This post could have had two other titles:
1. Cluster fuck.
2. Longest. Day. Ever.
You astute readers will recall that yesterday was to be Bobby's first ever real cross country school at Burgundy Hollow, two hours away from the barn. I won't even get into the actual schooling ride in this post, though I will give you a teaser and tell you that I feel confident filing it under either of the two alternate titles.
Instead, let us delve into the journey out and the journey back. I assure you, it will include high drama, swearing, the excessive use of tobacco products, possible fires, illegal activities, and our main feature will be a runaway truck ramp. If that doesn't make you want to stick around for an undoubtably long post, I don't know what will!
Hubs and I roll out of the house at 7:30 to get to the barn by 8ish. Perfect. Our schooling is to be at 11 so we'll probably roll out of the barn just before 9 and we'll be there right on time. Best laid plans, right? We pull into the barn drive and Sarah is trotting out Blackberry before bending down to grope his leg. Super! His leg isn't warm, there's no fluid, he's not bothered by us poking it, but there's a rather strange lump on his RF. Since he's sound on it, she decides to take him anyway and see how he goes. Crisis one averted.
We get the boys wrapped and loaded up. No issues there as expected. Hubs and I jump in the truck with the hounds, and Sarah and her boyfriend jump in her car with their beagle, and away to the gas station we go for a quick fill up in the truck. We pre-pay for $50 of gas and stand around the truck while Hubby puts gas in. Suddenly, Hubby says, "Oh, shit! There's gas leaking from the bottom of the truck!" So Hubby quickly pulls the truck out of the way of the pump, cuts one of my water buckets in half, and shoves it under the gas tank that is pouring gas out of it. Being men, Hubby and Boyfriend crawl under the truck and find a hole in the gas tank. Mind you, this fucking truck just had $1,500 worth of repairs done to it so it would be totally road-worthy. Clearly they missed this small detail. With not much choice, we wait until the gas stops leaking and high tail it back to the barn.
Get the ponies back in their stalls and ask BO if there's anyway we can borrow her truck. "No problemo!" BO says. "Use my trailer, too because the truck is extra, extra long and a BP trailer will probably be a pain to haul. Just check the air in the trailer tires because one likes to go low." Thanks, BO! Fastest truck and trailer switcheroo ever and the boys are back on and we're headed to a different gas station for some air. We fill up the low tire and check the others. One looks like it's got a bubble in it so Hubby lets out some air. All seems well and we're finally back on the road! I call up the wonderful Michelle Casale--owner/operator of Burgundy Hollow--and tell her we'll be an hour late.
Everything is going smoothly. Truck and trailer are rolling right along and the ponies have box stalls to themselves and plenty of hay to stuff their faces. Then we get to Hazleton. Hazleton is a shitty town with bumpy roads that we have to go right through the center of. We literally hit every single red light in town. Every single one. Then, we finally get out of town and end up behind a crazy woman driving a large van. We hit a passing lane and go to pass her. She pulls into the left lane in front of us so we move to the right lane just as she careens in front of us to "park" on the curb. WTF, crazy lady?! Oh, well. No harm done.
Now we reach the climax of our story. We're going down the hill into Jim Thorpe on 93S, about to turn intio 209. This hill is a fucking beast. It's windey, it's long, and it's steep as shit. A good place for the trailer brakes to not work, right? And forget the truck brakes. They're now billowing smoke out behind us as we go wheeling around a curve about to get to the stop sign that there's no way we're stopping at. So Hubby took advantage of the runaway truck ramp which THANK GOD was thick, heavy gravel and we slid to a stop.
Ponies are fine. It was, of course, the first thing I checked as soon as we were mostly stopped. Sarah comes running down after us and we all have a group panic attack. Sarah proceeds to suck down two cigarettes in a row and Hubby has his first cigarette in two years. We're finally able to get our shit together long enough to move the truck off the ramp and onto the shoulder to wait for the brakes to cool down. I call up Michelle again and give her the rundown, telling her to tack on another half an hour to our ETA. She offers to come out and get us and tells us that her family lives in Jim Thorpe and if we need anything, just call her. Don't worry about time, she's there painting poles all day. Hubby and Boyfriend get the trailer brakes going again and Boyfriend gets in the truck with Hubby for manly moral support.
We finally pull in and let the boys get off to graze while we sit down with Michelle to get different directions home. Fuck you, Jim Thorpe. We'll never see the likes of you again!
So we head home after two hours of schooling and whatnot and get on I-80. Yay, for 80! A real road with no hills! We're about two exits from home when Sarah calls up from our rear. "Uhh, there's rubber flying off the trailer tires." Get off the exit which we were fortunately just passing and examine the damage. Blown out tire on the trailer--the tire that was bubbly when we left. Hubs has the tire off and switched in ten minutes flat and we get back on the road.
We stop at a gas station to top BO's truck off and turn towards the last one mile to the barn. What can possibly go wrong at this point, right? We're so close!! We hit a turkey. The barn drive is in sight and we hit a turkey. It didn't do any damage to us as BO has a brush guard on the truck, but the turkey fared otherwise.
But the crazy WTF day doesn't end there. Blackberry and Bobby are tossed in the indoor to roll and walk around for awhile before dinner and bedtime (Oh, did I mention? It's now 6:30pm.). As Hubby is backing the trailer back into its house, Sarah's ex-boyfriend comes down to hook up BO's other trailer. And who does ex-bf have with him? Sarah's current bf's ex-girlfriend. I swear Twilight Zone music was playing. How does that even happen? I'm so glad I'm not a teenager anymore. Dating drama never appealed to me.
We were finally able to end the day after Hubby dropped the P.O.S. truck off at the garage. I was supposed to be leaving for Illinois today to help my mom pack because she just bought a new house, but I put it off a day to recoup from the crazies. A riding post with pictures will follow at some point today, I promise.