• Sage Webb

An *Alarming* Misadventure

With Sir Alec Rose in My Lively Lady discussing his troubles with his generator and how he passed out a couple times because of fumes in his sailboat cabin, I snuggled in to sleep after a quiet hike through Wellington Farm. My sleeping bags (yes, two bags—it’s getting chilly up north!) felt good, familiar. As comfy as the Mackinac artist’s apartment was, strange beds are never as comfortable as familiar beds—our beds—right?


After a long day—and with an eye on an early start in the morning—I wanted to turn in early. The snug little Pryde cozied down in the farm’s green field. I drifted off ... dreamed....


And awoke to electronic hollering just before midnight, the trailer awash in high-pitched screaming.

It had to be the carbon-monoxide detector, but why? I had turned off the propane after making soup for dinner. I wasn’t using the heater. The roof vent sat open, letting cool, fresh air into the cabin. How could I stop the screaming? Would this noise wake anyone else? Was anyone within earshot? What should I do? How could I get these sleeping bags untangled?

I wriggled out of my down-y lair and groped in the dark to find the carbon-monoxide detector under the berth. I hit the test/reset button. Okay. Silence.

Had that done the trick?

More silence.

Okay, then. I curled back up, shut my eyes.


Except the screaming resumed a couple minutes later.


My phone had spotty service at best. After hitting the detector’s reset button again, I tried googling a “cure,” but my phone just looked sullenly back at me, refusing to connect. I opened all the windows and fanned fresh air into the Pryde with the trailer’s door.

It was dark, cold, and lonely.

Shoving the sleeping bags to the back of the cabin, I tore apart the berth to get to the cabinet where the backside of the detector lives. I’d have to disable it. It had to be malfunctioning, likely because of its age, and the Pryde’s battery had run low on power over the course of the trailer sitting parked for three weeks.

Finally, groping with a flashlight, I found and pulled loose the correct fuse. Whew. The lights on the detector went dark. Silence that would stay silence!


Too awake now to go right back to sleep, I pulled out Sir Alec Rose and marveled at the coincidence of his fume issues coinciding with my carbon-monoxide-detector issues. And in an abundance of caution, I left all the windows wide open, despite my irrational fears of the bogeyman.

Come morning, I did still get an early start....

I just hope I didn’t wake these little guys:





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