Trouble ahead

by Gillian Larson | posted: July 1, 2014

The last couple of days proved to be a combination of challenges, with a little unexpected fun. First off, as I was driving out of Sonora Pass on Sunday, my truck started having problems with the tachometer, and I feared a repeat of some of the problems that I had with it after Old Station, when I stayed with Pam and Aaron Williams in Redding for a day or two and got it fixed. It was a little ironic that once again I was on my way to Redding, and if I was more superstitious I might have begun to wonder what it was about Redding that caused trouble for my truck. Since it was already getting late, I worried about trying to drive and getting stuck on the road with the horses at night, but thanks to the Heins, who were at Whiskeytown Lake with my mom, I was able to spend the night with some friends of theirs from Australia in Minden, Nevada. It was quite a menagerie of animals that I encountered there, including eleven dogs from their dog rescue operation in Los Angeles, and Shyla and Takoda spent the night in the pasture with their cows. The next morning they helped me determine that the truck seems okay to make the drive to Redding, and somehow I got there in time to made my vet appointment. Afterwards, Mom met me and we took my car to the Dodge dealer in town, where we learned that a computer component was failing, which was causing the malfunction. We decided to get the truck fixed in Bend, which is where we are going next, and since I couldn’t drive there until the next day, I took the afternoon off to go waterskiing at Whiskeytown, where my mother’s family was still camping with Pam and Aaron, though the rest of the reunion was over. Then on Tuesday Mom drove the camper north to Bend while I took the truck and trailer with the horses and stopped in Medford, where Rock Ernhart was incredibly kind and managed to meet me to repair Takoda’s shoes. After that it was a mad dash to Bend to get there before the Dodge dealer closed at 6pm. We sort of made it, but because we had to take the horses out of the trailer, then hitch the trailer to the camper instead and reload the horses and take a lot of supplies out of my truck, we kept the service manager waiting for almost an hour after closing time–I was so grateful for his patience, and I think he was just flabbergasted at the complexity of our arrangements! We finally left the truck there and continued onto the 242 outside of Sisters, Oregon, where we finally camped for the night at the MacKenzie Pass trailhead. Darkness was falling and clouds were gathering overhead as we drove up the narrow road, which is actually normally closed until some time in July, so we felt lucky that it was open, although we should have realized that we were probably getting ourselves into a dicey situation. The black lava fields that we drove past looked like some kind of moonscape, with pockets of snow still lingering in the jagged rock. As a thunderstorm moved in that evening, I should have seen it as a foreshadowing of the trouble ahead.


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