The power of wind (Drive Day 234: Feb 18th, 2004)
Trees aren’t supposed to bend at the waist. But the fact that they do lies behind the first injury of our journey. We take a break from the road to work on some repairs and I hand Gary a hammer to pound a nail. The wind decides to weaponize it and Gary’s hand quickly swells to the size of a bear’s claw. He can’t drive so I have to maneuver the rig back into the same 60 mph+ winds to backtrack to the nearest town. I haven’t driven in six months and I can tell my nervous, clunky shifting is as painful to Gary as his hand. In Fitz Roy we find a hospital to get some Xrays. The staff apologizes over and over for making us wait two hours. The wind caused a five-car pileup on the highway and a surge in the ER. Gary ends up with a diagnosis of a severe sprain, an injection of pain killers and anti-inflammatories and a sling he’s supposed to wear for the next two weeks. The staff has no idea why we’re asking if they accept credit cards: medical care is free in Argentina, even for random Americans blown by with the wind.
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