Life can change in an instant

I’m in my camp chair with a thermos cup of coffee.

The sunlight peeks through the tops of the ponderosa pines.  I sip the coffee and watch Spike as he investigates the mossy tree trunks and abundant ferns. Bridget lies at my feet. What a lovely camp this is!  So very Oregon!

Chipmunks decide it’s playtime. 

Spike dashes after one, then another, and another, until he realizes he’s no match for these little creatures that can climb up a fifty-foot tree.  He looks kind of pathetic standing at the trunk looking up. 

“Oh Spikey-boy.  You gave it a good try,” I comfort him as he lies down again by my chair.

“Well, guys, today we’ll hike the trail along the river and see the other two waterfalls.”

I’m contentedly finishing up my coffee, contemplating the pleasant day ahead, when a particularly chatty chipmunk has the cojones to venture really close to where we’re sitting.

Spike, of course, can’t resist the challenge and sprints after it.  This time Bridget joins in the chase.  She doesn’t get very far.  With a yip of pain, she spins and hits the dirt.  “Oh no!Bridget!” 

I jump up and run to her aid. 

Immediately checking her paw, I determine the paw is fine but not her back leg.   I stand her up and she hikes up her leg, not wanting to put pressure on it.  What a sad sight she is, hobbling about on three legs.  “Well, honey.  It looks like you pulled a muscle or sprained something.”

 This changes our plans.

Since we can’t hike the river, we might as well hit the road.  That way, Bridget will sleep all morning and we can move further west, closer to Eugene and the coast.  Bridget doesn’t seem to be in any pain, unless her leg is touched, so I give her a baby aspirin for good measure and put her up on the PTV’s bench seat.  Spike jumps in after her.  I pack us up and away we go to our next camp!

Driving along I ruminate on how one’s life can change in an instant.

That’s when I see a woman run across the road at the crest of a hill.  She waves her arms frantically, obviously to warn drivers in both directions.  I slow down and what I see makes my heart sink.  Some poor guy is lying in the road on his side, not moving.  His motorcycle lies across the double lines about thirty feet away from him.  Pieces of glass and metal are scattered all around. 

I look back at the man as we pass by.

Oh, dear God, no helmet.  Three people run frantically toward the man on the pavement.  Knowing there’s nothing I can add to help, I keep going.  His life has been changed in an instant.  If he’s still alive. I say a little prayer that he survives and has the strength to endure a sure-to-be painful recovery.

An awareness of the struggles and tragedies of others makes our happy life on the road all the more precious.

We arrive at another riverside camp called McKenzie Bridge (National Forest: $16 a night, $8 with Senior Pass).  I twirl around in our campsite, looking up at the incredibly tall trees and the sunlight filtering through their branches.  “This is beautiful!  What a place!  I LOVE this!” Before setting up camp, I walk with Bridget in my arms and Spike padding behind me, down our campsite’s path to the river.

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Our lives may change in an instant.  So live the life of your dreams as soon as you can make it happen!


Canine Corner:  “My Injury” by Bridget

I hurt myself really bad.  I can’t walk on my back leg!

Spike, of course, is his usual, inconsiderate self.  When rvsue says, “Spike, Bridget can’t go for a walk,” he gets all mad and barks real loud and hops up and down, so we have to go anyway.  I let rvsue know when I’m too tired to go any further.  I sit down in the road. Then she picks me up and carries me.  I like that.  I better not put my leg down any time soon.  Just to be on the safe side.

Note from rvsue… Bridget is fine.  As Spike says, “Bridget’s gonna’ milk this for all it’s worth.  What a baby.” 


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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54 Responses to Life can change in an instant

  1. Sally Jacob says:

    Bridget: Violet here- and having a sore shoulder my Dr. Vet told my Mom I had strained.. I know just what you mean. It hurts! Getting rides from Mom does help.. and mine made me a ramp to avoid the few steps we have which I really like to use. Get well wishes and no quick turns! That’s what got me on the injured list.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Spike here — If Bridget gets her own special ramp over her little boo-boo, I’m leaving. Oh, and Violet, sorry you hurt your shoulder, babe.

