Friday, July 17, 2009

Surviving the Third Leg Plague (Escalante, UT)

What happens when 26 people are eating, sleeping and biking together 24/7? That's right, the "plague" has hit the 4K team. Riding into Escalante, UT yesterday there was the suspicion that several riders had received food poisoning at our last stop in Green River. However, as the hours passed and more people were hit with the bug, it became a general mystery as to what exactly was the root cause.
Fastforward 24 hours to yesterday afternoon. The climb into Escalante turned out to be a 30 mile gravel/dirt road that wound up a mountain before descending down into town. After several hours of a rather grueling climb, only a few of us decided to truck on and see how far we could get until the summit. As Raffi, Tom, Anne, Craig and I worked our way up the trail, we came across people off-roading on their ATV's and quickly realized how sadistic we were acting. After reaching the summit, Mary-Lacey sped up in front of us and warned us of the steep descent and basically threatened us if we didn't get into the van to be shuttled down like everyone else. We complied.
By the time we got to the bottom, I couldn't tell if I was car sick...but a sudden wave of nausea hit me as soon as I exited the van. I heard mumblings from others that a couple people couldn't stomach the bumpy ride down from the top and had to stop the car several times before reaching the campsite. Before I knew it, I found myself in the same predicament. Luckily, the campsite we stayed at last night was kind enough to bring us up to the cook's apartment and relax on the couch while we set out on the road to hopeful recovery. Christine took on the role of mother hen and kept us comfortable throughout the evening, bringing us ice chips (the only thing anybody could keep down), covering us with blankets and generally keeping a close eye on us.
As terrible as this 24 hour bug has treated the team, you could probably credit it as one of many experiences we've had along the way that have brought us closer together. With the arrival of a new day, we all had the very exciting and congratulatory moments of eating food! Nicole kept down her cookies (literally) and I ate an entire half a bagel successfully.

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