Thursday, September 30, 2010

The "infamous Idaho trip of '10" - Part II

OK... brace yourselves. Here we go...

Friday, September 24:

The morning did not start off well... during the night my nose had apparently dried out and when I woke up it was bleeding. Then my allergies hit. So, not only was my nose bleeding but I couldn't breath out of it either. At that point I just rammed some tissue paper up there and called it good, since breathing wasn't happening any way. Ex-hub was not impressed with the look, but I didn't care.

We then struck out for the house in Blackfoot (about 20 miles North). Coming out of Pocatello there is a big hill to climb and on the way up the hill the truck's radiator decided to explode. There was smoke pouring out from under the hood. I rapidly pulled over to the side of the road, popped the hood and took a look. There was radiator fluid leaking everywhere and at first it looked like it had cracked. Since the cap was cool, I decided to pop that off and see what the fluid level was... instead I ended up with radiator fluid spurting out everywhere. Including all over my flip-flops.

At that point, I fought off a melt-down (no room in the budget for a radiator repair) and decided to call Farmer... I tried to leave him alone through the majority of the trip, but I needed someone to remind me what I needed to be looking for. He told me to look at the hoses and then see if I could locate a leak. So, I let the truck cool off, put some water in the radiator, checked the hoses (which were fine) and started it back up... at which point I could find no leak. No water came gushing out. The truck was running nice and cool, minus the horrific squealing of the coolant-covered belts. I sat and let it run for a while making sure it wasn't going to explode again. And... no explosion.

Just at about that time a cop pulled up behind us. Normally I would celebrate such a thing, but right then I was not too thrilled to see him since I had expired plates on the truck and the trailer... oh, and no working lights on the trailer (since the magnetic lights were now toast). I jumped out of the truck and was peering under the hood when he walked up. I explained to him what had happened and told him that now everything seemed fine. He then said to give them a ring if we needed a tow and, thankfully, drove off. I pulled back out onto the road and we made our way to the house.

When we got there (at about 7:30am) I was greeted with this site:

All the furniture that somehow has to fit in the trailer...

My camper. Possibly the only thing worth coming back for...

One set of boxes (there were about 3x this amount) that have to somehow all fit into the camper...

Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed just looking at all the crap that needed to fit into a very small amount of space. Ex-hub and I decided that since we would need to make several runs to Goodwill and the dump that we would need to leave the camper off the truck for now and start sorting through everything and getting them split into piles. There was keep, donate and trash. It totally reminded me of an episode of "Clean Sweep". And I was ruthless... ex-hub kept trying to salvage, I just kept throwing crap onto the donate and trash piles. He was not a happy camper. But I kept reminding him that we had a very limited amount of space.

By 5ish that night, we had sorted and consolidated quite a bit. What he needed 20 boxes for was now combined down to 8. And then we started loading up the camper... but then it dawned on me that if we put too much in there while still on the barrels that the jacks would never be able to get that much weight lifted and onto the truck. So we set the majority of the boxes aside and decided to call it a night. By that time, Wildflower and Lucky had come to visit...

Wildflower brought her pups... Kiara (left) and Cosmo (right)

 Wildflower waving "hi"... Lucky and her baby in the background...

I was pretty done at that point and so Wildflower and I, along with Weird (remember him? Wildflower's boyfriend) and ex-hub decided to take a trip down to Lava for some excellent Thai food and a soak in the hot springs.

Weird actually wasn't all that weird, actually (might have to come up with a new name for him... like Bear. He is a very hairy man). Ex-hub was standard ex-hub... didn't join in the conversation much and just generally looked put-out to be there. I just ignored him. Amazing how those skills come back even after a few years of not needing them. Overall it was a great time. By 10pm we were all tired and ex-hub and I headed back to Pocatello to crash. By 3am I was sick... either din-din hadn't agreed with me or the stress was catching up to me. Tough to tell which one. Either way, there wasn't much sleep to be had.

Saturday, September 25:

By morning, the puking had ceased but I still wasn't feeling too hot. There was a trail ride going on that morning, so I decided to drive up and say hi to everyone. It was good to see all my friends again. At one point I though I might actually ride, but the drive up convinced me that it was not a good idea... going over all the rough road had made me nauseous again.... crap.

Instead, after greeting everyone and chit-chatting a bit I headed back down the mountain, gathered up ex-hub and decided to get back to work packing. Which was a good thing... we were going to need all the time we had.

The first order of business was dropping off the final load to Goodwill. After we got that done, it was time to put the camper on the truck... easier said than done.

I backed up to the camper (which took several tries to get the correct angle) and then I decided the plan would be to jack up the front of the camper, remove the barrel and slide the truck under the front then repeat for the barrel in the back. Seemed easy enough...

We started to lift the front when all of a sudden the camper started to lean to the right... oh crap. We hurridly dropped the camper back down on the barrel and started to take some of the weight out of the camper. We unloaded a few heavy boxes out of the bed area of the camper and decided to try again. So we got it jacked up again and it seemed to be holding OK so ex-hub removed the barrel. As I started to back under it I realized I was at the wrong angle and had to take about 10 minutes to get lined up correctly to get under the camper. The whole time I was sweating bullets because the camper was ever-so-slightly starting to lean to the right again. Finally we got the truck under the front and then we were able to get the back up and on to the truck as well.

By the time that little ordeal was over I was completely drenched in sweat. There were a few times I thought we were going to lose the camper... but it was done.

However, once I started putting the tie-downs on the camper one broke. So, we ran into town (about 2 miles away) to buy a new one. Out in the parking lot I got the camper all situated and we headed back to the house.

Once back at the house we started to load up the camper... and the truck just kept getting lower and lower. There was a lot of weight going onto the truck. At this point we realized we hadn't bought new magnetic lights for the trailer yet, so it was another trip into town. Once back, we started to put the trailer onto the truck and realized that the stinger was sitting down too low now for the trailer. So, we made yet another trip into town to buy a new stinger. We decided to grab some lunch at this point as well (it was about 2pm by this time and I was actually feeling well enough to eat). And then it was back to the house.

On the way back to the house I started to realize just how much weight was on the truck already. We got caught by a strong draft and the truck really started rocking... it scared the crap out of me. I slowed down and decided to only go 45 back to the house.

Once there it was time to hook up the trailer and the lights. By that time Wildflower, Lucky and her hub had come to load up what they were taking and to help us get the rest of the stuff loaded. Lucky's hub got the lights strung up onto the trailer and then we tested them out... no running lights, but blinkers and brake lights were working. Good enough for me.

By 7ish, everything was loaded and it was time to say goodbye.

I'll miss you guys!! Lucky, me and Wildflower...
Notice how dingy I look? Yeah, it doesn't get better for while...

At that point (after discussing pros and cons with Farmer) I decided we were going to hit the road that night and try to drive as far as possible before calling it a night...

So, our trek home began... and it was a doozy...


  1. Ahhh! You're killing me with the suspense!
    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. I'm a new reader and I absolutely love your blog! I spent a good 6 hours one day last week reading from the very beginning. It's nice (and a little therapeutic) to read your personal and very honest accounts on life, men, horses, etc.

  2. Welcome to my silly, little blog :) Never fear, I promise to finish the story tomorrow...