      • Sally Jacob says:

        Music here.. [Violets sister] Hey Spike! … ramps are great fun! Better to race my wimpy little sis 4 pound Violet to the door! At 6 pounds I can really show her! Besides I discovered if you drop your treat just right.. it rolls down the ramp.. and you can beat everyone to it when they think it is loose! Besides- no sense leaving RVSue for Bridget to have ALL the time! Just sayin…

  2. Poor Bridget. I hope she recovers soon.

    Yes, life can change in an instant for sure. I hate to see accidents. Hope the guy on the motorcycle was not hurt as bad as it looked and makes a speedy recovery.

    Now that looks like Oregon !! beautiful.

  3. TexCyn says:

    You are right, life can change in an instant. I got an email this morning from a friend that her dog passed away. I have his litter mate. Although they are now 13, it doesn’t make it any easier. He went from playing & having a great day to passing on…
    I hope the guy with the bike accident is alive & will recover.
    Maybe Bridget pulled a muscle (as you said) or perhaps dislocated her knee. Which also can happen with these little guys. I say, give her an extra cookie to go with her milk 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sorry about your friend’s heartache at the passing of her dog. My Spike might be that age, too, I don’t know for sure. I try to prepare myself for the day when he’s gone forever, but, as you know, that’s hard to do.

      I’ve wondered if Bridget’s spindly legs under all her weight might cause her problems some day. And forget dieting . . . It makes her miserable.

  4. Dedra says:

    Have you tried vitamins? It looks like a muscle cramp. Magnesium is real good for them.
    It cute when they limp on the wrong leg, so they can keep getting special treatment.
    Got to love them!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think this is more than a muscle cramp because she’s going into the third day with it. I don’t think she’s favoring it as much though. Bridget’s a master at the sad face technique.

  5. Pat says:

    Hi, Sue………I hope the baby is doing better. I camped at Delta campground and I think it is not too far from where you are. It was great, not as close to the river as you are. I was beside a small creek and it was really nice and quiet. The camp hosts were really nice and very helpful. Hope you enjoy the holiday weekend and I know you will love the coast. I am at a private rv resort close to Bandon and it is very windy here. It is quieter than a state park and I can do laundry……..Enjoy the holiday weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I looked up Bandon and see that it’s on the coast in Coos County. Lots of wind, huh? I’m expecting that, hoping it’s not too bad. You have a great holiday, too.

  6. Sherry says:

    No one knows better than we do how your life can change in an instant with one phone call. Everything seems just fine and then………….it’s not.

    So glad everything is good for your guys and that Bridget is recovering. Go ahead and milk it Bridget. When you don’t feel good, you just don’t.

    Another FANTASTIC campsite. I need to take a class on finding them from you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry, I seem to remember a certain dog by the name of SPIKE milking it for all it’s worth when he wasn’t feeling well.

      I must admit I’ve been very fortunate when it comes to finding great campsites. I can’t teach it because I don’t know why it happens!

  7. Kim says:

    Poor Bridget! I’m sure somehow it was Spike’s fault. Maybe it’s just a muscle pull.

  8. Cari says:

    My heart skipped a beat when I saw your headline, thinking something bad had happened to you or one of your crew. I’m glad it wasn’t something catastrophic, and I hope Bridget recovers soon! I can’t tell you how many news stories I see where someone has been an innocent bystander, or just driving home from work, and something happens and they are killed through no fault of their own.

