Yesterday Lana and I made the long and exhausting drive from Eagle, Idaho, to Chino Hills, California, in preparation for our flight from Ontario to the east coast (which leaves on Wednesday morning). We left the barn at right about 4 am (mountain time) on the nose and arrived at W Farms in Chino Hills at about 8:30pm (pacific time). That's a long day.
This time I took the route east to Twin Falls, Idaho, then dropped south through eastern Nevada (Wells, Ely, then down into Vegas). From there we went west on I-15 through the Mojave Desert and over the San Bernadino mountains, dropping down into the east side of the LA "area" (the sprawling metropolis that it is, with all of its huge suburbs).
The drive was long and HOT. I wasn't anticipating the heat to be as bad as it was, although I knew that Vegas was forecast to be over 100. Much of eastern Nevada was in the mid to upper 90s, and my truck clocked 108 when we were driving through Vegas! You could barely see the strip when we first started heading into Vegas because of the heavy smog and heat layer sitting over the city.
From Vegas the drive towards LA wasn't much better. The temperature was consistently above 103, sometimes 104 or 105. It is the Mojave Desert, afterall. Surprisingly, we ran into some traffic problems in the middle of the desert...who'd have thought you'd be out in the middle of nowhere in a long line of traffic??! It was Sunday evening, and all the partiers who went from the LA area to Vegas or so for the weekend were driving back home. We were going 5-10 mph at times, if you can believe that. The entire expansive desert, and this long line of cars creeping along at a snail's pace!
Of course I worry about my horse (and my truck) in that kind of heat, and kept trying to coax Monkey to drink some water everytime we stopped. He mostly kind of played in it and tried to throw it on me, so I was pretty unsuccessful. However it is not at all unusual for him to not drink on a long drive like this one; he pretty much never does. He did eat some hay and was generally very quiet the entire trip. That has improved a lot since he was younger, as he used to never eat anything and spend much of his time pawing.
Thankfully, the interior of the trailer stayed surprisingly cool. I stepped in it a couple times to get hay (I keep the hay in the first stall, which has a lower partition), and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it felt in there. Of course, he had the entire 5 horse trailer to himself, so there was alot of space, good airflow, and no additional heat being generated by other horses. My truck pulled like an absolute champ, even with the heavy trailer in that heat. It only had one horse to contend with, but still, that was a huge relief.
Now we layover at W Farms for a couple of days. I'm so thankful W Farms was able to accomodate Monk for a few days, it is such a relief that he has this time to rest from the long drive! The plane leaves from the nearby Ontario airport Wednesday morning bright and early at 5am. That means we have to be at the airport with horses at 3:30am. I told Lana we were going to be on east coast time before we even get there!!