[Cdt-l] from Missoula hospital!

danandgailsc at aol.com danandgailsc at aol.com
Sat Jul 5 19:52:50 CDT 2008

This is turning out to be a real saga.

Our rerouted hike was off to a good start--

Saturday--Budget Inn Express manager shuttled us to Macdonald Pass at noon.? Hiked 11+ miles to Telegraph Creek.

Sunday--Walked in snow for the last 2 miles or so.? Stopped at 21.6 in Jim Wolfe's book.? Beautiful rock outcropping overlook.? Gail called it the perfect place for?tenting.? Light rain overnight.

Monday--Continued to Leadville in snow all the way, and getting deeper and higher elevation.? Instead of continuing to 8250' we backtracked .75 mile to trail jct. and hiked Rock Creek Trail 227 south to FS road 82.? Took FS 82 west to Champion Pass, then camped about a mile south of there.

Tuesday--Hiked south to Four Corners, then did Anaconda cutoff to Warm Springs.? With storm brewing and windy conditions, stuck out thumb in Warm Springs and immediately got a ride from a nice lady in a large pickup to Anaconda motel near Subway, P.O., and library.

Wednesday--Zero day in Anaconda. Hiker and hiker-friendly E.G. Leipheimer, from Discovery Buick, took me to the Forest Service office in Butte for more maps.? We did the 2-hour Anaconda Tour in the afternoon, then took in a movie in the evening.? 

Thursday--Car shuttle from Anaconda to Warms Springs. Hiked Warm Springs via Four Corners to Lowland Campground.? Saw 2 large elk and several different-looking deer.? Got tent set up at Lowland Cmpgrnd just before a big thunderstorm.? Brawny's / Tinman's tent held up like a champ in the wind, rain, and hail.

Friday--Lowland Campground to Delmoe Lake drainage.? Because of change in plans, we did not have?Jonathan Ley maps or Jim Wolfe's trail guide beyond the I-15 crossing.? We navigated by Forest Service map and GPS only.? Set up the tent for 1.5 hours during an afternoon thunderstorm, then continued to Delmoe Lake drainage.? Saw a beautiful wolf about 100 yards ahead on the trail.? Set up the tent in the woods just west (?) of the drainage, on a high bank above the river.

Saturday--Planned on an early start to get some good miles in before afternoon thunderstorms.? 5:30 a.m., going for her early morning hydration, Gutsy grabbed the wrong bottle and swallowed a big gulp of Heet (methyl)!? (MISTAKES: 1) Fuel bottle was?marked but?was same size and shape as water bottles;?2) fuel bottle was with water bottles.)? No cell signal at the campsite. She drank 2 liters of water and ate a Clif bar.? Hastily packed everything and started walking to the campground entrance up the hill.? Got cell signal near top of hill and called 911.? Jefferson County sent ambulance and they took us to Butte hospital.? Butte hospital treated her with vodka and raised blood alcohol to .1, then?rushed her by Life Flight plane to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT because?they are?better equipped for this.? They weighed our packs (19.7 lbs. and 23.5 lbs.) and asked my weight (145 lbs.)?before deciding we could accompany her on the plane.? She has not suffered any bad symptoms, but based on estimated ingestion of 4 oz., "she might not have made it."? Symptoms are typically delayed.? She considered choosing hiking over taking the?ambulance ride, but at their urging decided to play it safe.

She?is stable and alert, but will?be in the hospital for a few days to get all the bad stuff out of her system.? We are so thankful for circumstances and people who helped her get quick medical attention--our location, cell phone and signal, emergency services, etc.? 
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