    Beautiful photos, as usual. I got a kick out of the one of Spike running away from the water!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. The shade and cool temps make me jealous – it’s predicted to hit 100 again this weekend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      At least I didn’t make a headline about Bridget being injured. I did something like that for Spike once and gave readers a scare! Glad you like the photos. That water is very cold, like 42 degrees or so. We’ve had a pretty cool (temp.) summer, being in higher elevations so much. I’m trying to remember where you are… 100 degree weekend… hmm…Texas maybe?

      • Cari says:

        Yes, I’m in the Dallas area. Fortunately, this summer has been milder than last year, but the upcoming week is supposed to be back in the ‘really hot’ region.

  9. cozygirl says:

    Rub a little Homeopathic Arnica cream on the injury, bruise or any trauma…we don’t leave home without it! Can’t wait until you hit the coast….loving all the pics!

  10. julieinoregon says:

    OH Sue, how true! My husband died in a motorcycle accident 6 years ago. I understand more than anyone how life can change instantly. I’m glad you are enjoying Oregon. Just remember it is Labor Day weekend there will be lots of people at the beach ;( When you have time check out Salt Creek falls on Hwy 58 on the map. Hwy 58 connects between hwy 5 and hwy 97 in the lower central part of the state. This is a pretty waterfall with an easy walk. It is a $5 day use area. Julie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie,

      I’m sorry you lost your husband and in such a traumatic way for you.

      I haven’t looked at the map yet. Maybe that’s a way I can go toward Klamath Falls?

  11. cinandjules says:

    Yeppers………..Bridget probably over did it chasing one of the chippers! They kind of entice with the “twelly deet” noise that they make. Rest will certainly help… Bridget…it’s not like mommy doesn’t give you and Spike ALL of her attention….guess more is better! Get well soon.

    I don’t know why motorcycle helmets aren’t mandatory in every state. Yeah yeah they like their freedom….but in a split second life can change. Hopefully he survived.

    Once again, you’ve managed to find another beautiful spot!

  12. Donna K says:

    Oregon does have a helmet law, but it doesn’t help if riders fail to comply. It’s still a terrible tragedy for someone. Yes, life sure can change in an instant. It did for me this year. So glad Bridget is not badly hurt – my heart dropped when I read your title. Hope she feels better soon. McKenzie Bridge is a nice campground – that whole area is beautiful. Enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know if the guy was wearing a helmet or not. I guess it could have come off during impact.

      So you’ve camped at McKenzie Bridge… yes, it is nice.

  13. Rod says:

    When I ride my motorcycle, I never go without a helmet… And most of the time I wear the entire ripstop padded suit… Even in the summer…. But if you like to ride, you are always taking that chance that something will put you down….. Its just the way it is…. But then I have cancer too, and that will probably get me first…. Rod

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh Rod, I’m sorry you’re having to deal with cancer. But I’m happy you are living your life, out there on your motorcycle, even as dangerous as they are. If it’s what you want to do, I’m all for it!

  14. gingerda says:

    You found another great campsite!! I hope Bridget will be okay and I don’t blame her for milking it for as long as she can, lol.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Little Bridget was a valiant trooper on our nightly walk. She did her best to keep up, and I didn’t have to carry her at all. We stopped often so she could rest.

  15. Tia in NC says:

    I remember being the first to the scene of a motorcycle accident. I found a biker, a bike, and a dog laying in the road on the way to Church one morning. This was back before cell phones and mandatory helmets.. Had to knock on the door of the dog owner to call for help. Very sad. Biker survived, dog didn’t. Enough of that.
    Wow what a great site. The water looked cold even before I read you comment.
    Keeping it hot and muggy in the south east. Know you don’t miss that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, I don’t miss the muggy southeast. After enjoying the dry air of the west, I don’t think I could tolerate the humidity of Georgia again. If you’ve stayed east of the Mississippi, you don’t know what you’re missing, folks. I didn’t.

      • Kim says:

        Oh Sue, you are so right! The heat is BRUTAL here (I’m in southeast AL). Absolutely not compatible with human life. Don’t know how many more summers I want to endure this. I’m OK until August /September -the worst for humidity, as you know. You did the right thing goin’ where the weather suits your clothes.

