Pills and the Lakeshore

Published: May 10th 2018
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Lake View at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Yesterday was mostly a maintenance day, but we did get in one sight-seeing trip and it was superb.

One of the problems with long-term traveling is given to us courtesy of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries - managing your prescriptions. I guess I didn’t mention yesterday when talking about the benefits of napping when old, is that another great privilege of aging is you get to take more pills. Joan and I are both managing cholesterol and blood pressure problems and we each also have a couple more ailments that are being treated by medicines. But the drug industry, trying to wedge themselves into every cranny of your personal life - and vacuuming up money in the process, has set up the system to really work against your own ability to manage your health issues.

Now a days they do allow you to order 3 month supplies of drugs, but don’t dare ask for more than that. They have this concept called a ‘vacation override’, which sounds like it should help you plan for a long vacation trip. But try to actually use it, and they come up with all kinds of excuses why you can’t. By good fortune and changing a dose on one of my pills at the right time, I managed to get enough to last me through. Joan, though, was not so lucky and so we started the trip knowing we were going to run out of at least two of her meds. We phoned the Humana pharmacy and they said, no they wouldn’t send a supply to help us out. Instead, during our trip, we would have to get to a WalMart pharmacy, present the empty bottle, and request a refill. The pharmacy would ‘transfer’ the prescription to their site and, hopefully fill it. Of course, when we return we would have to ‘transfer’ it back - nothing like making things easy, right.

So Joan logs into her Humana account on-line and finds out the dates that she can renew her pills and puts them on the trip plan so we would remember to go do it. And that was yesterday! So our big errand for the day was to refill Joan’s prescriptions at the Walmart in Michigan City. It was only a 10 mile drive and was kind of scenic, so that part wasn’t

No Waves as far as you can see.
bad. She presented her bottles, they took down a bunch of information, and told us they would have to make phone calls to get authorizations and we should return in an hour. That gave us a chance to head down to the lakeshore and check things out - more on that later.

Upon our return to the Walmart, however, we were informed that it was ‘too early’ to fill the prescriptions and that we had to wait another week. Now why they told Joan one date on the web site a month ago and now have a different date for the Walmart people, is beyond us. Just one more way big companies muck up the works and end up controlling our lives. And, of course, we have absolutely no recourse against them. After considering our options, which were none, we marked another date on the trip plan - we will be in Ohio then - to go find a Walmart.

(Oh, and as a side note - make sure that you never actually have a prescription expire while traveling. That happened to me two years ago and I called my doctor asking him to issue a prescription to a pharmacy in Montana. He said that his office policy did not allow him to do that. I asked him what else I could do and he said he didn’t know but suggested I go to an emergency room and get a doctor there to prescribe something. So I was actually told to go use an emergency room for a non-emergency situation. I ended up just going without one of my blood pressure pills for three weeks. lovely medical system we have, isn’t it?)

After returning home and a quick lunch of sausage and crackers, I took off for the second errand of the day - get the LandCruiser in for its 75,000 mile service. Turned out that went pretty well, although it was twice as expensive as what my shop in Colorado Springs charges. But the LC got a clean bill of health and should be good now for the rest of the trip. Also got a replacement bulb for one of the halogen interior lights in the trailer.

After I got home, we relaxed a bit under cloudy skies and eventually I grilled hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob. Joan boiled up some green beans. Both of the vegetables were locally grown and the corn, especially, was just perfect - crisp and sweet.

The highlight of the day, though, has to be the excursion down to the lake while waiting for Walmart to do nothing. We drove down route 12 to find Dunewood campground, the campground for the National Lakeshore. They don’t have power there so we couldn’t stay there for the bulk of this stop, but, if we empty the sewer tanks, fill the water tank, and park where the solar panel gets a little sun every day, we can ‘dry camp’ for up to five nights. And so we checked out the campground to see if we could manage there. We found several sites that look good, and it is a beautiful place to stay. So we are definitely going to move, probably this Sunday and finish our stay there.

After the campground, we drove north into the small town of Beverly Shores, eventually encountering the beach at the National Lakeshore, a site called Lake View. We were astounded at how beautiful it is. This is definitely pre-season, and it was a Wednesday, so there were only four other people on the beach. So it was quiet. And the spring buds on the trees make everything just gorgeous. The overcast skies subdued a lot of the colors, but the browns and greens, with occasional white buds on some trees, presented a delightful palette of spring colors.

What was just amazing to us, though, was the water. As far as the eye could see was lake surface, but it wasn’t really moving. When at the ocean, you are constantly hammered by the sounds of the unending waves. This lake though was barely rippling. Small little laps at the edge were the only sign it was water. And the blue green color was amazing. I hope the pictures convey the tranquility and subtle beauty of this place - we loved it.

The girls loved it too, especially Smoochie who is our little water girl. Fleur is more of a beach girl and loves to roll over and over in the sand. Dogs are allowed here and they had a blast.

This stop is a very interesting one. We have the excitement and stimulation of Chicago just an hour away, at the same time we are camping and playing in a beach paradise.

Yes, there are some homes up there.
(OK, it isn’t Hawaii - the water is barely 40 degrees and swimming is certainly not encouraged.). For those who don’t think you can ‘camp’ and see Chicago at the same time, I think we’ve proved that wrong.

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