My second trip to New Jersey was, (unfortunately,) nearly as exciting as the first one! We had a terrible snow storm here on December 20th - we were pummeled with about a foot of snow. I knew driving was going to be atrocious, so I decided to be safe and get a hotel room overnight in New Jersey. My friend Courtney tagged along, and as soon as the roads were salted enough to see pavement, we were off.
On the way down, we stopped in Connecticut at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. That is my all-time favorite restaurant ever, and if anyone has the recipe for the "Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake", I will gladly buy it off of you. Moving on...
We made it through New York and passed the New Jersey border around 10pm. Everything was going well... until my truck started shaking violently. After about 15 seconds the shaking subsided, followed by a loud pop. Even though we had already passed through the Bronx, I still looked at Courtney to make sure we hadn't been shot at. I glanced in my mirrors and didn't see any issues with the trailer. My brakes worked, my steering was fine as well. Thankfully we were getting off at the next exit, which was only 10 miles down the highway, and I could get a better look at it.
As I pulled off, I glanced at my mirrors and saw what I had dreaded - there was rubber flopping from underneath the wheel well of my trailer. It didn't just pop - it was shredded. Ugh...
We pulled into the nearest hotel and I called AAA. I explained that one of my tires had blown and I needed help. I was then overwhelmed with happiness when she told me that my membership only covered the vehicle I was driving, not trailers. Wonderful. (If anyone who reads this hauls horses frequently and has AAA, call them and upgrade before you get stuck like me!)
I forgot to mention that the tow truck driver didn't show up until 1:00am and it took him the better part of a half hour to change it. And it was 5 degrees outside. And we needed to leave by 5:00am.
My hot shower was wonderful, but 5am came way too quickly. We checked out of the hotel and headed over the auction house. We were picking up two horses, a chestnut mare and a bay mare. The chestnut loaded up beautifully, but the bay wasn't nearly as willing. Of course, the guy who works there and was "helping" us by cracking her repeatedly on the butt with a whip wasn't making her trust us any more. Eventually she made the smart decision to jump on with us rather than stay with him, so we loaded up and headed out.
The ride back was definitely better as far as driving conditions went, but there was quite a bit more traffic. We opted to take the scenic route through New York City. Courtney was having fun with my camera and took some fantastic shots of the New York skyline!
And below is the George Washington Bridge. Note the crazy traffic, snow on the vehicles and the immense amount of salt on my windshield.
The horses made it back safe and sound. They rode fairly quietly and seemed pretty content to munch on their hay nets. We arrived home around 1pm and unloaded them. You can see the green kill pen tags on their hips. I don't know if they realize how close they were to getting on the wrong trailer, but the look on the bay mare's face says it all.
They will live to see another day and hopefully will provide years of enjoyment to their new families!
Also, I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated towards our cause! We received a few donations towards our travel expenses and they were well needed and extremely appreciated. It's so wonderful to have such wonderful followers!