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Broken Toe

 
   

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

It was very generous of cousin Stu to take us in on our travels through Kansas in the Summer of twenty-aught-three. Within moments of our arrival, however, cousin Mike (my owner) was taken with the impression that he was sixteen years old again, and owing to the close proximity of a handy trampoline, before you know it I was broken. No, I was more shattered than merely broken. So far, all of the doctors who have looked at an x-ray of me have begun their comments with "hooo-wee" or some other exclamation of impressed astonishment. Needless to say, it'll be a little while before I'm back to my old self.

Stu took good care of me. He took Mike to the local emergency medical clinic where everyone on staff soon determined that Mike and Stu were related. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to Stu's brother, Pete who suited me up with this spiffy moon boot! If it weren't for this contraption Mike would have been immobilized and hopped up on pain killers for sure.

Everyone involved says that I'm going to need a little surgery to get back into proper toe-like condition. The orthopedic specialist said that Mike could either stay a couple of weeks in Kansas and have the surgery there, or wait until he got home to have me fixed up. Mike decided to continue on with our planned vacation with the consent of the fine doctors and orthopedic specialists to be found in Marion and Hillsboro, KS. Here then, in no particular order, is an account of of some of the highlights of my travels through the heartland of America.


Fauna

I really enjoyed the little petting zoo that we found along the highway. It was billed as a Deer Farm, but they also had lots of goats, llamas, and reindeer too.

Here is me with Tyler. Tyler is feeding one of the many different kinds of llamas they have on the farm. There were lots of baby deer playing around or nursing with their mothers during our visit. The kids really liked the baby deer.

On the way out of the deer farm, they had some exhibits with some coatimundi, and some marmosets in them. And the kids really enjoyed the talking parrots and cockatoo's as well.

Geology

The meteor crater was one of my favorite sights on our trip. You can barely see it on the horizon out there just beneath the huge desert thunderstorm.

The crater was formed many thousands of years ago by a metallic meteor measuring some 150 feet in diameter and weighing several tons.

The impact of the meteor instantly vaporized the stratified layers of limestone and sandstone of the desert plane, and sent ash and rocky material many miles in all directions, and hundreds of thousands of feet into the air.

Here are me and Tyler and Mackenzie looking into the center of meteor crater. (I'm the one in the middle).

Cuisine

We enjoyed fine food along our way too. Here the family enjoys some good America's heartland eating at the Chuckwagon Diner in Liberal, KS.

The kids were excited to learn that Liberal, KS is where Dorothy Gail is from in the Wizard of Oz. There's a lot of Wizard of Oz stuff to be found in Liberal, of course. We didn't buy much of it though.

Trains

We saw a LOT of trains on our journey. I don't know who was more excited every time a big train rumbled by, Tyler or me.

Mike had to let me up to see the trains as we drove by. He used me to drive, but I don't know what the big deal was -- he used cruise control most of the time anyway, so I was just down on the floor boards being bored most of the time anyway.

Mike complained something about not being a contortionist or something, but I persisted until he let me up to see. What's a contortionist anyway?

Points of Interest

We finally made it to the Royal Gorge in Canon City, Colorado. Even though there's not a "y" in it, it's pronounced "Canyon City". Some signs put a little squiggly line over top of the first "n" in "Canon". I guess your supposed to know that the "n" makes a "nyuh" sound when there's a little line over it like that.

Anyway, the bridge spanning the Royal Gorge is 1,053 feet over the Arkansas river below. Built in 1929, the Royal Gorge bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the world. I spit off of it when Mike was taking me across it, but I could not see it hit the bottom. Mike received a letter from a guy assuring us that it did. Cool!

History

Oh, here's me in front of the school house that Mike's mom went to in Poncha springs when she was a little girl. It now has a historical marker in front of it paying homage to the town's sewer system. What's up with that?!?

Vistas

Mike drove a lot on our trip. Like I said, though, he used cruise control most of the time, so I was pretty much bored down in the footwell with nothing much to do but ache.

Once in a while though Mike would let me up to look around. I enjoyed all of the beautiful scenery along the way. These are some of the cliffs overlooking the Blue Mesa Reservoir along Hwy 50.

Narrow Gauge

We spent a couple of days in Durango. While we were there Mike took me and the kids on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail Road.

We spent a beautiful 5-hour train ride up into a canyon. I liked it because I wasn't stuck in a footwell and I could see everything for almost the whole ride.

Tyler, Mackenzie, and Kevin met some really nice kids on the train. The kids played Battleship with Mackenzie to while away the time.

Geography

This is me at Four Corners, where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet. It's the only place in the United States where the borders of four states converge at one point.

Kathleen is standing in all four states at once in this picture. Mike took three or four pictures, but for some reason I blinked in all of them. I guess the sun was really bright there or something. It was really hot too and I kept getting sweat in my eyes.

We ate hamburgers and hotdogs served on indian fry bread during our visit. Yum!

Calamity & Miracles

Our trip came to kind of a bumpy end just west of Kingman, Arizona on Wednesday. Mike's poor mom lost control of the Suburban on a bumpy patch of I-40 and the car and trailer flipped two times, coming to rest upright in the center median.

We were about 100 miles further west when Mike got the news of the crash. It took us about an hour or so to reach the crash site. By the time we got there, we already knew that everyone was okay, but you can tell by the expression on my face that I was still pretty shocked at the sight of Air Stream 18227 lying crumpled in the center median of I-40!


