Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arrived in Southern CA!!

We finally arrived in Burbank last night at about 11pm. Mom and I left Idaho at about 7am, so it was a loooong drive. Unfortunately, some rain and snow had gone through Southern Oregon and Northern Nevada the night before, so there was quite a bit of packed snow and ice on the highway in places. We passed a Suburban that had taken a corner too fast and flipped over, and a van pulling a small trailer that went off the road and tipped the trailer onto its side. Needless to say we kept it pretty slow, the truck and trailer felt really solid on the road but I'm not one to take chances in conditions like that! The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, surprisingly the horses rode very quietly in the trailer (Majek normally paws and kicks much of the time, and Monkey tries to out-paw him). Maybe they like the new trailer??! The scenery in Western Nevada/Central-Eastern California was stunning, the mountains there have just tons of snow on them right now. Traveling down US-359 into Bishop it just beautiful, it follows the Sierra Nevada south through a valley. Mom was disappointed she didn't bring her fancy camera so she could take some pictures. My truck hauled the new trailer like a champion, and I have to admit I LOVE my exhaust brake, which I have nicknamed "Baby Jake" (that's what happens when you drive for 15 hours, your brain just gets really wierd). It helps slow the engine down significantly so adds a bunch of braking power without putting as much strain on the transmission and disc brakes. Unfortunately it doesn't sound anywhere near as masculine as an actual Jake Brake (like the semi trucks have), it makes a high pitched squeaking noise like it has yet to undergo puberty. Hence the nickname. The final stretch into Burbank is always the worst, I tried to warn Mom but you really have to experience it. After driving for 15 hours on mostly lightly traveled highways, you hit CA-14 which eventually puts you onto I-5. And you spend 20 harrowing miles on I-5 before you can (thankfully) exit to Alameda which takes you to LAEC. It is insane. Luckily this year I was totally prepared and got into California driving mode instantly, so no problems weaving in and out of traffic and driving like a mad woman trying to keep up with all the other idiot drivers. It helps that I-5 is horribly bumpy, so it feels like a really bad roller-coaster ride. Upon arrival at Burbank and successful unloading of the horses, Mom promptly drug around in the truck looking for beer. I'm sure she was wishing I had some vodka shots or something a little stronger. :)

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