It’s been a weird day.
Last night I went to bed a bit after 9 pm, because I was getting up at 3:45 am to catch a 4:45 am shuttle to LAX. I was supposed to be going to Oregon for a week-long workshop, at which Ken was to join me mid-week, riding back from Pittsburgh via a customer site in Illinois.
At about 11 pm, the phone rang—it was our friend Ernie, who was staying up to track Ken in to the IBR finish. He told me Ken had gone down, that the police had confirmed that he’d gone down but was “on his feet and talking” (or something to that effect), and that he might be going to the hospital.
It gets a little fuzzy after that. I know I was texting back and forth with Ernie, and eventually Ken got to the ER and I got to talk to him. He was a little groggy but actually sounded pretty good. The diagnosis so far: broken collarbone, cracked ribs, sore all over.
Although I wasn't sure whether I was going to fly to Virginia, I realized I sure as hell wasn’t going to Oregon. Sometime around 12:45 am I called the friend who’d insisted on taking me to the Oxnard Airport (where I’d get the shuttle) and let him know he could sleep in. I cancelled my flight (I love Southwest = no penalties).
Meanwhile, I’d been texting with the friend I was to be meeting in Portland and sharing a shuttle to Lincoln City. She was at the airport in Atlanta, debating whether she could even afford the trip (because she and I and another woman were to be sharing a room, and going from paying 1/3 to 1/4 of the room to paying 1/2 would put her in a bind). I told her I’d pay her my share, and we’d figure that out after I’d slept and could do math again.
I called the special insurance Ken had for the rally, which pays to get him and the bike home, and got the basic info we needed.
Then I tried to call Ken just before 1 am but his ER room phone just rang and rang (his cell phone is either still attached to the bike or is in pieces across I-95 north of Richmond). Finally someone picked up and said he was off getting x-rayed and would be back in about half an hour.
So every half hour I called and he still wasn’t there and about two hours later I finally got hold of him. I think by that time they’d transferred him into a regular room. We discussed the insurance info and goodness knows what else.
After that I had a glass of wine and stared mindlessly at the TV and put a note on the back door telling our tenant/cat sitter she didn’t need to come in and feed the cats. At 4 am I went to bed, setting the alarm for 11 am.
At 6 am, Ken called because he missed me.
Between 8 and 10 am, five different people called.
It’s a testament to the wonderful friends in our lives that I was fielding so many phone calls, texts, emails, Facebook messages, etc. (Plus other folks were keeping up via Ernie.) I don’t begrudge anyone’s attempts to contact me, even if every time the phone rang in those two hours, I wanted to weep from pure exhaustion. Thank you all for your love.
By 10 am, I gave up, and got up to feed the cats (Grimoire was going to waste away, don’t’cha know) and feed myself, because I was starving. Then started the next round of phone calls and texts and business, trying to sort out getting stuff off of Ken’s bike at the tow yard when the tow guy was about to go out of town for a day and a half, etc. We’re extremely fortunate that my eldest niece and goddaughter Megan lives in the DC area; she and her husband will head down to Fredericksburg tomorrow to see Ken and see to the bike. The tow guy said he needs a signed statement from Ken or I (although he doesn’t have a fax machine, so…?), and Megan and Josh are both JAG attorneys, so Ken and I laughed and laughed at what the signed statement might end up looking like (and how many pages it’ll be). If Ken is indeed released tomorrow, they’ll be able to help him out.
I made it through lunch before I passed out again for two hours, which made the cats happy. All of my sleep has been punctuated by weird dreams, which doesn’t surprise me.
I’ve spent most of the afternoon in a fog, poking around on Reddit and wandering around the house. There’s nothing I can do to help Ken, so I vaguely feel like I should be doing something useful, like finishing a short story (it was for the workshop, but even though I'm not going, I ought to finish it and submit it elsewhere) or designing some covers or…but no. The brain isn’t there.
It’s 7 pm, and I’ve ordered myself a pizza, and I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine and watch random stuff on Netflix until I crash. Tomorrow I’ll figure out what to do next.
Congratulations to Derek Dickson, the 2013 IronButt Rally winner. Well played, sir! And to all the riders, I raise my glass of wine to you. You all had a hell of a ride.
I’ve posted an update to Ken’s website as well.