Thursday, June 23, 2016

Estes Park Crud

The one thing you don't want to do on vacation is get sick -- especially with stomach flu. But that happened to Brother Michael in 1979 when he caught an ugly case of the barfs in Colorado. We didn't know where he got it from or what to do about it. Because urgent care as we now know it had not been invented yet, we took him to the emergency room in Estes Park.

A kindly nurse filled us in. She called it the "Estes Park Crud."

It had something to do with the water or the altitude. I forget which. She got a prescription for Michael and he managed to get over the crummies so we didn't have to book it back to Kansas City. Your servant also got a dose of what he had -- both the sickness and the cure -- and we went on with it. The maid at the Best Western Lake Estes also got a nice tip from us for dropping off some extra sheets.

I've had to deal with sickness on the road several times, but fortunately, it has been just colds. Not that they weren't annoying. On a return trip to Disney World in 2003, I had the sniffles during my last couple of days. I explored the Grand Canyon a couple of years later with a head cold that left me knocked out by the time I got back to my hotel room. I could barely eat dinner before I had to crawl into bed and sleep it off. The Vicks Inhaler served as my lifeboat.

I'm glad I didn't have to drive sick. That's asking for trouble and a half. However, I won't forget that one time I had to drive back from South Padre Island to McAllen, Texas with no change of underwear...

No, you don't want to hear about it.

But I will tell you about a time in Estes Park that could've killed me. I haven't told anybody about it until now.

The Best Western Lake Estes featured a giant metal slide, one of those that had to rise at least ten feet above the ground in an era before lawyers and lawsuits took all the danger out of the playground.

I inexplicably had a mindset that wondered what it would be like to jump from the top of the slide's ladder to the ground below. I went to the top rung, lept off, and landed on my two feet, just like I wanted. Amazingly, nothing broke. But boy, did my right leg ache for awhile. I didn't tell the parents. The ache subsided. Our vacation went on.

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