Setting Sail

It’s official. We are now full-timers, living in our trailer (Rubble) away from home. That is to say, we have a new home, and it has wheels.

We moved Rubble from New Jersey to New Hampshire in one push. It took 8 hours, and 2 tanks of gas (we averaged 8.3 MPG, or more appropriately 0.12 gallons per mile). We were surprised to discover that State Route 7 goes through downtown Hoosick, and suddenly has traffic lights. At the same moment we started looking for gas. Filling up was easier than we imagined; we found a gas station preceded by a large intersection which accommodated a wide turn and backing up the 28 foot trailer. The next surprise came with 5 minutes left in our trip; the transmission overheated on a long steady hill. We let the truck cool down for 10 minutes as we continued to listen to our audiobook (Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card), and proceeded the rest of the way with the transmission in manual mode.

Once we arrived at Buck-N-Horse, the campground owner, Dave, greeted us and showed us to our site. We positioned Rubble easily (due to Jess’ expert maneuvering), and leveled it by digging a couple divots for the tires on one side and placing a plank under the others. Dave hooked up our waste pipe as we deployed the stabilizer scissor jacks and detached from Betty (the pickup). About an hour after arrival I cooked us pork chops in the kitchen. We ate and then went to sleep.

We awoke with the sun and made a beeline for New Jersey in Betty (this time getting the usual 18.4 MPG, or 0.054 gallons per mile). For the next few days we finished selling off and donating material possessions (mostly farm equipment). Finally, we were ready to load Mackenzie into the horse trailer (Boop), and leave the farm for the last time.

Betty Boop is ready to roll out

We humans, in the air-conditioned cab, have it easy; the temperature inside the sun-baked trailer was 99° F (37° C). We closely monitored Mackenzie with a remote video camera mounted in the trailer. We had all the trailer windows open and she stayed comfortable in the breeze as we drove. We went halfway (about 4 hours) to Esperance, NY and spent the night at Farmer Meg’s new 50 acre farm. Mackenzie was not upset during the ride, but was much happier roaming a large pasture once again. Jess was able to visit two sows and three goats she had relocated here earlier in the month. Meg cooked us some local sausage named Tony Hawk (made with ramps; get it?), and showed us the guest room.

Mackenzie at Meg’s farm

The next morning we finished the trip to Rumney, New Hampshire, arriving mid-day. I built a temporary corral behind Rubble with step-in posts, two strands of electric fence, and a solar charger. We met our neighbors on both sides (Larry & Kathy, and Brian & Peggy). Everyone here has horses. We shopped for groceries, and found perfectly ripe avocados for $0.56 each. Upon returning to camp we joined an impromptu potluck dinner at the “people paddock” (a common area with a grill, picnic table, and fire pit). I made a large bowl of guacamole, and we met more of our fellow horse-campers. Plans were made for a group trail ride the following morning. It’s going to be a lovely Summer.

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