scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: What I did on my summer vacation #2
Thu Aug 24 2000 - 22:15:35 CDT
Camp invites staff members out to campsites for fun on Wednesday evening, so
my kids go wild. Over 50% of staff was booked for my site. I told #1 to
reapportion them as needed. I still wound up with over $260 in pizza and
Pepsi for everyone (What good is knowing the property around camp like the
back of your hand if you don't put it to use?) that was gone in what seemed
like minutes. Couple of staff members and I tell stories around a campfire.
Oh, and 3 days of testing while I am gone shows absolutely nothing wrong with
Now the fun part begins.
I have four days at work before leaving again, this time for Canada with #2
and 8 brother/kids coming along. So of course, in those 4 days, I was
expected to move a business and its 50 years of accumulated "stuff." In those
days I move everything that matters, get the business set up so everything is
working and yo can make money at the new location, get a deal struck so the
phone lines will be moved, etc., etc. Then to top it off the boss takes the
day before I leave off so all I can do is leave instructions for what's left.
When you leave Chicago and arrive at Minneapolis EARLY and get on your little
prop job to International Falls and arrive there EARLY and the cabs to the
float planes come EARLY and everything seems to be going smoothly, you get
suspicious. Well, I do. Suspicions don't help when trouble finally hits,
Canada was fun. Lets see, we're unloading the floatplane -- a big one, seats
10 or so -- when it starts to pour. Everyone is rushing into the cabin with
stuff except me, standing at the top of the ramp they have, about 10 feet
above the water, getting stuff off the plane while wearing my Venturing cap,
glasses, Philmont shorts, etc. Except that ramp is now slick and hiking boots
have no grip on wood. I fall off the ramp, miss hitting all parts of the
plane, and come up slowly (Why slowly? 1. You swim while wearing a good pair
of leather Vasque boots. 2. I don't want to whack a float on the way up. 3.
YOU TRY TO SWIM IN VASQUE BOOTS). The pilot rates it a 9, no one else falls
and misses everything. Impact on hitting the water ripped the shorts on the
heavy side (the one with the cell phone still in the pocket) all the way up
to the waistband, which was easily fixed with fishing line that still had the
lead weighs attached for the homey look. Throwaway camera in that pocket is
gone, since I could see over four feet of water over my head and I never
touched bottom it has to be 15-20 feet deep there. Elbow bruises from bicep
halfway down the arm during the week. Venturing cap and glasses by some
miracle stay on the entire time (note: someone tell supply SOMETHING is good).
Replacing cell phone cost a couple hundred in the end. Anybody want one that
lights up and then turns itself off?
So of course, with all these little kids who want to fish, first day it
pours. Tried everything I could. Food, Sweets, Treats, cards, can't keep 'em
happy. Early afternoon it stops for a couple hours and we go fishing -- well,
we really go out to empty the water out of the boats, but once you're in them
you might as well keep going. A few hours dry and then it starts to rain.
Being first in I told #2 son I would take the organic trash over to the
island for the terns. Please note the name of that island is now the "Tom
Petrik Memorial Tern Sanctuary." I'm hot, I'm catching fish already and
throwing them back as too small, I got this engine running, well, as I pulled
up to the island it was running, but it stops. OK, you started it before,
nothing to worry about, dump the trash and push off and start it...start
it....START IT. Motor won't start.
Everyone else comes in to shore at the cabin and goes to gather wood. Note
they collected so much they did not really NEED to get more the rest of the
week, but they did to keep the kids busy. They were gone a long time and #2
reassured them that, if I was out in the rain, I was probably just fishing.
Meanwhile I try yelling (against the wind), waving canoe paddles, and finally
give up and I DO fish my way across the entire lake, rain filling the boat
until water is again coming into my boots over the top on the deep side.
Where's that FRS? Oh yeah, IN THE KID'S POCKET. Don't panic, steer with the
waves and find a good place to go ashore.
Man, I found the place. Rocks up the sides, a flat rock face that will
reflect heat back from a fire, lots of firewood, I'll be set, all I need is
that lighter from the fishing box.
Never, ever, tell a kid to help by cleaning up a fishing box before a trip.
Alright, I'll get ashore, I have a tank of gas (which is giving me hassles,
we'd already changed the motor, it HAS to be the gas or the tank), if I get
enough wood I can get a spark from something among all those rocks and my
eyebrows, mustache and beard can grow back later. If I have to I can pull up
boat, remove motor, turn it over and use it for protection from the rain. All
I need is a fire and I'm fine.
OOps, forgot rule #1 of being lost. Find a stick and carve a notch in it so
even if there's a Ranger around the next tree you can say "I was lost for a
day." Bingo, important stuff done, time to get wood.
That's when it REALLY started to rain. Just sitting under a pine tree letting
it drip on me instead of blow through me was as far as I got. Wilderness
Survival Shelters? HA! Just one less drop of water becomes a victory.
Eventually I hear a motor and go out to the boat and they drag me home after
we dump out the water. From time I left to time they got me back about two
hours have gone by and the Gore-Tex is saturated, let alone anything else I'm
wearing. When I take off my clothes I start with the boots and the kids are
amazed at the amount of water they hold around your foot.
I am regaled with how my one brother was sure the boat was not me, it was a
white rock so they almost didn't come out looking. I am also told just how
many people said, "Do we really HAVE to go find him?" I end that discussion
by pointing out that, if lost again, leave me, I don't want to go back. Don't
even bother telling my wife until you're all back home and safe.
Rest of the week in Canadian fishing, walleye, northern hitting the lure hard
enough they tear their mouths on the hooks, eagles. Fun stuff, y'know?
I refuse to load the floatplane on the way back. SEP - Somebody Else's
Flights back are late. Of course. #2 has to be at JLTC that night. Before
we're done with that council's two weekend course he'll miss the last day and
graduation because he got strep somewhere in all of this.
Oh yeah. And my 20th wedding anniversary came in the middle of the Canada
trip and I left with my wife's permission, Guess who got an anniversary band
with lots of diamonds before I left?
I return to find: Not a whole heck of a lot more moving accomplished PLUS,
the phones aren't moved. I get the notes I gave the boss which have stuff
scribbled everywhere. I call in to the local phone provider and the first
thing they do is ask if I'm the boss by his name. OK, I know who screwed up
the phone transfer, what can you do? "Well, it'll be done within 30 days of
the day you ordered it."
So we start moving everything I left instructions for. Note at this point the
business has, in essence, sold nothing and had no money deposited for over a
week. This is definitely in the NOT GOOD range.
But moving horror stories are nothing, If the boss ever parts with all the
stuff he had in his two offices life will be fine and we'll be back in
business, That and my need to find the stuff he ordered that either never
arrived or the sealed box was transferred to the new store or to storage
As long as we don't have the village decide to put in new sidewalks and they
put a ranp across the hole while they work....