Why Did I Spend One Night Alone at a Motor Lodge in Houlton, Maine?
You aren't going to believe this one.
You're gonna need to know the back story before I tell you about Ivey's Motor Lodge.
I know it's late in the season and we've had some freezing cold nights, but I was JUST getting up to camp to close it down for good. It has mostly been wrapped up and things put away, but the water was still on and I was meeting a plumber to help shut it down and winterize it.
Well, it wasn't exactly the plumber I was meeting, it was his son - a journeyman. Found out that means basically a plumber in training. That's cool. It's just a camp shut down. It was Rick Hannigan's Plumbing and Heating. Rick was busy, his son Tyler was available. But what no one knew until I got there is that the basement was flooded. Burst pipe? Clogged drain? Didn't know - just knew there was a good 4-6 inches of water just sitting there!
Oh oh. Tyler gets there (he's adorable and cute) and thinks it may be frozen pipes. Just not sure. He gets the water shut down, calls his dad, I call my camp neighbor and we need to try and snake that drain that's just sitting there. The plumber doesn't have a snake, since again, this was just a turn-off the water job.
I buy a $170 snake.
Ever used a snake? It's basically a GIANT wheel of metal that you unfurl and jam down a pipe. Tyler (the journeyman) is in the basement with my new giant snake. A couple of minutes later he comes upstairs (finds me making my new fancy duct tape boots) and asks, 'Do you have any paper towels?' I say, sure, and turn around and his forehead is bleeding. He then asks, 'Do you think I need stitches?' I recommend he get stitches if he doesn't want a bad scar. He was unsuccessful with his snaking. He soon after leaves.
I still have about 3 inches of water in the basement. I came to camp NOT expecting this. I was in clogs. I love my clogs. so I tried to protect them as best I could. Garbage bags and duct tape!
Looks super cool I know...but it didn't work and I'm afraid I ruined my favorite pair of clogs...but all that bailing of water did lower the level. I was getting there!
I bailed buckets upon buckets of water for about 5 hours straight and got the water line below the door. But I can barely move at this point...and I certainly can't drive 3 and a half hours home. It's nearly 1130pm when I stop. That's when Ivey's Motor Lodge came to my rescue. There was one room left and I grabbed it. I spent a lovely night in Houlton and drove the 30 minutes back to camp Saturday morning.
That's when I saw that the water level had grown to about an inch! When I left it was a quarter of an inch. Dear God! Camp neighbor said that I had to go into the drainpipe with that fancy snake. The drainpipe was buried about five feet in with a cap on it that had holes drilled in to stop the critters from getting in but let the water go out.
It took me about an hour and a half to just find the pipe! Then another half an hour to get the cap off. Then it happened I jammed that snake up there and up there and up there and finally! I have never been so GD happy in my life!
I immediately ran to the basement. At first, I was super disappointed. Nothing seemed to be moving...but it was. It was just a little slow at first. So I went and watched the river of water flow from that pipe. I just imagined all the buckets I didn't have to lift! In fact, once the water was out, I took to drying that sucker out! I spent all day lifting and drying everything in that basement! Looks pretty good, doesn't it?
I'm heading up next week. I need you all to collectively cross your fingers okay? Thanks.