Thursday, January 27, 2011 – Travel Day to Rutherford Beach, LA

Today’s backyard

Got up fairly early, packed up, loaded the horses into their new, fantastic trailer, and headed out to our next stop, Rutherford Beach, LA. We found out about it on, which has become one of our favorite websites for finding out of the way places. Not always accurate, but a good start nevertheless. It had listed this place, along with the name and number of a very kind Southern gentleman, who is essentially a parish commissioner, who welcomed us heartily, and reminded us of how much we missed Southern hospitality. Though people have been nice almost every place we’ve been, there’s something about the “above and beyond” that Southerners do that warms the heart. After stopping at an RV park on Sabine Lake, just before crossing into Louisiana to pick up water, and after we took the ferry across into Cameron (which was a pleasant surprise, but did slow us down a bit), I tried to call this gentleman (his name was Scott), but my cell phone didn’t have a signal. I figures we could go down to the area we knew we were going and try to reach him again, but after we passed through Cameron, I received a text message from Scott, saying he saw us going through town, so he hopped in his truck and followed, then passed us and led us out. Right off the beach there are two streets where there used to be houses, but those were wiped out during Hurricane Rita a few years back and for the most part, never rebuilt. There were several structures that essentially were covers and porches for RV’s, but only one real house on stilts. The lot he had gotten permission for us to use had part of a concrete pad and some wood stills, and the rest was plush green clover, something I knew the horses would love, but we would have to limit their intake and make sure they had plenty of water to protect them from colic. After Scott left us (after we declined his invitation to take us to dinner :-), we started getting settled in. Unfortunately, we got a little too settled. The clover was so dense that we didn’t realize just how soft the ground was underneath, and when we back the horse trailer up toward the back of the lot, the wheels of the van got stuck, and we couldn’t move. We took out the horses and tied them to a couple of posts, then had to unhook the van and reposition it to get out of the ruts we had made. We put a couple of pieces of plywood under the wheels as well, but that still wasn’t enough. So we had to move the RV back up on the road and unhook it, so that we could use the truck to pull out the van and horse trailer. Finally in tandem, we were able to move everything out. We backed the horse trailer between the stills so that the van’s wheels were on the concrete pad. Then we hooked the truck back up to the RV trailer, and pulled that in, trying to stay somewhat close to the road in an effort to not get stuck there. That didn’t work either. We ended getting the truck stuck as well, because the weight of the trailer sank deeply into the soft ground. So then we had to unhook the van from the horse trailer and move that to the front of the line and try to use that to pull out the truck and the RV. Unfortunately, that didn’t work, and a couple of times the wheels of the van spun and slipped so badly I thought it was going into the ditch next to the road! So we had to unhook the truck from the RV again, reposition it at a different angle, hook the van up at the front and try again. Fortunately, this time we made it! We finally repositioned the RV along a previous set of tire tracks where the ground seemed firmer because the clover had died off along that path, and kept the truck as close to the road as possible to hopefully avoid any further problems. Then we ran a highline from one of the stilts to an electrical pole, which gave the horses a pretty good run, and fed them some more hay (they had already gotten tired of the clover, would you believe!). In all, it took us more than two hours to get settled, which was absurd considering it was an open lot, but at least we managed in the end to get it done before dark, which was all that mattered. Our new back yard faces the sunset, so we enjoyed that as our reward for a hard job well done (though I felt like our troubles were mostly self-inflicted by not being careful enough, which is always rather unsettling). After feeding the dogs, then us, we settled in for the evening, watching the good action film The Bourne Identity, before crashing into bed around 11:00.

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