Sunday, October 05, 2014

Pterodactyl on the St. Joe

We had a perplexing start to our weekend trip up the St. Joe.  Everything was packed and ready and I jumped into the truck and tried to fire it up and nothing happened.  I had a bit of a turn over, but then nothing.  So being the diesel mechanic that I am I stepped out, scratched my head and looked at Linda. “Oh, oh!” was the best I could come up with.
View of St, Joe from my chair.

My next thought was, “Now what would Dad do at this point?”  I popped the hood latch and lifted the hood.  “Linda get the Jeep out, we might have to jump the truck!” As those words came out of my mouth I followed the cables to one of the two batteries - did you know there were two batteries in a diesel truck (another story) - and low and behold the battery was disconnected.  Both cables were off and not even close to touching the posts. “I think I found the problem! Someone has disconnected our battery; probably they were trying to steal them but got interrupted.”  I connected the battery and she fired right up.

We drove over to O’Reilley’s Auto because the check engine light was on and they tested the engine and told me nothing was wrong. The light was probably from disconnecting the battery.  We were ready to roll, but we could not figure out how the battery got disconnected. As we drove we talked about the past few weeks and here is what we came up with.

Two weeks ago I took the truck in and had the oil changed.  When I returned home I was talking to my neighbor and I noticed a wrench sitting up on the windshield wipers area.  I took it back to the auto repair place and thought nothing more about it.  Over the next two weeks I drove my truck only a couple times and it seemed to start a bit harder than usual.  I figured it was that the batteries were the original equipment from when the truck was new and I didn't really want to think about buying new batteries so I just hoped that I was just imagining the not starting quite right feeling.  The only thing that I can figure is that when we had the oil changed, they started working on the battery of my truck thinking that it was in for a battery change. They realized that some other rig was getting the new battery and stopped the process, but didn't reconnect the terminals and left the wrench on the truck hood.  After several starts on the one battery, it was drained and we were dead in the water until I hooked up the disconnected battery. 

Our weekend continued without a hitch.  We drove to the St. Joe and found two camping spots at Packsaddle Campground.  Ben and Sherma Higgs joined us there and we spent the weekend fishing and hiking around that area.  No real exciting reports other than the ladies spent most of their time trying to find sun to sit in and the boys floated flies over fish that were not hungry.

We had great evening fires and ate some very nice meals, enjoying the time up the river.  On the last night I went into the camper to read while the rest of the group sat around the campfire. Out of the night came a screech that everyone heard except me.  Linda described it as being a pterodactyl like screech. Ben said it was probably a Screech Owl.  When I got home I looked up Screech Owls and found that oddly enough they do not screech, they trill.  I did however check other owl sounds and found that there are three that screech like Linda heard.  I played the sound clips of each owl; the Great Horned Owl, Long-eared Owl and the Northern Saw-whet Owl and Linda said that they might be what she heard. I like the pterodactyl screech myself.

We returned home on Sunday, where Linda and I started packing for our next trip to Potholes State Park in Washington and then to the coast to visit Don and Caroline.  We can’t let grass grow under our butts you know.

No comments: