Sunday, September 25, 2016

An Overnight Trip That Wasn't - Part 2

Every time we find ourselves in Salmon we stop at Sacajawea.
Salmon is 3 1/2 hours drive from Atomic City, and by the time we get there inevitably we are ready to walk.
This beautiful place is a good place for our pup to wander and for us to wander while enjoying the sight of green, mountains and the river.
The Salmon River and Lemhi River both converge in this place, and every single time I walk here I fall in love with this area a little more.
And so we wandered - reading informational signs that we found regularly along the trails and enjoying the sight of Kory eagerly moving from one new smell to another, nose to the ground as always..................

By the time we had driven to Salmon, done some drive-bys of homes, wandered in a couple of stores, eaten, walked at the Sac Center and met with the lady I needed to meet with it was late afternoon.
We had planned on staying at a campground in Salmon overnight and sleeping in the back of the Tahoe.
Instead (and on the spur of the moment) we made the decision to head back to Challis.
We were meeting with a woman in Challis the next day and also wanted to see a home there was well.
Just one more drive by - just to satisfy our curiosity (as we had in Salmon) regarding homes we had seen on line.
By the time we pulled into the free campground alongside the river just on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Challis, all three of us were very tired.
It had been a good day, but it had been a very long day as well.
Wandering slowly around the campground with Kory while LC gathered some wood for a small camp fire I knew that none of us would be awake too much longer.
We were quickly running out of daylight (and quickly running out of steam)...............

We had used the cushions from an old camper as a mattress in the Tahoe last year, and had been surprised at just how comfortable we had been and how soundly we had slept in the back of our SUV.
On that trip we had all three curled up together and slept well in what we had been worried would be far-too-cramped quarters.
We spread those same camper cushions in the back of the Tahoe on this trip, climbed in just after dark and were grateful to call it a day.................

I tossed and turned for what seemed like a very long time.
Too warm.  The cushion underneath me felt lumpy and bumpy and uncomfortable.
Eventually I fell into a fitful sleep only to be woken by LC climbing out of the Tahoe to use the bathroom.
We both tossed and turned for another long time.
Eventually I fell into another fitful sleep only to be woken by LC climbing out of the Tahoe again to use the bathroom ( least I knew he was well hydrated and usually it was me climbing out for restroom breaks).
After he climbed back into the Tahoe the second time we both tossed and turned.
OK............this was not going according to plan.  Not at all.
Finally (and obviously frustrated) LC sat up and said "let's go home".
My first thought was "No.  The roads are too dangerous to travel at night".
This time of year there was never a week that went by up the valley where at least one vehicle did not hit an elk or deer.
I asked LC what time it was.  Hoping that it was only an hour or two until daylight, I was going to suggest that we just tough it out.
Turning on a headlamp, LC looked at his watch.
OK.  Let's do it.  Let's go slow and let's head home.
We would just have to make our apologies to Sue in Challis...................

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An Overnight Trip That Wasn't - Part l

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been.
I snapped these pictures two weeks ago and downloaded them a week ago.
Right after I downloaded these pictures I took Kory for a walk through town.
As I was walking I realized that I had been unconsciously scratching.
My back.  My upper arm.  My chest.
I thought little of it at the time, and as we continued to wander slowly around town I assumed that I had a couple of annoying bug bites.
That doesn't happen regularly in the desert, but it does happen occasionally.
A few hours after we got home I again felt itchy, walked into the bathroom, raised my T-shirt and was taken aback by what I saw.
I had bright red welts all over my upper stomach.  More on my upper arms, across my entire back, more sporadically on my lower arms and on my legs.
Looking down at my right hand I also had a very warm place on one of my fingers although nothing was there.
What the hell was THIS??
At that moment I assumed spider bites and I was instantly annoyed at getting bitten so badly.
But how could a spider have done THIS and I not be aware of it as it was happening?
I had no idea, but I physically felt fine, and must have been a spider bite...............

