Monday, June 29, 2009

A bad start to a long trip

Marshall dog in the rental car ready to roll!

Greetings from a road side motel at Mt Carmel Junction outside Zion National Park in Utah where the sign out front says "Friendly to bikers!" I don't think they mean cyclists. We made it this far but we had a really bad start to our trip. Yeah, really, really bad. We got to Sun River, OR late Friday evening (typical late arrival for the Flecks) and as night was falling we were unable to find a campsite near the lake where Bill was racing in a triathlon the next day. We went to an area that is undeveloped camping area on Wickiup Reservoir and set up camp in the dark.

Sunset at Wickiup Reservoir

We slept well and felt rested the next day and after a quick breakfast, we loaded up the car with the camping gear and set out to get Bill to the triathlon. We didn't get far down the road when an older woman using a walker stepped into the road and asked us to stop. She thrust her cell phone at Bill and said, "Tell them where we are! He shot himself! I don't know where we are! He shot himself and I took away the gun!"

Bill remained completely calm, explained to the 911 dispatcher where we were, and then told them we would meet them at the end of the road and guide them to the location of the woman. The woman said something about the person being diabetic and that she didn't know if he was dead or alive. Fortunately, the ambulance appeared at the end of the road as soon as we got there. We guided them directly to the woman who stood exactly where we left her. We could see that someone else was with her and that the ambulance was there so after talking about it, we decided we should not get further involved.

Neither one of us wanted to see what was inside the camper or to find out what happened. We aren't emergency trained and we were traumatized enough by what we had encountered thus far. It felt wrong to leave, but we would have been in over our heads in this circumstance if we tried to help. How's that for a freaky start to the day?

Some dude posing at the swim start

We were late getting to the triathlon so I tried to drop Bill off down the road from the entrance when one of the race staff starts running down the road yelling at us, "Move your car! Do not stop there! We will disqualify you from the race if you unload there!" There were no cars around us, so we just ignored the hysterical dude and Bill hauled his stuff in to the race site while I parked the car elsewhere. Perspective dude, work on it.

Turns out the race was delayed because a cyclist who was warming up for the race was hit by a car and had to be life flighted out of the area and the road was temporarily closed. Basically, the day was turning into one bad scene after another.

The race itself was fine, for me, the spectator. It was hotter than expected and racers were coming in slow. The swim was slow (too long course) and the run times were slow (bad on course nutrition offerings and heat). Bill was a lot slower than his expected time and even though he was treating it as a training day, he was disappointed with his finish. Pissed off actually. Then he was nauseated and needed to lay down in the shade. I had to drag him out of there because we had a 5+ hour drive to Boise ID to face, you can imagine how fun that was for both of us.

Marshall is happy to be hanging in the sun!

Bill did get to take a cold shower at a friend's rental house before we left and we stopped for burgers before heading out of Bend, OR at 5:30 pm. The speed limit in this part of Oregon is 55 mph. I was driving and I thought I was going to fall asleep because I was going so slow and I battled just to drive for an hour while Bill slept. Long story short, Bill drank 3 sodas and took over driving. We got to Boise, ID around 11:45 pm (we lost an hour driving across the border) and searched for my friend's house where we planned to stay.

Bill finishing the 13.2 mile run after a 58 mile bike ride and a long 1.2 mile swim

My friend in Boise was out of town but offered us her place, which was very generous of her. Only there was a party going on at her house when we got there. A large group of people were sitting on the porch drinking beer so Bill went up to see what was going on when someone decided to take a leak off the front porch. We were out of there. I could not deal with a bunch of drunk people, not that late, after everything that had happened. We set out to find a hotel but joy oh flipping joy, the GPS was not working in Boise. So we drove around, finally getting a room near the airport and getting to bed at 1:30 am.

How's that for a freaking bad day? Things improved drastically when we woke up the next day but WOW! The best laid plans. Tomorrow, gorgeous photos of Park City UT and Bryce Canyon.


Maggs said...

Wow, what a day. Hopefully all the drama is out of your way and you can enjoy the rest of the trip.

MJ said...

At least you guys aren't in the camper, or in the life flight helicopter, or such rednecks that you are pissing off of second story porches...

As bad as your day was, these poor people are dead, injured, or badly hungover today...

There's the silver lining... Have fun!

Amanda Whitmire said...

Wild start, Flecks! Looking forward to seeing the photos of Bryce and continuing to follow along in your adventure...