As some of you know I was about to make my annual migration from my winter job as a caretaker/handyman in Maryland to my home in northeastern Minnesota. Over the past few days I've packed up my bikes, a 39 Elgin which was the subject of my part in the Rustoration thread over the winter, a 38 Elgin, a 55 Huffman, a 63 American Deluxe and a newish Huffy. Three had motors on them. Also in the truck I had all of my tools, chainsaw, clothing, computer, personal belongings and four roof trusses I had dismantled to use in building a bicycle shop this summer. I had a lot of bike parts, gas tanks I made, headlights, tail lights and other things I hoped to sell this summer as the beginning of a little motorbicycle business to supplement social security. I got paid for my work by the owner here and planned to leave at dawn in the morning, so went in to town to gas up. When I got home I took a shower and figured on an early to bed to rest up for thirteen hundred miles of highway. I've been so homesick, so anxious to get back to the forest I call home. I heard loons pass over the other day and whispered to them "I'm coming."
When I stepped out of the shower the owner was frantic and said "Your truck is on fire!" I ran outside and black smoke was billowing from the flame engulfed truck which also burned up the owner's blazer which was sitting next to it. She said that she saw smoke coming from under the hood and the cab was full of smoke. Fire trucks and police arrived pretty quickly considering they had to drive up the mountain, but both vehicles were destroyed including everything I had packed in the truck, which was just about everything I have here. It was a very hot fire and I can see that some of the bike parts are melted... wheels and everything. I imagine some of my tools, the metal parts anyway will be salvageable. Now I have no way home, all of my bikes are destroyed, most of my clothes... not that I really had all that much of what anybody else would consider of value, but it was my stuff. I still have my trailer I live in for the winter months and my dog is OK, but freaked as she saw the fire and has been hanging real close as I packed and knew what was up... that we were going. Not that this is the end of the world. Being hit by lightning was worse for sure, being crippled was pretty bad, so this doesn't compare, but it's a major setback. I didn't know who to tell about this that would care, so I'm telling you guys. Old Silver Bear is feeling pretty low.
Don't know what started the fire, electrical I suppose since it was under the hood or dash, so it had nothing to do with the load, key was not in the ignition and I don't smoke. I guess this could have happened someplace really inconvenient like around Armpit Indiana leaving me stranded or left me and the dog injured, so I guess it could be worse. Truck was only insured for liability. I'm glad the owner has insurance for her Blazer. Thank I'll crack a beer and take the dog for a walk. G'night you guys.
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...