Life Without Electricity

     When the power goes out we walk around wondering what to do.  We can’t use the computer, our telephones don’t work, and our cash register is useless.  We walk into rooms flipping light switches and we attempt to use the microwave.  If the electricity doesn’t work then our guests can’t use the bathrooms and we can’t process fishing licenses or pump gas. 

      Some people have had to live without power for extended periods due to hurricanes, earthquakes or other disasters.  We once were without power for 14 days after the blowdown in 1999.  As any woman would tell you when they’re pregnant, "That was the hottest summer ever."  And of course I was pregnant, I couldn’t use an air conditioner because the generator couldn’t handle it and it was the hottest summer ever… 

     Thankfully most people don’t have to experience life without electricity and if they do it isn’t usually for very long.  It wasn’t too long ago when people didn’t have electricity; here’s an article from 50 years ago about power and the folks on the Gunflint Trail.

  Cook County News Herald January 3, 1957 

     Work is still going on by the clearing and pole setting crew on the upper end of the Trail.  At the moment they are working toward Crab Creek and then toward Loon Lake.  Either an outfit has to fight the snow and cold with their machines in the winter, or try to fight through a few swamps in the summer.

     The progress is slow but steady and we can at least dream of the time to come when we won’t hold our breath each time the light plant misses a beat or when someone plugs in an appliance that stops the plant cold.

     We can even dream of the time we can install a small ice-making machine and eliminate this business of putting up ice in the winter.