There was a series of short shower bursts on Saturday night and as I headed out of Lisbon Falls, I saw a rainbow to the east of me. In the geography of my mind, it was right over Baumer’s Field, so I turned my Jeep around and headed to The Farm to take what was sure to be a magnificent picture I would use for the photo header of this blog.
Chasing rainbows is tricky business; they’re random arrays of water drops, refracting sunlight, and geometry. When I got to The Farm, there was no rainbow and I had made a fatal cut into the time available for driving to Reid State Park.
There was nothing to do but drive straight through the private road and up over Mosquito Hill. I had done it once before in my 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee and since two ATV’s had passed me earlier, I knew the rocky and steep road was dry enough for driving.
My heart was pounding all the way. With each jolt and boulder, I knew I was getting deeper and deeper into trouble if I should fail to reach the top of the Hill and the town-maintained road. The horse flies were thick and it would be a nasty walk back to town without a swatter if I should get stuck.
There was also the possibility that my father would find out and I’d never hear the end of it. I started praying and I was sweating a little bit, too.
As Providence would have it, I made it. The Jeep was muddy, but the brake line was still intact and nothing was leaking out of the engine or radiator.
It was a daredevil move, to be sure.
When I got to Reid State Park, I was confronted by the gate attendant who told me the park would be closing soon. She didn’t say I couldn’t enter the park, though, so I asked if I could park outside of the gate and walk in. She said, “The big boys and big girls in Augusta decide the rules here and no one is allowed on state property after dark.”
It was an odd response. I’ve got a few stalling tactics in my corporate bag of tricks, too. One of my favorites is “there are a few pieces of administrative work I’ll need to complete before our business is final.” I’ve never considered saying “The big boys and big girls in our corporate office won’t let me complete this bit of bidness for you.”
Who were these “big boys” and “big girls” in Augusta who controlled the state park and its roads? What would Walter Reid have thought of them? Did they really know what was best for me?
Didn’t they know I had just rammed through the private road on The Farm and over Mosquito Hill with nary a loss of brakes?
I mumbled something about government excess in the world and turned around. Maybe the gate attendant wrote down my license plate and noted my three bumper stickers. Maybe she radioed the big boys and big girls in Augusta.
“We’ve got a Moxie drinker loose on the roads tonight.”
Ayuh, well I headed on down the old Five Islands Road and parked my muddy Jeep right next to a danged interesting sign.
I got out and did just that. I walked out on the rocks, I dipped my feet in the ocean, I watched the moon rise over Sheepscot Bay. I walked down the dark and deserted loop of the Old Schoolhouse Road. I observed many things and the time for telling about them is drawing to a close.
Until then, I’m steering clear of the big boys and big girls who want to tell me what to do after dark.