Thursday, June 9, 2016

Where To Start?

You know how it is...When there is time to write...not much to write about. When there are things to write about...I am too tired by the end of the day.

I did get Frosty delivered. And I got to meet CdnCowgirl!! We didn't have near enough time together. I think we could have talked for days.

The trip up was uneventful until I got to the Canadian border. The whole time I was preparing for the trip, my sole concern was is if I was going to get Frosty across the border without problems. I did fleetingly think about whether I needed a passport or not and my husband looked up the info for me. Waaaallllll...Technically, you don't need a passport to get into Canada...but apparently you do need more than your driver's license. Oiy Vey!! Frosty wasn't the problem...I was!! Hahahaha I got spend a good hour with the immigration officer. It was a bit rattling to think that I could have driven 1,000 miles and not been allowed to actually go into Canada. I guess I am not the only idiot American they have ever had to deal with though because after checking my background and asking me a long list of questions, they allowed me to go ahead. Whewwww!!!

Then I had to deal with the GST people! I'm not sure why everyone seemed so shocked that I would haul a horse 1,400 miles merely to exchange him for another horse. Eventually we did settle on a monetary value for Frosty and that's when things got difficult. My phone had no signal in the border office, which they said was normal for most phones, but when I attempted to pay the GST on Frosty, all of my cards were declined. Uh-oh!! Yet another thing I forgot to do...Contact the bank and tell them I was going to Canada. Crap! Well...I always carry some cash with me, so I paid with that and figured I would just contact the bank and my credit card company when I got away from the building and get my cards turned on. phone never started working again. Apparently, I do not have international service. International service? WTH...I was just going to Canada. Hahahahahaha!!!

I got to Lethbridge and pulled over. By now, I was fairly panicked. My phone was non-functioning. My cards were shut off and I had just spent the majority of my cash. I didn't have a clue what the heck I was going to do. I had fueled up before the border, and since MH put that extra 60 gallon fuel tank in my pick-up, I knew that at the very least, I had enough fuel to get to where I needed to go and back down to the states. When messing with my phone, I did notice that it kept trying to pick up local Wi-Fi, so I grabbed my portable Wi-Fi out of my computer bag and fired it up. Thank God it worked and I was able to text on my phone. I contacted MH and had him call the bank to reactivate my cards, texted Cdn to let her know I was actually in Canada and headed her way and got back on the road.

I always carry an atlas with me in the pick-up and I had looked at it to get an idea of where I was headed, but as usual, I just plugged the destination into my phone and followed directions. Big mistake! HUGE!! The route selected was 50 miles shorter, but OMG!! The last 150 miles had me going over farm roads that were rougher than hell. Worst thing in the world to haul a tired horse over. I swear, if I would have seen a place to pull over for the night, I would have.

That 50 miles shorter turned into 2 hours longer because I had to drive so slow and it was ridiculously late when I finally pulled into Cdn's place. I was totally rum-dum and started babbling like an idiot as soon as I got out of the pickup. My brain was saying, "Shut up, you sound like a crazy person"....but my mouth just kept babbling. LOL.

It didn't take long and we got Frosty settled and in spite of the late hour, Cdn's hubby had a fantastic steak supper waiting for us. Real food at the end of a long trip is a real treat.

It was the middle of the night when Cdn and her hubby took me to town to the hotel. I felt bad they had to drive me in and then drive home. I was just going to unhook my trailer at her place, but thank goodness she was there because my credit cards were still not working. I'd have been sleeping in my pickup if she hadn't been there. Sheez-Louise!! Talk about feeling like a hick from the sticks. It was particularly ironic to me considering the fact that my hubby used to travel the world on a regular basis. You would think I would have been a little more prepared. Haha. The next morning though, I was able to get my cards squared away, but didn't bother with the phone issue. I could text as long as I had Wi-Fi and that was good enough.

Cdn came and picked me up and we went back to her place for the day. Now, I could tell that her place was pretty when I came in the night before, but seeing it in the daylight? WoW!! Just WOW!!! Talk about the perfect little ranchette!! Gorgeous tree rows, a fantastic corral set-up, an arena and a separate riding area. I had more than a little bit of envy going on!! ;-).

(And here is where both Cdn and I failed...LOL...We were so busy talking that we didn't even take pictures. I do have to say, since my phone wasn't working, I tossed it in my pickup and didn't even think about it.)

We got Frosty out and worked him. I was really wanting to put a barrel run on him, but he was most definitely sore in his hocks. I knew beating over those rough roads when he was already tired from the long trip was going to affect him. I was just really disappointed.