I got up the next morning, felt a little feverish but still generally OK.
But my skin felt like it was crawling.
Just a little, but enough for me to pay attention to it.
Walking into the bathroom again I looked in the mirror and was stunned by what I saw.
The welts had gotten bigger.  Redder.  Across my entire upper stomach and my entire back I had huge, angry, bright red welts that consumed most of my skin.
Pulling off my pajamas I took a good look.
My right upper arm was bright red and filled with clear bumps.
The finger on my right hand (that had felt warm the previous day) was now bright red and swollen, and I couldn't make a fist.
I had large and small welts all over my body.................

I had no idea what this was, but I had never had anything like this before, had never seen anything like this before, and had never heard of anything like this before.
I hadn't been to a doctor in...............a very long time.
Even at that moment I wasn't sure I needed to see a doctor, and when we went to town that morning I planned to first stop at the pharmacy and see what they thought.
I supposed that it could still be spider bites, but now I was fairly certain that it was something more..............
We made a quick overnight trip (well..............almost overnight trip) to Salmon a couple of weeks ago.
I had to deliver something related to my occasionally-successful occasionally-quiet small business.
I had to pick up something related to my occasionally-successful occasionally-quiet small business.
And both of us needed - really needed - to be close to trees, mountains and water.
These pictures were taken on the drive up and while we were on the move....................
A few days before the welts mysteriously appeared, my lap top died.
It would work sporadically, but generally had become an unpredictable and pretty-much useless tool.
Before visiting the pharmacy we dropped the computer off hoping against hope that the young computer geeks who always run these kinds of businesses could fix it, instead of us having to buy a new one.................

When the pharmacist saw my upper arm she looked up at and told me I needed to see a doctor.
By that time the bumps on my upper arm had burst and my T-shirt sleeve was damp and I felt like a real mess.
I didn't want to hear that.
Doctors = Stress Reaction.
The doctor mentioned possibly staph infection and possibly impetigo, and since he wasn't sure if I had a bacterial or a fungal infection (it turned out to be a bacterial infection), I was given prescriptions for both creams and oral drugs...............

A week later most of the redness has gone but I still have a little in the two places that were the worst right from the get-go - my upper right arm and right finger.
But I also have two more weeks of drugs to take...................

After leaving the doctors' office LC, Kory and I headed back to the computer store.
It was a dead soldier.
Two days later I bought a new (to me) lap top................

I had made arrangements to meet with someone early that same evening after we arrived in Salmon, and we decided to kill some time by taking a look at a few homes we had found online, grabbing some burgers and then walking at the Sacajawea Center.

We walk here each time we go to Salmon.
Salmon is surrounded by beauty in every direction.
The Salmon River dominates the town (and cuts through the middle of it), but so do the mountains and the town is surrounded by them.
Having said all of that, the grounds of the Sacajawea Center are a beautiful green space just on the outskirts of town.
A place to learn about the history of this area.
A place to walk in natural beauty without having to travel far.
When was sister Lisa was here in May I mentioned the Sac Center, and then commisarated that there was not enough time during their visit to show this place to her.
She recognized the name immediately.
From the movie Night At The Museum.
Was that the same person, she asked?
Smiling I told her yes.
Instantly it took me back to a time when I was a young girl, moving from Australia to Canada.
I had heard of a Canadian singer named Gorden Lightfoot.
I liked his music, and was surprised when we finally moved to Canada and learned that he was white.
I had pictured him as a native Canadian.
Instead, he looked very much like my father at the time, who was a native Norwegian.
I remembered watching Yogi Bear cartoons as a kid, and then being surprised when we moved to Canada that a person by the name of Yogi Berra lived in the US.
And that there was a Yellowstone Park.
I had grown up watching Yogi have adventures in Jellystone.
So yes Lisa.
We were talking about the same Sacajawea from the Robin Williams movie.
Too funny......................     
She had happily eaten small pieces of blue berry muffin on the journey up to Salmon, but had been so excited about the trip that she had refused to drink any way.
It was good to see her climbing gingerly down to a small brook to finally drink as we walked.................
From this distance it really DID look as though the beautiful metal sculpture that I had taken a picture of 15 minutes beforehand was really flying..................
And one more metal sculpture.................
The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season--sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big. The September storms--the hurricane warnings far away, the sudden gales, the downpour of rain that we have so badly needed here for so long--are exhilarating, and there's a promise that what September starts, October will carry on, catching the torch flung into her hand.........Faith Baldwin, Evening Star