I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.


I figured I’d interview Chip, so he could say for himself what happened last Saturday in the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay. He’s a man of few words.
H: First, how are you?
C: Great. Back home. What’s not to be happy about?
H: What happened?
C:I collided with another rider during the first stage of the race and slammed into the pavement going about 22 miles an hour. I thought I had the wind knocked out of me when I was lying on the ground. Toes and fingers all moved great, my head was okay, I didn’t black out. I was trying to recover, but the bike had been damaged. I thought I had just been banged up a bit. Then I needed help standing and realized I couldn’t walk.
H: I drove you the 130 or so miles from Haines Junction Y.T. down to Haines, and you seemed pretty comfortable in the truck.
C: I knew I was hurt, but I thought I would just go to the clinic get patched up and sent home.
H: Instead we were medevaced to Juneau and spent a few hours in the emergency room there and then we were sent on to Harborview trauma medical center in Seattle. That was quite a 1,000 mile Lear jet ride at midnight on the Solstice.
C: Harborview is the place that nobody wants to go to, but once you are there you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. They are all so competent, so professional, and they have so much experience.
H:What did they do for you?
C:They treated my lung puncture, and the biggest thing was surgery Monday morning with screws and plates to put the pelvis/hip back together. It went great. I was on crutches two days later.
H:What now?
C:I take it easy. Not weight bearing 6-8 weeks. Back to good as new in three months. I’ll be at work a little more each day, three hours or so yesterday, so four today. 
H: Anything else?
C: The staff at the Haines clinic did a great job, and Bartlett in Juneau, and the medevac crews all were just great. Make sure you have medevac insurance. It’s the cheapest 100 dollars you’ll ever spend. It was also good to have all the Haines people pulling for me. It meant a lot. Thank you.
H: Are you going to ride your bike again?
C: You bet. Maybe not so aggressively, racing wise, but I will be training just as hard. Everybody I’ve dealt with has been happy that I was in good shape. That has made all the difference, and it will continue to for the recovery.