The rest of the day just went by too fast. Cdn and I rode more horses. I got to ride Tavi, the horse I was taking home. I liked him. He seemed to be (and has proven to be) a no-nonsense kind of horse. I had a good feeling about Cdn getting along with Frosty. Even though Frosty was not up to par, he wasn't being a total goob. Funny thing is though, Frosty KNEW something was up. He was pretty intent on keeping his eye on me and nickering a lot. Not the 'I miss my buddies' whinnying...The 'I have a feeling something is going to be different' nickering.

The next morning, it was hard. I hate saying good-bye, so I was kind of trying to ignore Frosty, but he just kept hanging his head over the fence and staring at me with those big, doe eyes...So I had to go over and give him a final pat. I don't think I could have left him with anyone that I wasn't so totally confident would enjoy him and get a lot more use out of him than I ever would.

Tavi hopped in the trailer and away we went. This time, I actually followed my atlas and the trip back to the border was immensely better. I can't say that I wasn't worrying a little bit about the border crossing though. The Canadian side had told me that I would most likely have more trouble getting back into the states than I did getting into Canada.

I pulled up to the border station, handed them my paperwork and waited. Waaalllll....

Come to find out...They could have cared less about my lack of passport...but I had missed the USDA vet. Apparently the USDA vet works bankers hours and left at 4pm and not 5pm. Sonava!!!!

They tried to get him on the phone, but couldn't and it would have cost me an extra $150 for him to come back, so I overnighted at the border. Coutts has an arena (no charge to overnight) and a little motel. They also happen to have some of the best, authentic Chinese stir-frys that I have ever eaten. So, I guess it wasn't so bad.

I got into line to get back into the U.S. and when it was my turn, I already knew the drill. Only this time...I got a badge heavy dickhead who told me I didn't have sufficient evidence of citizenship and he could deny me coming home until I could prove I was a U.S. citizen. I think he was just hoping for a bad reaction from me, but he didn't get it. I merely nodded and told him that I was made aware of that possibility by the Canadian side when I came in and asked him what he would need and how could I get it to him? He stared at me for a long time and then waved me through. I had to go inside for the horse's paperwork anyway. The people inside could have cared less about the fact I only had my driver's license, but badge heavy had to come over to make sure everyone knew he had already 'read me the riot act'. I just bit my tongue and ignored him. The girl filling out the paperwork, kind of, almost smiled at me and gave me a minuscule wink. That was the most I had gotten out of ANY of the border officers by way of personality, on either side. I'm guessing that when you take that job, you are required to check personality and humor at the door, cause those people are like robots.

The girl finished the paperwork, handed me what I needed and waved me on. One last stop at the USDA vet office, which went smoothly and I was home free. It was a wet trip home. It rained the whole way....right up until the last 100 miles then it got hot. LOL.

I told my husband, I'd make that trip again in a heartbeat. Now that I know the ins and outs...It would be easy peasy! :-)


Shirley said...

I never trust GPS, will take a map any day! GPS doesn't even recognize our address, it sends people somewhere else.
What are your plans for Tavi?

IanH said...

When you have an adventure, you really go all out!

Crystal said...

Haha ya I never trust the gps either it sends you crazy places! Glad you got there and all went well...sorta. Cant wait to hear more about how Tavi is doing with you!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Shirley-Cdn told me beforehand and I concur that it is unlikely that Tavi much potential as a barrel horse. I see him as a rope horse, particularly a head horse, but I have 2 neighbors who are interested in him. One is looking for a gentle horse for his daughter (who's 10 or 12) to gymkhana on and the other is my old cowboy neighbor who is just looking for a gentle, but younger ranch horse. I told both of them that I just want to get some miles on Tavi and haul him around a bit to see what he really is. Tavi is broke and so far has been super gentle, I just really want to make sure that he would be suitable for either of them, since it's a kid and an old man. It would be awesome if he went to either home though because both of them take good care of their horses and keep them forever. Cdn knew Tavi wouldn't be a lifer here. I am trying to reduce my gelding herd, so Tavi and LJ are both for sale and The Big Bay is going back to SD this Fall.

cdncowgirl said...

I remember wondering if I should message you but not wanting to bother you while you were driving, and how relieved I was to hear from you when I did!

Hey don't worry about the driving back and forth to the hotel, it gave us extra visiting time... and with Hubs in the back seat I got a word in lol Seriously, so glad you guys got along :)

If it makes you feel any better I think Frosty has more than settled in. He looks at me with this happy face and big doe eyes whenever I halter him, like he's saying "Me! You're choosing ME?!"

So glad I finally got to meet you! And thanks for the comps on our place :D You should see it in summertime when we have all the flowers out!