First we need to start off prior to moving day. I’m going to give a shout out to my amazing little brother Gavin. He gave me confidence for this move the day before we were scheduled to depart. Always makes me laugh, even when I feel like dog snot. The realization of being so far away from him now is starting to weigh on me a bit. It’s a little bit further then just down the block to visit him now. The physical distance is but one obstacle. With many of the states now issuing stay at home orders the stress added is a little bit more. We haven’t always been close, but the older we get I think the relationship seems to be growing. You never really appreciate the people around you until you don’t have them anymore. So close but so far away.
On to moving day! We started off early, vehicles packed, loaded the rest of the panels, loaded the hay…things moving along just fine. Until they weren’t. On this particular day, Tucson decided he didn’t want to load in the trailer. We tried. We tried some more, and then….he broke the first lead rope. He ran over to the neighbors, we retrieved him, he then proceeded to break my nice halter, and ran over again. After a trip to Big R, and help from our neighbors we lunged, and lunged, and lunged some more. Now Tucson has been loaded in stock trailers before and I never imagined him being this bad before, but oh boy was he. I was beginning to lose my patience, Oklahoma was losing his patience. The relationship was almost over as fast as it started. Just an absolutely awful situation. I as an owner have failed him by not teaching him to properly load in a trailer. In an emergency situation this could have been catastrophic and rest assured we are now working on it. So after the neighbors, myself, and Oklahoma worked him; the decision to use a butt rope was made and we finally got him in after 4 hours. Talk about late departure. The horse was in, and then my battery died. Fiesta failed me. Luckily Oklahoma wasn’t too far down the road by the time I got a hold of him. We jumped the car; and down the road we went.
Our first stop and destination was Wendover, Nevada We got fuel at countless other little places along the way but here was one of the true realizations that I was leaving home before we hit the Bonneville Salt Flats to Salt Lake.
Next up we took a lovely scenic drive trying to skip Salt Lake City, and accidentally ended up on a 2 lane road traveling with a destination of Salina, Utah. Lots of open range, lots of windy roads. I was seriously starting to panic about popping a tire so far from civilization. We finally stopped for the night and got some sleep. Props to all Super 8 Hotels that allow pets. Kori truly appreciated having a bed all to himself that night.
The next morning we headed off and went by way of Interstate 70 to Green River, Utah, then dropped down into Moab, Utah via Highway 191. Beautiful country, not really ideal for a 2011 Ford Fiesta doing some of those hills though. As most know, I’ll go up just about anything but coming down I’m bad at. We dropped into Monticello, Blanding, White Mesa, and Bluff before taking the 162 over to Montezuma Creek, Utah and crossing into Colorado on the 41. In an attempt to be sweet and not consulting me, Oklahoma proceeded to take us down to the 4 corners National Monument which sadly was closed to the public. A combination of Covid-19, and it being a weekend prevented us from actually seeing the monument. One day we will return and visit it.
From 4 Corners we took Highway 160 to connect with Highway 64 at Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. We then made our way to Shiprock, New Mexico. I love rocks. What a weird rock. All of the gas station attendants we came across wore gloves. Everyone was being cautious here about COVID-19.
We then continued on our way to Gallup, New Mexico to eventually head through and meet up with Interstate 40 going through Throeau, Grants, and eventually on to Albuquerque, New Mexico. So far everything was smooth sailing. The dogs were perfect just passed out in the back seat of the Fiesta. The cats were angry as piss in the dog crate in the stock trailer, and Tucson was just the happiest little rider going along. From there it was a perilous stretch in the dark from ABQ into Tucumcari, New Mexico. So many trucks. I ended up losing Oklahoma in the rush and just took my time getting there. I had a truck blow a tire in front of me and that was nearly a “should’ve worn the brown pants” moment. Damn near took out the windshield on my poor little Fiesta. Luckily we made it to spend another night at another Super 8.
The next morning we started off and crossed into Texas. First time in my life I’ve ever seen such huge wind Turbines and so many of them. From this point on I told Oklahoma to slow down and don’t lose me. The roads were night and day different and far better then what we had encountered in New Mexico. In New Mexico I could have easily shoved a few cats and a dog in some of the pot holes. Made me miss Nevada road work. While passing through Texas I saw some of the largest spray equipment I’ve ever seen.
We made it past Amarillo, Texas and then it was smooth and fast flying into Sayer, Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s truck knew it was home. I was too busy being impressed by Eastern Red Bud’s just growing on the side of the road everywhere and the amount of green around me. Supposedly a Red Bud tree is planted everywhere a person passed away, as a form of memorial. I don’t know the true facts on that. From there we headed through Oklahoma City, towards Henryetta and of course, Braum’s. Now if you’ve never had the pleasure of Braum’s, go, go find one RIGHT NOW!!! Cheeseburgers and milkshakes all the way. It is delicious and worth the journey. After grabbing a bite to eat and making sure Oklahoma didn’t get a ticket for parking in a hotel parking lot we headed down Indian Nation Turnpike towards McAlester, and I got introduced to Toll Booths. Which the dogs loved because at each one they were given treats. We went down to Hugo, then turned on the 70 to cross through Fort Townson, and Valliant. Valliant is where I’ll be working. It was straight sailing through the little towns surrounded by green on all sides. Grass grew everywhere. We made the turn at the Snow’s Arena sign where I quickly discovered the Fiesta would not be making it’s way easily. The road is just too much for that little car. Puppa was getting all sorts of wound up seeing other horses. We finally pulled into the driveway and Oklahoma’s parents were there to greet us. We unloaded the pets and had a good talk. The journey to our new home was finally complete.