For most of my travels I’ve tried to use the ‘Blog In Order As I Go’ method, but with longer trips it becomes increasingly difficult. The next story, in chronological order for this trip, is for a location that I feel would be better served if I waited until I got home and could more easily include all the information and photographs, rather than a short blurb and a few cell phone shots.
So, it makes more sense for me to jump around a little bit, and lose the constraints of order. Sounds a bit like I’m embracing chaos, but travel is a little like that- allowing a little chaos to be part of the norm. This trip has certainly had its share of chaos and misadventures, so perhaps I’ll start off with some of those stories.
One of the things I have learned in my travels is that some days are going to be completely awful. It doesnt have to affect the entire trip (a week of fantastic is not suddenly abysmal because of one day). And often its a bit of a learning experience.
Like…what do you do when you’re several thousand miles from home and you break a tooth?
While in Yellowstone I lost a good sized filling in my back tooth. It was bearable, as long as I didn’t eat or drink anything. But as I couldn’t go another few weeks without eating and drinking, I thought it best to get it taken care of.
I have dental insurance, so the first step was going to the insurance web site and finding a list of participating dentists. Fortunately, my insurance made it very easy to search by city and state, so I was able to pick the closest “large” city- Jackson, Wyoming with a population of 10,000, likely having more options that Gardiner, Montana with its population of 900.
I lucked out and the first dentist I called was able to see me the following day. Furthermore, because Jackson is a popular vacation destination, the dental office was used to treating travelers. Which meant that while they had me pay for the treatment out of pocket, they sent me home with the necessary paperwork to easily submit the cost to my insurance for reimbursement.
The most fortunate thing about my experience was that the dentist I chose was wonderful. I have quite a bit of anxiety when it comes to dentistry and Dr. Galbraith of ElkRidge Dental in Jackson was patient and took great care of me. My tooth repair left it in better condition than the original work done on it.
And, when I get home, all I have to do is mail my paperwork to my insurance. Easy-peasy…and still darned more affordable than dental work has been costing me in Maryland.