This trip was fantastic. Robey and I returned, none too worse for wear, with friends in tow and smiles on our faces. Beginning our trip we headed out and and camped with some dear friends of ours, friends of mine from my college years in Eugene.
While the Willamette Valley was sweltering in almost 100 degree heat we were enjoying low 90’s at our private mountain lake (which was very swimmable by Oregon standards) with newts and crawdads for company. We also were especially lucky that we were able to make arrangements with a friend of ours from Germany last minute, so that he and boyfriend could join us.
We spent much of the week exploring, swimming, catching up on our reading, visiting with good friends, and swatting at the occasional mosquito or horsefly. I finished rereading Alas, Babylon, a novel I read during high school by Pat Frank. I also finished my book reviewing the Native Americans of the Pacific Coast.
I started reading a book I picked up on my tour through Eastern Oregon this past April, called Bleed, Blister and Purge; A history of Medicine on the American Frontier. It was initially a gift for Robey, but upon receiving it I informed him that it was a partial self-gift as well. Ah well, serves me right that I only got through the first 20 or so pages before putting it down for something a little less…gruesome. There was a reason I chose not to follow the family tradition of going into nursing…it’s funny how easy it is for me to forget when I see a good lookin’ history book.
This book lead to me look up the symptoms of diptheria on Wikipedia, which is subsequently NOT a good idea. There is a quote from the book which almost promptly made me shut the thing as I grossed out (aka don’t read further if you have a easily queasy stomach). It detailed a Native American shaman using some barbs stuck to a string covered in hot buffalo fat that he stuffed down the throat of an infected. Once the fat melts he rips the barbed portion out in order to rip out the infected membrane in the throat. The infected person he was quoted having done this to survived, but despite the amazing doctoring done here it did not encourage me to keep reading.
The trip ended fantastically as more friends joined us at the lake for the last weekend, and we all basically caravanned back on Sunday afternoon. On the way we stopped at an A&W fast food restaurant. We went inside to eat, where I had to use one of the telephones located at each booth to order our meal. It was hilarious watching the faces of our european friends react to this modern convenience as well as exciting sharing the much loved root beer float American experience. Later that evening Robey and I were safely home snuggled in our bed and cuddling with our cats, with still smokey hair from a week over a campfire to lull us to sleep.