Monday, January 16, 2012

When things are meant to be...

I came to the conclusion this morning that it really was a busy weekend...when the fridge was empty and there were 20 unread blog updates. But as much as I wanted to start reading, I felt compelled to tell the story of my weekend...

As you all know by now, I got my horse trailer! I had made a comment on the nature of fate and how you can do nothing but hope and work hard. And have a little luck. And luck we the point where it was almost 'meant to be'.

Friday I decided to show up to work early so I could get off a bit sooner, and then chose to work through my lunch to leave even earlier. When I got home in the early afternoon, I walked in the door and headed to check the front mailbox....when the phone rang.

I checked the call display and realised it was the seller of the horse trailer; and considered letting it go to voice mail, since I had learned that morning that we couldn't pick it up on a Sunday since our vehicle permit office was closed (need a temporary permit to transport it). But after 5 rings decided to answer anyway.

The seller and I chatted for a bit, and it seemed like everything would work out except for the date. Sunday was the only day we were free to go, and it was the only day that didn't work because of permits. Monday would, but we didn't have a chance to book time off work. No luck. We'd be waiting another week and the seller said they would still be trying to sell it during that week. sigh.

Regardless, I made a ton of phone calls (2 hours worth) to arrange all the paperwork. Who knows what could happen. Set yourself up for success, even if failure seems imminent.

So the BF comes home and was going to email the fellow we were meeting on Saturday to buy a snowmobile...but decided to call instead. Much to our surprise, the guy asked if we could come out that evening since his boy had a hockey game on Saturday. Um, sure!

Immediately things seemed like they might fall into place. We headed straight to the bank so I could get some US cash...and got there 15 minutes before the bank closed. We then drove the 4 hours round-trip to pick up the snowmobile Friday night, got home around 9 pm and I called the seller about the pony trailer. I told her that Saturday at noon we'd be pulling into their farm to pick it up.

I raced around for the remainder of the evening getting everything we needed: the dog's rabies certificate since we'd have to bring her with us (no time to arrange anyone to look after her, and too long for her to stay home), our nexus cards, cash for gasoline, paperwork, map...

I crawled into bed with the alarm set for 6 am, and subsequently checked it every 1/2 hour JUST in case it wasn't working. At 5:30 am, the BF and I had both been wide awake for at least an hour, so we got ready and were out the door by 6 am. The four vehicles ahead of us at the border were all pulled in for vehicle inspections, but we continued on through. Winding down the smaller highways through rural North Dakota, eating truck-stop breakfast sandwiches and counting the Dairy Queens. At exactly noon we passed by the Cottonwood tree (yes, that was our directions...left at the cottonwood), and pulled into the driveway.

The trailer was sitting there looking even cuter in person. We met the owners, inspected everything and were happy with it. We spent a bit of time meeting the owner's horses and introducing them to our dog (just so friendly!) and then hooked up and hauled out. We headed to the capital city of Bismark and drove straight to Staples. Who let us use their phone to call the Permit office, which by this time, it was already 2 pm. We faxed out our first form and then since it'd be an hour, we headed off for lunch. At 3 pm we were back at Staples and the papers arrived to fax back...this continued until 3:50 pm, ten minutes before the permit office closed for the weekend, and we got our permit. Under the wire by 10 minutes. Otherwise we'd be stuck there until Monday morning.

We headed home and reached the US/Canada border at 11:30 at night. Following a thorough inspection process, we successfully imported our trailer into Canada. We got home at 12:30 am on Sunday and the BF managed to back it into the driveway even with vehicles half-parked in the lane.

Sunday morning, I was still thrilled with it. It looks awesome with our blue truck and hauls pretty darn good. While the tires are functional and made the whole trip without issue, I plan on replacing all of them, adding a new set of electric brakes and installing new bearings (though the axles were cool the whole 7 hour drive). I'll keep the old tires and use the best of the 4 as my spare. I'm also planning on adding a break-away module which applies the brakes if the trailer ever separates from the tow vehicle. It's $40 for the module and everything needed to set it up, which to me is a small price to potentially preventing a catastrophe.

The exterior of the trailer is near perfect, and the fibreglass roof is pristine. This thing wasn't stored outside, that's for sure. The interior is a bright blue with a couple spots of surface rust which I'm going to sand down this spring and repaint the interior a nicer color...any votes between a soft cream, light grey or grey-blue?

It came with two nearly new trailer ties, and I just want to recover the butt chains which are wrapped in clear plastic that's yellowed a bit with age. The BF is planning on making me a pull-out saddle rack for the front compartment, and we'll put a halter/bridle rack in there too. I'm taking the door handle off to get a new set of keys made for it, and then we'll add a lock to the back door. We're also contemplating doing some velcro-in plexiglass windows for days when it's raining or miserable. Oh, and he's going to add some more interior lights for me when he adds in the brake wiring. We also need to replace the back reflectors since one fell off when we were driving home... : P

The whole thing is rather spacious feeling and from my experience with friends' WW-style trailers, it feels more open. Oh, and the floor boards are brand new, it came with rubber matting and a good deal of the paint is still on the under-frame! After 38 years?? Regardless, the BF offered to climb under there and repaint the entire undercarriage and wheel wells a nice gloss black. We're also going to repaint the rims black and keep the original hubcaps (all 4 are still on it!).

Obviously, I'm just thrilled with it. The weather here has turned cold and miserable, which gives me plenty of time to plan what I want to do. We're hauling it back to our house in the early spring and will start getting it ready for Moon. I'm planning on getting some accessories for it, which will include a manure fork, two head bumpers for the horses when they travel (considering Moon smoked his head on a 2-horse with living quarters gooseneck trailer...), a couple of haybags...

The whole thing has left me ridiculously excited...we'll be living large. There really is something freeing about knowing if you want to take your horse somewhere, you can. And hey, there's room for two, which means I don't have to travel alone. Horse camping anyone??

Even cooler? When I explained to the BF how I want to haul to some local fairs to attend their shows and he said "Can we make a trip of it? You know, do the horse thing and then go to the fair?" : ) Yes, yes we can. Then again, there's a couple of campgrounds with horse camping that we're thinking of checking out this summer. He'll bring his mountain bike, I'll bring my pony. I'm even planning on setting up some temporary horse fencing in our back field (I have the energizer, just need some step-in T-posts and electric tape) so I can haul him out to trim the grass for us...and get used to his future home : )

So that's the story of the cutest little pony trailer. I adore how unique in styling it is and from what I can find I believe that Blair is the only makers of this style of walk-through. And I still feel like THIS was the trailer I was supposed to get. I'm going to have to work extra hard to get us showing this summer, but I'm loving the fact that we have the ultimate freedom in our hands. Maybe we won't get to a ton of places this year, but we have many years together to enjoy. And it might not be the most expensive, most luxurious, make their jaw-drop trailers out there. But it seems perfectly suited to my little Moon'er and I. And THAT is what matters most.

(lots of pics of the inside of the trailer will come later tonight ; ) ).