Thursday, October 10, 2013

McGyver in the Catskills.


It was getting dark as I fumbled in my pocket for the single key to our remote cabin. We had spent the day on zip lines at Hunter Mountain and now were returning after a hamburger, a beer and a 40 minute drive home.

Nervousness set in as I emptied my pockets and couldn't find the key.

I updated The Chancellor  to this latest bit of news. Not Good. We searched everywhere for the key but it was not being found. Not tonight.

No Cell coverage, No phone number of the sweet cabin owner, darkness setting in and now no key!

First things first, I set about contacting the owner. Luckily we did have WiFi that was turned on inside the cabin so I emailed him of our predicament.  There was no immediate response. Next would have been to call of course but I didn't have his number. Well, not readily available anyway. The number was up on the refrigerator inside the cabin of course and I could see the laminated info-paper from the back door but there was no way to read it.

I took the SLR camera, stuck the telephoto lens on it and auto-focused on the info-paper and snapped a picture. Unbelievably, I had the number on the first shot by zooming the picture in the LCD display on the camera.

Now all I needed was a phone.

Then I recalled how earlier in the day the Chancellor answered a phone call to our home number using the Xfinity-Connect app. I honestly didn't know you could do that but there she was answering a call to our home number via the App on WiFi. It was an aha! moment.

I took her phone and dialed the owners number I found on the camera picture that was zoomed while standing outside the wall where the WiFi signal was strongest and used the Xfinity app on our homeIP phone.

It worked, but I got answering machine! As I left our home number on the machine, the Chancellor piped up "Not our home number, give them my cell number"

It was at this point we went into deep technical discussion about Cell service versus WiFi coverage. We had no Cell service but we did have WiFi internet service. The discussion kept looping back to "but why can't they call my cell number?" This was a discussion akin to time-travel and was not getting solved without Visio and a White board. Finally It came down to "you are just going to have to trust me". After all who just made a phone call with no cell service?

At this point the Chancellor was resigned to sleeping in the car. I was not.

I felt like we needed to pray and was upset with myself for not having done so to this point. So we got in the car and prayed.

Afterwards, she settled in and reclined in the drivers seat with a blanket. It was a warm night for October in the Catskills but still, I wasn't sleeping outside.

I was restless and my mind was moving a mile a minute. Then it occurred to me to try sliding a credit card along the back door jamb like McGyver would have done.

That was fruitless but I did see another way while back there. I'm not going to post exactly how I got in but no damage was done the Cabin and we were safely inside.

And so we spent the night safely inside the cabin instead of outside with the bears.

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