Thursday through Monday, April 22-26, 2021—A Near Tragedy

“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.”  That’s the phrase to describe Thursday morning. After awaking from a good night’s sleep, I debated whether or not to ride the remaining completed portion of the Delta Heritage Trail, the 9.4 mile section from Watson south to Rohwer. It would constitute a long drive, making a decision on whether or not to break camp or spend a third night, and put my spent body through almost 19 more miles of pedaling. A decision was made to break camp, return home, and bid farewell to Kay before her girls’ trip to Biloxi; giving me an excuse to return to this great rail trail.

Kay departed shortly after my return home, excited to spend some girl time with “gambling” friends. I unpacked, sorted equipment, and performed a post-trip review—what worked, what didn’t; equipment needed, equipment not needed, etc. During the camping portion of the trip, it became obvious that most of the 20-40 year old camping equipment didn’t make the cut.

As thru-hikers, backpackers who travel a complete trail without interruptions, would say, Friday was a “zero” day, a day in which they rested, did laundry, restocked, etc. I did, however, edit photos of the camping/cycling trip and post on Facebook.

On Saturday, I phoned a dear friend for a lunch date, and he said he was a bit under the weather. An hour or so later, he texted a request for me to come over. Sensing that something was wrong, I made the 15-minute drive in 10 minutes. He had forethought to leave the front door unlocked, and upon entering, I found him sitting in his chair; he was unable to stand, and was coughing every other breath. A mutual decision was made to call for an ambulance, WITHOUT SIREN. An ambulance and two EMTs arrived within a few minutes, and after checking basic vital signs, he was transported to CHI ER in Hot Springs. In short, he was diagnosed with a viral condition, medicated, and assigned a hospital room. Upon returning Sunday morning, I found him doing MUCH better and having regained some strength. He was released in the late afternoon; a catastrophe was averted! I was very impressed with his doctoral care and the nursing care at CHI. It’s refreshing to know that good medical facilities are within reach of us at Hot Springs Village. A call on Monday found his condition much better. Kay returned home from Biloxi Monday afternoon, a bit poorer from time AND MONEY spent at the casino, and happy to be back home.

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