Coming from town laden to the gills. Headed for the community dock where we had arranged for a friend to pick us up (it is good manners not to leave your boat at the community dock for more than 24 hours because there are way too many boats using it as a drop-off/pick-up point). We’d been gone five days. He was there on time. We were late.
We’d been right on schedule until the point we entered the cell coverage dead zone – the last ten or so miles on the last of the dirt road. Turned a corner to see a tree down. Tried pulling it with the truck but too much tree, not a heavy enough rope. We tried calling our friend a dozen times but dead zone for us was a dead zone for him, too. Even when I drove for coverage, he was deaf to our message. We drove back out of the dead zone and phoned the road crew.
Someone in the US of A answered. She was dispatch. Ditzy. Entrusting her to get the job done was not an option. Plus it would take hours. So, we headed down the neighbouring island. Plan B – gonna hit up a neighbour. Went into a yard. Knocked on the door. No answer. On the second such house (all houses way down long country roads) I was turning around to retreat when I saw the guy’s workshop.
Jumped out, walked in, found his chainsaw and tried to fire it up. It had been drained of fuel and bar oil. Found his fuel can, found his chain oil, put two and two together and it fired right up. Strode to the car like the chainsaw thief I was and passed it to Sally, and headed back to the tree. A few minutes later, feeling a smidge guilty, I finished up the tree, dumped the oil and gas, gave everything a wipe and drove back to the victim’s shop.
Still no one home.
Put everything back as it was and, leaving no fingerprints, returned to the road. As we passed the fallen but now sawn-in-pieces tree, I looked up ahead in the road just in time to see another tree fall. Boom! Right in front of us (well, forty feet).
We got lucky. The tree was a dead and rotten alder and the impact on the road was enough to break it in half. A quick turn and we sguiged through.
A few minutes later we got to the dock at the end of the road where our friend was just about to give up. We connected and all was well. Of course, we apologized and explained. He said, “No problem. I actually fell asleep”.
How can you fall asleep in a small boat tied to a bouncing dock during a gale and in heavy rain?”
“Dunno. Good rain gear, I guess. Plus, I have been doing this a lot. This weather doesn’t generate any fear for me. Just got more relaxed, actually. Next thing you know, I just nodded off.”
I’ve been out here almost twelve years. If someone doesn’t arrive on time at the end of the road, I get annoyed. Twenty minutes late, I get worried. After forty minutes, I kick it up to hysterical. If someone were to be an hour late, I’d be a frantic idiot contemplating calling the Coast Guard (“Do you guys ever do roads? My guests are stuck in the middle of the forest. And there must be trouble because they are late”).
It’s why Sal lies to me when she goes over to the other island, “Sweetie, I’ll get out of quilting just before 3 and I’ll probably stop and talk and then shop and then drive slowly, may stop at Eileen’s. Don’t worry about me until about 7:00. I expect to be home at 6:00. The truth is quilting ends at 2:00. They are all talked out (for the time being anyway) and I know Eileen is in India. Sally arrives home about 4:30-5:00 like you might expect. She explains that things just went smoothly. In this way she thinks she is fooling me so that I do NOT to worry until 7:00.
Trees falling in front of you as you drive…that was the main point of this blog….that could get frustrating.