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Last Thursday, the family all headed down to Trinidad, CO (sex change capitol of the US… who knew?) to pick up a small horse trailer. We had been looking in Colorado Springs and Denver, but apparently July is the hot month for buying horse trailers. So, we ended up making the longer drive. We weren’t too upset since it was a nice little outing for the whole family. Thanks to my friend Erika for encouraging me to get a crew cab pickup! We arrived without a hitch around noon, so the kids talked us into eating at Sonic. Certainly not our first choice, but this was Trinidad, remember. 😉 After lunch, we met the seller, Mike, at McD’s. He said he’d lead us to his ranch because there were some gates to open. Never did we expect to find a gated community of ranches! The gates to open were the gate to the area and a gate on his driveway.
Mike turned out to be a really nice guy. He was a retired police man from Wisconsin, who had just purchased an old dairy outside Green Bay. He’s going to winter in Trinidad and enjoy the lush summers in WI. The funny thing is that he also looked a bit in southern MO but settled on WI to be close to family. We talked for quite some time before actually getting down to business, but finally ended up taking the trailer with us.
The drive back was uneventful but HOT. We saw 110 near Trinidad and more like 105 near Pueblo, but we kept on trucking in the AC. On the south side on Colorado Springs, we decided to take Circle drive to stop at Harbor Freight for some moving blankets. And thus began our adventure!
After waiting for rush hour traffic to pass, I stepped on the gas and noticed that the truck had stalled. “Weird”, I thought and tried to start it again. Well, suffice it to say that starting and running wasn’t on the Silverado’s “mind” at this point, but we did manage to limp into the parking lot of some small school. At this point, I was feeling very grateful that we had AAA service. And then I remembered that I forgot to send in our membership payment in June. I did some quick work on a phone and soon had that paid up, while still on hold with AAA to report the problem.
Finally, an operator came on the line and informed us that yes, the truck was covered for towing, but the trailer would have to be left. Furthermore, only 1 passenger was allowed in the tow truck, so we should call friends or a taxi. This leaves me a bit concerned about future break downs. Do you really get a taxi in the middle of nowhere, NE? Or interstate 60mi from any town? I guess AAA would suggest no passengers ever travel with the driver, which really does make a lot of sense (ahem). Anyway, our focus turned to the trailer. We would have just left it, but the parking lot was a locked one and it was getting close to closing time. We started wracking our brains and finally called Buckley’s Homestead Supply to ask for a friend’s number. Ed answered and said unfortunately he couldn’t come since he was along watching the store, but Niko was in the store. Ed said Niko had a “new” farm truck and was willing to come help out. This from a guy that I had met only once before. Niko is a cob artist in Colorado Springs who is often found at Buckley’s Homestead Supply.
After getting off the phone with Niko, Jason the tow truck driver showed up. We disconnected the trailer and got the truck ready to go. About this time, Jason asked how we were going to get all 5 of us home. I said I’d call a cab or Janelle and the kids could walk to a close McD’s. He suggested it would be far better to have everyone ride in the truck instead. “Really? Is that OK”, we questioned him. “Sure”, he said, “I do it all the time”. So, we agreed to this, feeling a little unsure about it, but not wanting to wait for a cab. About this time, Niko showed up to take the trailer. After some consternation about having a 1 7/8″ ball on his truck and not being able to get my 2″ ball off, we decided to just use the smaller ball for the short tow. Yes, I know it wasn’t very safe but we were at our wit’s end! Lights worked on the first try and off went Niko with our trailer.
Jason told the kids and I to climb into the truck. He wanted us in the truck before loading. Janelle decided to ride up front, holding the baby (eek). At this point, Jason informed us that we would all have to duck down since this wasn’t, errr, quite, ummm, approved. Oh my. For any of you thinking that doesn’t sound bad, please head out to your pickup now and try ducking down such that you are not visible from outside. Holy muscle cramp, batman! Now, please hold that position for 40 minutes while swaying through rush hour traffic in an overheating tow truck (yes, even the tow truck almost broke down). We did finally make it home and the truck was safely delivered to Black Forest Auto (the most awesome shop. Thanks, Eric). We are now waiting to have the fuel pump replaced, a common, expensive Silverado failure.
I’m still in awe that Niko was so kind to haul the trailer for us. What a lifesaver and what a great guy. Thanks, Niko! We were able to pick up the trailer the same night using our old beater farm truck. It hauled it back albeit a bit slowly. Whew, what a day! Just in time to head back to MO!
Computer engineer turned full time farmer, grazier, builder, permaculturist and volunteer fire fighter. We left corporate America to live a simple, self-sufficient life in the Ozarks. Read more