Crater Lake To Stanley, Day -1 : Curiosity

I never did learn the vet’s name, but I did hear all kinds of personal details about his health problems. Most of them did not stem from the war, actually, but from an accident he got into while driving a taxi in San Francisco. Complications from the long recovery left a wound on his ankle that wouldn’t heal. He might have lost his foot, except an impetuous surgeon transplanted a chunk of muscle out of his leg and over the wounded area, creating a sort of living bandage with a circulatory system.

He took off his left shoe and showed the lump of muscle to me. It was a thick grey bulge near the top of his foot, visible in flashes from the Sacramento streetlamps as they shot past the train.

He’s about as old as my own father, but has far inferior health. Crazy what a few seconds of lapsed judgement in a taxi can do … so many years of his life affected by it… But that’s the way everything works, I guess.

I’ll ruminate on this many times during the bike tour. It will come naturally to mind as I’m pedaling in a three-foot gap of pavement between sheer cliffs and speeding metal monsters.

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