Sunday, July 27, 2014


I refer to it as “The Great Fernie Debacle.” The story is a cross between “Charlie on the MTA” (Did he ever return?) and Gilligan’s Island (a 3-hour, i.e. short, cruise).

One of the Montana geocaches required that Mike return to complete a certain part, so he planned the trip as a short adventure. Leaving Monday (July 21), he would travel into Canada through north Idaho, spend Monday night in Fernie, BC, then re-enter the States and spend Tuesday night at Great Falls, returning to the town house Wednesday evening. That was the plan. I/we tried to think it through and cover all the bases. We learned that cellphone calls from Canada would be 85 cents a minute – and that’s over budget -- so of course, I didn’t expect to hear from him until he reached Great Falls.

“No news is good news,” we always say, whether it’s true or not. Tuesday evening, just as I was picturing Mike in Great Falls, he sent a succinct message from Fernie. The motorcycle had “conked out” Tuesday morning, he said, and had to be towed back to Fernie for repairs. Getting parts was a problem. He would call in the morning.

In communication Wednesday morning, I learned that he was stranded in Fernie until the Triumph was fixed, hopefully by Friday. Not many people really needed to know about this development, but I did call Mike’s hunting / fishing buddy Ken to tell him that Mike would not be available to fish on Friday as planned. Ken immediately offered to go to Mike’s aid, but I pointed out that if he left the motorcycle behind, he would just have to go back and get it. As we discussed the details, a tiny chortle escaped to my hearing.

“I’m sorry,” said Ken.

“Don’t apologize,” I said. “No one was hurt. No one died. It’s just inconvenient -- and even a little funny.”

So we laughed. I felt a little guilty knowing that Mike wasn’t laughing – that he was really stressed and upset, but I also knew that one day he would laugh, too.

Even though I was low on basic provisions, like bread and milk, I stayed at the farm where the dogs and I were content. I started layering my Halloween quilt, and I was glad to have the time to leave it on the dining room table and cogitate over it – spreading it out, taking it up, and starting the process all over again. No one was asking when I’d be finished or feeling sorry for me. I know it’s a much better “sandwich” than if I’d had to hurry. 

And so, we met in town last night. The dogs were s-o-o-o-o glad to see Mike ride in. Okay -- I was glad, too. He was hot, tired, and hungry.

So, as we settled on grilled pork chops for supper tonight, I remarked that that’s what we had last Sunday. “That was eons ago!” said Mike. It seems so to me, too. KW


Chuck said...

Now, I would like to hear the "rest of the story".. What happened to the bike? How did it "konk out"? Where did they have to go to get parts? Was it an easy fix? How was the rest of the trip? This ought to tax your writing skills.

See you in a couple of weeks. That is, unless we have a hiccup in our plans. Hopefully not like Mike had.

Kathy said...

The rest of the story is not mine to tell. Mike looks forward to telling about it, complete with pictures.

Chris said...

Glad to hear he made it home okay--and you, too, doggies in tow.

Hallie said...

Did you intend to get Bess in that photo or is she "photo bombing"?

Kathy said...

Ha-ha! Bess was photo bombing, but I didn't mind. Though she isn't clear, it does show the great elan with which she flies through life.