  16. Been meaning to tell you for quite awhile how much better your photos are since getting the newer camera. That old one you had definitely had some problems alright. I have always felt when everything is said & done someday, it is one’s photos which will bring some of the greatest memories.closest to one’s heart………..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al, I think using Picasa has helped a lot, especially when I need to sharpen up zoomed photos. You’re right about photos and memories. Already I can look back at the pics I took last year in New Mexico and the newness and excitement of living in the BLT and traveling all comes flooding back.

  17. Chuck says:

    Spikey, having to travel with 2(two) females must be frustrating. Sue is sweet but that Bridget……just to get attention…. whiner. Glad we only got the one female and she even feeds and walks us some times! Good luck with the squirrels and yeah…it’s sure green there!!!
    the hound herd

    • earthdancerimages says:

      Yeah Bridget, you think you got it bad??? I gotta live with 3 male dogs and one male human! Imagine living with 4 Spikes every day !!!! Love your new spot Sue. So sorry for the guy on the motorcycle, so thankful it wasn’t you! Have a great Labor Day weekend! We are have a big pot luck dinner at Mountain Spirits RV Park! I made a macoroni salad! Love you!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I am glad you were not earlier on the road with coming upon the motorcycle accident. Life is so very short!! How well I know that… I do hope Briget will recover…do you give her something like glucosamine chondroitin? Vet perscribed that for ours who weighed 45 pounds…one adult one perday…so if she weighs half that, I would try a half on her…but you might prefer to seek advice. It did seem to help ours. Garlic helps with joint issues with humans too…but not sure if that is good for dogs. Sometimes they and we can take the same type stuff…sometimes not. I imagine she would fare better if slimmer…heh, wouldn’t we all? If you can fix human food, like veggies, that she will eat (chicken broth on things seems to help getting dogs to eat such) and less dog food, maybe that would help. It seems that lean meat would not hurt her…it helps humans, and seems the normal thing a dog would eat in the wild. I think it is easier for a female dog to be heavy who does not have pups…but they do make the best pets too, in my opinion.

    • earthdancerimages says:

      Hi Elizabeth, this is Scotty from the HoundHerd, at 17 years old they call me GrampaDog! My human male give me glucosamine chondroitin too 1/2 pill every morning covered with cream cheese. Now I don’t limp anymore at all! You should see me fly up the steps! GrampaDog indeed!

      • Elizabeth says:

        We lost our beloved Ebbie almost 2 years ago now…but she was almost 16.5 yrs old too…so it did make her life easier for awhile. She was always hurting herself in old age because she LOVED to jump straight up in the air (as Dingo breeds often do)…she was a blue heeler/border collie mix…and you know, like old people can forget, she did too. Poor thing!! Oh we loved her so and she loved us way more than most humans ever have!! I told hubby I am not sure we should ever get another…I am not sure I could stand a stupid dog after having her!!

  19. mockturtle says:

    As an RN I worked for a time in a Level I Trauma center and saw exactly how lives can be shattered–or extinguished–in an instant. A person goes about her everyday business, all is well, and then–wham! She is paralyzed from the neck down. Her six-month-old old child didn’t survive the crash and now, as she is regaining consciousness, she starts to ask…We have been given this gift of life but it’s never certain how long a tenure we have to enjoy it. Or under what mantle of suffering.

    Even so, I’m hoping your precious baby recovers nicely and I will also say a prayer for the motorcyclist and his family. Sad. 😦

  20. Tesaje says:

    Having finally got my dog recovered from a very bad sprain and spending way, way too much time at the Vet’s, ice is a very good thing for them too. It can be tricky knowing where the actual injury is. I thought it was the “wrist” but it was her elbow. Anti-inflammatories and rest. The also said she should be on Dasuquin as it is clinically shown to be effective for dog inflammation and joint problems. We had to go a full month of practically no activity. She could walk a little but no jumping, no running, no being a dog. It was tough on all of us. Then there was the gradual building strength process. Hope her sprain isn’t that bad.

