Monday, June 22, 2009

Noah would feel right at home

The ol' fishin' hole was rocking and rolling

The dam at the Union River hydroelectric plant looked like Niagara Falls when I came into Ellsworth Sunday evening to have dinner at my sister Jane's. It's been raining since Thursday afternoon and, while I'm getting weary of it, I refuse to just sit around.

Monday morning I was determined to hook up a 12 volt outlet on the KLR so I can charge stuff like a cell phone, iPod or GPS when I'm on the road. I'd stopped by Bill's Custom Motorcycles, a shop on the road down to Branch Lake and Bill told me he'd be there all day Monday and take care of it for me, but when I stopped the shop was locked. No Bill.

So, I headed to town in what started as a drizzle but turned into a downpour by the time I reached the Friend & Friend motorcycle/ATV/snowmobile/jetski dealership in Ellsworth. They listened sympathetically to what I wanted -- a couple of connectors that would plug the cigaret-lighter-style outlet into some available wires behind the KLR's headlight -- and told me to drive right into their service building.

One of the guys rooted around in the electrical parts bins, came up with a pair of crimp-on connectors and borrowed a tool from one of the mechanics for me. If I'd had some reading glasses with me, the job would have been a snap, but it took me a while to strip the ends of the wires and get things together with the help of a borrowed continuity tester to identify the hot wire.

I asked what I owed them. "Don't worry about it," was the answer. No bill again. I don't know if this was an example of the fabled motorcycle fraternity helping the two-wheeled traveller or if they just took pity on a waterlogged stranger. Either way, job done.

Next stop was the local outfitters for some waterproofing for my gloves -- the remaining gap in my rain gear. Happily, the directions on the bottle say to apply it to wet leather. No problem.

I comiserated with the sales clerk. "All this rain must be bad for business."

"Actually," he said, "it drives the campers out of the woods into the stores. There's nothing for them to do but shop."

Power for the people from Ellsworth Hydro

Today is my wedding anniversary. Nineteen years ago, Mary and I tied the knot aboard a catamaran sailing off Waikiki. It was the best party either of us have ever been to, before or since. I wish we were together today but thanks, Mary, for understanding why I need this trip. I'll be home soon.

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