Now some of you have probably seen me mention my friend Valorie in the USA, the lady who accompanied me on my USA tour last year. To say Valorie leads an exciting life is putting it mildly. She had only been riding for three months when she agreed to accompany me around the States. taught herself to ride an XVS 650 at 37, never been on a bike before in her life. A woman sideswiped her off the bike in a car park outside of Yellowstone. While we were on out trip her seperated husband kidnapped her 3 year old daughter. We were charged by a buffallo in Jim Bridger National Park, I blame Val for that because she was on the back of my bike that night. She wrestled with a drunk guy inside a bar in Montana while I was outside talking to a couple of Canadian 1%'s. She tells me about this five hours later, long after we had left the county the bar was in. Was afraid me and the two Canadian guys would have kicked the shit out of the drunk and got arrested for assault. Used to jog around her property in Kansas with coyotes and cougars prowling around in the nearby forest at night. The first month she had the bike she rode from Kansas to Texas and back...got to the Tex border, dropped her son at his dad's place, turned around and rode back home. That's like a thousand miles or more. A few weekends ago Val and some girls from the SC WOW rode over a thousand miles, that's hardcore riding by anyone's standards. After I got back to Oz she was on her way to her new home in South Carolina when overtaking a slow moving car on the motorway the woman in the car pulled out and knocked Val off her bike at 70 mph. Leather and Draggin's saved her, helmet destroyed (yes she is one of the few Americans who wear a full face helmet in the mid western states, that's only thanks to me.) She is a child pyhcologist and is always at odds with the local Police departments and child care authorities, was voted best Foster care mother in Kansas last year. She moved to SC and a building inspection found 700 Rattlesnakes in a den under her new house. The local Rangers spent a week moving them. Then weird things happen around the house at night and her son, taking a photo of the lounge room, finds a picture of a girl in the TV when the photo is developed, (you can clearly see the TV is turned off when the pic was taken, first day in house, not even plugged in yet) it turns out " Amy" shares the house with them. A teen aged poltergist who delights in moving furniture and kitchen appliences around at night, soundlessly. So as you can see Val's always living close to the edge, and now I get this email from her and it just goes to prove that some people live a charmed life....And people worry about snakes in Australia? Hey hey am back home again i have been in the hospital for five days now and just returned this evening. Was the silliest thing ---was bitten--well scratched really by a cotton mouth/water moccassin-- was sick enough i THOUGHT i wanted to die. We have a life-like rubber turtle swimming around in our pool---apparently the snake bit the turtle and since it was a hard rubber material left its fang embedded in the turtle flipper --i was swiming an passed my hand under the turtle and got the front o my hand scratched --at first just thought it was one of those stinging flys that hang around the surface of the pool.....after closer inspection i found a fang stuck in the turtle --well didnt think alot about it till about two hours and i was puking my guts out an my hand was all swelling up ----went to the ER and they admitted me --after doing lab work and having the fang looked at by a snake person they decided i had been invenomated --in a small amount my blood showed levels in the millions----not sure how they do that but they decided i was sick enough to need antivenom ---this is where the real problems begin and i went into shock --had an allergic reaction the the anti venom had to be put on a ventilator and i was flown to a specialty hospital in tennesee about five hours from home----i remmeber nothing about the helicopter ride just woke up in an oxygen tent with a tube down my throat. Any way after five days i was sent home today ----hand is still horribly swollen and all from a diluted drop of venom stuck in a fang. Can only imagine the damage it would have done to Madison (Val's daughter) and i wouldnt have known what was wrong with her because it appeared no more sinister than a cat scratch . I am recovering nicely and hope to be back on my bike within another week --am still weak an taking it easy and expecting a full recovery ----apparently would be dire consequences if i were to get bitten by a pit viper again . This is absolutely the sickest i have ever been in my entire life---cant imagine what a full bite would have been like ---i might have been begging for death . AM still on lots of pain killers an kinda groggy just wanted you to know why i havent been online as of late. hope your week went better than mine. Hugs---Valorie Living and riding with Val is an adventure just in itself!