Saturday, January 9, 2021

Utah, Colorado River, Estes Park, Colorado, Nebraska

It has been more than 6 months since our last posting. Some of you may wonder where we have been and where are we now.
The last part first. We are now in Maine, on the coast. Living in our first winter in 15 years. Lady Blue is comfortably resting further north , winterized in mid November and eagerly awaiting reawakening sometime in April. Sadly, we will not be seeing our friends in Quartzsite this year. Next year? Who knows.
The picture above is heading east on Route 70 in Utah, mile marker 104, Salt Wash View. 

Above is the view further along , heading down onto the plain.

The highway is cut through the rock. A little idea from the semi in front of us. Lady Blue has good brakes.

Before too long we are crossing the line into Colorado.

Further along, we come across Dillon Reservoir. We are so not in Utah anymore.  There are some wonderful National Forest Campgrounds here, but it only was early June and the campgrounds were closed.  Also we are well into Covid 19 restrictions.

Another view from Dillon

Following along the Clear Creek and Eagle River  through super green hills.

Early June is very quiet at Vail.  Still some snow on the slopes

Passing the town of Vail and the slopes

Close by also is Copper Mountain Ski Area

No sign of activity though.

Route 7 is also know as Peak to Peak Scenic Byway heading north to Estes Park.

There are wonderful stops along the Peak to Peak. From this view coming into Estes Park, there are view of Mount Meeker and this one we believe is Longs Peak 14,255 feet.

In Estes Park we stay at the KOA with beautiful mountain views.
Due to Covid 19, the access to Rocky Mountain Park was limited. Visitor Centers were closed and tours were only by appointment.

Heading southeast from Estes Park, following the river and Route 34 and the Big Thompson River.

The river is down there between the cabin and the highway.

Route 34 is a narrow windy, but scenic road towards Loveland.

Marsha and Mark , a narrow highway with some serious elevation. Yet, the bicyclists push on.

We had stopped again in Brush, Colorado. There is a wonderful city park there that used to be free for the first night.  Unfortunately , not so any more, but still very reasonable at $25 per night. Last year the second night was $10.  Quite a change with the huge drop in elevation from Estes Park in Colorado to this campground in Nebraska next to a huge cornfield.  We held onto our seats as the winds ranged up to 70 miles an hour over night.

A note to our friends.  We had hit the Covid restrictions starting out of Nevada and then severely restricting our moves in Utah. In the previous blogs you note we spent months on the mesas in Utah. Beautiful , but not the trip to the Grand Tetons we had planned. That being said, we were happy to stay healthy as the pandemic pushed on. Rving was one of the safest ways to move. 
We headed east into Ohio and then into Pennsylvania to one of our favorite campgrounds , Ives Run COE . While there, Jan came down with a stomach flu that lasted one day. The next day she was feeling much better, but was short of breath on our walks and her appetite was unusually small.  
We did not think too much about it as we headed into New York and then Maine to our favorite private campground.  Since Jan still was short of breath and low on appetite we made an appointment at our health care spot.  
When they heard Jan's problem, they sent us on to one of their bigger clinics in Portland, Maine where they could test better. Of course, at this time they first tested for Covid and there was no sign of Covid. A check on the stethoscope and the nurse decided an EKG was a good plan because she was hearing a little afib and increased heart rate.  She consulted with an onsite doctor and they both insisted we head to Maine Medical Hospital in Portland.  
This was interesting because we were still using Lady Blue and this was downtown Portland. But the access from the highway to the emergency room was very easy and clear. 
Of course, the hospital was observing strict Covid procedures which meant that I was not allowed to be with her while they checked. The doctors quickly checked and listened and after a while determined a catscan was necessary.  The catscan revealed what they called an Aortic Dissection. Basically, a tear in the aorta that allowed blood to escape , the heart rate to go up.
The doctors consulted with Jan and then called me to indicate that an
 immediate operation was necessary , or an extreme risk of stroke, heart attack, and death.  That really grabbed our attention! 
The doctor indicated that he had his whole team there and they were operating on someone else at the moment, but they would schedule Jan in for an immediate open heart surgery to repair the tear.
And so they did. The doctors were great. The Covid restrictions were tough, but I did get to see Jan after the surgery at 7am the next morning. Also , a big help was the staff who were great. I had parked Lady Blue in the large hospital lot overnight.
Bottom line.
Jan is doing great! We chilled a bit for the summer, but Jan made a very quick recovery, walking 2 to 4 miles by the end of summer.
We decided to stay in Maine because of Covid. A number of the states we would have to pass through were doing a very poor job of handling the pandemic. Maine was and is doing a very good job, even though the numbers are up.
Also, as an added note, we are building a house in Maine that will put us closer to our kids and grandkids. Much better once Covid eases .  We hope all of you are well and share our hellos with everyone at Quartzsite. We are already missing all of you.

No comments:

Post a Comment