Wow! What a day!
The night before I got sick, Mary Ann and I were watching the weather channel while getting ready for the next day's ride, and we commented on the tornadoes in the middle of the country... I said, "well at least we haven't had any tornadoes yet". Mary Ann replied "yeah, or locusts" and we laughed. We've had snow and rain, sleet, hail and ice, 100 + temperatures, gale force winds, sand storms, but no locusts or tornadoes. We had a good laugh and then went to bed...
I woke up at 2:30 feeling queasy, started vomiting at 4:30, much more after that (you can imagine the rest). The tour offered to take me to the hospital and I agreed... As we were pulling in the hospital driveway, Tracy radioed Jim and said she was right behind us with a couple more sick riders... It turns out that 15 of us were knocked down by food poisoning; the others started the ride and then got sick, which was much worse! They picked them up along the route and took them ahead to the hospital here in Dalhart, TX. As of last night, all except 4 of us were released.
Paula, Scott and I were the only ones taken to the hospital in Tucumcari, NM, and we were given the best of care. As soon as we arrived (7:15 AM) we were given private cubes and nurse Linda interviewed us and took our information and vital signs. Tracy was there to tell them all that we had ridden 109 miles in the desert the day before and were probably dehydrated... they started IVs on us pretty quickly, and by the time the doctor examined us we had heard about the other dozen riders getting sick out on the road... we already figured it was the food, since so many of us were down. Doc confirmed food poisoning and we were kept all day on IVs, and given other meds to quell the symptoms. We dozed off and on throughout the day, and were unhooked and released around 4 PM. The truck and vans were already in Texas by then, and the motel manager had agreed to pick us up from the hospital... turns out she was already gone for the day! So nurse Sharon called her husband, who came to the hospital and picked us up, took us to the pharmacy and covenience store and then to the motel, and THEN went back and picked up our prescriptions and delivered them to us at the motel. Talk about hospitality!!!!! I can't imagine that happening in Detroit!!!!!
The ride I missed was nothing to write home about! It turns out that only a handful of people finished it--there was a terrible headwind and even the strongest cyclists were barely able to maintain a 10 MPH average, that is, those who did not get sick on the route!
What could possibly be next!!!?????