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RonMayo 04-21-2007 09:32 PM

This subject isn't exclusive to FGRV's but it may be especially important to the older travelers like me.

Last fall I was returning from a fairly tough trip to central California (with my 13' Scamp) and my back operation started acting up, Big Time. The OTC pain killers weren't helping and the serious pain drugs were clearly not a good idea while driving. (The tend to make me both cheerful and inattentive.)

I drove into Ellensburg, WA and about 5 PM and, on an impulse, pulled into the Kittitas Valley Hospital Emergency Room. The doctors there spent several hours deciding that my operation wasn't falling apart but that I needed a good nights rest aided by a serious drug like Oxycodone.

They asked where I was staying in town and I pointed to my Scamp (Self Contained). He said "perfect" and that is where I slept the night away, in the hospital parking lot.

The next morning I got checked out again and drove on home quite comfortabily.

Had I felt the need for medical help earlier into the day, I would have gone into the front door and not bothered the folks in the ER.

When I got home and shared my adventure with other ageing RVer's I found my satisfactory experience was a fairly common one. One fellow's wife is not well but they still make their annual snow bird trips south in an RV. They very often the spend the nights in Hospital parking lots sometimes getting test and brief exams. They always make it a point to check in and explain the situation. They've never been turned down and are only charged when there is an real reason.

PS I've talked to several doctor friends of mine and they made the point that hospitals in smaller towns are probably greatfull for the chance to earn the fees. However, if there's no medical issue, you may want to try WalMart.

Kurt & Ann K. 04-22-2007 09:07 AM

Thanks for sharing! I have been recovering from some back problems of my own. Glad your difficulties didn't become disastrous.
I spent 6 years as a child growing up in Ellensburg. Then I noticed you are from the San Juans. We once spent an event filled night on Friday Harbor when the ferry left us there un- expectedly. It's interesting how your post triggered so many memories.
We pray your life has improved since that trip.

Kurt & Ann K.

Doug Mager 04-22-2007 08:35 PM

Yew two are 'almost' bringing tears to my eyes, ROTFLMBO!!!

One of my bestest rod buddys lives in windy E'burg and Ron, the closest hospital to Harrison (FYI) is prolly back (west ward) in Chilliwack but maybe Kurt can recertify that claim for us!!! I think Harrison MAY have a medical clinic, but I'm NOT sure...

Kurt & Ann K. 04-23-2007 04:43 AM

It's been over 50 years since living in Ellensburg. Back then it was a kids paradise. Freedom to climb on a bicycle and ride forever. Of course one had to be home by 6:00PM for dinner. To allow time to ride longer distances, I'd sometimes get up by 3:00AM! Large blacksmith shop in town, YMCA with it's own hamburger stand and 6 pool tables. Friendly police who thought nothing of providing taxi service to a kid who had a flat tire on his bike. Air shows, annual Labor Day rodeos and parades, once in a while a circus coming to town. Thunderbirds and Corvettes were born. Harlem Globetrotters performed at the college. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and camping in the Eastern Cascades. Target practice with my Dad at the shooting range. Checking out what was going on with 2 different railroads in town. Sledding on "Dead Man's Alley". School out in the winter when temps got below -10 degrees F and every kid was out playing in the snow. No time for boredom in Ellensburg in the early '50's.

My perspective as a young teenager on hospital locations was to avoid them at all costs. Apparently my method was successful. Even with all my wandering in and around Ellensburg I can't recall the location of the hospital. That's odd, because I had a number of different paper routes delivering the Seattle Times and the Ellensburg Record, and helped on the early morning milk delivery run.
Stuff I have not thought about in quite a long time.
Thanks again for kindling the memories,
Kurt & Ann K.

Bob Cupp 04-23-2007 10:57 AM

Kurt- Do they really close schools when it gets down to just -10 F? --"School out in the winter when temps got below -10 degrees F and every kid was out playing in the snow."
Here in Wisconsin and Minnesota they kids don't quit wearing shorts until it gets to 20F and they break out their winter coats at -10F. They did cancel school when it got to -38F a couple of years ago though, I think we pamper the kids more now.

Kurt & Ann K. 04-23-2007 01:52 PM

I don't know what temps (that could have been -15F)are used as a quideline today, that was 50 years ago. The school heating systems simply couldn't keep up with the demand. When we moved to sunny Southern California, I was going to school wearing a "T" shirt for a top when everyone else had on coats and the temp was 50 degrees F! I thought they were all crazy. By next winter I had acclimatized and was wearing a jacket also.
The coldest I can recall in Ellensburg was -35F with a 60 MPH wind. Another interesting memory was chaining up both bicycle wheels so I could still deliver papers on my 6 mile paper route when there was snow on the ground.
Summertime temps were up to 104F. Not so bad because that is high desert country and there was normally a "breeze" (more like quite windy) to help cool us off. Really a pain when the wind would prevent bike riding.
I wonder what global warning has done to the climate in Ellensburg now? Annual precipitation was 14" then.

Kurt & Ann K.

Doug Mager 04-23-2007 02:12 PM

My E'burg buddy is ALWAYS complaining about the W I N D there, (he must live close to the area you were talking about). His hair/skin complexion is most similar to that of most coastal Californians too....

Kurt & Ann K. 04-23-2007 06:08 PM

If one is going to live in Ellensburg, the wind 5 days a week is a fact of life. The wind sweeps off the eastern slope of the Cascade Range and affects pretty much the whole of Kittitas County.
Ask your buddy if he has hunted for blue agates. There is an area west or WNW of town where they were located. One of only 2 places on earth where they could be found.
Ask him also about the climate. I'm curious where the weather has changed. And do the Yakima Indians still come by horseback with their travois for the rodeo?
There is a lot of western history to the area. On any given day when I lived there, one could spot several people with side arms in town. I imagine that would create a sensation today, but it was just a fact of life then.
Like I said, it was a great place to live as a kid because of the freedom that was allowed.
The High School Band was led by Jack Snodgrass and became the most wealthy in the country when an estate was left in trust for it's use.

Kurt & Ann K.

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