Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's been a day

And it's not over yet.

Lately, I've really been battling insomnia. I'll get in bed at a decent time, but then it takes an hour or two, once the lights are off, to fall asleep. Considering that I don't get home from work until 7:30, I'm having a hard time forcing myself to get in bed at 9. So I'm really tired this week. The past few weeks, I guess.

This morning, around 8, I looked up from my book and saw a car on the other side of the river. I put the boat in motion, and went back to my book. I do watch the river, I glance up now and then, but it's 8 in the morning and drizzling. Nobody is out and about. So I mostly read my book for the 3 minute trip. When I came in to land, it was just...weird. The boat skewed to one side, it almost felt like one of the motors wasn't working, though I heard it rev up. I pulled in, sort of lopsided, to what seemed like an ok landing, but when the car pulled down the ramp, I realized that I wasn't on shore, well, I was, but the apron was about 18 inches from the concrete ramp. What the...?

I ran out to look, stopping the tiny car from trying to climb over the gap and started looking. The motors were clearly working. I ran up to the ramp and looked. Ohhhhhh crap. There was a tree, and a substantial one, laying horizontally in the water, across the ramp, and was caught in the low water line. Like this: (sorry if the images are super huge, I'm doing this from my ipad, and it's a little wonky)

At one point, I could get close enough to the tree to tie a rope to it, from the ferry. I tried to drag it out into the river, but it was stronger than the rope I had. I tried to go far out into the river, hoping that less pressure on the low water line would let the tree drop into the river. Nothing worked. Finally, I called my boss, and he sent down a crew with a chainsaw and truck.

It took a half hour for the crew to get down here. In that time, I had to turn around 3 cars, by yelling into a bullhorn. I hate that. My voice echos across the bluff, and I'm sure anyone who's home in Buena Vista can here me shrilly screeching, "I'M STUCK! TURN AROUND! SORRY!" The fourth car that came down, they wouldn't leave. They parked, and we had a yelling conversation across the river. Evidently they were the electricians the boss had said would be coming down either today or tomorrow. They asked how to get around to the other side, but I said that the crew should be down in the next half hour, and they sat there glumly and waited.

Finally the bridge crew came down. From the other side of the river, I watched as the used the chainsaw to cut off a few branches, then tied the truck's winch to the tree and yanked it up the ramp and onto the road, where they cut it into lengths and rolled it into the ditch. I went up and talked to them, once I got over there, and was relieved when one of them said, "Yeah, that's a big one." I guess I'm still insecure about calling for help. I was grateful to hear that they--former ferry operators--agreed that it was a big tree. So it was the right move to call for help.

They left, and the electricians came on. Most of the work they were doing was to the electrical wiring that's under the operator's counter--basically under where the throttles, computer, gate switches, everything that runs the ferry--are. Which meant that whenever I had traffic, I was driving the boat with a guy--or two--laying at my feet. It was super awkward, but I think I managed to not kick anyone, though I did stumble over them a few times. I looked up at the clock at one point, as I was leaning across their prone bodies to lower the gate, and wanted to yell in frustration that it was only 11:30. GAH!

Finally they left, and things calmed down. The rest of the day has, so far, been uneventful. Knock on wood. I keep yawning, trying to wake up. I've had three cups of coffee, a diet coke, later I'll have a cup of tea, and some chocolate. You'd think that'd be enough caffiene. But it's not, and I'm still struggling to stay awake. I'm so very glad tomorrow is my friday.

The bright spot of the day is that I've finished a new pair of socks:

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