The next morning, Gram is feeling much better. She is ready to roll again. Huzza, huzza! To be fair, she's also a little short and "cantankerous," because she's probably still in pain.
The young man introduces himself to Sal as Tom Fleet. He gives her his address in case she ever wants to contact him. What a strange way to make a friend.
As they are leaving the hospital, Sal hears a beautiful birdsong coming from a tree. It reminds her of her second favorite tree back in Bybanks: an aspen tree.
She used to stand under that tree for hours trying to catch a glimpse of the bird that lived there, but she could never see it, so it was almost like the tree itself was singing.
On the day she found out her mom was never coming home, that aspen tree didn't sing like it usually did. On that sad, sad day, Gram and Gramps came to stay with her. They put sleeping bags under the tree, but the tree didn't sing one peep all night long.
Gram, Gramps, and Sal get back on the road, and they drive through the Badlands of South Dakota. Sal suddenly doesn't feel like rushing anymore. She's no longer in a hurry to get to Idaho. In fact, she wants to go as slowly as possible.