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How Not to Start a 4 Month Road Trip

The scariest part of our first day of camping was when I thought my daughter was dying in my arms.

Tent set up plus family at picnic table, Monterey, California, campground

First campground of the trip – in Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey, California.

It was just as well we decided to start our camping road-trip by having a kind of “trial” camp, right in the middle of Monterey, California, rather than setting straight off into the wild.

Otherwise the two – yes two – separate emergency visits we made within the first three days might have been more problematic. As would the call to AAA for car troubles. Although, we might have avoided the fender-bender with the BMW.

Yes, we had an eventful start to our road trip.

We had not been in camp for more than an hour or two before Ms Eight precipated the first hospital visit.

We were still finishing with setting up the tent, when she screamed.

As I turned around, I saw her land on the ground, under a tree. She landed facedown, and as I gathered her in my arms, it seemed possible that she had landed on a rock under her chest. The most scary moment was when she momentarily passed out in my arms, and seemed to start to convulse, and I thought she might be about to die from internal injuries.

But no.

It turned out that she had just been swinging from the tree branch, not actually climbing in the tree, so she hadn’t fallen from very high, and passed out probably from the shock and pain, as she did cut up her face a bit as well as hurting her chest. That was why she ended up spending the evening in Emergency at the local hospital – the cut under her lip was quite deep and we thought it might need stitches or glue, which was exactly what happened.

But I mentioned two emergency visits didn’t I?

Master 12’s first ER trip, plus a dingle with a BMW

Up until now, every emergency visit we have had has been down to Mikaela. She’s actually averaged about  a year since she was 3!! But two mornings after she had her lip stitched, Mr 12 had his first ER worthy accident.

To be honest, had we been at home, we probably wouldn’t have taken him in at all, he didn’t seem in that much pain. But given we were about to set off for Yosemite, I figured it was a good idea to make sure he was okay. And it turned out, he wasn’t.

Monday morning was dewy and lovely, and Liam decided he would have a go on the swings. With his eyes shut. Which I’m sure was perfectly delightful, until his hands slipped off the wet chain ropes and he fell, landing awkwardly on his right hand.

We had not yet managed to get a compression bandage for our first aid kit (I really don’t know what it didn’t come with one!), so later that morning we made the trip into town to get one.  Mr 12 was already complaining that it needed more than that, but we decided to start simple. Surely we didn’t need to make another emergency visit so soon?

It was on the way back from the shopping centre that the next two mishaps occurred. Just after I had texted my friend who was meeting us for tea at our campsite, to tell her we would be there momentarily, Chris made a right turn (Australian readers – think left turn, as we are on the other side of the road here), and didn’t see the car making a right turn into the same road. As Chris was changing lanes to avoid parked cars, the BMW was coming and and – CRASH. Except I massively exaggerate, it was the merest touch, and had it been anything other than a pristine BMW, I can’t imagine either driver being worried.

Alas, it was a pristine BMW, and insurance papers had to be exchanged. This of course, required us to pull over.

And now for the third minor distaster of the day. After all the palaver with exchanging details with the other driver was over, our car would not start! No, I am not kidding.  The short time we had spent there with the engine off but the music and fan on had flattened the battery.

My friend laughed at me when I called to tell her, but she she very, very kindly came to collect me and the kids, leaving Chris there to call AAA and get a jump start.

Oh and Liam’s wrist? Yeah, it turned out to be broken. Chris took him to the ER after dinner that evening, just in case. Happily, it wasn’t a bad break, and he got away with only wearing a brace, with the recommendation that we take him in to see another doctor in two weeks time, and again two weeks after that, at which point he *may* get away with taking it off.

Honestly folks, don’t start your road trip this way. It is beyond inauspicious.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2014 at 5:51 am and is filed under 2014-15 USA - Camping with Kids, Personal Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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