Friday 28th October. My waterproof trousers had turned out to be not so waterproof the previous day, and having been soaked to the skin and with another wet day forecast, it seemed expedient to take a day off with Jim and Ginger. It was a chance to buy some better waterproofs and recce the next part of the route, not to mention relax in Jim and Ginger's lovely house. Lady was turned into the steep paddock with the other horses.
I had arranged to meet up with Lucy the next day at the house of British ex-pat Gloria, a friend of Ginger's married to an American, who had very kindly offered to let us stop overnight in their garden. They live over twenty miles by road from Camino, and with the days drawing in, I wanted to make an early start. Jim was going to haul Lady and I back to Camino soon after it got light in the morning of Saturday 29th October so I needed to get up before dark to feed Lady. Unfortunately all my torches were in the rig that Lucy had driven home. I was reluctant to wake Jim and Ginger at 5.30am to dig out a torch and did not want to set off late, so I decided to try and find my way down to the barn in the dark. Bad decision, as I missed the track and stepped out into space from a retaining wall at the side. The photo below shows the track down to the barn, and the short cut I took over the wall to the right. Looks better by daylight....
But it was a few days of frustration. On Monday I was told Dr Vance the surgeon could not see me until Tuesday, which meant I could not give a quote to the insurance company. On Tuesday Dr Vance gave the go-ahead for an operation on Thursday, but I could not get immediate confirmation of payment from the insurance company, which also affected my flight change. Should I just cut and run for home in the hope I could get an immediate operation there? The op needed to be carried out within about a week of the accident and we were already 3/4 days down the line. In the end it all came together - the insurance gave the go ahead, my op was confirmed for Thursday and I managed to change my flight to Saturday. Jim agreed to board Lady until I came back, which I hoped would be just after Christmas. Lucy dropped my stuff over so I could sort it out and pack up non necessary items to take home.
So on Thursday 3rd November instead of being well on my way from Sacramento to the coast, I was under the surgeon's knife in the Marshall Medical Centre in Placerville having pins put into my wrist. Many many thanks to Jack and Barbara who took me in, and particularly to Barbara who insisted on staying at the hospital to support me all afternoon. I had a day's recovery on Friday, and Ginger kindly drove me all the way in to Sacramento to catch my flight on Saturday 5th November. Unfortunately my arm was aching overnight and I made another bad decision - this time to take the higher dose of painkiller. As a result I was feeling like death warmed up on the way to the airport and boarding my flight to Houston, but thankfully by the time I boarded my second flight to Heathrow I had recovered a little and even managed to get some sleep. Daughter Gwenny was waiting to pick me up and hand me over to husband Iestyn for the final drive back home where I slept round the clock!
I have to give a huge thank you to Jim and Ginger for looking after me so well - I am eternally grateful for your support and hospitality. I had originally been invited to stay overnight, but ended up staying over a week. But as Gloria pointed out, I could not have chosen a better place!