We were on our way to Indian Creek. Excitement was high with Mark and he was so familiar with the place. Where to climb in the beginning and to get in shape for "Tha Creek".
We were arriving relatively early. Late February and this was good in the sense that we would get a good campsite for our tenure. We were able to get a fairly big campsite in Super Bowl under a gigantic tree that was magnificent to look at. The tree would serve as a great landmark for our stay in Super Bowl and I always found the presence of the tree to be very magical. There weren't many people in Super Bowl campground at that point. There was a guy across the road who had a very long slack line set up with a truck and camper, a couple other people to the west in their lot, and then other transient climbers who would rotate through the other lot. The campsite we had gave us magnificent views of the North and South Six Shooter every day in clear view and if you sit on the little hill by the tree you were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise hitting the six shooters. I felt privileged to be in such a place at that time.
Being in Indian Creek this early meant we had most of the crags to ourselves and there would be occasionally one or two other parties at a crag. It's been months since Mark had been to Indian Creek and felt like he needed some good warm-ups. So we did the typical warm-ups that everyone does. Binous Crack, Wavy Gravy, and whatever other 5.9 and 10 minus we could do.
But, I wasn't feeling a lot of confidence. I was feeling physically weak just like my headspace. Thankfully, I had a partner like Mark there to help me and encourage me to keep going. Mark and I had almost a week to climb in Indian Creek on our own and after that we were going to take a break for for five days before we had friends showing up from New England.
We climbed for about five days till we got exhausted but by the end something else was wrong with Mark. The day before Mark decided to go for a swim in one of the creeks and I opted not to. The next morning we woke up and Mark was complaining that his stomach was hurting really bad. He said he was up most the night with diarrhea and throwing up. I saw him in the morning and he looked like death warmed over. He decided that he was gonna roll out earlier than he had planned to go to town to get some supplies from the pharmacy and then head out to Aspen to see his girlfriend, Jenny. He assured me he would be fine. He left Indian Creek and I followed suit about an hour and a half later. Once I was almost in town I began to wonder how Mark actually was and I gave him a call. He told me he hadn't left Moab yet and said he wasn't going to make the drive to Aspen that night and his Jenny got him a hotel room for the night and was waiting in the parking lot to check in.
When I met up with him in the parking lot he was very sick. He was sweating and complaining his stomach hurt and just wanted the comforts of a bed and a bathroom. I took his temperature and he had a burning fever of 103 or 104.
"You should be here be OK for another 20 minutes" and I went to the gear store to get some NUUN tablets for water and to City Market for crackers and cookies. When I got back I prepared him some water, gave him crackers and a few cookies to hopefully try and make him feel a little bit better but there was still about another hour and a half till he can get into the hotel room. I went to the front desk and asked if we could get in a little bit early as my friend was not feeling that good and thankfully the front desk staff was sympathetic enough, we got in earlier than expected.
I got Mark settled into the hotel room with enough electrolyte tablets crackers and cookies to tide them over for the evening and told him that I'll be around town and close if he needed anything and I check on him in a few hours. He just wanted some sleep and to be alone for a while in the bathroom.
I went and checked out the town of Moab for a couple hours and came back to the hotel room to check on him. He said he was feeling a tiny bit better but still really couldn't keep anything down. It was better than being in the van suffering and that's probably what you feel better from. I told him I give him another couple hours till I checked on him again.
When I checked on him the next time we had both decided to make the call that he needed to go to the hospital. He wasn't feeling any better and just wanted to feel good again. We went to the emergency in Moab and waited probably about half an hour and Mark was admitted. I was already keeping in touch with Jenny at this point as her concern was high and she was already thinking about driving to Moab from Aspen. I assured her that I can take care of things from here and if it got really bad then she could come.
By the end of it all they didn't really know what was wrong with Mark. Mark figured maybe some kind of food poisoning from a jar of Ragu sauce. I said swimming in the creek.
We left the hospital after he was on an IV for about an hour being rehydrated I took him back to the hotel set him up for the night and I parked behind a Chinese food restaurant to sleep in Moab. When I went to see Mark in the morning he said he was feeling a little bit better good and enough to drive to Aspen to see Jenny. Where he can be comfortable. I told him to message me when he was in Aspen
I don't know if he'll ever be certain if he got sick from bad food or from swimming in the Creek but when he was in Aspen, he had to see a doctor again there they determined it was Astro virus.