Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Locked Out, In and Out Again

Staying in an isolated cabin at Moon Mountain cabin rentals near Packwood, Washington, I opted to leave the door unlocked as we headed into town -- never taking into consideration how Karen's wayfaring sleeve could trip the locking mechanism. Thus, when I headed back inside through the record-breaking rain for my camera (why was I even thinking of taking my camera with me anyway?) we were locked out.

Oh please be here we prayed as we headed to another cabin we thought the owner lived in.  No answer, but the door was unlocked.  When we checked in she had said we could use her phone anytime.  We figured that moment qualified so after a long search we found it , but no phone directory.  Actually that didn't matter since we had no idea where to call anyway.

Wringing our hands in despair we contemplated how to spend the day where flood and landslide warnings dominated the news.  Even so, how could we survive without our cameras?  As our spirits bottomed out, we spotted her dog herding two children across a meadow.  Children!  Dog!  Just follow them.   Sure enough, rescue was at hand.  I still can't help but wonder why, in that terrible storm they just "happened" to be out at the precise moment we needed their guidance.

                                      The forest around Moon Mountain cabins.

Less than 24 hours later, with her raincoat zipped to her neck, Karen exited the local grocery store.  Ducking out of the rain, she slammed the car door on the one part of her ensemble that remained at large. -- the trailing tail of her raincoat.  Karen was pinned to her seat.  ”Help,” she cried.  OK, Honey, just pop the door open and... oh oh, it wouldn't open.  No amount of pulling on the handle and shoving would budge it.  I tried from the outside while Karen pushed from the inside.   Same conclusion.  Karen was locked in her raincoat inside the car.  I figured we could just cancel her flight to Iowa in two days and I could bring her bread and water -- until, figuring sacrificing my fingers was a mere pittance when compared to my sweetheart's freedom, I managed to wedge my fingers in the crack of the door and, with her desperately pushing from within, free her.

                               Looking Towards Mt. Rainier through the car windshield.

                   A close-up view of our view of where Mt. Rainier is reportedly located.

“Needing” an encore, I arrived home several weeks later at 11:30 PM sans Karen (she was in Iowa for a few more days).  Fatigue reigned.  I just wanted to get in the house and go to bed -- after one last chore -- turn on the hot water.  OK, I must admit I'm a woosie, but I'll take a hot water bath over it's cold water alternative every time.   The water heater resides in our basement -- the part of our house you still have to go outside to get inside.  For probably the first time in it’s history we had locked that door when we set off on the trip.  Too tired to even get a flashlight to see the latch (how much light does one need to put a key in a lock anyway?) I knew I could feel my way through it.  Wrong.  In a nutshell I ended up with two half keys.  One half in the lock and the “handle” of the key in my hand. 

I knew you can open doors with credit cards, but looking at the seal on the door frame (now I had the flashlight) I figured, not this door.  I called the police.  Is there a locksmith in town?  “You have to be kidding.”  I slept intermittently that night imagining ways I could get in -- like sawing the handle off. 

The next morning, before setting off to buy a hack saw, I thought I should at least give the ultimate problem solving resource a try -- YouTube.  Sure enough.  Some kid had a post using the credit card trick on a door just like ours.  His video showed the right way to do it.  I gave it a shot and in one quarter the time it would take to use a key I was in.  Another prayer answered.

We got a glimpse of surrounding mountains during lulls in the storm, the remnants of typhoon Pabuk which "turned into a monster" over the Gulf of Alaska (why do we always get blamed for these kinds of things).

                              The Cascade Range east of Packwood during the storm.


Dana Konings said...

I can't believe it - so unlucky but yet you guys learned a lot about how to handle locked doors in a couple of days :)! Hope you're well, greetings from snowy Norway :)

Susan Christensen said...

Boy, now I know who to call if I ever get locked out!

Diane Eatherton-Watt said...

Love your commentary, Don & awesome photo's! Hmmm I wonder what all of the locking problems were Really about?

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Dana and Diane: Now you have me thinking my next post should be a poem I wrote about another locked in adventure a few years ago -- it was our room on an Alaska ferry. Ummm. Also, greetings back from snowy Alaska.

Sus: If it's your car, try Petersburg Motors. Your house -- hopefully a credit card.

Earl Mark said...

That is a very unlucky thing to happen especially twice in a row. My wife and I have also learnt the hard way in the past. We have really grown to know how our locks operate and the lock smith is like our best buddy. Hope you have more luck in the future. All the best and keep posting. Thanks.

Earl Mark @ Eastway Lock