I'm currently ensconced at the town library since we've yet to decide how to get internet at the rental. The last post should have included a few photos so I'll go back in time and post them here.
Our first day on the road brought us to Wadsworth Farm where we arrived just before dark. The horses had this lovely pasture and so much grass that neither of them wanted their grain rations for the night!
Next morning we made it across the rest of Alabama, through Chattanooga and Knoxville and then into Virginia where we stopped for the night at Knickerbocker Stables.
Here are Sarge and Cloud in the arena with their first view of the Blue Ridge Mtns behind them.
We let them stretch their legs in the arena until bedtime when we moved them into clean, well-kept stalls in the barn for the night.
Noel has been the star of the trip: no protest at riding in the car, wearing a collar or being confined in the crate during stops. At almost 15, I didn't think that she'd be so resilient. She decided that laying on the floor behind the drivers seat was her safest spot when we were driving and in the living quarters of the trailer, she was comfortable and unconcerned.... curling up on the bed to sleep as if she'd been traveling all of her life.
As usual on the drive, the last few hours involves running the gauntlet of 18 wheelers on Interstate 81. It's one of the busiest trucking stretches of road that I've ever driven and it takes some concentration to stay out of the way of the big rigs as they get slowed down going uphill and then speed up going down.
We arrived at Windward Farm where we'll be permanent boarders at around 1PM and spent a few hours settling the horses in and unpacking our riding gear and grooming supplies. I managed to whittle down our entire barn and tack room to a manageable couple of bins, but I imagine that we've still got more things there than most of the other boarders.
After saying good-bye to Sarge and Cloud, we wound our way across the country roads to the rental house. A few hours more of work and the living quarters of the trailer was unloaded and the basement and house were ready for the movers to arrive with the semi the next AM.
Just before dark, we made a quick trip out to the new house on the hill. It probably sounds horrible to say that I wasn't in the mood to see it that night, but I was worn out and it was almost dark. Worrying over what I'd see when the furniture and boxes began coming off the truck the next day was weighing on me and I knew that I was still missing the old house. I guess I wasn't quite ready to give my heart to the place yet.... remember that I haven't seen it at all since construction began in May. So that first "meeting" was a little anticlimactic. I think Joe expected me to whirl around and gush, but he was understanding and after another visit today when I wasn't exhausted and worried, I'm loving the new place now!
My worries were for naught as the move went like clockwork. Mr. Clevis Jefferson was our United Van Lines driver and has been driving since 1961! Yes, 50 years! I guess there isn't much that he hasn't seen.
It was a pleasure getting to know him and his sons and grandsons who were his loading/unloading crew.
As was the situation when they loaded us onto the truck in LA, he couldn't get the semi up the driveway at the VA rental which meant that the crew had to wheel all 10,000 lbs down a long driveway AGAIN.
This time the driveway was bumpy limestone plus most of the items also needed to be wheeled through the grass around the house into the basement entrance. But there was never a complaint or frown all day. They were cheerful and polite young men who stayed that way during and after putting in a full day of hard labor.
So that was our big move! Both horses, both dogs, one surprisingly adaptable cat and all of our belongings made it unscathed and in one piece. Most of the boxes are stacked in the basement awaiting the final move next year, so we've got minimal work to to unpacking and getting settled.
The closing on the "old" house is set for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2pm. While there is no reason to be concerned, we'll be holding our breath until then.