Last week, I wrote about our last Colorado ride to Odessa Lake. Although that ride was three weeks before our departure from our much-loved cabin in the mountains, we didn’t get a chance to ride again. We had company for a week, and there was a lot to do before we left.
First Leg… to Arizona
No matter how much we tried to plan so that we weren’t scrambling at the end… it didn’t work! We left on Saturday, September 18th for the first day of our 900-mile trip to Arizona. We stayed for the second time in Tijeras, New Mexico with Janet and Bain Cochran. We were hauling the horses in our two-horse trailer, as our LQ trailer spent the summer in Arizona. (It won’t fit on the access road to our mountain home!) We stayed at a very comfortable Comfort Inn about 5 miles from Janet’s place.
We arrived at our Arizona home in the late afternoon of Sunday the 19th. Our home was still under construction, thanks to Covid delays. We had no kitchen counters and no kitchen sink. All of the kitchen food and utensils were still in boxes stashed all over the house. I did manage to load the upper cabinets and some of the lower shelves. I didn’t want to interfere with the counter installation…
We had no hot water and realized we had an empty propane tank. I heated water on the stove for a bath! Even after getting propane the day before we left, the hot water tank wouldn’t light. That will be the first thing we address when we get back to Arizona. Alan opted to shower in the LQ, which needed a thorough cleaning before we loaded it and left.
The yard was an absolute jungle, something we never experienced last winter when we received no rain. We managed to get a guy there to bush hog it the day before we left. The goat’s head stickers were everywhere!
We worked like dogs for 2 ½ days to clean the house, clean the LQ, load it with food and clothes, and get on the road by the 20th. It is 1100 miles from Arizona to Kansas City, our next destination.
Next Stop… Kansas City
We stayed in Dalhart, Texas at XIT Rangers. It was a very inexpensive place to stay, as they only charged us $15/horse and nothing for the LQ. We were able to access city water and electricity. The horses had nice large paddocks and we parked right next to them. The caretaker, Bedo, was very friendly and helpful. The only downside of this place is a sewer treatment plant very close to the facility… it did smell! The feature photo shows where we parked and where the horses stayed.
We arrived at Hillsdale State Park around dinnertime on Thursday, the 21st. This state park is about 10 minutes from the barndominium we owned before moving to Colorado. While I have ridden here and weekend camped here many times, this was the first time it was our home for a week. We set up camp as quickly as possible, as we were by no means done with our travels…
Onward to Indy!
Friday morning, my friend Terry arrived to stay with the animals while Alan and I headed to Indianapolis, Indiana for my high school reunion. We split the trip into two days, staying with Alan’s best friend since high school who lives in St. Louis.
The reunion was fun, but not well attended, which was disappointing. We opted to dress Western, as we were living the horse life! We stayed with my best friend in high school. It was fun to practice our West Coast Swing and get some benefit out of our dance lessons. Alan and I can still do the twist and go all the way down!
Truck & Trailer Woes
We drove all the way home on Sunday. At that point, we had completed 3000 miles in 8 days. We did opt to rent a car for the Indianapolis trip, enabling us to get better gas mileage and not have to drive our huge F350 truck everywhere! It turned out to be an extra blessing, as we experienced brake noises on our Arizona to Kansas leg. We left the truck with a trusted mechanic while we went to Indy. Some serious dollars later, we were good to go.
Additionally, we had a few bugs to work out of the LQ. The toilet would slowly fill up with fresh water, which we didn’t realize until we noticed sloshed water all over the bathroom floor. I called two RV places, trying to get some idea of what the problem might be, but of course, all I would hear is, “We have to look at it…” Finally, I called the RV repair guy who is always available at the Big Piney. Immediately, he said, “Sounds like a valve!”
We couldn’t get the freshwater tank to fill until we purchased some electrical wire along the way and ran it through the air release hose.
By the time we arrived at the Big Piney, we had additional repair items on the list. I awoke one night to water dripping on my head, coming through an air conditioning duct. We had the roof resealed. An external light was dim. The fixture is sealed, so we had to order an entirely new light. Our main cabin window is nearly impossible to open and will need to be replaced in its entirety. It is always something, right?
A Canine Conspiracy
The day before we left Colorado, we had our Aussie/BC mix, Finn, evaluated by the ophthalmologists at CSU. Mica had his second appointment the same week. Mica has pannus, a common German shepherd problem. Finn had developed conjunctivitis that responded to my treatments but returned almost immediately. Because we have limited options on the road, and no great connections in Arizona, I decided to have Finn evaluated.
Finn’s problem is mostly allergic, with a few possible complications thrown in. Mica’s recheck showed some improvement but not as much as I had hoped, so he had a second medication added to his treatment plan. Moreover, to add insult to injury, Leah had a red and swollen eye for a few days right after we hit the road. Thankfully, her eye responded to routine therapy. It must be a conspiracy…
We had intermittent issues over the summer with Kadeen experiencing a dry cough in response to poor air quality (fires!) When we arrived at Hillsdale, both horses exhibited a dry cough. My local vet friend told me that allergies had been terrible that summer. I started both horses on a short burst of dexamethasone.
Next week, I’ll tell you more about Hillsdale and Saddle Ridge Equestrian camp. The week following, I will share our experiences at 4-J Big Piney horse camp, which I have written about before. I still don’t have a launch date for the new podcast… but stay tuned!