Friday, October 29, 2010

I believe I mentioned in a much earlier blog that the world’s largest Indian is in Ironwood, Michigan. The giant stands 52 feet tall, weighs 16,000 pounds and has been standing guard over this retired mining town for over 40 years.

I’ve been there many, many times over the years. In September of 1996, Val, Nick and their cousins Ashley and Raquel visited it for the first time.
We took the usual obligatory pictures and one of the kids looked up between his legs to see if he was wearing underwear. About that time, Ashley let out a scream.

Some insect had stung her on the finger, and it quickly started swelling. We rummaged through the vehicles in search of something to slow the reaction and ease the pain. Someone discovered an anti-itch packet in an ancient first aid kit. It seemed to give some relief to the swelling at least, and Ashley fought off the pain like a trooper.

Then it was finally Val’s turn.

Even though there was a fantastic waterfall right outside the door of the cabin where we were staying, we just had to explore some more falls in the area. Giles Falls, formed at the top of Giles Flowage just outside of Montreal, is a picturesque area with a small park and a few hiking trails.

As soon as we stopped the vehicles, the kids took off running, wanting to explore the woods and waters. Val, who sometimes takes after her graceful Aunt Judy, tripped on something (her own feet?) and went flying. One of her knees took the brunt of the fall, but both hands and both legs showed some of the effects.

Since she fell in the red clay that lined the path, we couldn’t tell at first what was injury and what was just stain. We threw a tearful Val into the back of the SUV and half of us headed back to the cabin. The rest of the group jumped in the car and went in search of a store that stocked medical supplies.

Once Val had been properly doused in the shower, I could see that the injuries were not that bad. The red was more from the clay than from her blood. And the tears were more from pride than from pain.

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