I'd just finished an email to Billy Sparks today, when I heard the postal lady drop something off on my porch and jump back into her truck. (Remember when they used to knock? When they used to make sure the package, if it wouldn't fit in your box, made it inside and safe?) I checked the porch, and there was a box from Billy himself, contiaining the very topic of my email: 100 feet of good rope.
Constant readers will recall my post of about 4 weeks ago, in which I voiced my appreciation of good rope. My mama actually gave me a length of it and some snaplinks for Father's Day. It's massive, thick twisted white rope, and it was a really nice (if different) Father's Day gift.
Billy, who works in the first responder field, mentioned that he might have some extra rope lying around. I figured that he had some old rope that was ready to retire. In fact, he had some static line that had never been used, but had been shipped in the wrong color. Different colors are often assigned different tasks. Life-saving climbing rope usually has a built-in 7 to 12% stretch, which can save your bacon when you hit the end of it after a lengthy fall. It's expensive, and has to be disposed of after a couple of falls-- one should never use good climbing rope for general purpose chores like towing or hauling. It also should be kept as clean as possible, as sand and grit will cut and fray the fibers in it, reducing its strength and ductility. So when you order it, you get it in a specific color -- say, neon orange or yellow, and you make your utility ropes another color, preferably a contrasting color. So the general purpose rope that Billy sent me is brand-spanking-new rope that's never been used. Since I don't carry climbing rope or the like with me, the fact that it's Emergency Orange is not a problem-- it could be purple with pink flecks in it. Billy threw in a locking carabiner as well.
As soon as I figure out where my absent wife stashed the checkbook, Billy, your costs for postage will be in the mail, buddy.
I went out to a medium-velocity high-water rescue the other night with our fire department. A lady had driven into a puddle in the road that turned out to be a rising creek, and her car began floating right down the road. The firemen waded carefully out toward her, but stopped several times-- they didn't have a rope!! My new one was still in the trunk of my P.O.V., not yet transferred to my patrol car, so I was of little help. I will, tonight, though.