It is pretty desolate from Crater Lake, Oregon to Boise, ID. There are really only two major routes east and west through Oregon – the northern route or the southern route. Since we’re in a Land Rover, why not take the unbeaten path? On Forestry roads we went, roads that are too small for even a map, or an App! Gas up baby, cause you won’t see many cars, let alone towns or even gas stations till you hit the eastern side of the state.
Babe, can you look where the next town on the map might be? I’ve got to pee. While we pass, we might as well top off the gas.
Well, here’s one: Christmas Valley. Maybe we’ll see some good scenery! Christmas in a Valley. There must be mountains surrounding it. Just kidding. There’s nothing there. Open desolate farm land, houses and trailers planted in the middle of nothing. How do they even get water out here? A convenient store (no gas station), a post office, and a four way stop, with streets named Vixen St. and Snowman Rd. This is weird. Its a dessert. There’s nothing Christmas about it.
Read how an agressive salesman promoted Christmas Valley to retirees from California, falsely advertising it’s appeal.
Next, we played a car game as the sun set behind the dry and flat horizon, betting length of time until we would see another car on the road. It got dark and we continued our quiet and desolate haul until reaching a town in eastern Oregon before making the final haul into Boise, ID.
Skyler loves riding in the Rover with her head out the window, but this haul seemed to be taking a toll on her. There were more shoelace strings of saliva streaking the window than usual and she was a bit anxious, whimpering little cries every now and again. I chalked it off as too much water before she got into the vehicle. At the next pit stop she threw up her bowl of food on her bed in the back. We figured she had just had enough, or maybe the elevation played into it, or she injusted some bad water.
On this cold and frosty night, we finally arrived at the rental in the North-end of Boise, with a house key and some logs for the fireplace waiting for us – as the gas and hot water was not turned on yet. We set up the air mattress and sleeping bags in the middle of the living room and emptied out what we needed from the Rover. That night, we barely slept. Skyler was pacing, crying, dry-heaving, and trying to lay down but with discomfort. At one point in the wee hours of the morning, I laid on a cold blanket in the frosty grass next to Skyler while she cried and I had this flash of the scene from “Marley and Me” when Marley roamed to the base of the tree by himself to peacefully go to sleep. I cried and then as soon as we could, called a Vet we didn’t know anything about and got Skyler in first thing.
After taking a look, he said we had 3 minutes to make a decision. Either put her down, do nothing, or give him the okay to go in and do emergency surgery, with a 50/50 success rate. “There’s no way to tell if it’s too late or not for her”, he said. Her stomach had likely flipped. He described it like a baloon. The blown up balloon is the stomach, and the end had twisted, causing nothing to be able to go in or out of it, causing great pain and slowly getting larger in size. When they went in, her stomach
was purple, like a finger that had been tied off, with no blood flow. There was a chance that the organ was already dying and would not recover even after flipping the stomach and attaching it to her side to keep it from flipping again.
God provided again. He took us to a vet in town that was willing to come in before business hours, perform emergency surgery and charge us the cheapest rate in the Valley. Not only that, but after a few days of recovery, Skyler was given a clean and miraculous bill of health. The Vet said he did one of these surgery’s on a German Shepherd just last year and the dog didn’t make it. Our St Bernard’s life is a true blessing.