Diehard in St. George

Cape St. George is no place for a truck that won’t start. Eric pondered the why without anything obvious coming to mind beyond a bunch of unhelpful coulda woulda shouldas. While there is no sense in looking backwards, it’s so hard not to get lost in that loop. He had thought to put a Stanley Fatmax lithium jump starter in the maintenance kit and hopefully that would work if needed. It did not. Something not working as advertised for an engineer is like a ball of twine to a cat. Sheri, on the other hand, thinks like an owl with an MBA – delegate. Off they went on their separate ways to fix Boss.

Red first, then black? I can never remember.

Sheri retired to the Trango for a restful night of sleep knowing that delegation works best during business hours. Eric pulled a college all-nighter playing with his ball of cables and batteries under the light of the half moon. As the sun rose, the Owl and Cat considered their options over piping hot coffee. The owl, rested and ready to get going, picked up her iPhone and put her team of U.S. AAA, Canadian AAA and local mechanic services in motion challenging her team to first find her, and then propose a solution. The cat picked up a socket wrench, roll of duct tape, and thought, “what would MacGyver do?”

A quick swapout and we are good to go.

With coffee finished and camp stowed in the inoperable Boss, the Owl had a rescue operation set in motion. Norma in America, patched in Rosemary in Canada who proposed that in ten minutes Ross would dispatch Eddy’s wrecker from the working-class town of Stephenville for the hour drive to the Cape, putting his team on standby to provide mechanical repairs if needed. The Owl looked up from her iPhone delegation device to inform the Cat who had his head under the hood. Boss rumbled to life.

The Hartery’s Breakfast Special: heart attack on a plate.

It’s good to have a plan, and a back-up plan, and maybe even a back-up to the back-up plan. Two thousand miles from home on a remote Rock is a vulnerable feeling. It’s also good to have a hearty breakfast in the Stephenville blue collar diner to celebrate when plans work. The breakfast plates were overflowing, the waitress called us Lovies and the plaque on the washroom wall lightheartedly reads, “Wash Your Hands Ya Filthy Animal.”

A family fun Newfoundland tradition.

Stephenville is the kind of place where Patti behind the Carquest counter can scour the island and locate an F250 battery before heading out to her second job as librarian at the annex in St. George. It’s the kind of place where the local bank won’t change your US currency for loonies unless you explain to them that the local bakery can’t process your International VISA card in which case your are good to change a hundred. It is the epicenter of the Newfoundland Mummers movement where even a Philly boy like Eric, who can recognize a Mummer when he sees one, was shaking his head at the Mummers display in the storefront window of the local five and dime of white hooded mannequins wearing bras on top of their clothes.

Anyone can make a fun Mummers costume by raiding Grandma’s closet.

Stuffed with the Hartery’s Diner breakfast special, a new Diehard battery, and produce provisioned from the local grocery, the Owl and the Cat bade farewell to the southwest coast en route to Gros Morne National Park. Looking back, the extremely friendly and welcoming locals only question to them was “what are you doing here?” They had no good answer. Heading north on the only highway in Newfoundland, they dodged repeated phone calls and voice mails from Mercedes who had made a stalker-ish hike to Butte de Cap park to find them.

Live hard, Diehard, in St. George.

Diehard in St. George