We made it! Average speed was 90 mph. Lua refused to wear her mask so I just sped through. I was also feeling quite aggressive having been cooped up so long. And as one astute reader noticed in the previous analysis (this blog way over-indexes on astute readers) the 3.5 hour estimate was too pessimistic, it’s more like 2.5 hours since the air cleared around Placerville as one ascends to the mountains. That turned out to be about right. When we go there I opened the windows and tore off the mask – AHHHHHHHH!!! I’ve never appreciated fresh air so much as the past few days.
3:12am the next morning. The steady hum of the heater soothes my mind in contrast to my otherwise inconsolable body. I crashed around 8:00pm last night. My lips and nose are severely dry from the combination of clear mountain air and blasting heater. I purse my lips them to minimize contact with the dry air. I’ve been doubled over with stomach cramps from, I think, the burrito I had from dinner (the black beans seemed undercooked but I let it go; perhaps someone didn’t get the memo that black beans cooked at an altitude of 6k feet need to be in longer). I was huddled under the covers trying to get whatever warmth my body could generate: I had turned up the heater, put on a hat, breathed fast. Nothing was working. The only other time I had this inability to thermo-regulate I wound up in the ER. And I’m again concerned that’s where I’m heading. It’s been misery from 11:00pm. Every modicum of relief was a hard-fought battle. Every shift of my body was the dull ache of an old man…
The next day I tried getting out of bed a few times only to realize I was barely coherent and in a stupor. I stayed in bed basically the whole day through early evening. But my fears didn’t manifest. I bounced back, slowly regaining my faculties. No fever! On reflection I suspect this might have been altitude sickness. Which would be odd because I’ve camped at higher altitude without issue. And I’ve run a race in Boulder just 1k feet lower without a problem. Perhaps it’s the combination of chemo and altitude? I don’t really care right now. Just glad that’s behind me.
Apart from that the trip has been great. We’ve been with our friends Sean and Beth and their similarly aged kids. We head back today to hopefully cleaner bay area air now that the wind and rain are coming.