The one (rather significant) downer of our Ohio trip was an unfortunate mountain biking accident.
Joe and Matt had talked for months prior to our trip about doing some epic mountain bike rides. Monday night they pulled out the topo maps and identified a remote spot in Pennsylvania, where they would pull off the first of the great rides of the 2009 summer vacation.
All the boys looking at the topo map.
They set out early Tuesday morning and planned to return around 2 in the afternoon for a visit with my dad and step-mom. Three o'clock rolled around and still no boys. Hmm... this is curious. Unlike their wives, Joe and Matt are very punctual individuals.
3:05 p.m. My phone rings. It's Joe.
"Yeah, hey. Where are you guys?"
"Uh, well... we had a little accident."
I knew immediately that this wasn't a scrape. Either he had totaled our car or someone was going to need emergency medical services. Now, who was it?
It was Joe. His bike had slipped on a damp, moss-covered bridge and when he put his foot out to break the fall, SNAP!
He went on to tell me that he and Matt had hiked for three hours to get back to the car! Oh my God! My phone buzzed. A new picture. Joe sent me a photo of his ankle which looked like there was a tennis ball sticking out to the side. He really needed to get to a hospital fast.
I got butterflies in my stomach. I wished that I could have been there with them. Was there enough a hospital anywhere nearby?
Fortunately, by this time, my dad, mom and step-dad were all at our cottage and advised them where to go. Sarah and I jumped in the car and drove through driving rain to meet them at Grove City Medical Center. I was a bundle of nerves. What if he needed surgery? How much pain was he in? Would this have lasting effects?
Ten minutes before Sarah and I arrived, we got just the news I was looking to hear: no surgery and no cast for now, except a soft cast. Phew. I was greatly relieved, and now I could focus on listening to all the details.
When we pulled in the parking lot, we found two hangry (hungry+angry) guys, who were dying to get some food. We found a pub, had a few beers, and let them regale us with their unbelievable story.
Joe's ankle five days after the fall. His whole foot was puffy and purplish green. He has since been to the orthopedist who gave him a walking boot. The boot has really helped to minimize the swelling. It's a long road ahead, but he'll get there, little by little, day by day.
Thank God for our brother-in-law, the hero of the day. I can't imagine what would have happened, had Joe been alone. As Joe says, "if I HAD to break my ankle and hobble out of the woods for three hours, there's no one that I'd rather do it with more, than Matt." Well, it certainly wasn't the ride that they were hoping for, but it was epic.