Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Faith in the Bolt

Marquette, Michigan

We are running down the road and suddenly a tremendous scraping noise comes from under the RV. I pull off and see the seven-foot steel generator exhaust pipe on the road. It's still attached on one end by a strap secured by two rusty half-inch bolts. I pull out a deep 1/2 inch socket and try to undo the attached end. Both bolts are rusted and corroded from the heat. One comes off and the other bolt snaps. I remember Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I'm really mortified about the snapped bolt. I put the pipe in the RV.

Later I examine the exhaust pipe and see the problem. A U-bolt was not tightened adequately when the exhaust pipe was installed at the factory. The U-bolt was intended to secure the exhaust pipe to the generator. Perhaps big jet airplanes have better quality control. I hope they do, but my doubts reappear on takeoff.

We crapped out on the things we hoped for in this area. The fishing trip with "Uncle Ducky" in search of 60 pound lake trout was $550 rather than the $80-$175 that I usually pay.

We went into Munising to talk to dive Captain Lindquist (who I have visualized as a cross between Lloyd Bridges and the crusty Captain of Jaws I) and find out that the next dive trip is not until July 5th.

We go on Captain Lindquist's glass bottom boat to see ancient shipwrecks and I suddenly realize that all the dive sites for the shipwrecks are in 15-30 feet of rocky 55 degree water. I begin to visualize another trip to Puerto Rico for a 125-foot wall dive in warm water or a week on a Carribean live-aboard. There are over 6,000 documented shipwrecks and 30,000 lost souls in the Great Lakes. One of the shipwrecks is over 200 years old. It's an unidentified French boat that must have appeared to be something like a giant Cheerios box. Not really sea-worthy when the skies of November turn gloomy.

The guy who runs our RV park here appears to be crazy as a shit house rat. He talks really fast about obscure civil engineering topics. When I attempt to enter the conversation he ignores me. Finally I give up. Whenever I see him he has a shovel or chainsaw. He has built maybe 300 camping spaces here and so far has between one and three guests.

We had a nice lunch today in Marquette after I re secured the exhaust pipe. I had a portabello sandwich and Mrs. Phred had California sushi rolls. We each had two glasses of Reisling. In the background is another huge abandoned iron ore dock.

I'm totally puzzled by this old gas pump. It could be they have it set for $.459 and just multiply by ten and ignore the fact the the pump only goes to $99.99 dollars. Or maybe the rate is $1.459. Either way the dollars on the pump makes no sense. It's a mystery without any clues.

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