September 10, 2019, day 6
Rome, OR, ~0 miles, ~92 miles total
Woke up this morning as the tent blew off me and rain started pouring down. Gabriel was already up and fixing the stakes. (It rains 5 out of every 6 days on the ODT.)
I was a little discombobulated as I remembered we were in the Rome Station campground. I started packing up. A couple minutes later, Gabriel came back with good news! We have a cabin! A place to be inside from the down pour and thunder storms for the day and night! Such relief! Such luxury! (Supposedly Rome, OR gets under 10 inches of precipitation a year, but today feels like we got at least 10 percent in one morning and afternoon.)
We packed up our gear, dropped it off in the cabin and walked back to the restaurant/convenience store/gas station all-in-one for breakfast. Shawna, our waitress was so nice and kind to us, and all the patrons. Dallas, the line cook makes sure people get a hardy meal. I enjoyed holding a mug of hot coffee while it poured rain outside. The pace inside the little restaurant goes from sleepy and slow to 20 people all wanting to order food, buy gas, or pick up lunches at once. The employees take it all in stride keeping the Rome Station enthusiasts fed, fueled, and welcomed.
Gabriel helped me finish off my huge order of breakfast (Shawna had warned me). Then we went back to our cabin to sort our resupply and get our gear cleaned up and dried out.
That’s when Gabriel showed me his infected blister on a very swollen red toe and the red streak on his shoulder going down toward his heart. Turns out what he thought could of been strained or fractured toes, was a blister gone wrong. Something easy to acquire after wading along a less than pristine lake shore and lots of road walking in dusty country.
Some medical Googling in bursts when we had data and our first aid kits led us to think a minor staph infection worthy of the appropriate antibiotics. This also means we aren’t hitting the trail tomorrow. No going into the most remote section of the trip involving creek swims with an infection that could get more serious.
So now our town chores are finished and we are playing the waiting game of seeing signs of improvement. Gabriel’s reading a John Grisham novel and feels fine. I’m working on the blog.
While I was sitting on the Rome Station deck in the afternoon sunshine (the rain stopped around 1 pm and most of the puddles dried up by 5 pm), I got to talking with Keith the local carpenter and Station maintenance person. He offered to take me around town to see the projects he was working on (besides the nice deck and the charming pine paneling in our cabin).
We motored around in his golf cart and it was a lot of fun! I really appreciate the skills and know-how of master craftspeople. One of my favorite parts of a long hike is getting a little feel for the towns we walk to, the people we meet, and the life experiences we learn about.
Rome is a wonderful, helpful, kind community here in this part of Oregon. I’m glad to be getting to know it.
Now to see if Gabriel’s foot and shoulder respond to the meds tomorrow morning.