6. All That Glitters
When the travel magazine sends the O’Hares north to Colorado to explore ghost towns and gold mines, Molly and Grainne are expecting to spend some time exploring and visiting with people they met at the ceilidh. What they get is quite a bit more.
Will Molly and Grainne discover gold? Can the O’Hare family help a lonely ghost find peace? Can Heavy Metal help a little girl learn how to be happy?
Join Molly and Grainne in “All That Glitters” to find the answers to these questions and more.
“I thinkz Iz gonna frow up!” Grainne was looking a little green. “Grainnez not used to da big hilliez wid da white stuffz on em. Iz cold, my tummy hurtz from da ziggie zaggin on da road. I wantz da bus to stop.”
I reached over to pet my poor pup. We’d been traveling for a long time, but she had never really been in the mountains before.
We had driven, briefly, through a few mountains in Mexico, but that was just a short distance and they were nothing like the Rocky Mountains. The mountains, in Mexico, had been not too high and a single mountain at a time.
These mountains were towering spines jutting up from the earth. The highway snaked back and forth around most of the peaks. The motion of the bus, on the switchbacks, was giving her motion sickness.
“We’ll be stopping for lunch in a little while. When we stop, I’ll look for the medicine the vet gave us when we started to travel. I’m sorry I didn’t think of it sooner.” I picked up her head and put in on my lap. I stroked her head to soothe her, hoping she’d close her eyes and sleep for awhile until we stopped for lunch.
My name is Molly O’Hare and Grainne is my service dog. She is also my best friend. She is a giant, white, Irish Wolfhound that is seven feet long from nose to tip of tail. Oh also, did I mention that Grainne can talk? Due to a fall I had when we lived in Texas, I got a traumatic brain injury and it disrupted something, in my head, so that I can hear Grainne’s thoughts. My dog had opinions about every human we meet. She knew immediately if someone was nice or not a good person. She had used that ability to get me out of trouble numerous times. She’d even saved my life once before. She was a loyal friend who, I knew, would give her life to protect me. Wolfhounds are like that. My parents are writers for a travel magazine and we travel in a converted bus. It is a large, luxurious motor home made out of a bus. We’ve been visiting tourist sites all over the North and Central America so mom and dad could write about them.
At the moment, we were on our way to visit ghost towns in Colorado. My parents have an assignment to visit, explore, and write about the ghost towns and the abandoned gold and silver mines that used to provide jobs for the people that lived in the towns back when the mines were booming. Grainne was getting motion sickness because, after we left Las Cruces, heading
north, we started to travel through mountains. South of Albuquerque, we began to climb. Once we crossed over into Colorado, the roads got winding and climbed higher. She was cold because, as we climbed the temperature dropped lower and lower. The snow also contributed to the chill inside the bus.
Dad had started the heater for possibly the second time since we had began living in the bus.
Neither Grainne or I had ever seen snow before. My parents had gone skiing a few times in Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado, but that was before I’d been born.
Dad stopped the bus at a truck stop and we jumped up to put on warmer clothes. I dug through my dresser and found a sweatshirt. Next, came the parka I’d had with me for a couple of years and never used. I was COLD! Next, I searched through the bathroom cabinets for the seasick medicine the vet had given us.
I broke a tablet in half and put it in Grainne’s mouth. “I’m so sorry you’re feeling bad, sweetheart.” I stroked her head. “You really don’t look like you feel good at all. “
Grainne looked up at me with half-closed eyes. “Iz not feelin berry good right now. Canz I eat da lunchies a liddle later?”
“Of course. I’ll just put dry food down for you over here and you can pick at it when you feel hungry.”
I filled her bowl and fit it into the built-in, raised bowl holder in the kitchen. Mom had walked over to the truck stop to buy us lunch. It was too much trouble to make something to eat in the bus when we were on the road, so we usually just ate take out food.
Dad had gotten out to fill up the diesel tank. We were a forty foot long bus/RV and had a one hundred fifty gallon tank. It took quite a while to fill up at fuel stops. He finished filling up at the same time my mom came back with the food.
“Grainne honey, do you want to potty before we start eating the food mom got? I’ll take you out now and you can sleep while my parents and I eat.”
Grainne lifted her head and nodded “Yes.”
I grabbed her leash and clipped it to her collar. She very slowly unfolded herself from the perch on the couch and followed me to the door.
“Pleez, letz not walk too far. Iz still berry dizzy.”
“The dog walk area is just over there. I’ll ask Dad to move over to the parking lot by the dog area and then you won’t have too far to walk when you’re done.”
As Grainne came down the steps behind me, I hollered over to my father, who was just replacing the cap on the diesel tank, “I’m taking Grainne to potty. Can you move the bus over to that parking lot? It looks like a good place to stay and eat, too.”
Mom, slipped around the dog and me. “Go ahead. I’ll have your father move over there. I got us chicken fried steak sandwiches for lunch. I hope they’re good. “
At the mention of the sandwiches, I saw Grainne gulp. I guessed that the nausea medication had not taken effect yet. We hurried over to the potty area so my baby could do her business. She was very slow and it took her a little while. When she was finished, I turned around and saw that my dad had moved the bus to a parking spot right behind where we were standing.
Grainne and I trotted across the drive and I helped her up the steps into our home. The sandwiches were delicious. In our travels, we’ve sometimes found that truck stop food can be better than the food we’ve had at expensive restaurants. It all depends on what you order and the truck stop itself.
Dad had been driving since early morning. He decided to take a short nap before we got back on the road. Mom followed him into their room at the back of the bus. Since they were napping and Grainne was still kind of sluggish, I picked up my e reader and went back to my latest favorite book. I guess I was more tired than I thought because the next thing I knew, the sound of Dad releasing the air brake woke me up.
Grainne sat up. Her eyes were shining. “Iz feelin betterz now.”
She licked my face. “Youz said that we wuz gonna stayz wid some peeples from da ceilidh, iz dat true?”
“Yes hon, we met them right before we left. When they found out we were going to be in Colorado, visiting ghost towns, they invited us to park the bus on their land. They have an RV pad set up, with water and electricity. It is right in the middle of a few of the ghost towns and mines, so it will be perfect.”
“Iz not meeted dem. Duz dey have da doggie?”
“Yep. They have a young wolfhound male. His name is Tadhg. In Irish Celtic, his name means “Poet.”
“Iz can’t waitz to play wid him. Maybe we findz da gold!”