It’s all fun and games until someone sprains an ankle.

It’s only Sunday and already it’s been a nice long weekend.

And might I add, there’s been more than a little beer flowing.

Friday night, we went for our usual Steak and Beer and then some friends came in and announced there would be a bonfire at Judy’s house in front of Rich’s garage.

Well now who are we to pass up that?

We went, drank lots, laughed lots, cried lots (over missing Rich). Judy and Howard bonded as she led him around the garage showing off the sentiments that people have sent from all over Alaska in condolence. The coolest thing was a big long birch log with 31 candles placed in drilled holes. Jeff King carried it into McGrath during this year’s Iditarod in honor of Rich. The 31 candles represented the first 31 mushers in the race.

Then they went back and sat by the fire. Howard amazes me with his capacity to listen to people. I’m so proud of him. I know sometimes Judy just wants someone to reminisce with.

It was good time. Saturday morning, my abs were sore from all the laughing.

Last night, we went to celebrate Dusty’s birthday at our friend Stephanie’s house. It was also her husband, Jacen’s birthday so they flew in a keg and threw a big bash.

This time of year, everyone leaves their car or truck in the driveway and drives their ATV all over town. We were no exception.

Jacen loves to dirt bike. He just broke a trail in front of his house last week. Needless to say, after a few beers, all the guys were trying out the trail with their 4-wheelers. Jacen led the pack on his dirt bike. Me, Stephanie, Dusty, and Dusty’s mom were sitting on the porch just watching when Stephanie decided we should go over and join in the fun. I hopped on the back of Steph’s ATV (Howard had ours), and Dusty’s mom jumped on the back of his, and off we went.

I held on for dear life and Steph drove over the marshy tundra to get to the trail. We were screaming with delight and laughing so hard at Dusty who managed to drive the 4-wheeler with one hand while he had a cigarette in the other. We hit the trail with the boys who were pretty impressed at Steph’s ability to hang. But they laughed everytime we spun out and screamed like girls. It was fun to act like big kids.

We all convened in the middle of the trail for pictures and for a break, when Dusty’s mom got the bright idea to try out Jacen’s dirt bike. Dusty looked at me and said “Oh my god, she’s going to get hurt, I just know it.” We all watched as she took off on the bike and just as she drove into the road, she didn’t see a car parked next to the woods, and tried to veer away but she judged wrong on the gas and the dirt bike slipped out from underneath her, threw her off and the bike went flipping through the air. We all stood there stunned, then we ran to her. She was silent and wasn’t moving. We were terrified. She managed to whisper that she was alive, but the wind was knocked out of her. Then we all noticed her ankle was rapidly turning blue and swelling.

Steph ran down to the house and called 911, and the on call PA came out and took Kathy to the clinic. Long story short, nothing was broken but her pride and it was just a nasty sprain.

Boy what a buzzkill. Dusty returned to the party after getting his mom settled in at her house, and we all sat around chilling out and behaving ourselves, waiting to sober up. We finally got home around 2am this morning. I was extra careful driving the 4-wheeler.

Summer is fun here but you can get all caught up in that fun, and not realize the danger. Kathy was just plain lucky.

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