We split what was left of the day old coffee and made a plan.
We had expensive things at the camp site like a 40 year old camper, a shot gun, and a generator, and I knew bubkus about truck engines. We decided that I would stay on lookout at the site with Snappin Sam, and RetroMan would take the truck to the Dealership about 20 miles away. He figured the truck needed a new gasket, which should take just a few hours to replace. Off he went about 10:00.
I sat myself and Sammie underneath the giant oak tree next to the camper, which was pretty much the only shade tree nearby. I ate a breakfast bar, and started drinking the second of three jugs of water we brought. It had started getting pretty warm.
First, I thought about emergencies. Even though I had Sammie, if we encountered a pack of Coyotes, I'd need something more to defend us. I checked the functionality of the knife tucked in my belt, mentally went over RetroMan's instructions for using the shot gun hidden under one of the mattresses, and then checked my phone to see how many bars I had.
None. Ironically, it said 'SOS'.
Well this was no surprise, as I had the same trouble on other trips to Tree Ring. But the week before, my co-worker Dave told me that when he went on vacation to Peru he had the same problem and told me how to fix it. All I had to do was go into Options, and then Networks, and pick a different service provider. He had paid roaming charges, but was able to call his parents from a different Continent in the middle of nowhere.
I did as he described. Sure enough there was another cell company listed. I picked it, and it said
Ok, so what the Hell does that mean? And how in the world would I describe where our lot was within 6000 acres of forest? And what denotes an emergency? I'm pretty sure 'woman with crutch and snappy dog run out of water' wasn't one of them, nor would 'I think my husband lost his way to the Dealership, or is broken down by the side of the road somewhere. Can you go find him?' I'd be damned if I would be the butt of a country joke, or profiled in the local paper where the news was pretty slow.Emergency Calls Only
Note to self: Change cell phone companies, and never trust Dave again.
Here I was in the United States of America, and I had less cell phone service than someone in Peru who lived 10 miles by boat from the nearest road.
Trying to calm down, I checked out City Girl's camera. It was a Canon EOS we gave her last Christmas when she wanted to be a professional photographer. I got to know the camera, and checked out the 400+ pictures CityGirl had taken.
Note to self: Talk with City Girl about appropriate poses.
Around 2:00 I started to get worried. RetroMan wasn't back yet, and Sammie and I had just about finished the second jug of water. I was starting to get hungry. There were no more breakfast bars.
At 3:00, I heard a car in the distance. A truck slowly pulled into our clearing and I didn't know what to do. I couldn't see inside the windows because of the tinting, so I didn't wave or even smile, but I was hoping against hope that my husband was in there, and I wouldn't have to use my knife.
"Hi Hun!", he said with a big smile as he got out of the truck. I let out my breath and took my hand off the knife. RetroMan gave 20 bucks to the guy that dropped him off who said he'd be back around 10 o'clock tomorrow and then took off.
His escort had been kind enough to take him to a bank to get some cash - we'd meant to do that on the way, remember - and then to McDonalds to grab some food. So we sat under the tiny remaining shade of the oak tree and ate our burgers, trying to figure out what to do with what was left of the day.
Note to self: Always bring cash. You never know when you'll need it, or who you'll have to pay because of your stupidity.
RetroMan decided to cut down some trees with our new chain saw. After cutting down three trees, it was official - we were now Tree Farmers.
Then we decided to take some turns on the 1970 Yamahopper we brought, which is illegal in the City.
Night fell, the toilet paper had dried out, and life was good again.
Please return for Day 3 of The Best Worst Vacation Ever.
We Lived To Tell About It