If you’re going to break down, be strategic. And by strategic, I mean lucky. As an Irishman, I swear my luck never runs out (knocks on wood). After we left our friends at Happy Productions Studios in Minnesota, we realized we had nice little gap in our schedule to swing through Stephens Point, home of Cider Boys. After a wonderful tour and some talk of cider, we returned to our bus… which wouldn’t start. And it was bitter cold, my friends. And I was just bitter.
We called Norm. (Well, to be fair, I cursed and considered rolling the bus into the sea and while Miracle called Norm.) We ran some diagnostics and determined either: a). the starter was a goner; or b). we were completely screwed. And this is where being strategic comes into play. We happened to be camped out in Stephens Point Brewing parking lot, sure, but no more than 100 feet away was Fred’s Towing and not more than a mile down the road was Daddio’s OnPoint Auto Repair. Let me tell you—Daddio’s is exactly how a business should be run. We called and they answered right away. The shop coordinated towing for the bus, the part delivery, and installation. Anna, the office manager was everything you want an office manager to be: friendly, efficient, and conscientious. She even loaned us her car to get coffee (also a great local business called Ruby). And their office dog, Bruno, is a charmer.
The bad news is that we are screwed. The starter did not work and Tony, the lead mechanic, ran every test he could think of before making the determination that the engine was indeed a goner. We spent the remainder of the day camping out in Daddio’s office, organizing tows, an engine rebuild, hotel accommodations, arrangements to get to the Great Lakes Writers’ Festival, and a rental car. (More on all those grizzly details later, including a post on why I’ll be dropping my AAA membership and why U-Haul is pretty amazing.)
Still, our luck amazes me. We were scheduled at the Writers’ Festival the next day, so we had a hotel for the next few nights. We were planning to truck back home for some maintenance on the bus anyway, so it’s not like were were stranded stranded. Our friends at Happy Productions were able to put us in contact with their bus guy at Dune Buggy Supply, who is rebuilding our engine. All in all, that’s some pretty good luck, considering the circumstances.
Now, for some business stuff: 1. The release of season 3 of the podcast is likely to come out a tad later than I anticipated due to all the hubbub. So, cool your heels. 2. The blog site will have some generic articles about gear and making coffee and whatnot because I’m busy running all over the Great Lakes region for the next two weeks. 3. We will be adding to the blog site in the next week or so with some new features and pages, so keep checking back.