Where do I start? First, gather round me mates (oops, sorry wrong geocaching event) and I'll tell you quite the tale . . . a real-life Jason and the Markonauts Odyssey if you would.
Before I forget . . . yeah, yeah . . . I don't usually do geocaching events since they're just not my "thing." OK, in reality, I've only done one other event since it combined camping and four-wheeling . . . and to be honest this one intrigued me since I could snowmobile to it although after leaving the pond I thought to myself that this looked kind of fun and may try camping in the winter in the future . . . maybe.
Second, one of my greatest disappointments of the day was not being able to meet Vicbiker, Tat and some of the other crew -- although I think I may have passed Vicbiker snowshoeing in on my way out.
Third, I cannot say enough good things about Whetstone Mayor (aka Bill M. . . incidentally Vic, if you can get me his address I would appreciate it) . . . and here's why.
My snowmobiling story actually began earlier in the day around 7 a.m. when I met up with a buddy with the intent of going out on a short ride to put up some trail signs before meeting my brother-in-law (BIL) Mark for a day of riding. However, my faithful two-year old sled refused to start. One relay switch, two 4 x 4 vehicles, four sparkplugs and 20 feet of tow rope later I had nothing to show for my work except for the fact that my sled was broken down and in the shop for the week.
At this point the future of my weekend and a ride up to this event was left to three alternatives.
Alternative 1: I could borrow one of my buddies' sleds which Ray the Crazy Frenchman offered to me.
Alternative 2: I could possibly use one of my BIL's sleds -- if he happened to have his girlfriend's sled with him or if the local shop happened to have fixed his broken down Polaris (that is a whole other story, but it involves a leaking gas cap, two skis that fell off and a bent trailing arm.)
Alternative 3: I could buy a new sled.
Heidi quickly put the kibosh to alternative #3.
Fortunately, my BIL had his girlfriend's sled with him. This sled was definitely a different ride from what I was used to . . . to say nothing of the fact that it was blue with pink stripes running along the sides.
To make a long story shorter we made it to the geocaching event . . . chatted for a bit . . . learned that I had missed catching up with Attroll who was out on a poker run . . . drank some of Hiram's water . . . and then proceeded to get stuck in the deep snow.
We left early since we had a 80+ mile trip back. However, we had only got a few miles away from the event when my borrowed sled died. Fortunately, the Whetstone Mayor (aka Bill M.) happened to come along. Again, to make a long story short, the Whetstone Mayor towed the broken down sled to his house, let us use his phone to call a friend to drive 1 1/2 hours to come to our rescue and then fed us baked beans, red hot dogs and home-made biscuits (and he treated us to some of the famous Maine hospitality.) During the course of our conversations I also learned we both knew a guy that I used to work with and he currently works with . . . small world, huh?
Sometime around 9 or so my friend showed up with a tale of his own . . . it turns out that when he hooked our snowmobile trailer to his truck he didn't realize that the tilt trailer's pin that keeps it from tilting was pulled out. He drove from his home in Jackson to a point somewhere near Dover-Foxcroft when he hit a bump, the trailer tilted up and sparks went flying everywhere as the trailer was dragged down Rt. 7. The good news: a kid driving behind him who witnessed the entire scene had a small bolt and by using the bolt, some nuts, a washer or two and two pipe clamps they were able to secure the trailer. The bad news: for some odd reason my buddy stuck his finger in the MIA pin's hole at the same time the kid tilted up the trailer to show him how it flew up . . . thereby giving my buddy a very nasty looking cut.
In any case, the Whetstone Mayor again came to our rescue with a longer bolt and we were able to make it back home in one piece around 11 p.m.
I wish I could have hung around longer . . . but I most definitely appreciate the memories.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."
"Death is only one of many ways to die."