15 July 2009

No Everest This Year

Well, we had to turn home without reaching the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I would be getting ready for sweat lodge right now, but instead, I am in the suburbs of Olathe not, surprisingly, drowning my sorrows.

Blue was so sick yesterday. All he did was lay on the couch, watch movies and sleep. After a restless night of sleeping, he awoke with a low grade fever. There was just no way that I could selfishly put him in a car and head up into the middle of no where and submit him to a 16 hour round road trip.

He asked, "So we're not going to go see the Native Americans?"
I answered, "No, baby."
He asked, "Because I'm sick?"
I answered, "Yes."

It didn't seem to bother him.

Blue didn't want to make the trip to begin with, and that little bugger, one way or another, usually gets his way. I am sad though that he has a fever.

This morning, our friends' five year old daughter, Anna, wanted us to watch her swim lessons. It was cool out, so we all went to the pool and watched both Helen and Anna. Blue was so sad and wanted to swim, too, but there was no chancing his getting more ill. Last time, in Florida, when we let him swim with a very low grade fever, he got ten times sicker.

After swim lessons, we said good-bye to the girls which was very hard for me. I love those girls and tried to talk them into returning to Tennessee with me. Tonya, Chad, Blue and I headed to downtown Lincoln for a quick look around and some ice cream. We went to their Old City, Haymarket, down by the tracks. I must say that I was very impressed. I must mention how CLEAN Lincoln is in general. Haymarket was equally so.

We had lunch at a cool bookstore, Indigo Bridge, that had no prices, but accepted donations. Today's fare: soup and bread. We had a very delicious West African peanut. The other soup was a gluten free creamy potato. When you order your soup, they give you an envelope and you pay what you can. You can also eat all that you want. Cool. They also have a wonderful bookstore.

After lunch, we scooted over to Ivana Ice Cream where ice cream is made fresh daily. As we walked in, the ice cream vats sat right by the fornt door on display still with ice and water used to freeze the cream with salt caking the sides. I had fresh pistachio on a sugar cone for the fair price of $2.40. Blue's same sized cone had a special price for kids under 12 for only a dollar. What a bargain.

We took some cool photos, but I left my battery charger in Knoxville and was shooting on borrowed time. I think I clicked off a few good pics. I can get lost in a historic district taking photos and Lincoln had plenty of cool sites. I could have used more battery power and more time.

In 1993 I drove I-80 across Nebraska and said that I would NEVER go back. I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to return because not only Lincoln, but when you get off the main roads, Nebraska has a very beautiful landscape.

We left Lincoln around 1 p.m. and headed south on a state road instead of the interstate driving on part of the Lewis and Clark scenic route. The cornfields of Nebraska gently roll and the farmers practice contour planting giving the effect of terraced corn gardens. I almost forgot that we were driving through mono-crops of industrial corn.

We crossed the Missouri River into Missouri on a cool old bridge in Rulo, Nebraska which seemed like such a neat deserted old town on the river. What made Rulo so interesting was how different the terrain was compared to the rest of the Nebraska that we saw because there were so many trees. Agriculture surrounded the town, but the town itself was seemed mountain-esque as it descended down to the river. But I just googled THIS while trying to check the spelling of Rulo. Whoa.

We continued on to I-29 south where we had to quickly pull to the "safety" lane to let Blue out of the car to throw up. As tractor trailers sped by, Blue vomitted. I was so scared standing out there on the side of the interstate, but we had no choice. There aren't many exits in rural Missouri even on the interstate.

We made it to Kansas City without further incident. I'm sitting in my in-laws living room right now. Blue still has a slight fever and now I must weigh the option of staying out another day or trying to make the two day trek home.

I feel disappointed that I didn't get to go to Pine Ridge, but I said to Tonya this morning, "Some people go to Everest with the hopes of making the summit, but circumstances keep them from getting to the top. Many try again. At least I didn't go all the way to Everest!" She added, "Yeah, you only went to Nebraska!"

Hopefully, I'll get the chance to travel to Pine Ridge again, and hopefully, the circumstances will be more on my side. If not, I'll just try again. One way or another, I'll summit my Everest.