We arrived to Gooseberry Mesa at 3 am on May 17th and were greeted by the entire Staebler family. Sam, the 3 year old youngest Staebler wasn’t feeling well that night. “A touch of food poisoning,” we said. “Must have been a little bad papaya,” we said. We held poor Sam while he groaned that his stomach hurt.
The next day we caught up with Rebecca, Dan, their daughter Sydney and a recovering Sam. It was great to be back on the Mesa. We retold tales of past trips where Vertical Media employees came down to celebrate springtime while it was still snowing in Jackson. Senor Diaz, the unofficial (imaginary) mascot and good luck charm of the Mesa was alive and well. The sun was warm and it was good to reconnect.
Tuesday we saw Senor Diaz’s nasty side – El Diablo.
Tim and I were working when Rebecca came by the van. “It wasn’t the papaya”, she announced. Dan was now sick and so was Sid. Stomach flu had hit camp. We placed orders of Gingerale with BJ and Lisa who were on their way up from Springdale. By evening Rebecca was green too. Tim and I greeted BJ and Lisa alone and had a quiet dinner while Dan and Rebecca stayed in bed.
Next day El Diablo dropped by Frank for a 24 hour visit. By 10 am Tim and I canceled work and were flat on our backs. It took 16 hours of sleep before we started feeling better.
Once 75% of the camp was ill, BJ and Lisa wisely drew a clear (and actual) line in the sand. Nobody crossed it and they remained healthy. Thankfully the flu was short lived and the next day we were all cautiously eating again. We celebrated non queasy stomachs with a batch of Carne Asada purchased from the Mexican Carniceria in Fruita. For anyone traveling through Fruita, you MUST stop at this small authentic Mexican market for the best marinated steak in the area…tortillas are homemade that day too.
The next morning we bid farewell to our recovering Mesa friends and started driving north. It was Friday and Jimmie Shell’s birthday. We had dinner reservations for Jimmie’s favorite meal, spaghetti with red sauce, and we didn’t want to be late!