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.
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
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.”