An uncle of mine had a rather interesting experience during his visit to Lassen Park. His writing is usually clever and entertaining, but this one made me laugh out loud.
This last trip to Lassen Park, where you and I went one summer, was o.k. but not as spectacular an end to the summer as I’d have liked. It was a couple of mild hikes, though the first day did have 3,000 feet altitude gain according to Sarah. But something got to me, possibly giardia from the back packing without filtering water. The trouble began with instant awakening from a deep sleep to a pulsing muscular spasm, and the knowledge that I had soiled the bed on the one night when, for some reason, I had not slept in underpants.
My thoughts, of course, were to leave then, in the middle of the night, and head for the Mexican border before the chambermaids could inform the Motel Narc division of InterPol, and an armed search for us could be initiated. Alternatively, I figured “out of sight .. out of mind”. But Sarah, bless her heart, spent the better part of the next hour saying “oh no” as she struggled with sheet, mattress pad, sub mattress pad, mattress, (2 x 6’s beneath floor???) hoping that nothing detectable would remain to be discovered by the maid.
The irony is that just hours before bedtime we had discussed with the owner how much Sarah liked the wonderful soft clean sheets ( first night we had slept in the car after arriving too late in the evening ). He had discussed how his outfit was notorious with the laundry for being unusually fussy with rejecting any laundry coming back that didn’t look spic and span. So this was extra important to Sarah.
And it was “oh no” over and over. I was willing to sleep in the wet sheets as the best way to dry things out – in the mountains I have slept in completely wet clothing with that purpose. Your body heats the stuff up to 100 and you don’t know anything is unusual. Anyway, by the time she was finished I could detect nothing, though she certainly thought she could. And she made the bed when we took off for the next day’s hike, but upon return she was sure the maid had messed (no pun intended) with it and peeked, for whatever reason. And Sarah left a big tip to placate the maid.
Well, the diarrhea continued on my hike, which was no big struggle for I have learned how to walk with that torment. Infantry in Nam had to do that for weeks on end without a break. And the next night I was up maybe a half a dozen times with the malady, but it’s gone now and I suspect it isn’t giardia, though it came just the touted number of days after I was drinking stagnant water from a lake into which drainage from livestock was a certainty. Sarah really comes through in these sorts of emergencies, and it has, I’m sure, to do with her mother instinct lain dormant as her children grew through teens, twenties, and thirties.