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Hurling towards Madeline Island

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Catherine Idzerda
August 14, 2012

I recently returned from vacation, and I have to tell you: Madeline Island is beautiful.

Here’s what I saw: A pile of sand, a patch of grass and the inside of the Madeline Island ambulance.

The sand was brown, the grass green and the sign in the ambulance explaining the scoring system for the Glasgow Coma Scale was white with black lettering.

Really, the department of tourism should highlight these beauty spots in its brochures.

On Aug. 4, I participated in the Point-to-Point swim from Bayfield to Madeline Island, about 2.1 miles. And here’s something interesting: You can get motion sickness while swimming.

Stupid waves. Stupid Lake Superior. Stupid wake from the Coast Guard boat. I mean, really, did the Coast Guard boat have to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth making sure everybody was safe?

But I made it to the other side, staggered out, stepped on the timing map, walked five steps and sat down, hard.

A nice EMT covered my head with an irritatingly loud blanket, and later helped me navigate the stairs to dry land. Then I sat down abruptly, looked at the grass, reconstituted breakfast and wished my blanket wasn’t so loud.

Then—oh, joy—I got to lie down in the ambulance. It was real quiet in there. Dark, too. I covered myself with my “Hello Kitty” towel and had my vitals taken. Here I am with my friend Jennifer the EMT.

But it's all good. One of the nice doctors gave me a ride to the ferry back to Bayfield. After a nice long nap and about 3/4 of a pizza, I recovered. My swim time was an hour and 35 minutes and my score on the Glasgow Coma Scale was 15.



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