Monday, March 16, 2020

Cabin fever - 3.16 #sol20 Story Challenge

Digging back several years, I remember a ski trip to a hut outside Aspen, an area that's now one of Colorado's COVID-19 hotspots. The trip included nine friends, me included. We outfitted ourselves as for a camping expedition, loading backpacks with three days of food and gear. On the drive to the trailhead, I coped with sniffles and a mild headache. "Great," I figured sarcastically, "I'll be carrying a cold with me, too."

We attached fabric skins to our skis to counteract their natural sliding inclinations and walked uphill for about six miles to the isolated cabin we had rented. I labored, feeling heavy and creaky, my skin clammy despite the warmth I generated hiking. Part way along, noticing my complexion's light-green pallor, my companions took several bags of food from my pack to lighten the load. My headache intensified as I inched forward and upward, the hut sitting around 11,000 feet in elevation.

Once we reached our destination, an early priority was finding a place to tuck me away. The cabin was a single open space, bunks lining the walls surrounding a wood stove and a small kitchen annex jutting off one corner. "Look at this!" one friend called. He pointed to a sleeping nook we had walked past, just by the entry door. What used to be an area for storing firewood had been converted into a walled-off sleeping cubby. "This'll be perfect for Brian," the friend said. "We can put him in quarantine."

That's just what we did. By the next morning, after 14-plus hours of fitful sleep, I felt quite a bit better, and my infection didn't afflict anyone else.


6 comments:

  1. I was feeling pretty miserable myself, just reading your compelling description of how miserable you felt climbing up that mountain. So glad you recovered quickly! Let's hope the same for this current situation.

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  2. Who knew you were all preparing for COVID 19 back then? Your writing drew me in, as if I were right there with you carrying your pack. It's amazing the stories that seep out when we have time to reflect, especially about the places that are now hot spots.

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  3. Wow. That was quite an adventurous outing even if you weren't sick. Walking uphill for 6 miles with skis, food and gear to an isolated cabin at 11,000 feet - impressive! Glad to hear things got better the next day. Good idea to pry open memories for writing ideas these days. It reminded my of hiking Mount Washington in New Hampshire many years ago. Not a quarantine memory but a glorious hike above tree-line to the top.

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  4. Not shocked that this memory has returned to you now; may this be our experience with covid19, too.

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  5. Impressed that you could ski up to the camp so sick. I couldn’t so that well. 💪🏼

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  6. Your title led me to believe you were speaking about COVID-19 cabin fever that we all seem to be experiencing, Brian. I never would have thought it was about a real incident on a pleasurable skiing trip. This is the power of writing.

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