Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – A Horrible Day That Makes Us Appreciate the Good Days!

Murphy’s Law was in definite force today, with everything possible going wrong. It started out with rain that came in more than an hour before we got out of bed (about 5:45), despite all forecasts saying it wouldn’t arrive until 8:00, so we hurried up to get the last minute stuff done asap. Once we were just about ready, Hubby decided to pull out onto the road before loading the horses into the trailer, but with all the rain, he almost immediately got stuck. After several attempts using blocks and tarps, it became evident things were just getting worse, so rather than play around in the muck and rain, we decided the fastest thing would be just to unhook the truck from the RV and pull it out. A 6.6 liter diesel is no match for a pile of mud, and even though it takes time to hook and unhook, it was definitely much faster than anything else. Miraculously, we were pulling out of the campground intact at 7:00, which had been my original schedule before we started planning around the 8:00 rain, but we lost almost an hour screwing around with the mud. We were already in a slow, intermittent drizzle, but I had to pull the tarp off at the end of the campground road (Broadway, would you believe!), knowing we may lose some of the top bales. Fortunately, we managed to get ahead of the rain in less than an hour, so we hoped it would dry out as the day progressed. Then, on our way through Texarkana, we were on a road with signal lights, and I was just at the wrong timing on a light, and had to slam on my brakes big time to avoid running the red. I saw trucks coming in the crossroad, and was concerned Hubby would try to follow me through the intersection, and not make it. Unfortunately, I came to such a sudden stop that Hubby, though he slammed on his brakes, slid the last 25 feet on damp pavement, and ended up running into the back of me. Fortunately, the rack we have on the back took the brunt of the hit, it wasn’t even enough to set off the airbags in the van, and just barely cracked a few placed on the rack. The front end of the van, however, is a mess! It hit just on the left headlight, and creamed the whole front end. Miraculously, it still ran and didn’t make any disturbing noises, though we clearly had a leak of some kind. We proceeded out to see what would happen, and sure enough, it started to overheat. We stopped for a further inspection, and all I could see leaking was the top radiator hose, so we taped it up and then carefully made our way to the next town, Hope, Arkansas, and made it to a parts store that had a replacement hose. Happily I had a pair of mechanics gloves that gave me some protection from the heat, and I was able to change out the hose in about 45 minutes. Apparently the fan isn’t turning, though, so we’ll have to rely on air cooling for the duration! At least the radiator wasn’t leaking, though it did appear to be bent a little. What a mess! We continued on this extra long day, made even longer by our delays, and finally arrived at Village Creek State Park near Wynne Arkansas. The last bit was uphill, and a slow speed limit, so the van, for the first time the whole day, started to overheat a bit. We didn’t waste any time getting set up, glad we had stalls to throw the horses in (and who seemed no worse for the wear despite the erratic trip), and we finally settled down, exhausted from the length and the stress of the day!

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