Wednesday, September 28, 2011

37th State: Iowa - Then got stranded in SD (Sep. 28, 2011).


 Sunset after my Iowa paddle.

As I was loading up my kayak, a young man came to me and asked to borrow a wrench.  Then he began talking to me about my kayaking adventure.  He noted I also had a bike.  He helped push the kayak into the trailer… then he said “Do you mind if I ask how old you are?”  He was genuinely flabbergasted that I am 67 years old.  So I told him about not being able to walk in 2004… and all that I had gone through to get this freedom and do all I do today.  He wanted to know if I’d be in the area awhile… I think he was going to “show off” his find. 

Flattering, really. But, believe it or not, my paycheck of 9/21 didn’t even stretch to the end of September… and I thought this was the month I could finally begin saving a bit of money and make it to Arizona in time to take classes in jewelry making (turning my rocks into something profitable).  Ha! 

I fell in Monterey CA a couple years ago (April 2008 I think) and messed up my face and broke several new crowns off… almost knocked a tooth out of my head… all resulting in thousands of dollars of bills not covered by my dental insurance.  Well, it turns out I broke another tooth off at the gum line when I fell in Monterey and broke my face(literally)... it just didn't fall out until I bumped it getting out of the kayak in TN.  Then it was sensitive.  I had two posts put in the tooth... and the crown glued back on, but there was nothing really to glue it to.  So last week it fell out again and the only fix was a root canal, a build up for crown prep, and prepping the tooth under the gum line to receive the temp crown.

IMGA0447[4]IMG_20110922_104756 Before                                                  After

Looks pretty good, but I'm really really sore, my eyes are swollen, and gums hurt... think I'm fighting an infection there.  Insurance paid 80% of the root canal, but nothing on the crown prep build up????   So that cost was over $350.  That was my gas money to Arizona.
Stranded in South Dakota Then yesterday (9/28/11) morning I realized my rear tires were loosing air... and that large chunks of rubber were falling off the tread.  Well, after what happened to co-vandweller Brenda (who rolled and totaled her van last week), I had to fix that too... so I got two used tires, balanced and mounted for $110.00 total.  I could not have bought one new tire for that and it will at least get me to AZ.  That was my food money for the next three weeks. I'm glad I'm not buying gas this winter while I’m parked in AZ taking classes.  What has made matters worse is getting here to my SD mail drop to pick up my mail and learning in spite of the HOLD on the mail forwarding order... two days earlier, she mailed my stuff to the address I was at in OH a couple months ago. 

Really discouraging... meds, new checks, my tabs for my van which expire 10/1... and new orders for sketches with cash and checks enclosed.  And I thought the Sept payday was gonna get me to AZ!  I guess I forgot about the sneaker plans of mice and men!!! But the gal at my mail drop has been really nice.  Then she had to rush off and teach a class... and directed me to a place she thought I could park for the night.  I told her I could not afford a campground.  So we parted with the plan to meet later today (9/29/11) to see about details of getting my SD drivers license.   I went off to check the place she told me about only to find it inadequate for my rig... too small.  Scouted out the area and found a public park, parked and began doing email. 

Then she called me up, said she had come looking for me and where was I?  I told her, she came and got me and took me to the State Park she uses (here you have to have a receipt from a motel or the park in order to prove intent to become a resident to get D.L.) and this morning she will call the Park and make sure they write the receipt out the right way so it will work for DMV.   She mentioned it only costing a few dollars for a tent site, but when we got here she paid for me to have a spot with electric next to a bathroom... on the water.   Right on the water and it's too dammed windy to kayak.  Nice and calm and sunny yesterday but too late to put in when I got here. 

So that's another $18.00 out of her pocket.  She really feels bad over all this... especially since I've been sending her customers... a new one just yesterday. Then I will have to drive another 30 miles to do that – get the Driver’s License.   But there is a Super Wal-Mart there and I believe I can park there until the mail returns from OH. So very frustrating.  I told her the only reason I drove this far north from the Iowa paddle was to pick up my mail and get the auto tabs, and get the D.L. etc.  So, no meds, sore mouth, no art work to work on... just a couple I have already been paid for that I need to finish.  Have plenty of food on board. 

Have a half sister and three nieces about 130 miles away... but haven't heard from them yet about my situation.  At the very worst I will have to stay put until 10/20... and then beeline it to AZ... the bad part of that is  missing three weeks worth of classes. And someone just sent me a $5 donation through this site to PayPal.  Thank you to him, and to anyone else who can help me head south.  I promise I will pay it forward.  My goal this winter is to learn as much as I can about turning my rocks into saleable items… and SAVE money so I don’t have situations like this in the future.

Today I will be looking for work on Craig's List, listing my services, getting my Driver’s License, checking local bulletin boards for odd jobs, checking with newspapers for the possibility of selling my story/???  Just following through with anything I can think of to get out of this jam and trying not to ask for help.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.