I stumbled out of the van and into the hospital. The receptionist was an elderly woman, and I tried to sound as collected as I could when I maladroitly approached the window and said, “I…can’t stop vomiting.”
I suppose it all started on our last day in Montana, when Ayhson found himself sick and sad on the side of the road adjacent Lake Koocanusa. He thought he drank some spoiled milk, and after taking him to the hospital, he was diagnosed with Gastritis. But somewhere lurking in his insides was a nasty viral infection which would soon have it’s way with nine of the 35 of us.
Long story short, the stomach bug made haste. One day, I rode 100 miles into Idaho and felt fantastic. The next, I was peeled over in the gym we were staying at, having to count down from three just to summon the strength to stand up. The infirmed were flanked on either side of me, most of whom showed signs of improvement throughout the day. But the evening rolled around and I still felt like a shell of myself (“Mike, you are actually green” – real quote from a cyclist), so to the emergency room I went! They dumped two liters of IV fluid into me and sent me on my way.
There are still pangs of the bug floating around the group, but we haven’t had to take anyone back to the hospital so I’m counting it as a win. Montana, a proper albatross, was sure to send us out of the state with something dreary to deal with.
I’m writing this from the public library in Tonasket, Washington, which is famous for being the hometown to actor/comedian/musician Jack Black. Tonasket also has a grand café called Shannon’s and a taco truck. Oh, and it’s like 100 degrees here! Which to most is hellish, but to me it’s home. And speaking of home, I am scheduled to be there in a week! It really felt real when I called my sister and said, “Let’s get dinner next week” and it wasn’t a joke. I’m very much looking forward to the opulences of the real world, but there are a few mountains to climb before I can get there!