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Getting Sick over Reno

July, 2004

It was our family’s summer vacation and we were heading east to Colorado in the plane.  As usual, we got a pre-dawn start from home, in order to make a dawn wheels-up departure from the airport.  The weather and turbulence is SO much better in the morning that it makes sense to do this.

We took off, climbed over the Sierras and I had just leveled off when I felt a little dizzy.  I thought it was probably from getting up so early, but when I leaned down to get a chart from under my seat, I got the whirlies.  Something was wrong and getting sick in the plane with my family is not a pleasant thought.

I explained what was going on to my wife, then called Reno approach and told them too.  I didn’t declare an emergency, but I was prepared to if needed.  I really wasn’t feeling that bad yet, but I could tell something was approaching and it wasn’t good.

We landed without incident and taxied to the FBO.  It was ridiculously early to get a hotel, but my wife and someone at the FBO arranged something, because by now it was clear we are not going to take off again.  We took a taxi to the hotel in downtown Reno, but as my wife and kids went inside to check in, it hit.  I ran down the street, turned into the nearest alley, and let loose.   When I looked up there were some Reno winos staring at me.

Wow, a few short hours ago I was feeling fine and taking off heading for a vacation in Colorado.  I could never have imagined I would end up throwing up with bums in downtown Reno before noon.

Luckily it was a 24 hour kind of thing.  I stayed in the room and slept while my family walked around Reno and went to the movies.  By the next morning I was feeling good and we continued the trip.

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