Monday, October 4, 2010

Potato Creek Camping-Mishaps Continue-Part II

John woke me in the middle of the night -- there was a full moon outside, and the dying campfire was still glowing. "I just saw a big black shadow go by. I think one of the horses is loose." I jumped up and out of the tent, and sure enough, there stood Divna. All I could think was, "Please don't run. I am not up to this!!" Luckily, she just stood there. I took the lead rope (soaking wet -- it must have fallen into the water bucket) and got her back to the hitching post and re-tied her. No big deal, no horse-running-full-speed-through-crowded-campground scenario -- so it was all OK.

Back to sleep.

Very early morning. Sun just barely coming up -- that real dim, grey light. I woke to a sound....strange sound...a crunching sound. Then I realized it was a horse eating grass. Immediately I knew it had to be Divna. Sure enough, once I was out of the tent again, there was Divna grazing. Zora was still tied to the hitching post and she was not happy. I could see on her face that she was upset that Divna was grazing and she wasn't!! So once again, I got lucky -- Divna did not try to get away. I just grabbed the lead rope and put her back in place, this time tying a better knot!

Back to sleep.

After an uneventful breakfast (I cooked over the campfire rather than the out of control roaring inferno of a Coleman stove), we decided it was time to deal with the low tire situation. Some other folks in the campground told us there was an air pump at the Camp Store, located near the family campground on the other side of the park. Potato Creek is a large park, and it is quite a ways to the other side. So I took off to go get air while John took care of things around camp. I got all the way over there on a low tire, and was told that the place to get tires aired up in at the Service Center, near the Horsemen's Campground! The park employee at the family campground called the Service Center and they said for me to drive around back -- they would be waiting for me.

So back I go to the Horsemen's Camp and the Service Center. The guy was real nice and filled the tire. As soon as he put the valve cap back on we started hearing a hissing sound. Sure enough, the valve stem was leaking. Not good. So I drove back to our campsite and gave John the good news/bad news. We noticed that if we held the valve stem to one side, it stopped hissing, so we started brainstorming ways to keep the stem in place. We came up with this......

It was John's idea, but with me being a former Dental Assistant, I think it is very appropriate. We tied the valve stem in place with dental floss -- mint flavor at that!! Got us all the way home with no more loss of air. Take that, McGuyver/McGruber!!!

We were able to take our final ride of the weekend without any worries about the tire.

We did not know, though, that we had to worry about the donkeys.
More and more we are seeing donkeys/mules (which is it??) on the trails. I think they are becoming pretty popular. There were some at Potato Creek that weekend, and we came upon them on the trail. The people riding them had children with them. One woman had a small child on the saddle with her -- there was another child on the donkey/mule alone, but another woman was ponying it.
John and Zora were in the lead, as usual, and the group moved over on the trail to let us by. Once Zora got past, and Divna was close to the group I could feel her getting nervous. I think she knew these were not horses. With Zora now out of sight, she got scared of being near these "creatures" by herself. I was talking to her and coaxing her to walk past them, but as we got close to them she did a half turn and kicked out. She did not make contact, but it scared me because there were children on these animals. I immediately turned her around and walked her back down the trail in the direction we came from.
I told the group that she was afraid, and that she might kick them, so I was going to keep her out of the way. I thought it might help if she could see Zora, so I started calling for John. All the time I am apologizing to the people in the group. They kept saying it was alright, it was not a problem, they were really cool about it. But I was not wanting to let Divna walk past them with those children in the saddles.
John and Zora appeared, and the people in the group said they would move off the trail, over into the meadow area. They did, and we went by them safely. All the time with me apologizing all over the place. They kept saying it was no problem, but I did really feel bad about it. I was just really nervous because of those young children.
The rest of the ride was beautiful, but uneventful. We got back to camp, ate lunch, packed up and went home. A good camping weekend all-in-all, in spite of the many mishaps.
Next weekend, camping in Michigan with The Girls and friends....

P.S. Dolly sent me the GPS map that Tom made on his Droid when we were trail riding. It is really cool -- you can see the whole route we took. I cannot figure out how to get it uploaded here. I am going to work on it and see if I can post it.....


Paint Girl said...

Even with all the mishaps, sounds like you had a good time!
I had only had my trailer for 2 years and I had bought it brand new, when we went outside and my trailer had a flat. Come to find out all the valve stems were cracked and leaking. I took my trailer in and had nice steel stems put on. Haven't had a problem since! Very creative way to fix the problem!

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Good to hear from you....sounds like Potato Creek is a fun place but we've never been there. We go to a place called York Hills in Albion and it's really nice. They have stalls there so we just use them (for a small fee) so no worries about loose horses. Many people just tie their horses to their trailers but we're not comfortable with that yet having young ones. You're very lucky your horse just stays close by. Yes, I'm always worried about a flat when hauling but so far none. Clever floss trick!

Desert Rose said... are so much braver than I am...I just don't think I could Camp in a tent after being in cousin B's fab motor home!;) So...those were more than likely MULES you were running into. We are getting more here also...but my horses love them because 2 of their best friends are asses...I mean MULES! Other Horses though I have seen also get upset about the MULES>