Day 87, Zero
I don’t count this as a zero as it wasn’t a great rest. I have to take the Amtrak train from Fresno back north to Dunsmuir (to get me back to Castella at pct mile 1,499). The train leaves at 8:30pm and arrives at 5:30am. But, before I leave this city I have to visit a hospital. On one of my many falls I sprained a finger. I didn’t stop to take off my mom’s wedding band. Now my finger is swollen and turning purple.
I took a cab to the hospital in the city core. It was a rough part of town, a lot of homelessness and substance abuse. I walked into emergency. At the entrance was a glass partition and two security guards with guns. I put my pack on the counter and they examined it. One of them pointed at my poles. I explained where I’d come from and what I was doing. They both then looked at me and smiled. Next was the admitting guy, also behind glass. I overheard someone say to a patient there was a 3-4 hour wait. I could see 30 or more people in the waiting area. I looked at my watch. 5:30, 3 hours till my train. It’s going to be tight. When it was my turn I held up my finger to the admitting clerk and asked if I could have my ring cut off. I don’t need any first aid, I will be fine. I told him I was hiking in the Sierras when I fell and got this injury. He looked at me and smiled. He waved over a busy nurse. She looked at me and waved me over. She took me to a room. Then there were two other fellows with us. We were laughing and joking. She cut the ring off with a small saw like tool. One guy pried it apart with his hands while the other fellow looked on. What a relief! Thank-you! I felt the blood flow back and the pressure relieved. Then I walked passed the admitting clerk with a smile on my face and a thumbs up. Smile and thumbs up to the security behind the glass. Out on the street. I was in and out in 10 minutes. I feel like a celebrity. I feel special. I was treated so respectfully and with such kindness.
The overnight train went to Sacramento where I would have to change trains at midnight then onto the next train to Dunsmuir. I dozed on and off. Arrived at sleeping Dunsmuir at 5:30am.