Friday, July 27, 2007
Runnin' with the Nikiski mud walkers
What an eventful night here in Nikiski! Nobody in the lower 48 could imagine so much fun and excitement at 11:00 at night....but it happens. After a trying evening with a mechanical failure which followed a bauched tune up on Johns truck, I finally got the beast tuned and running smooth. So I was led to believe. Ironically it was right as John called from Ocean Beauty to be picked up, as he was done with work. So I decided, no better time than the present to take his rig for a test run and pick him up. So I crawl down the gravel road outside our driveway to the road into Nikiski, just impressed with the performance. I open it up once I get onto the road there and as I crest the peak with no warning the rig spits, lets out a sputter and starts losing power. Instantaneously I notice out of my peripheral this red 4x4 rig stuck in the mud off the side of the road. You see, along side most of the roads here, are narrow trails for ATV's and dirt bikes as alot of the younger folks here use them for their transportation...and fun. Occasionally some overzealous off road freaks will try and maneuver full sized cars and trucks down these trails, thus the red rig sucking mud. Usually the fateful outcome of such a daring feat! So as I am coming to a rolling death these two kids mouths drop partly to the sight of such a sique ride...and partly to the glowing aura of this savior rig that will hopefully pull them from the mud. All of a sudden as Johns truck is now coasting on gravity only, it lets out a deafening backfire that about floors these two guys on their knees puts the hair on the back of my neck straight out and those expressions of timely rescue turn to expressions of utter disbelief. I was able to coast the truck off of the road onto a gravel road right where they were down. To say the least nothing but potty flowed from my mouth as I am trying in vain to start it up again. So as I am trying to turn over the truck these two guys cautiously come out of the 5 foot grass separating us to see if they can help. As I figured they saw Johns truck and knew for sure it could get them out and when they heard the engine cut they thought I was slowing down to save them. That whole hope went to pot when the backfire almost caused them to soil themselves, and they watched me roll to a stop. I was able to call Maryann on the cell to get her to bring out my truck so I could chain up Johns rig to tow it back home for the night....I am about through. Meantime she dispatches Michelle to go get John as she comes out to save me. Michelle's expression was priceless as she drives past me with these two guys stuck in the mud and Johns truck lifeless on the side of the road. What the hell is he doing now she thought! Once Maryann got there I was able to get it started and just told her to 'go" and don't stop til she gets home. I did follow her and let the guys know I would be back in my rig to help them as soon as I got Johns' home. On my back out Michelle dropped John off with me and the two of us proceeded to go back to help these guys out of their pickle. I drove in on the trail and chained him up and the fun began. Oh it was a blast man. Four wheel drives engaged, engines winding out, tires spinning, mud flying, John and this other guys friend jumping around with looks of excitement cheering us on as I pulled and he gunned. We were finally able to walk him out of the mud hole and get them on their way. John talked about it all the way home as if returning from a triumphant victory at some major sports event! The things that excite these guys!! Anyways, dude thanked us profusely and made sure to let me know he would have my back covered when we met again on the road. That and they told John they would catch him at school in a few weeks, like they cant miss John in his rig! So we made some friends bonding in the roadside mud puddles of Nikiski Alaska tonight. An odd end to an eventful day. We did get our new water system in today and my god, what a joy it is to finally have water pressure, no pooh smell anymore as the water usually would smell like a really bad egg fart! And it is so soft now. OOOHHHH! So ends the chapter of the failing water system here at the compound. With an efficient heat source, a growing wood pile, and palatable H2O that is softer than Charmin, we are feeling pretty good about progress. After several days of rain, we had a freaking gorgeous day of sun today. Just to die for! Earlier this evening the fog was rolling across the bay and just reminded Maryann and I of so many memorable times at Pacific Grove when the fog would roll in off the sea. Was kind of dreamy. Tomorrow John is going to be inside the Central Emergency Services inflatable "sparky" costume for the 'Soldotna Days' parade. Maryann will be manning the information booth for the department. That ought to be fun for them. John is looking at possibly taking his OSHA course next week which will put him one step closer to becoming a cadet with the department. Well, have a great day and stay out of the mud! Night!!