Normally I rock the midweek town trip solo. However last week Travis’ sister, Mercer, asked if she could tag along. Most definitely! Not sure she knew what she signed up for.
What all goes into a town trip? Oh, I’m so happy you asked! It’s typically a grab bag of sorts. Usually includes the holy trinity of stopping at the bait shop, beer store, and the butcher shop. Add in dropping off the water sample and the trash, stopping at the post office, bank, grocery store, hardware store, marina, library (for super fast internet connection), and getting gasoline and diesel fuel and you’re looking at a full day. But my FAVORITE thing about the mid-week town trip is getting to go for a run in town. I know, its crazy, but it keeps me sane.
So the first step to the mid-week town trip is getting off the dock by 9:45 am. Our water sample must be delivered by 10:30, so we usually have to rush that into the health unit office right away. This means having the trash loaded, getting the 4-wheeler and diesel trailer on the barge, collecting the water sample, and hopefully (fingers crossed) getting all the breakfast dishes done by 9:45am. A bit of a tall order.
9:51 – we leave the dock at camp.
10:23 – Mercer and I secure the barge to the dock at the landing. After a quick dash into town to deliver the water sample we head back out to the landing to get fuel. Last week, in particular, we were getting diesel AND gas fuel. This isn’t a huge deal, but we were missing a section of our gas hose (yay!) so we had to get the diesel wagon off the barge, then roll the empty gas barrels towards the front of the barge and park the barge in such a way at the landing so that the hose would reach to fill the gas barrels. An inconvenience for sure, but par for the course around here unfortunately. Then we have to get the now full diesel wagon and 4-wheeler back on the barge. Don’t forget to unload the trash first, or you are lifting it over and around everything else that is back on there. This is either a logistical nightmare or dream come true, depending on who you ask.
12:00 – Everything is fueled up. Mercer heads to the library where I meet her after my run.
Side note: I should mention the standard goal time of being back at the lodge is 4pm. Travis does an excellent job of prepping for dinner on Tuesdays, but I know he appreciates if I can get back at a reasonable time to help finish with dinner.
3:20 – After leaving the library we power through everything else on the errands list and find ourselves at the marina waiting not-so-patiently for them to bag 25 dozen minnows. Back to the barge we go to get everything loaded and head back to camp.
3:50 – Depart the dock.
We felt like heroes!
4:05 – We are about halfway across the lake when I ask Mercer if she would put some gas into the tank on the barge. We both looked back towards the motor and came to the same realization. The hose for the gas barrels (which we just rolled towards the front to fill) will now no longer reach the tank on the barge – which was quickly running out of fuel. Hmmm. We talk about the options as to what comes next.
1. Could we roll a now full barrel of gas back far enough so that the hose would reach? Negative– we are strong, but those barrels are ridiculously heavy.
2. Could we unhook the gas can and bring it up to where the barrels were now located? Nope – the hose has to be attached to the battery that keeps the motor running and it wouldn’t reach.
3. Could we paddle? No bueno – too high and no paddles on board.
We decided to ride it out and hoped we could coast in on fumes to the dock back at camp. We started to turn into our bay and had passed the white signs identifying the Parker Falls sanctuary. We were so close, when all of a sudden the motor slowed down and puttered out.
So. Stinking. Close.
I’m happy to report that 99% of the time when we find ourselves in a situation like this at the lodge we can quickly problem solve with a smile on our face. I have come to learn that panic and tears do not help. At this juncture things needed to happen quickly, because we had minnows, steaks, and ice cream that would soon be compromised.
In this particular case problem solving involved me JUMPING OFF THE BARGE AND SWIMMING TO THE DOCK. Yeah, that happened. I then hauled myself up onto the dock, jumped into a camp boat (cheers to people fishing Parker lake that day!) with an extra gas can, and motored out to the barge to refill the gas so we could make it to the dock.
So the 4pm arrival was out the window – but we made it! I walked up the hill back to the lodge dripping wet and quickly changed and powered through the dinner prep, clean up, and the rest of the day, possibly without ever sitting down. I kept thinking how happy I was that Mercer decided to join me for the town trip that day. Thanks Mercer!
See, it all works out. This is what it takes, my friends. The willingness to accept whatever crazy thing will greet you each day, and to do it with a shrug of the shoulders knowing you might possibly be doing dishes and gassing boats until after dark.
Is it worth it? Absolutely! Happy weekend!