Wow, I haven't written anything since March!!! It was an incredible summer, full of huge triumphs and a few disappointments. We're home now, but to be honest, my heart is still out on the farm.
Our adventure started with our two oldest boys getting out of school and going to stay with relatives. Thinning the family herd out a little bit definitely streamlined all the work we had ahead of us. We packed up our new old horse trailer with tools and household goods and headed for the old homestead out on the prairie.
We bought the trailer through Craigslist and got it for a great price. Probably it's biggest problem was the condition of the tires and that would come back to haunt us later. We ended up packing every square inch and then some. A few of the items were really heavy. We took off after the morning rush hour and immediately noticed that our Ford F-350 was really working to pull this beast. It was so bad that the truck was overheating before Indianapolis. We pulled over at a gas station and I got the bright idea to check the tire pressures. I kicked myself when I found all of them to be low, both truck and trailer. With all we had going on, I had just forgotten this small detail. What a difference proper inflation makes when hauling this kind of weight. The rest of the trip was pretty boaring with myself and DW swapping out through the night until... the real excitement came at about 4:00 in the morning as we were driving through Minneapolis. A car pulled up beside me and the woman was frantically waving at us. I looked in the rearview mirror and caught some sparks coming out the back of the trailer when we hit a bump. I immediately pulled over to inspect the situation and found that we had had a double blowout on the back two tires of the trailer. A really nice state trooper pulled in behind us and told us that there was a used tire store off the next exit and escorted us into a gas station to at least get the spare on.
Of course it was drizzling! Wouldn't have it any other way. I pulled out the old crusty hi-lift jack that came with the truck and found that it was bound up tight. After monkeying with it and spraying it profusely with WD-40, I was able to get it to go up fine but not so much down. Good enough for me!!! But that too would come back to haunt me. I changed out the tire on the heavy side of the trailer with our brand new spare and pulled the trailer off the jack with the truck.
We limped about two blocks to the used tire place that the trooper told us about and waited for about four hours for them to open. After buying a pair of nice trailer tires, I went to the crusty old jack and changed the last tire out. Sadly, when I went to pull the trailer off the jack, it twisted and punched a hole in the new tire. I was at about the end of my rope by this time and in retrospect was probably dancing on the edge of mental exhaustion. Thankfully, the tire guy felt bad for us and gave us another tire. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. Our exhausted family finally pulled into the farmyard of the long unlived-in homestead and found an incredibly sad state of affairs. But that's another blog...
The whole summer was a real challenge and chock full of new experiences for everybody. Despite the tremendous hurdles that we had to jump to stand the place up, there was time to just enjoy living.
We even got a new member to our family.
I'm going to try and write everything down while it's still sort of fresh. DW took lots of pics so I'll try to include them as I sort through the mountain of images.