Epilogue

What a miracle that everyone returned home safely from our most adventuresome trip. I'm doing okay. Mike made it home just in time to take me to see his doctor who promptly said "whoo-wee..." when he saw the x-ray. Mike's doctor referred him to yet another orthopedic specialist. Mike will see him next week, and I'm sure I'll get an appointment for my surgery.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. It was really great to get to see so many of Mike's relatives. It was especially nice since they paid me so much attention this time. If I hadn't gotten broken, they probably would have just ignored me (or worse...just taken me for granted). I can't wait to see Stu and Pete and their families again. I'll certainly keep them up to date on my progress.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


Monday, August 18, 2003

Oh boy. Tonight was bowling night for Mike and his wife and a couple of their friends. I wasn't sure if Mike would be able to bowl at all with me in this boot thing (and neither was he) but he gave it a try. Mike's whole team did very well tonight -- they took all four games. It took Mike a few frames (well, about a game and a half) to figure out how to bowl with half of his normal allotment of feet, but he managed to turn around his second game, and put in a solid third game to help his team take it by 15 pins.

You can see a recap of Mike's team's bowling scores for tonight (and for the whole season) by clicking here.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


August 27, 2003 - The Truck that Hit Me

Woah, did anybody get the license plate?!? What happened here. Mike took us to what he assured me was another "exam." I'm thinking "yeah, okay. I've been to exams before. No big deal," when all of a sudden -- WHAM! Out go the lights and I wake up with a bolt in my neck and a hangover the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial caucus! (Or so I've heard).

Well, what ever it was, I'm on the mend and feeling a bit better after a couple of days recouperation. Can't wait to get this straight jacket off, though.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


September 3, 2003 - New Duds for the Old Toe

Hey, COOL! Check me out. Went to the doctor today. Got rid of that plaster tux and traded it in for these cool new threads. Do you think that blue is my color? Yeah, me too. Boy do I feel a thousand percent better to be out of that crummy cast, except for the bolts in my neck -- OUCH!

Even though the cast kinda sucked, it was nice for keeping the kids and dog from tromping on my more "tender regions" if you know what I mean. But I do enjoy the feel of the cool breeze on my face.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


September 6, 2003 - The Other Truck that Hit Me

You know, sometimes Mike can be sooooo uncouth! Today was the big retirement party for Mike's dad (Coach Bray). It was a very nice party, and lots and lots of old people turned out to be there. Well, I don't mean old people like they were all old, I mean they were people from a long time ago. (Confidentially, some of them really were old people).

Everybody had a really great time. I guess I had too much of a great time because I ended up drunken, naked, and passed out on the floor before I knew what hit me. Now a gentleman would have just cast a blind eye toward my impropriety, but noooooo! Mike has to take my picture. And then he has to go and put it on the internet. Boy, do I feel like cheap toe trash! Not to mention the hangover!

Boy, I can't wait to get the bolts out of my neck.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


September 9, 2003 - Worth a Thousand Words

Look! My portraits finally came back from Walmart!

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


September 10, 2003 - Agony of De Feet

Saw the doctor today. Stitches are out, pins still in. Fooey!

Better luck next week,
Broken Toe


September 14, 2003 - O Brother, Thou Art a Jerk!

Just a couple of more days until I get these stupid bolts taken out of my neck. I'm kinda anxious, but kinda sad too. One good thing about having bolts in your neck is that you get propped up on stuff and you can see really good. It's like I've got my own private throne or something. Once in a while, though, Mike lets my stupid brother up onto my seat.

I don't think it's fair that I got broke, and my stupid brother gets a nice seat out of the deal. Oh well, maybe the doctor will let me keep the pins when he takes them out, and I can stick one of them into my stupid brother next time he gets in my space. Geeze, my brother sucks!

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


March 16, 2004 - Summertime in Spring!

Alright, summer is back and it's only March! It's been a while since I've checked in. That's probably due to my improved health and overall vigor. I just haven't had time to drag out the camera and jot down an update. But a whole lot of people keep asking how I'm doing, so here's my little update.

I'm still a little swollen, but the fine orthopedic surgeon who put me back together told me quite plainly that it would take several months for me to return to something close to a normal toe-size, but overall I have no complaints.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


March 29, 2004 - Spoke Too Soon

Okay, to put it very simply... ingrown toenails SUCK! But there is one thing that sucks way worse than ingrown toenails, and that's to have the thing that they do to fix an ingrown toenail done to your ingrown toenail. That's a "hyper links" to a thing that tells you about that thing that they do to fix an ingrown toenail, but just thinking about it is likely to give you the heebie-jeebies pretty bad. I've got the heebie-jeebies right now just thinking about it, and I'm probably going to have to actually have have that thing done to me... oh rats, now I've got the heebie-jeebies even worse!

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


April 30, 2004 - Got Fixed!

What can I say? Mazel tov! Mike finally worked up the courage to have "that thing that they do to fix an ingrown toenail" done to my ingrown toenail. I shamelessly begged Mike to share some of his Yukon Jack before the procedure, but he can be pretty stingy that way sometimes. Mike was busy cowering behind a magazine for pretty much the whole procedure, and my lips were to numb for me to shout at Mike to take any pictures, so I don't have any to show right now. I'll probably draw some pictures of it soon and post another update about what happened as soon as I can. I'm yelling at Mike to make this site look better anyhow.

Bye for now,
Broken Toe


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