Notes from Nowhere

Storm and Jumper Cables

Jumper Cables on the mountain in the Tonto National Forest


As I write this, a storm is raging outside. No lightening or thunder yet but plenty of rain – and tons of wind. The trailer is rocking and rolling pretty good and there have been a couple of gusts that I thought might tip us over. The view is wonderful up here and there’s no rent to pay but this is one of the prices of admission apparently.

Last night I managed to completely drain the battery. You really, really never want to do that because it requires a jump start, literally, to bring it back to life. My truck, running with the seven way connected for an hour, didn’t help at all. And plugging in the generator for an hour didn’t move the needle either.

I had to unhook with no power meaning I needed to jack up the trailer and lift the 4 stabilizers manually. Then I had to drive to a very cool and dusty but very friendly little family-owned hardware store and buy jumper cables. (Included In the flurry of last-minute stuff I had to leave behind for the new owners of the house due to lack of room in my new environment…was a brand new, never used, high-end set of jumper cables.)

I took the opportunity of being unhooked and off the mountain to fill up with gas, topping off the generator in the process, and buy a couple of 2.5 gallon water dispensers.

Jumper cables in hand, I had to climb back up the nearly 3 miles of wind-y uphill dirt road, hook back up, roll the trailer backward, further up into the spot – luckily there was a further – in order to make room for the truck and maneuver close enough to the trailer’s battery compartment to be able to reach it from my truck battery. The moment the cables were connected, the trailer battery snapped back to life. I connected the generator for a while to boost the charge, then I had to hook up yet again in order to reposition both truck and trailer, which was precariously positioned, back to where we were which was the most level location I could manage.

I never want to have to do that again.

Oh, and it involved removing then reattaching both the bike and the bike rack which on this trailer, is a major job in itself. 

I sit here at 1:45 am worried that a strong gust of wind could topple this thing rendering all that hard work on the battery moot. I’ve lit a couple of candles and the weather is nearly as wild as it was when I began writing this post. Rocking in the wind nearly all the way through. Sometimes rocking very hard. Like Bruce Springstein way back when he was good.  

6 Responses to “Storm and Jumper Cables”

  1. Debbie Ring

    Wow, I think all these lessons learned will make for a good book one day to help others who want to start out in a similar life journey. Hope you got through the night ok!

  2. Paul Langer

    I find it very interesting how my city dwelling friend is becoming a man of the wild. I began to wonder about what insurance is available and what you carry on the trailer. Also, are there such things as stabilizers to make it more secure in the wind.

    • Mark Lipsky

      I have all the coverage I think I need or can get on the trailer. Stabilizers? Yes! Times 2. Times 3 if you want to count chocks. I’ll post a pic or two.

  3. Paulette J

    Do be careful in big wind situations because a gust can catch pull outs and turn the trailer around or flip it. Gene’s son saw it happen at the Gorge in Washington state.. and warned us. We do not have pull outs so that will not likely happen.

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