    Not working in NNWO this time but am doing some writing re Harrison & Cera & rereading my “how to” books ect. Haven’t given up yet..but it hasn’t been easy bein’ me lately. Have even been thinking of restarting the blog, but will probably just restart the journal…even though my handwriting has gone to ”ll ina hand basket. Keep well m’dear friend. mE

    am so looking forward to Shari & you finishing!!!

  4. pastordt says:

    VERY COOL VIDEO. Thanks, Carol. I’ll settle for looking at that 2 minutes of beauty, though. I would not survive being that remote or that twisty. (I have a friend from CA who came from Canada and moved back there – to Vancouver Island, actually) when she remarried and she and her husband recently took their motorhome up that road, writing a travel journal with one or two pictures each night of their trip. It was spectacularly gorgeous, with lots of lakes on the way.) You’re not doing this monthly thing this year are you? Having just finished 31 days, I’m DONE for a while. Love your banner picture, too, Carol.

  5. Darlene says:

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I have not committed to NaNoWriMo but my goal is to write 3 more chapters in my next children’s book. I am a slow writer and still work full-time so that is a realistic goal for me.

  6. Carol says:

    Judith, thanks for that reminder. One step at a time is the only way any of us gets ahead. Some just seem to be able to walk a little faster than others. Most times I’m a plodder. 🙂
    Shari, I’m still hoping we’ll get back there one more time.
    Earlene, I know you’ve had a tough year, but I’m glad to hear Harrison and Cera are still on your radar. Keep at it and you’ll get their story finished.
    Diana, yes, I’ve *sort of* committed myself to NaNo… doing this revision rather than writing new words. Your 31 days project was a huge commitment and you’re entitled to a break now.
    Darlene, good writing to you. I have no doubt you’ll get those three chapters done.

  7. joylene says:

    We haven’t been on this highway since 1999. Seems like yesterday in some respect. Beautiful, breathtaking views, accompanied by an eerie isolation. Great pics, Carol.

  8. Thanks for sharing your experience with this trip. The writing journey is often a long one although not so lonely since the birth of the Internet.

    I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. Never have and maybe never will. My schedule is too tight, and I don’t need the stress. With two books releasing soon and another book in the works, I have my hands full.

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