Home on Whidbey is a family blog revolving around Fran, Ed, Brad, Yessi, plus puppy Benton, and our family, travels, friends, neighbors and community. Thanks for reading.


New Zealand is very, very far away.

Mt. Ruapehu

As a mom, it seems natural to me that when one’s child takes off for an adventure, whatever it is, biking around the world, kayaking to Alaska, or trekking New Zealand, a mother’s concern is on high alert. Out of the ordinary travels can trigger unease, but adding long distances away from home, and a mom’s inability to be there for her child, even an adult child, increases the intensity of, “but what if?”.

Despite my lifelong propensity to worry about Brad, I have been largely free of anxiety about his NZ trek. I think of him often; travel by his side vicariously; enjoy researching the places he’s headed for; and even envy his adventure. As a result, I was somewhat unprepared for his call home the other night. Yes, there had been an accident.

Brad had hiked to Mt. Ruapehu for a one night stay. On his way back to Whakapapa Village, after a very cold night, he slipped and slid down an icy slope at a rapid speed, coming to a sudden stop on a rock outcrop. He ripped his clothing, broke both walking poles, seriously burned both arms and wrenched his already sore knee. A nasty accident with a happy spin-off. Construction workers gave him a ride back to the lodge in a helicopter.

A few hours later, and by the time he called home, he was warm, fed, doctored and healing, but very sore. He’d found a seamstress to repair his clothes and was planning to depart early the next day for a three-day canoe trip on the Whanganui River.

I’m left with questions: How is he doing on the river trip? How are his arms healing? How is his knee? Will the accident spoil his trip? In other words, is he ok?

I won’t hear from him again for at least six days.

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