Tour Divide Update: Helena, MT

Screen Shot 2015 06 16 at 5 52 21 PM

The faded pink LW balloon, at St. Peter’s hospital in Helena, MT.

Lael has clarified the pattern of her situation in the days since the big attack.  Mornings are fine, if still characterized by cold-like symptoms, afternoons and evening are increasingly challenging as her breath shortens, coughing fits grow like thunderclouds, and the wear of illness and hundred-plus mile days accumulates.

She rolled into Helena today about 5:30 PM, 100 miles from her morning camp.  Her breath was shallow, her breathing labored.  She went directly to St. Petere’s Urgent Care facility where she was admitted for diagnosis, including a chest x-ray which eliminated pneumonia as the culprit.  I didn’t hear the exact words, but a respiratory infection of this sort is generally called bronchitis.  She was prescribed an albuterol inhaler, an antibiotic, and something else to relieve the symptoms, which I don’t recall or she didn’t mention.

Lael took her script to the local Walgreens pharmacy, which was meant to be filled in 20 minutes.  She rolled back to downtown Helena to the outdoor store to replace a bivy she lost during the day, but the store was closed.  She will ride tonight without the bivy and will look for a replacement of some sort in Butte.  At Walgreens once again, she picked up her meds and supplies, and rolled out of town.  She spent no more than 3: 30 in Helena.  

Working nine, ten hour days at a busy bike shop in Alaska, I do my best to step out for a moment if and when she calls.  I didn’t hear from her at all yesterday.  Eighty degree days in Anchorage make it hard to steal away from my repair stand, but it is even harder to hear her labored breathing.  All she wants is to ride fast and far. 

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12 thoughts on “Tour Divide Update: Helena, MT

  1. Wish her good luck from all the anonymous readers from your blog please !! we’re all behind her, hoping she’ll be able to recover while still riding fast ! From here in Paris, the soon coming Tour de France looks much less exciting to me than her adventure 😉 And you, keep cool, you’re doing your best to support her with your enthousiasm, that’s the best she can expect from so far away 😉 cheers !

  2. I’m hopeful the meds will work and she will be ok. Lael is a tough one and is still in a good position. Cheering from the desk!

  3. Having followed the blog for some time now, I really hope Lael recovers enough to race at her own pace and distance. May the force from Africa be with you Lael. Thanks for the updates.

  4. I’ve been following you guys for a while, but have been away and missed that Lael is doing the Tour Divide. I trust that all will be well, but if you need a local contact (I live in Helena) or any local help, please get in touch. Look forward to hearing about her journey!

  5. Mirroring all the well wishers previous comments, I’d like to point there is a wannabe Aussie bikepacker watching those blue and pink dot and wishing everyone a safe journey, BUT particularly Lael. Additionally fingers crossed for reduced worry for you in Anchorage.
    Go Lael Go!!

  6. I’m sitting at my desk amazed! It was hard enough for me to ride this route not being sick but for her to do it sick and beating veterans Jill Homer and Alice Drobna and Ezster’s record is flat out amazing. Go Lael!!!!

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