I guess it’s become clear to me by now that I’m never going to get to lounge in bed with Tom at the Comfort Inn, enjoying a beverage and watching old movies while various and sundry pieces of his equipment get repaired. Tom is way too clever for that to ever happen. Rats.
After much discussion, we decided we would start building our fishing cabin, Camp Kwitchabitchin – hidden in a lovely copse of trees, an old oak grove/wind break – in the middle of our field. This site pulled me like a magnet, so I was incredibly excited about this. Tom had salvaged, for free, a dozen huge 24’ long engineered wood beams that were also unattractive denizens of our front field in NH. He borrowed a 24’ long wooden flatbed trailer from another builder to bring the beams to Ellsworth for our foundation.
A great quote from Tom at the time: “The first lesson in borrowing is to never do it. Because if they lent it to you, it’s probably junk, and guaranteed you’re going to break it.”
As we were heading up the highway Downeast, we noticed intermittent black marks on the road following us. When we switched lanes, the black marks switched lanes too. Tom swore under his breath and pulled over.
He found that the frame of the trailer was rusted out and couldn’t support the tremendous weight of the beams. The spring shackles had smashed through the frame (there are those damn shackles again!) The plywood bed of the trailer was riding on the tire.
We shifted the load. Let me tell you, this was not easy to do, but we got the beams shifted to the other side of the bed to take the weight off the damaged side. We got about twenty minutes down the road before a car pulled up beside us with people waving frantically and pointing at the tire. I only saw a lot of black smoke.
The friction from the rubbing tire had caught the plywood on fire and the tire was beginning to melt. Tom grabbed a beer out of the cooler and put the fire out. I could tell he was some upset to needlessly waste a perfectly good beer like this. I was certain this time that we would finally make it to the Comfort Inn. I was already deciding what I was going to order from Room Service.
Then Tom said he had a cordless Skilsaw in the back of the truck with a charged battery (of course he did). He cut a rectangular notch out of the plywood trailer bed for the tire to spin in unhampered. And off we went.
He did do this. Seriously, I could not make this stuff up if I tried.
Coming next Monday! “The Building of Camp Kwitchabitchin (Part I)”