Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another adventure...this one had nice rangers and cops

The camp I'm at has been looking for a donated car that is fuel efficient for a little while.  They needed something that can make trips into town and around camp that gets better gas mileage than the 15 passenger vans we have.  A former board member and good friend of camp decided that he would donate his '98 Toyota Corolla to camp.  So yesterday Chris G from camp and I drove to NJ to pick up the car.  it was about an hour and a half drive to get there.  We hung out with Mike for a short time and were on our way back to camp.  Mike mentioned that there was a slow oil leak, but that he had just topped off the oil so it should be fine for some time.  Everything was good.  Good until about 15 minutes from camp.  I had the sunroof open and the windows down and some music on the radio.  I was following Chris back to camp but a car ended up between us.  No big deal I thought; I knew the way from where we were.  All of a sudden I heard this thud and some clanging.  I drove a few hundred yards trying to figure out if the sound was the song on the radio or not (I was leaning towards not).  I pulled over hoping that Chris would see me, which he did not.

I got out and looked around the car.  The front was fine, so were the tires.  Then I got to the back of the car and sure enough the exhaust pipe was resting nicely on the road.  Not bolted to the bottom of the car like it should be.  I should point out that since I left my last job I had to give back my cell phone (company phone).  So, I was out here with no phone and no way to reach anyone.  I actually thought that it was humorous already.  I could already see this being the start of another one of those camp stories.

I waited a few minutes in hopes that Chris noticed I wasn't behind him anymore.  Finally, I decided that I would start walking to find a phone and call camp.  My only prayer was to not have to walk too far.  I got out of the car just as a park ranger was coming over the hill and saw me.  I flagged him down and told him what had happened.  He was kind enough to let me use his phone to call camp.  That was a fun conversation:  "Hi Terry, it's Ray is Chris (other Chris, director Chris) there?"  "Yes, but he's on the phone right now"  "Can you get him, this is kind of important?"  "Maybe, but he's on the phone can I have him call you back?  What is your number?"  "Well, not really...this is a park ranger's cell phone because I'm broke down on the side of route 611.  Can you please interrupt him and let him know?"  "yeah, I'll see what we can do and send someone to pick you up"  "Thanks, we may need some tools too..."

Finally the Chris I was following was called and got back to me.  By this time, the ranger had already taken down all of my license info, verified the car's paperwork and a local cop had pulled up to the scene too because apparently he wanted my info as well.  So, there Chris and I were on the side of 611 with a park ranger SUV and a cop car behind us with flashing lights as we sat on the trunk of the car (partially hoping that they didn't ask to see inside the trunk as it was filled with a few circular saws and variety of other donated tools).  We had a few more calls with camp to figure out where they were.  It seemed like the cop didn't like that the car was donated and was registered as a utility vehicle in NJ before we registered it in PA.  He also was apparently cautious that I knew nothing at all about the car or the paperwork for it.  Both said that they would wait for the camp director to show up with the tag and notary paper work from the day before to verify that everything was legit.

It was kind of a funny feeling watching all these cars pass us by rubber necking to see what we had done to warrant this kind of police presence.  I had actually thought about asking them to handcuff us for when the director showed up just to mess with him more.  We had a good time with it.  After about 15 minutes or so the cops decided that this wasn't worth their time, and they escorted me to a parking lot up the street and left.

So, that was this week's new adventure that was fun!  

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