One Night a Cabin

Red Rock

Pennsylvania

October 2000

One night, we stay in a two-room cabin in Red Rock, Pennsylvania, just south of the natural wetlands, old growth forest and great variety of waterfalls at Ricketts Glen State Park.  We stay in this cabin because last night, when we camped out, my toothpaste froze solid.

We walk into the office of the B______ Lodge but mistake it for a storage room.  Oh wait, there’s a roll top desk in the corner, must be the office.  “Yip!  Yip!”  A rat dog comes from around the corner, caught up in equal desires to engage in hyperactive yipping, spinning in circles and sniffing my shoes.  It stops for a moment, posing like it is worth a shit.  A woman comes in, also from around the corner, yelling at the dog.  “Pansy, shut up.  Shut up!  Stop it, Pansy.”  The dog completely ignores her.

Pansy?

I give the woman the required room fee, she takes the cash.  No name, no address, no references, no credit card.  Just “Room 5.”  While we are moving our car in the lot to a space near Room 5, an old tall pole of a maintenance man carries an electric heater into Room 5.  Room 5, we discover, has wall to wall carpeting.  Actually it has floor to ceiling carpeting too.  Yah, the whole inside of Room 5 is carpeted, all but the ceiling and the bed.

My partner here plugs in a hair dryer and all the lights go out.  It is just too much with the electric heater for the carpeted room’s electrical system.  I report this to the tall pole man who is only too happy to disappear around a corner where, I presume, the circuit breakers would be located.  It seems to be taking him a while so I peek, catching him winding two electric wires together.  The power comes back on.

Tomorrow, back to the uncivilized wilderness, where things are comfortable.  And your toothpaste freezes.

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