As I approached the Barataria Waterway I had made up my mind to anchor out for the night and he next morning return to Grand Isle to see what it had to offer. But there was still plenty of light and for some reason I decided to run back to where the truck was parked just to check things out. I don’t know why I did this as I have never done it before. But for some reason I just thought it was a good idea.
I rounded a gentle bend and the truck came into view. Everything looked fine. I then noticed a small cut beside the ramp area that seemed to offer good anchorage for the night. I decided to swing in and check it out. As I did I then looked at the other side of the truck. Something was wrong! It looked like the driver’s side window was down! The closer I got, the worse it looked. I could see broken glass hanging around the frame. Yea, some SOB has broken into my truck!
I got out and walked up to survey the situation. It appeared someone had tried to used a screwdriver jammed in to the lock and when that failed they broke the door handle completely off. When that failed they just picked up a large chunk of riprap and slammed it through the glass. Naturally it bounced over the console, hit the glove box and door on the other side damaging them all (Cost $753 plus the glass repair!). I stood there just looking at the broken glass covering everything on the interior. Did I mention I was now raining hard?
So the question is, “Now what do I do?” I have a 650 mile trip home in forecasted rain leading into sub-freezing temperatures. If I use plastic over the window I will be blind out the driver's side and pulling a trailer. If I leave it open I will be wet and then frozen. I look at my watch and it is 4:20 on a Friday afternoon standing on a ramp in the middle of nowhere. I need to be home Monday afternoon. What’s the chance I can get it fixed here before I leave? Little or none is my guess.
So I decided to do what I always do when I get jammed up and need someone to bail me out – I call my wife!!!
I think I mentioned before that Vickie and I operate an insurance agency and as result deal with situations like this on a regular basis. The problem here for several reasons is the time. Our office hours are until 4:00 on Friday and since I am gone I figure my wife was out the door at exactly four o’clock and heading for the mall.
I decide to try anyway and to my surprise she answers! I ask what she is still doing there and she tells me there was still some paperwork that needed to be done so she just stayed late. Now I really feel bad. Here I am out loafing around and playing with my boat and she is staying late at work!
I explain the problem and she sympathizes with my disgust and then asked what she can do. I have her get on the computer and locate another agent with our company who is located close to Crown Pointe. It takes a little searching but she narrows it down to one in the vicinity but closer to New Orleans. I asked her to hang up and call the agent and inquire if there is a glass repair shop in the area that does installations on Saturdays. If there is one, then give them a call and see if by chance they can get the glass delivered for a replacement the next day. It’s a long shot but maybe I’ll get lucky.
While I am waiting for her to call back I put on a pair of gloves and proceed to try to clean the broken glass from the seat so I can drive without turning my posterior into hamburger. I also took a quick inventory of what was taken out of the truck – about $10 to $12 worth of quarters (for the car wash) out of the ashtray, a cheap $10 pair of binoculars and I pair of pants and shirt I planned to wear home. What they didn’t take was more interesting - a complete Sirius satellite radio system ($150), a $30 set of jumper cables and a tool box with miscellaneous tools. It had to be kids. Just didn’t make sense otherwise.
About five minutes later she calls back and to my surprise has it all set up. The glass company will have the glass first thing in the morning and all I need to do is call and let them know where the truck will be. Vickie said they ask that I come closer to the New Orleans area to save them some time and commented that I was in the “middle of nowhere.” They also suggest a couple of motels I where I could stay. I thought about the motel idea (a hot shower would really feel good) but decided I wouldn’t sleep well worrying about Therapy sitting on the parking lot unprotected. Some of the electronics can be remove but the $850 radar is more or less fixed. Of course a hard yank and wire cutters could extract it fairly quickly – and that was the problem. No I would just have to find a parking lot and bed down in the berth.
With the seat cleaned off enough that I thought I could safely sit, I pulled from the parking lot and turned north towards New Orleans. Oh yea, It still raining and I have nothing to cover the window so I getting good and wet in the process. It takes about 40 minutes to approach the metropolitan area and I realize there is one more little catch in the plan. I am now hitting the end rush hour traffic. So here I am, towing the boat in the rain with no door glass in rush hour traffic crossing an extremely narrow bridge having little idea where I am going or how to get there. Yes, boating sure can be fun sometimes!
I finally stumble my way in to the New Orleans suburb of Metaire and find a large grocery store that is open 24 hours. They have a big parking lot that is completely vacant on the far end. I decide this is home for the night. While getting parked and situated I had three different people stop and get out and look at Therapy (at least it had stopped raining by then). They each had questions and one wanted me to go into business with him building them. I am still amazed at the attention the boat attracts.
The next morning at 9:00 the glass company installer arrives and in an hour has me ready to go. He tries to convince me to stay another day informing me there is a big Mardi Gras parade tonight but I decide I have had just about all the fun I can handle for one trip. I’m going to cut it short and head for home. Tomorrow I will take my wife out for a nice dinner – that’s the least I can do.
For this little river trip I have covered a lot of miles. But unfortunately it has mostly been in the seat of the truck not the boat. I logged aver 1400 road miles and only 277 river miles. But once again I have learned some interesting lessons along the way and add them to the experiences Therapy has made possible. Sure, there were some problems but in the end everything worked out. Some trips are just better than others. Still I have enjoyed every one and plan for many more.