Glacier Bay, Alaska

Glacier Bay, Alaska

(author’s note: this story parallels “DADS”. Please leave a comment as to which you like better)

Finding a secure place to put my foot became more challenging. Sandy soil gave way and I had to consciously think to pick up my feet.  Step high, step big. Darn Parkinson’s.  It was not going to spoil this.

Charlie was nearby, and Luke was ahead of us, walking with the young female fishing guide the Inn had recommended for the last adventure before we were to leave Gustavus, and the Glacier Bay area of southeastern Alaska.

 My dad.  He walked by me, passing slow  me on the trail.

 He had been gone for 7 years now, but I felt his presence as strong as the day I last saw him.  December 14, 2014.  The last day I held his hand and stroked his forehead. The day he passed away.

Charlie, I said.  Dad is here.        

Of course he is.  This place was heaven to him.

I just felt him, he walked by me.

Ahead, Natalie paused, she stepped off to the side of the trail, her eyes trained on a spot where the river was wide and shallow.  She had many years experience spotting wildlife, even though she was just 23. She scanned the riverbank, searching for something.   We caught up to her and Luke.

 My dad came here, Natalie, alot.  Two, sometimes three times a year.  He stayed at the Gustavus Inn. A week at a time.

Its closed now.  They owners are trying to sell it.

 He came so often he left his rain gear and his boots here. I wonder if he walked along this river.

 My parents came to the Gustavus Inn every summer. That’s funny. They left their rain gear here too. When I was 15 I started work as a guide.  I wonder if I ever met your dad. 

He was just here I almost said out loud.  I should have introduced him. To meet a pretty young guide would have been the highlight of his trip.

She stepped back on the trail.  We continued our walk along the riverbank and back to the small parking lot where we had met Natalie earlier.

The van that had dropped us off was waiting. We took some photos and I climbed in the front passenger seat.  Our driver was Michelle, one of the family that owned the Bear Track Inn where we were lodged.  She wanted to know all about Natalie and if we would recommend her to other guests.

As we drove away, I looked to the left and saw a white lodge, the Gustavus Inn.  So this is where dad had stayed on many of his fishing trips to Glacier Bay.  I had never seen it in person but recognized it immediately from descriptions and photos.  An older fellow with baggy jeans, wet to the knees and a faded red crew neck sweatshirt sat down on the porch’s rocking chair.  He pulled one boot off and as he dumped water out of it he looked up and out at the road. I lost sight of him and the lodge as the van gained speed on the blacktopped road.

Of course my dad would be here.  Glacier Bay is a fisherman’s heaven.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 (541) 720-4256

4 thoughts on “Glacier Bay, Alaska

  1. Hi Carol. We were neighbors for a while this summer. Our cabin the little one at the corner of Rink Creek Rd and The Dam Road.
    Janie loaned your book and I just finished it. We have quite a bit in common, but I’ll start with Parkinson’s. And Glacier Bay. And COVID 2020. Let me know if you’d be interested in conversing.
    We were at our cabin (fish camp) June 22 to July 18 and probably passed each other on the road.

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