Archives for January 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010 – A day at the shop

Upon further inspection, Hubby discovered the wheel problem was, in fact, brakes. A chunk of metal from the brake was jammed inside. He managed to loosen it up, so we decided, since it wasn’t bearings, to find a repair shop locally to take it to. After several calls, we discovered Miracle Motors in Macclenny about 15 miles away. We packed up everything, trailer and horses, because we didn’t want to leave the horses alone in a strange place. At the shop, they took the wheel apart and it was determined we needed lots of new parts we couldn’t get on a Saturday, so they fixed it so we could drive without parts flying around, but the trailer wouldn’t have brakes until it was fixed. We arranged to come back on Tuesday, and returned to the campsite, having conveniently avoided a rainstorm that started after we packed up the horses and ended before we got back, so the horses stayed dry. The temps dropped dramatically by this evening, and for some reason we felt very tired from getting up early so many days in a row, so we relaxed watching movies for the rest of the day (we had restocked our DVR while we were in DC). Weather supposed to be cool and clear tomorrow, so we’re planning on getting a ride in. Had a client call a few days ago wanting to get together, so she’s flying into Jacksonville to meet with us. Found a boarding stable convenient to the airport location, so we’ll be moving over there tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, January 29, 2010 – Drive to Cary State Forest, FL

Another easy drive from Poinsett Park, SC to a new place we’re trying, Cary State Forest, just west of Jacksonville, FL. Stopped at an RV place to pickup some things we needed for a few minor repairs (clip for closet door, new cap for drain, etc.). When we entered Florida, we were getting ready to pull into the Agricultural Inspection station (a must if you’re traveling with big animals), but the yellow light was flashing, and there was a sign saying “Bypass when lights are flashing,” so I told Hubby to pass by it. He wasn’t sure we should, but the lights WERE flashing, so he followed me past. Well, it was only a few minutes before more lights flashing, the ones on the top of a patrol car pulling him over. Apparently, even when the lights are flshing, if you have animals you have to stop! Fortunately, it was the same inspector that we had the first time we came through, and he remembered us, and just told us that we had to stop every time, regardless of the flashing lights. Lesson learned, no citation, and we were on our way again in a matter of minutes. BTW, if you take Hwy. 301, it’s like a larger outer loop around Jacksonville than I-295, without all the trucks and crazy twists and turns (and construction), and you end up much farther west on I-10. Good shortcut if you want to get off the highway earlier.
Arrived at Cary State Forest about 3:00. The ranger had told me about an old homesite (not old, actually, just unfinished) across from Campsite 3 that we could use. Discovered it had water right on it, a pleasant surprise. Great trees for high-lining the horses, all for just $5/night. As I was moving, I heard a loud metallic scraping sound, for the second time. I had first heard it when we stopped for gas in Georgia, but of course, when I tried to repeat it so Hubby could hear it, it was quiet as a mouse. In the campsite, however, it came back with a vengeance, and this time Hubby was able to pinpoint it, from the left front wheel of the RV. We figured it had to be bearings or maybe brakes, so once we were set up, I started looking for a mobile service mechanic online. Another plus, a great cell phone signal. Managed to find a guy in Jacksonville who could make it out tomorrow, but he seemed reluctant about working on a trailer, so I’m not sure what will happen. Will work on a Plan B in the morning, just in case. Supposed to rain, and frankly, we both need a day off tomorrow, though how much of one we’ll get remains to be seen. To bed early, setting the alarm for 7:00.

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 – Drive to Poinsett Park, SC

Love this place! Easy trip down, wish we could stay and ride but there’s a blizzard on our heels, and we’re determined to make it to Florida by tomorrow to outrun the cold!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 – Drive to Buffalo Junction, VA

Worked with our client yesterday, then had dinner at a nice little Indian restaurant in Lorton Market Plaza. Weather forecasts dropping temps tomorrow and snow by Friday, so we are definitely heading south asap. Up at 7:00, out by 9:20, one stop at Wal-Mart for groceries, and off the Dee and Paul’s!

Monday, January 25, 2010 – Paperwork Day

Tackled the pile of mail we rec’d on Saturday, spent the whole day getting caught up on paperwork and bookkeeping. Very wet, warm and humid this morning (almost 70 degrees!), but gradually cleared out and cooled down as the day wore on. Would have loved to go for a ride today, but the trails would have just been too sloppy after all the rain we had overnight. I suspect the horses are getting tired of standing around, I just hope we’ll get a ride in soon, before they go on strike! May be back in Florida before all the stars are aligned to accomplish that, which hopefully will be by the weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010 – Rest/Football day

Hubby finally insisted on seeing the final championship football games today, so he set up the Dish and I reinstated our signal, which I had put on vacation hold since December. We were starting to get low on movies on the DVR anyway, so it’s time to stock up! Expecting rain overnight tonight, so we’ll be putting the horses in the trailer to keep them dry. An uneventful day other than that. I was going to start on my pile of mail, and decided to wait until Monday, as though it was the beginning of a real work week. Go Peyton!

Saturday, January 23, 2010 – Rest Day

Hubby went grocery shopping, then we spent the rest of the day resting, trying to finish recovering from the cold. Also been having a problem with a shoulder muscle that started at a knot in my shoulder blade and ran all up and down the length of my body. Almost like a segment of muscle had been displaced over the wrong side of my shoulder. Started almost a year ago after an over-exertion with a chain saw, had a major improvement in November when it felt like most of the muscle found it’s home, then finally think we got the last of it today, using lots of stretching and a hand-held shiatsu massager. Will know better if we succeeded once the swelling goes down and things have a chance to settle. Spent the day catching up on some reading, too damp and cold to ride while we’re still a little sick. Rec’d our mail as well, so I’ll have plenty to do Monday.

Friday, January 22, 2010 – Day Off

Slept late, woke up with a little sore throat again, so Hubby took care of the horses and dogs, and we took the day off, reading and resting, trying to get rid of the last of this cold!

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 – Work Day

Worked with our client this afternoon, had a nice meal at our favorite Thai restaurant next to Capitol Hill, then ran into some rain just as we got back to camp. Temps not too bad, so left horses out for the night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 – Drive day to Pohick Bay, Lorton, VA

Left our friends at Cherry Hill B&B about 9:00 this morning, headed out to pick up some hay on our way to DC, at Owens hay farm south of Blackstone, VA. Nice mixed grass hay at $4/sq. bale, though we were on our own for loading up. The seller showed up just as we were finished loading. Hubby had a hard time getting out, needed a pull which the seller gladly provided. The rest of the trip was uneventful. Warm greetings from Dale (as in Dale Evans!) at Pohick Bay Regional Park, less than 20 miles from DC, a great campground that doesn’t necessarily cater to horses, but does allow them (as long as you’re willing to pick up after them). There are some great trails here as well, for both the hiker and the equestrian. The park is next to the famous Gunston Hall, which lets you ride the mile around the perimeter of its field, but Pohick Bay has some delightful woodsy trails, and, if you take it far enough, even leads you to a stable and training center a few miles out. Not terribly well-marked, and a few are dead-ends that don’t tell you they’re dead ends until you’re there, but interesting nonetheless. We’re hoping to get a ride in over the weekend, but the weather forecast indicates cold, and tomorrow, rain, sleet and snow. Good thing we’re working with a client tomorrow, though I expect the drive to DC to be harrowing under these predicted conditions!