Posted January 11, 2022 – Narrated by Carmen
“So, what happens when you get sick?”
It’s a good question and is, by far, the most frequently asked.
First, we call our doctor and schedule a tele-medicine visit.
If the decision is made to seek urgent care, we know where to go. Illness or injury is never a planned event so, as we enter town, we note the location of the closest emergency clinic and veterinarian and then, touch wood.
Our prescriptions from an Online Pharmacy with 90-day refills are received by our iPostal1 snail mail service which forwards them to us.
If something’s going on: a sore throat, or Pico is acting strange …
… we may research the local facilities and read reviews. We do not take unnecessary risks, but we will drive further for better services – preferably to a hospital with all the bells and whistles.
When illness or injury strikes, our rig is like a mobile medical unit.
A navy corpsman (our son) stocks our First-Aid Kit. Our doc insures that we have sufficient meds on board to see us through most crises, and there’s always a compress in the freezer.
When Jim injured his foot in Colorado, we made him comfortable in The Beast as I drove him two-hundred miles to Moab. Due to Covid, I dropped him off in the parking lot of Moab Regional Hospital Urgent Care. Once he was safely inside I parked on a comfy stretch of curb and made myself a pot of coffee. Jim texted the details of his exam, scans and treatment while I took Pico for a walk. Two hours later I picked Jim up and we drove to our campsite at Dead Horse Point.
We know what it’s like to be sick on vacation. Being sick in Beauty is not at all similar to lying sick or injured in a strange bed in a random hotel without the creature comforts.
In Hawaii – back in 1999 during the good ol’ “two-week vacation” days – I injured my knee while hiking. Then, later that day, I cut my finger to the bone while trimming the stem of a bird-of-paradise with a cheap condo knife. After a very good plastic surgeon stitched my finger back on, the trip was all about a lawn chair under a palm tree.
A year earlier, Jim broke his foot on the first day of our family camping trip.
In 2000, I came down with the mother of all flues on Day One of our family vacation to NYC.
There is no good place to get sick, but some places are better than others.
If I ever break a leg (touch wood) I would want to recover in a sunny mountain retreat like Big Bend or Mammoth or The Canadian Rockies – a place where I can lounge beside a stream and explore the distances with my binoculars.
If I break an arm, I’ll take a shady spot on the lakeshore of Dreyer Island, South Carolina or Fish Creek Pond in New York where I can walk miles along the shoreline.
Anything more serious would require the quiet healing touch of nature surrounding my doorstep with a top-notch medical facility nearby – someplace like Ouray, Colorado; Acadia, Maine; Gulf Shores, Alabama; Port Townsend, Washington; Lake Tahoe, California or …
Door County, Wisconsin
On a Sunday in late August – guided by our followers who faithfully tell us where to geaux – we pulled out of Christmas and headed south to Wisconsin.
That day, we ended a good run: two years without symptoms of a virus.
Somewhere along this rural route ….
Jim picked up the local Back-To School Kindercold.
As we pulled into Peninsula State Park – oblivious to the sniffles, hacking and coughing to come – I presciently remarked, “Hey this place reminds me of ‘Lake of the Woods in Oregon.'”
In that peaceful Sky Lakes retreat in south-central Oregon in 2016, we encountered deer, fox, squirrel, song birds and a nagging cold which plagued us for at least two-weeks, our first ailment since living in Beauty.
Cold symptoms set in that night.
The next morning we were relieved to have negative results on our COVID rapid tests. Even so, we put our kayaking, cycling and hiking plans aside.
Here in gorgeous Door County, we would spend at least a week in isolation, our schedule consumed with hot salt water gargles, steaming cups of ginger tea, miso soup, honey-lemon toddies ….
and then, early to bed.
As our bodies slowed down, we caught up on reading and correspondence.
On good nights, we watched The Great British Baking Show and played Five Crowns.
In our unwell condition, the State Park would not do. Our site was dry with no generator hours and too much shade to recharge our batteries. We needed unlimited water, plenty of power and better connectivity. So, after a couple of days we moved …
about a mile down the hill to Fish Creek Campground and resumed the course of remedies and isolation.
The family-owned campground is located in an old apple orchard, and it was harvest time. The enchantment of ripening fruit within arms reach of our doorstep was one of those Forever Camping moments of grace.
In myth and folklore – from the Garden of Hesperides to Arthurian Legend – an apple tree laden with fruit is a herald of transition, progress and endurance. A good omen, harkening values that are as American as frontier religion and hard cider.”
Our needs met, we relaxed in the arms of Mother Earth.
On the Mend
Within a week our strength returned well enough to venture out on short strolls in the rural countryside.
We missed a treasure trove of activity but we recovered well enough to go out to breakfast…
and stroll through charming villages …
visit the local shrines …
and sacred wells …
and experience our first fish boil …
and take in a sunset or two.
No trip should ever be about what didn’t happen, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. Illness slows you down, but it also awakens you into a new beginning, a fresh start.
If fate allows, we hope, someday, to return to this mythically beautiful place and to spend some time in the Driftless region. But even if we never go back we will always remember The Apples, a testimony to the warm hospitality and healing touch of Door County, Wisconsin.
Have you ever been sick on vacation? Do tell! Please share your story in the comment section below – and don’t forget to touch wood.
If you want to see our exact route, click here.
*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.