Yellow Head Trail - Rosetown Part 6 of 8
Nurse Nightingale Wanted
Return to Calgary
If you find it a little awkward trying to make any sense out of Rosetown from the map shown - try finding it at night in the rain when you are wet and tired and just aching for a good night's sleep in a warm bed. Unlike Kindersley, however, it was small and quiet
and I didn't see any accidents. I saw no construction trucks; no hydro trucks and I found a vacant motel room almost right away - thank God. I couldn't wait to just flop on the bed. I was so tired. I stripped down to my shorts and undershirt and I went out like a light. I woke up at 2:00am in a pool of water. The bed was wet-through as if someone had chucked a bucket of water over me. I was dripping wet and so was the bed so I thought that the roof might be leaking. I stood on a wooden chair to see if I could find the leak and I got the surprise of my life. It was not the roof that was leaking - it was me. Water was dripping all over the floor from my own body. I couldn't believe what was happening. I had never seen or experienced this before. I stripped-off my clothes and I took a hot shower. Then, I got dried-off and re-dressed and I went to lie down on the small sofa in my room. I woke-up again in another hour or so and nothing had changed. I was dripping wet-through all over again. I felt lifeless. I had no energy at all and I was feeling really lousy. It was then that I knew I was not going to be able to continue one more kilometre on my trip to Ottawa.
Nurse Nightingale Wanted
I was not feeling well at all and I was slap-bang in the middle of no-man's land. My thinking was skewed. I felt a little dizzy and disoriented. For all I knew Saskatoon could have been a thousand miles North-East; Swift Current a thousand miles South and Regina a thousand miles South East. I knew I wasn't running on all cylinders. I didn't know what to do. Coffee and pastries were available in the front lobby so I thought I'd get something to eat since I hadn't had any supper the night before. I needed to start thinking straight again. I opened my first aid mini-kit and I swallowed the aspirin tablet I'd brought with me. It was a full strength 500mg aspirin too. The heavy duty stuff. It wasn't one of those mickey-mouse low dose aspirins that doctors want you to take once a day whether you need it or not. What I really needed was the kind of tender loving care once offered by the exemplary Nurse Florence Nightingale to take care of me - but no-one was around. Where is a good nurse when you need one? Even though I was not able to ride one more kilometre in the wrong direction I still had the option of returning to Calgary. After all, it was only a 500 Kms skip and a jump from where I'd just come from. Fortunately, was able to reach my niece on her cell phone. I explained my pitiful condition and asked if I could return to her house in Calgary - that's what I did.
Return to Calgary
The sign said 499 kms back to Calgary. The weather was again hot and sunny but I did realize that I was in a somewhat weakened condition and I wanted to be absolutely sure that I got back to Calgary safely. I set the Harley's speedometer on 100 Kms per hour, not more. There was no other traffic around so I thought I'd give some thought to what I should do once I got back to Calgary. I arrive on the outskirts of that city late in the afternoon which was precisely the wrong time of day. Traffic coming down from Edmonton on HWY 2 was exceedingly heavy. It was just crawling choc-a-block but I really didn't have any other choice but to keep on going. If I'd stopped for a rest I may not have have had the strength to get back on the bike. Calgary has never been one of my favourite cities. I've often viewed it as a remote outpost made of steel, concrete and glass. I think the designers and builders of that city dropped the ball when it came to urban appeal - but on this occasion I was never so glad to see that glorious city. I made it back to my niece's house and I fell asleep, again, on her front lawn until she got home from work. My family in Ottawa were still expecting to see me so I asked my niece and her husband would they keep Miss Harley in their garage for four weeks while I caught a flight direct to Ottawa from Calgary airport. That's the way things worked.