  21. geogypsy2u says:

    From one river to another under tall trees, yup, you’re in Oregon. The Cascades are so luxurious. Tell Bridget to shape up, and stop chasing the wildlife.
    Funny, as I posted about not feeding the wildlife today.

  22. libertatemamo says:

    So sorry to hear about Brigit. Our doggie pulled a back muscle recently so I know what you’re going through. By the way we’re going to be in Eugene next week if you happen to be in the area. Then, we’re headed to a NFS site near Crater Lake.

  23. earthdancerimages says:

    We got this hint just a few weeks ago from a fellow camper while we were in Bluff Utah. Find a small flat rock that will cover Bridget’s sprained area. Put it in the freezer and use it instead of carrying ice around! We have 2 size rocks for Chuck’s shoulder and he says the rocks work better than ice or an ice pack! Stays cold longer without dripping and melting all over! There must be some nice small rocks near the water somewhere!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds like a great idea. The trouble with Bridget is she reacts negatively (fear, anxiety) to anything new or different. She would avoid the rock at all costs. Weird. She won’t let me do anything related to her boo-boo leg.

  24. Joy A. says:

    Glad you found McKenzie Bridge it’s a great place. I didn’t suggest it as I thought it was a little too close to Ice Cap.

    Once you go to the coast and then want to come back inland to Crater Lake. I’d suggest turning east at Bandon on 42 to I-5. Then go north slightly to Roseburg turn east on 138 and head for Crater Lake. There are nice FS campgrounds along 138. Now the only problem with this is that the highway down the coast from Florence to Bandon is inland slightly so you won’t see the ocean. You either have to continue further down past Port Orford to actually drive along the coast or you have to go north of Florence.

    So here’s my suggested route. Go out to the coast at Florence and turn south. Continue along where there are turnouts right at the beach where you can overnight (between Port Orford and Brookings). Now cross into California and turn northeast on highway 199 just past Smith River and just before Crescent City. Highway 199 will take you to Grants Pass then go south on I-5 slightly to Gold Hill picking up highway 236, after about 15 miles you’ll hit highway 62 on towards Crater Lake.

    I love the coast between Port Orford and Brookings. It’s just beautiful and great beaches to walk. Spike will love it if the ocean waves don’t scare him. My Lily loves it, she loves digging in the sand right at the waters edge. When her hole fills with water she has a great time pouncing on it..

    • Elizabeth says:

      I second the motion about Brookings…we spent a couple of awesome days there at a B&B that was where the river flows into the ocean…lovely area!!

  25. rvsueandcrew says:

    Joy, This is a wonderful help to me! Thank you for taking the time to write it all out.

    I stopped at McKenzie because it’s so pretty and also because of the holiday weekend. I wanted to be within a day’s drive to the coast, but not so close that I wouldn’t find a campsite open in a campgroun nearer to Eugene or the coast.

    Thanks again for the road/beach advice. Your Lily is a cutie.

  26. We are never promised any more than the moment we are living in. I am so thankful the Lord holds my future. It is awful to come up on a wreck of any kind but a motorcycle wreck is so bad. I did that once when in Florida and the young man did not make it.

    And poor Bridget!!! Dear GirlFriend, you let your Mama carry you for a while. Spike, you know you would be doing the same thing as Bridget. Hope you are feeling back to your ole self soon Bridget.

    • PS…that campground looks beautiful!! Reminds me of the banks along the Battenkill.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline…You’re right about Spike. He loves sympathy, too.

      The McKenzie River moves a lot more water than the Battenkill. I floated the Battenkill at 13 on a cheap pool raft. Not something that could be done on this river! Sitting on the riverbank does bring back those memories . . .

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