18 Oct Roadtrippin’: Nightmare in Idaho (part two)
I woke to knocking on the bedroom door. I covered my face with a pillow while Eddie talked to Schuck. Time to pack the Ford for couple of days on the lake. But, could we hurry? Seven a.m. light sharpened my hung-over, ringed gaze. “Here we go again,” I told Eddie. The nightmare was only just beginning.
We showed up to rally friends for the trip, only they were still sleeping. Schuck banged on their bedroom doors while we played with Shakespeare and their two chocolate labs. Schuck paced in circles around the patio. He crossed his arms, huffing, and sat in a lawn chair. A bee landed on his knee and inserted its stinger. As Karma would have it, Schuck was deathly allergic and carried no epinephrine.
Matt and his fiancé Charis were both EMTs. They administered some shots. Round one left him staggering, but demanding that we continue. First, we dashed to the woods to look for my passport. The search party turned up mosquito bites and an antique lantern.
Then, outside the marina quick-stop, Schuck broke out in hives. Round two was administered sitting on the tailgate. His throat was tightening. Despite their pleas to take him to a hospital, he refused. Instead, he passed out for a few minutes in the sun.
We stocked up on beer and loaded the virgin $200,000 boat with camping gear to launch it. The swanky white vessel belonged to a customer from Schuck’s old job. I didn’t consider that much of an explanation, but rolled with it. Cottonwood pollen floated on the water.
In the hurry to relax the hospital was not an option, even though Matt was running low on shots in his kit. We spent the day sunbathing, reading and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. Every few hours Shuck consumed more Benadryl, washed it down with beers, passed out and then erupted in more hives. At six, it was time to dock at the island, set up camp, then haul ass across Lake Ponderay for dinner. Needless to say, as the nightmare progressed, I hit the wine hard.
Back on Cottage Island (which is owned, yes owned, by this young Bush type) we slept on a green bluff overlooking a flat stone beach. In the morning, we found Schuck and Sara on the boat (which was surrounded by bees.) Matt was out of epinephrine shots.
Since Schuck was in charge, we hurried to breakfast and through breakfast. I ate huckleberry pancakes. Schuck looked bad (his arms, legs, stomach and back glistening with red welts) and ingested more Benadryl and booze. “Now hurry,” he said, “back to the boat.”
To the boat, to the island, break down camp, load the yacht, to the middle of the lake to do absolutely nothing for the next six hours. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to relax. I’m great at it (unless someone in my party is about to die.)
Everyone burned besides Sara and me. We split a bottle of Washington red (good sun-block.) Schuck kept taking meds every few hours and passing out in the sun. We stepped over his curled body on the deck. Sometimes he woke and chugged a Rainer or an Olympia.
Back on shore we cleaned the certified yacht, shined the leather and wood grain and polished the windows to perfection. We said goodbyes and went to a Mexican spot where Schuck drank fishbowl margaritas and ordered his dinner with two desserts. “Hey, bring those out at the same time.”
After eating, new hives formed on his forearms and lips. That’s when the nightmare became a huge problem. Close to the mouth means close to the throat and finally Sara demanded he see a doctor. The medics at the ER reprimanded Schuck for not attending to the problem sooner. He didn’t hesitate to say he was busy.