Cinco de Mayo and Icky Camping and the Week that got Ickier

Well, Stan’s birthday party wasn’t enough partying for me, so my friend Alice and I hosted one of our girlfriend lunches on Cinco de Mayo at Murrietas Mexican Restaurant. It was a fun gathering, as usual.

I sat at the head of this long table so there were lots of gals I didn’t get to talk with.  Maybe next time!

    We had about 20 gals, our biggest group so far. Each person got a necklace with a pepper on it and a clip-on flower for their hair, and also a list of trickster Spanish words. They had to guess the meaning of each one and then we passed the answer key around so everyone could see how they did. It was fun. Everyone filled out a little piece of paper with their name, email address and their text number. Then we had a drawing for our door prize, which was a succulent planter this time. Catherine won.

    Catherine, the big winner, Alice, and me
    I had a nice visit with Judy, who brought my mantra along on her trek of the Camino de Santiago. We are showing our matching mala bracelets.
    Judy also brought along her mom visiting from Chico, California

    Continuing around the table

    I was the co-host and I was leaving to go camping in a few hours. Being so busy getting ready for camping, I came to the lunch without my food, phone, or camera. Luckily others did have phones. Thanks to Judy and Alice and Catherine for the photos.

    We had great service at Murrietas, but it being Cinco de Mayo, they were very busy. When I looked at the time it was 1:30. Half of our group hadn’t been served yet, but I realized I better get going since I had to eat at home and finish getting ready to leave when Andy got home from school. So we quickly did the door prize drawing and I said my goodbyes around the table.

    I went home and ate as quickly as I could (gravity feed can’t be sped up much) then I finished packing. Stan had left earlier in the day in the motor home to secure a camping spot and meet our friends Ernie and Kori. Andy packed quickly when he got home from school and we hit the road, towing two dirt bikes in the trailer. Andy did an excellent job doing all the driving, which left me to experiment with my camera.

    Storm clouds over Fairview Peak on the way to camping

    We pulled into the campsite at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park (Icky State Park for short) at about 6:30. Our friends Catherine and Brian were about a half hour after us.

    We had a nice campsite

    Friday night there was a nice sunset.

    Stan and I both sleep with bipaps. Our motor home has an inverter so we can run our bipaps off the battery. In the middle of the night I woke up because my bipap was turning on and off. I woke Stan and he asked if I would go turn off the inverter. So I had to find my reading glasses and I used my cell phone for light. Then I went back to bed and the hot water heater came on, so I got up to turn that off. I did get back to sleep but it wasn’t the best night’s rest.

    On Saturday, I hiked one third of a mile to the fossil tour, while the rest of the group went on a dirt bike ride (4 of them), with Catherine and Brian in their side by side Polaris.

    The giant mural of the Ichthyosaur dinosaur. They actually have found remains of some a lot bigger than this in other parts of the world.
    It was a great tour of the archeological dig which is now in a shelter. The ranger was quite knowledgeable about Ichthyosaurs and he was a great storyteller and a wealth of information.

    The sign to make sure everyone knows how to pronounce the Icky’s full name

    After the tour I hiked back to the motor home, taking some photos along the way.


    I am an introvert and I value time alone for energy renewal. However, it was a little long to be alone. I was wishing I was able to ride a dirt bike, or that we had a Polaris so that I could go on group adventures too. The others got back from their tour and ate lunch. Then Stan went to work on the batteries, which had dried out over the winter. In the meantime, I came up with a family activity. When I got my new camera I gave my old one to Andy. I thought it would be fun to go down to the ruins of Berlin and take some photos and have Stan critique them (he has a lot of photography experience). So once the batteries were on the mend we took our cameras and headed down.

    The old mill

    Inside the old mill.

    Andy looking in the window of one the old buildings to take a picture.

    The above two are my favorites. Andy climbed all the way up to the mine entrance and he got a nice photo of three deer.  It is nice that Andy has a photographer’s eye and that he enjoys it, so that is something we can share. 

    By dinner time I was feeling sad again, yes overtired again. I was grieving my illness again, I was feeling as though I was going to be left alone while everyone else went on adventures on every camping trip.  I was eating inside and being consoled by Stan, Andy and Kori. I finally was ready to go outside when it was dark and the fire was nice and warm.

    Andy with a giant marshmallow with chocolate already inside

    Brian across the fire
    Ernie, Kori, and Catherine

    We retired when it became very rainy. A big thunderstorm came through overnight.

    Sunday morning was cold but the rain was gone. We had a reservation to take a mine tour at 10 A.M. Our friends all decided they would rather get home earlier, but Stan and Andy and I were ready to check it out,  so we did.

    Andy posing at the Diana Mine entrance
    I overcame my claustrophobia with a little help from Xanax, which I take because of ALS anxiety
    As far as we could go
    The light at the end if the tunnel. It was interesting to imagine working in those conditions.

    After the mine tour, we packed up and drove to Middlegate for a late lunch. I rode with Stan in the motor home to give Andy practice driving alone on the way home. Again he did great.

    During the week we were preparing for the ALS Association’s ALS Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.  We were scheduled to fly on Mother’s Day and attend the conference Sunday night and Monday, then meet with our legislators on Tuesday, then fly home Tuesday night.

    I went out and got some comfy shoes, since the trip would involve lots of walking. Stan’s feet were very sore, so we got him new shoes and sandals too. We watched a webinar to get us ready for the conference. I prepared some photos and text to help me tell my story.

    On Friday Stan’s pain had increased so he decided that he would bring his wheelchair on the trip, because we knew there would be a lot of walking in airports and in D.C.

    On Saturday morning Stan’s pain was so high that we took him to the Emergency Room. It is a good thing we did because he was in no shape to travel. He had swelling and infection and unsafe levels of some important blood markers.  They ended up admitting him, so I cancelled the trip.

    By Saturday afternoon, he was settled in his hospital room and I was able to go to Andy’s Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestras concert. I was late, but his orchestra performed second and I got there just in time for his performance. He played well and the orchestra was fantastic.

    The day before Mothers Day with my son Andy

    As of this writing Stan is still in the hospital and we don’t have all the answers yet, but it is confirmed that he has a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) in his leg. It was definitely the right decision to cancel flying to D.C. because flying puts more risk on blood clots. He is in good hands and I know they will get him back home as quickly as possible.

    3 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo and Icky Camping and the Week that got Ickier

    1. Yikes – what a week. I hope Stan is OK. The pictures from your trip are amazing and you look fantastic (and I have to say I am very jealous of your gorgeous hair). “Icky” park looks like a great place to visit; nice to have a ‘chauffeur’ in Andy. Finalizing flight plans for San Francisco in July this week; Barry is going to be able to come so we both look forward to a get-together. My love to all of you, Barb

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Meg, all of my prayers and hugs and loves to you and Stan!! You are incredibly challenged and you still go strong. You are the strongest person I know!! I love you all and send prayers for you everyday. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Meg – Thanks for sharing your journey with us. You are in my thoughts & prayers and I will pray for a quick recovery for Stan. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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