Loaded him again on Sat morning for another 12 hr day back to Sarasota. We had just entered Florida and saw the Welcome center, decided it was a great spot to get out, stretch and get out the fancy little carrots Lynn had sent with us for Abo’s trip home. The typical rest area set up….Trucks and trailers one way…cars and busses the other. The truck and trailers were a bit of a walk from the rest area, so I pulled in to the Busses area much closer for Bud to make the walk.
While I was sitting there, waiting for Bud, a trooper pulled up next to me (there was plenty of parking…we definitely were not taking up too much space!) he asked me “you know what you did, right?”. Of course I did, I went on to say something about the parking, and he barked at me….”Get your license and meet me at the back of the trailer!” Zheesh…
Well, when I got out of the truck and went to the back of the trailer…it was an Agriculture guy getting the info on the trailer. Turns out, there are 2 Ag stations on I-10 East bound, and only 1 West bound at about mile marker 300!!!!!! Florida is very, very strict about stopping at the Ag stations to make sure Coggins test is current and Health Certificate is in order. Brings back memories of when Julie and I were heading back from a Foxtrotter show in GA, and were so busy gabbing, that we passed the I-75 Ag station…lights flashing, sirens a going….we were getting chased down like we had just robbed a bank!! .
I have always make sure to stop after that....
He wasn’t impressed that I thought there was only 1 Ag Staion on I-10 each way at about mile marker 300. He said “Obviously I was not very good at reading signs, due to where I had parked the “truck and trailer” in the bus area”. He was not having a good day (turns out, neither was I!). He then went on to tell me that he did not realize I had pulled into the welcome station (this now makes me giggle), and as he was zipping about to get back to me - a car pulled over way too fast in front of another to get out of his way and just about caused a nasty wreck.
IF YOU ARE EVER IN FLORIDA BE SURE YOU STOP AT EACH AND EVERY AG STATION…..DO YOU RESEARCH TO FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE!
I knew I was getting a ticket, no 2 ways about this one. Then…………a written warning…..Bless his heart, really!!!!
Pulled out of the Ag station and had eyes peeled for the other station coming up in less then 300 miles. I was certain they would be on the look out for us! At about mile marker 209, a nice lady pulled up next to us and pointed at our tire.
Pulled over….flat tire, that eventually went completely flat when we stopped. Called US Rider (If you don’t have this service…look them up…they are fantastic!). It was the front left tire, right next to the traffic on 10. Bud wanted to change the tire and go on our way. I was not about to let him wrestle with that tire on the edge of traffic….we needed a professional to risk his life!
They arrived just as the rain did. Nice guy, it was his first experience with that wonderful pulley rig thing they have with heavy duty trucks having the spare tire way up in the under carriage of the truck.
It was like we were all suddenly involved in a scavenger hunt to find all the things we needed to get the darn tire down.
Tire changed, another US Rider save (they have saved me plenty of times!). We were on our way, through the storm…with a newly mounted spare, thank Goodness Bud was at the wheel…..
I dramatically pointed out the Ag Station sign at three hundred and something….The guy asked where we were coming from (Texas), then asked if we has stopped at the earlier entry Ag station….we’ll, sorta… He walked out, checked the paperwork and sent us on our way.
We made it home in 15 hours or so. Abo was looking for more of those sweet little carrots, unfazed by the long journey, but very excited to have his own stall in sight!! Little squeals of delight as I lead him past his Buddies in the barn. Nancy had his “room” all fluffed with new shavings and his supper waiting. He had the best roll ever (with a mouthfull of hay, of course) and let out a huge sigh of releif to be home…….me too!!!
What an adventure……………to be continued!!