Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Adventure Begins.........The Road Hits Back...Moving On

The Adventure Begins

The mechanic had warned me to take it slow on my way to the rest stop. When I'd asked him what he meant by slow he said not to get my truck above 45 MPH. He figured the truck hadn't really had enough time to totally cool down from the overwork it had gotten when the tire blew. It would be better to be safe than sorry.

As I pulled the truck and horse trailer back onto the freeway, my heart nearly stopped as the engine sputtered a bit. My head started spinning and sweat poured off my hands as I griped the steering wheel and hope this too would pass.........and that's exactly what it did. However, not without sputtering every now and then just to keep me on my toes.

The drag getting going from a dead stop can be difficult on any grade. I had been stopped on the steepest grade in the Oregon portion of the Siskiyou Mountains. I tried to remind myself it was the difficulty of the task that was causing the issues with my engine not some unknown problem that was going to break us down.

Some traffic did go whizzing by us making it seem like we were standing still. Some traffic labored as much as we did and they'd had a running start at the hill. As we progressed up the corridor I began to relax just a bit. I guess a part of me was looking for trolls like the horses do so that relaxation was limited at best but I was beginning to think I might actually make it to the rest stop. That was an improvement.

The rest stop was just a few miles up the road. The people following me had given me clear directions so I spotted the exit easily despite the overwhelming darkness. The night itself had been dark and the road's enclosure by the tallest of trees swallowed up what little light there had been. I'd have missed this rest stop without the landmarks they'd given me.

I carefully pulled onto the exit slowing down as quickly as possible. I wanted to make sure I didn't get caught by one of those quick turns into the park that so many rest stops have. I sure didn't want to throw the horses off balance or worse yet have a wreck.

This entrance did turn out to be rather abrupt as well as winding into a downward spiral rather rapidly. As I pulled into the portion reserved for trucks I could hear the traffic on the freeway overhead. It was a strange feeling and I was disoriented. I was pretty sure this rest stop served both sides of the freeway. I sure hoped the route for my return to the freeway was marked clearly.

By now it was after midnight. The park was bulging with trucks taking refuge for the night. I had to make my way almost to the end of the tarmac before I found a spot to park. I was able to pull in between two tall semis blocking out the light from the park's street lamps. There was hope, I might actually get some sleep.

As luck would have it, it was a ways from the rest rooms but right close to a water faucet. The first thing we did was check that faucet to be sure it worked. The mechanic and his lady friend assured me if water faucets were not available at this rest stop, I would still be able to water the horses.

There was a creek that rain through this facility and they'd help me haul water from there if that's what it took. I was relieved to know I would have help if needed. As tired as I was I could just see myself falling into the creek and getting washed down stream. I certainly wasn't feeling all that secure about my luck on this trip.

I turned the handle on the water faucet and the water spewed. There wouldn't be any need to pack water from the creek I could hear off in the distance. I was relieved not to be bucketing water from that distance. Just across the parking lot was a lot more manageable.

I had been unsuccessful at several of my stops in locating a water source that worked. While there were rest stops with outside water faucets, most of them had the handles removed or the water turned off.

When I did find water Legs and Rhet were drinking well.. Gypcy on the other had was not drinking at all. I was worried about her getting dehydrated and that leading to colic. .

While the trip had been rainy it had also been warm. My horse trailer is hot for the horses having a black roof (something I would never do again!) The horses were sweaty a good part of the trip so keeping them hydrated was a priority even before I knew that Gypcy wouldn't drink. Now water for the horses was the first thing on my mind. I retrieved buckets from the trailer so I could get the horses watered.

Once my rescuers saw I was set, they said their goodbyes and headed off into the night. By now I was pretty sure my truck was indeed running ok and it didn't worry me anymore to have that lifeline gone.

As they pulled away I set about getting the horses thoroughly watered and then feed. Once I was done with their needs, I headed for the rest room and then off to bed.

To be continued.................

The Road Hits Back......Into the Second Day

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  1. Oh good grief, I just read the series of events of the travel! Dear oh dear!

  2. I'm still holding my breath we get to Central California tomorrow. Those horses will be so happy to stretch their legs.

  3. This is certainly turning into an adventure, and not necessarily a good one.