Life's better when it's fun. Boy, that's deep, isn't it?
~ Kevin Costner
BOOKS READ THIS YEAR
Breakfast: Grapenuts, toast
6 February 2004
I found this thing on someone's journal and thought it would be interesting to see how many states in the US I've visited in my life...I have to admit I was surprised!
create your own visited states map or write about it on the open travel guide
It's kind of fun to look at it...and think of some of the associations with some of those states. I almost forgot South Dakota, for example, when I first started putting this map together. We drove to South Dakota on a very long camping trip we took when Ned was 10. We camped one night on an Indian Reservation in Ashland, Montana in the middle of a very scary lightning storm. It was so bad, we decided to unpack the car and put everything in the tent and sleep in the car so we would be safe from lightning.
Unpacking was a pain, and we were rushing, trying to avoid the storm. Just as we got the car totally emptied, the rain stopped and the skies cleared. But we were all too exhausted to put everything back in the car, so we all slept there and left our stuff in the tent (try sleeping seven in a van)
The morning was bright and sunny and the kids fairly exploded out of the car, running in all directions to get all those kinks out of their limbs.
Ned climbed up a tree...and fell out of it, breaking his leg. We were God knows how far from anywhere but we found a doctor on the Indian reservation, who put Ned's leg in a splint (because it was too swollen for a cast).
Then we had to decide if we were going to continue on to Mt. Rushmore or turn back. We had come so far, and Ned wanted to see the mountain too, so we went on. We had to get a wheelchair to get him up to see the famous sculpture and discovered that the wheelchairs did not come with leg rests that could raise up. Walt got the idea of putting the tent poles on the seat, sitting ned on the poles and resting his leg on the poles. Ned was terribly uncomfortable, but at least he got to see Mt. Rushmore.
That night we stayed with the parents of my friend Alison, who had built their own cabin in Keystone, when they were in their 70s. Amazing people.
We pulled up at the cabin and our hearts sank. To get to the house, you had to climb up a ladder. How to get Ned up the ladder. It would have been easier if his leg were in a CAST, but since it was just in a splint, every time we moved him, it caused pain. Somehow we managed to get him up to the cabin, but couldn't manage getting him up to the loft, where they had planned for us to sleep. I slept downstairs with Ned, just as glad that I missed the experience of the bat which flew around in the rafters at night ("there's a bird up here, Dad...")
We still had the long drive back to California. It was so difficult to move Ned at all, that we decided to do the drive in one stretch, Walt and I alternating the driving, and driving around the clock (the very best way to drive the Great Salt Lake--after dark when you can't see how endless it is!)
Potty stops were difficult. It took two of us to move him, which made it difficult to decide if we went to the women's room or the men's room. We once pulled off on the side of the road, within sight of a truck stop, and kind of propped him up against the door of the van and let him pee out the side. As he was peeing, the highway patrol pulled up to let us know we couldn't be parking where we were. Walt explained that we had a kid with a broken let and we were "making him more comfortable." The officer was polite, but told us that next time we should drive into the truck stop, not stop on the highway. Fortunately he never saw HOW we were "making Ned comfortable."
We didn't stop until we got to Lake Tahoe and Walt's mother's condo, where we spent the night.
The next day we headed into Sacramento and I often wondered what they thought in the ER when we roared in, a van loaded with camping gear and five children and hauled out this kid in a splint. We decided to have his cast put on before we got all the way back to Davis.
After we were settled back home again, I ended up buying Ned a t-shirt that read "I broke my leg in Ashland, Montana."
I'm not sure he saw the humor in it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 44.8 lbs