In light of a recent heavy rain and wind storm in these parts, I thought it might be a good idea to make a little run to the cottage today to see how it weathered the storm. It’s only about an hour from home, so it’s not like an ordeal to take a quick run there. However…..it quickly turned into something of an ordeal…..
We were about 10 minutes from the camp when suddenly my Chevy Tracker of the big wheels fame took to making a racket….that is how I describe it, “a racket” which is what happens when your vehicle exhaust system breaks clear in two in front of the muffler! Oh yeah Baby! We were roaring down the highway!
With no such thing as a garage for miles, in fact, on Sunday in our part of the cottage country, there is no such thing as a garage most of the time….so we pushed on, and arrived at the cottage no worse for wear, although everyone knew we were coming! It sounded like an propellor airplane landing in the driveway.
First things first, check the camp while the muffler tailpipe assembly cooled down so I could touch it. The wind had torn a piece of my plastic off the veranda, but the plywood was all intact, the deck still pretty much protected from the weather.
However, the roof was another thing entirely. Wendy picked up about 30 some roof shingles in the yard, and told me that many more were in the garden. I looked…sure enough, shingles everywhere. So I got out the rickety aluminum ladder and climbed up for a look-see. Yup, we have lost a pile of shingles.
Luckily, most are the first layer, I think called the “tabs” which leaves some shingle material still covering the roof, which should help to continue to shed rain and water from melted snow. But it’s still not good….nothing I could do about it today, but worry, so I put the ladder away and turned back to more pressing matters, the broken exhaust pipe.
Thank heavens and my Dad for having a bunch of “stuff” in the shed. I was able to find a pair of tin-snips, a tin can and some rabbit snare wire. With that, pliars and an old piece of carpet to lay on, I went to work under the Tracker. Now I don’t know about you, but I am not much of a mechanic, but I am a bit of a “maciver” type, mostly out of necessity….I have a lot of stuff go wrong at the most inopportune times…..so I have learned how to patch stuff up for emergency purposes if nothing else. Can’t fix a crooked picture, but I can tie up a muffler. That’s what I did…….
I cut the tin can to make something to wrap around the pipe, joining the broken parts together as much as possible laying on the ground, working with mostly one hand. I used the rabbit wire to tie it up as one of the support brackets had given out, which is probably why it broke off in the first place.
That done, I taped it up a bit and wrapped some more wire around it. That didn’t satisfy me, so I got a piece of pipe hanging strap, wrapped that around the new joint and put it together with a nut and small bolt. Presto…well almost presto, but at least it was together enough to get us back to the city.
We got home after what Wendy described as an “ear shattering nerve racking drive,” but we made it, and the Tracker is safely parked in the driveway until I can see to it this week. The cottage roof…well that is another thing to add to the list of repairs needing doing this summer. One of too many things to do actually, but it will get done eventually. In the meantime, let’s pray we don’t get too much more heavy rain or wind…….
On top of that, my blog account had somehow or other been disabled this morning when I got up, leaving me thinking that my blogging days had come to an untimely end….I worked feverishly to try and figure out what went wrong, and really don’t know, however, I followed the instructions to email my phone number to them, and I received a code in return that I entered.
That seemed to fix things up, and my account was restored…..thank you Google! I had no idea how depressed not being able to write The Cottage Chronicles was going to have on me. But we’re back !
So…some lessons learned. One of them is to have some rabbit wire, some muffler tape and some pipe hanger material at the cottage. In fact, a supply of auto mechanic type tools would be a good thing to put in a box and keep there on hand for emergencies like the one we had today. If I hadn’t found that rabbit wire and the wire cutters I would not have been able to fix it as easily. Chewing gum does not hold exhaust pipe together very long….neither do paper clips….
It’s not all bad, we got home in time to see the Canada-United States Olympic Medal Game….what a nail biter that was….oh my….The U.S. played a heck of a game, as did Canada, it was about as exciting as hockey gets for me I have to tell you. Sidney Crosby’s goal in the overtime period, well…that was something…..He grew up a few kilometers from where I live….I don’t know him…..wish I did…I have two daughters about his age……Ha Ha! Just kidding.
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