In lieu of a horsie update this week, I am going to tell you a little about our adventure in getting Nick up to his new home. 🙂
Lori and left a little late (my excuse is that my alarm clock didn’t go off. It is possible, or it is possible I slept through all of them). In any case, Nick of course walked right into the trailer and we finally got on the road right around 8am.
All went well on the drive up through the freeways and we finally hit Topanga Canyon. That was even OK, even with the suicidal bicyclists who tried to throw themselves in front of the truck. We turned off of Topanga Canyon on the road that led to the barn.
I say road. In fact, it was a one-lane driveway that went up. And when I say up, I mean steep grade up. The truck chugged up the driveway as it continued to go up, and continued to get steeper. Finally we crested the top and were fairly certain the worst was behind us.
So I was wrong. Again.
As we continued down the road, getting closer and closer to the entrance, I noticed something in the rearview mirror. Upon closer inspection, I noticed it was black smoke billowing out of the back and sides of the truck. Determining that, on a scale of one to ten, this would be classified as “bad,” I pulled over onto what might be determined a shoulder.
Lori jumped out of the truck and discovered that the truck was on fire. Not a problem, I figured, as I always carry my handy-dandy fire extinguisher with me in my handy-dandy trailer. Alas, upon investigation into the tack shed of my handy-dandy trailer, I was dismayed to discover that my extinguisher had been left in the OTHER trailer we took last week to pick up Whiskey. I had placed it in there, just in case there might be a need for it. It continues to sit, ready for an emergency, at the barn.
So no fire extinguisher. Yes, yes, we are buying another one for the trailer and one for the truck… we don’t need the lecture, thanks.
As I am determining my stupidity at leaving the extinguisher in the other trailer, Lori has proceeded to take her camera bag and my purse and is now about 20 feet from the trailer. I peered into the cab and discover that the the inside of the cab is on fire and part of the carpet is burned. The floor mat now seemed to be my only option, so I beat the flames out there. “The horse, the horse!” Lori kept saying, concerned that the truck was going to blow up. “The truck isn’t going to blow up from a fire,” I assured her. “Haven’t you ever watched Mythbusters?” Lori had not, so we unloaded Nick from the trailer and walked to where Lori had based herself, which somehow was now on the other side of the road, about 30 feet from the truck. She kept trying to call 911, but (of course) there was no signal.
Feeling stupid at watching the truck continue to burn, I tied Nick to the side of the road and walked back to the truck to put out the fire. I beat out the small bit of fire that was still left inside of the cab, and then looked under the truck. Upon further investigation, I discovered that there were some wires hanging down under the truck which were causing the flames. I suffocated the fire with the floor mat (wonderful things, truck floor mats), and beat out the rest of the small flames on the undercarriage.
So now the fire was out and we only happened to be about 100 miles from home, stuck on the side of a road with a dead truck and a trailer and a horse. Things could probably have been better.
I now resort to my poor impression of Scarlett O’Hara, and note that, “I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers.” And so it was. Someone passed by in a car and proceeded to go up to the barn and ask the manager to help us- he came down with three other guys, and within 10 minutes we had the trailer unhitched and attached to their truck and the promise of being able to call AAA when we got into the barn. The manager left one of his guys down there with a fire extinguisher, just in case.
The gentlemen asked if we wanted to put Nick in the trailer and get a ride to the barn. I looked ahead. Wasn’t that the entrance, about 50 feet up? Not a problem, I assured them, and they shrugged and drove away. Lori led Nick and we started towards the gate. The manager was in a golf cart. He offered a ride. Not a problem, we assured him. He offered about 6 times, which we questioned, but he, too, shrugged and drove away.
Then we saw the hill and understood. It wasn’t a hill, it was a small mountain. It was over 100 degrees and as we climbed the behemoth that was asphalt we cursed the golf cart and truck that was already at the top. My face turned something resembling a turnip- I cannot vouch for Lori’s as I could not get enough momentum to get in front of her.
Finally, we reach the top and Nick met his new family. He has two girls to play with- a 6 year old and an 8 year old. They petted him and gave him food and he proceeded to get them pretty dirty by rubbing his face on them. It was pretty hot, so he got a bath to cool off. He is in a stall next to a horse that the family is fostering for another rescue- a 4 year-old Mustang named Luna.
As Nick was meeting his new family, Lori and I were trying to find a signal on her phone. Finally, we were met with success and I called AAA. “Would you like the car towed to a AAA approved facility?” the woman at AAA asked. “How many miles can you tow the car?” I queried back, wondering if it would get us relatively close to Orange County. “100 miles,” she responded. “I’d like it towed back to Trabuco Canyon,” I said quickly, before she could change the rules on me.
We finally said goodbye to Nick and his new family, and soon AAA came and picked up the car. Our driver was Emiliano, and he was very good-natured about the entire ordeal. I personally think he was just happy he got to spend an afternoon in the car with two lovely women as opposed to hooking up car after car, but perhaps I am biased. We had the car towed to the Ford dealership up the street from the stables, where it just so happened that Lori’s car had been taken the night before to be serviced. We dropped off the truck and picked up Lori’s car in no time.
And so Nick’s adventure came to an end. He seems happily settled in Topanga Canyon, where there are several arenas, turn-outs and private trails he and his new family can explore. We hope that the rest of his time there is mellow and fun, with only hints of adventure from here on out.