Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour of America - Day Five

We started our day with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast under the Big Tent, then headed for Mount Rushmore. The rock formations coming around the back side of the monument were impressive, and it was a beautifully clear day. Along the way we sang along with Doctor Dimento at the top of our lungs (is there any other way to sing along with Doctor Dimento?), and Papa Bear and the Cubs rewrote the lyrics to “Star Trekkin”, which I’ll let Brother Bear share with you.

Cubs with the artist.

Four Cubs contemplating Four Big Ones.

We stopped for a while at the main observation area. I know everyone has seen close-up pictures of the faces, but this gives you an idea of the scale...

The building at the bottom is the stage of an amphitheater below the observation deck.

We saw a guy on top of Abe's head. Everyone except BooBoo agreed that job was not for us. He wanted to hike up there.

We took a hike along the Presidential Trail where I was distracted by some beautiful little flowers along the trail...

...then on to the native village....

…around the base of mountain where we saw a number of very nice “close ups” of each President (which I won’t show you all of), and back around to visitor’s center via the Artist’s Studio where we saw the original model for the monument.

We stopped in at the gift shop for little do-dads, and sweat shirts for the kids to quell a repeat of the previous night’s Chorus of Whining “It’s so cold!”. (Papa and Mama were walking around in short sleeves and doing just fine). Despite backing off on the insulin during our visit, T-Bear had a nice little blood sugar crash after hike which I managed to catch and correct with my emergency juice and snacks. Then, back to camp!

The kids hit the water slide while Papa Bear drove up to the highway turn-out where he could get good cell reception for a conference call, and I made some lunch and did a little housekeeping…

Popper in need of housekeeping.
Then I took the Cubs horseback riding.

Brother Bear on Linda.

Banana Bear on Splash.

T-Bear on CLC.

BooBoo on Handy.

BooBoo’s horse was led by the wrangler up front, Bro Bear and Banana Bear were somewhere in the middle of the line, and T-Bear and I brought up the rear where we met Mike and his grandson Gabe, who also has T1. We got to chat a bit after our ride, and T-Bear got to meet another kid with T1, which doesn’t happen very often.

After our ride, it was back to Popper for a BG test, which triggered (in some mysterious way) a COMPLETE PUMP FAILURE. The PDM was alarming, issuing instructions to immediately remove the Pod, which we did, and call Customer Service, which took a little longer. I packed up the D-gear, Pod gear, laptop and cell phone and headed for the cell tower to make my calls. First to our Ped Endo’s office to get instructions on calculating injections, then to OmniPod to try to figure out what was wrong with the PDM. (Our Ped Endo’s office ROCKS! I got a call back within five minutes of leaving a message, and the Endo on call knew exactly what to do. ) The guy at OmniPod and I couldn’t get the PDM working again, no matter how many times we took out the batteries, pushed the reset button, and did the Hokey Pokey, and there wasn’t going to be anywhere to have a new PDM shipped in the next week-plus, so pumping became a non-option. At that point, though, T-Bear was so fed up with the problems we’d been having, he decided he wanted to go back to MDI’s, at least for the duration of our travels.

So, back to camp to take stock. We had been doing BG checks on the PDM, which was now out. I had packed a back-up glucose meter that uses the same Freestyle test strips, but that meter was lost along with T-Bear’s SPIBelt test kit. I had a second back up meter (because I’m a feak that way) which takes different test strips, along with most of a container of test strips, so the Freestyle Lite was going to be our new meter. Except as T-Bear was opening the container to do a BG check, all but two test strips flew out and onto the floor, making them unusable. Peachy. Two test strips. That’s it.

Next challenge. I had plenty of Humalog, and even had a vial of Lantus (which was great, because I needed to give him a dose right away…wasn’t that clever of me?), but only had three syringes (not so clever o f me). Three. That’s it. Hmmmmm.

Time to pow-pow with Papa Bear. Our next planned camp site was in Wyoming, with no power and no water. Needless to say, probably no cell service or internet connection. Day One of adjusting back to MDI’s…probably not a good place to do that. So, we decided to book some rooms at a Marriott in Billings, Montana and re-route ourselves a bit. Papa Bear found a Walgreen’s near the hotel so we could get supplies, and ran out to the local Rapid City Walgreens to pick up a glucose meter to get us through the night and next morning. By then the kids had been fed and tucked in, and it was time for Papa Bear and Mama Bear to do the same.

It was a really, really long day. Kind of like this post…


  1. Wow, what a day! The horseback riding is may personal favorite part of your adventure, hope you all enjoyed it. And look at you rockin in that chaotic medical emergency moment - you have it all together Momma Bear!! Job well done :) A night in the Marriot sounds right up my alley LOL, I'm glad you snuck in some wifi time to update us.

  2. P.S. When I showed the pictures to the kids Nic asked "When can we travel that far?" and Sydney saw Micheal and proclaimed "Oh, I want to be there with them!".

  3. Hugs for you all. I love your blogs and sharing the adventure with you. Roll with the punches, sweetie, 'cause that's what we do!

  4. Sounds like you are doing good at coping and figuring it out. The horseback riding looks **Awesome**!! Love reading about this trip!

  5. Wow, that's a lot of fun. Imagine the stress if you didn't have contingency plans A-Z!

    Thanks for the inside view of your home away from home. We'll get there eventually, and it helps me picture it. Please remind me about your travels in Popper, because I can't remember if you've said before ... do you actually all fit to sleep in there, or do some of you camp out in a tent?

    Wishing you more happy travels,

  6. Hey, Vanessa!

    Yes, Popper sleeps all six of us! But, we're very friendly sleepers :) Glad you're enjoying our adventures! - Mo

  7. Thanks for replying, that's cool! Our two kids have trouble settling in the same room when they have to, let alone the same bed, and camping has been tricky ... they're just too excited. But I think that's just the novelty factor and their age (5-6).

    I'd happily put them in a shared room at home, but because we home school and they do almost everything together, my husband wants them to stay in separate rooms so they have their own space. I see his point too.

    Actually, I can picture peaceful cosy bedtimes in a pop-out van (our most likely option), snuggled up for stories after a big day exploring ... they'll be glad to rest! And we have a lot to learn, I'm sure.

  8. You are my hero. Love reading about the trip, it looks amazing. I think we did the same horseback riding when I was there as a kid. :)

  9. You guys sound like you are having fun.....wish I could be hitching a ride with you guys! Mary