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Tuesday, 02 September, 2008

Going To Virginny
(with comments)

Pamn's son-in-law got a new job, and the family's moving from Southern California to Virginia. They're hauling their stuff about 2,500 miles. The details of the trip:

  • Two adults
  • Two kids (age 7 and 8)
  • Four horses
  • Two dogs
  • One cat
  • A Budget Rental truck, towing a car (driven by him)
  • A Ford F-350 pulling a horse trailer (driven by her)

They're leaving on Sunday. Naturally, the route must be carefully planned in advance to accommodate the horses.

Map key:

  • A: Their place in rural San Diego county
  • B: Our place, staying Sunday night
  • C: Odessa, TX
  • D: Texarkana, TX
  • E: Nashville, TN
  • F: Final destination, in Virginia

Crazy? Perhaps. But they're young, and it's an adventure.

I'm trying to recruit Pamn to be a guest blogger and make a daily post on how they're doing.

  1. By Mean Jean. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:04pm:
    They oughta like it out there. Virginia is horse country.
  2. By Dinsdale Piranha. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:13pm:
    Wow better them than me that sounds like an adventure.

    I remember my father telling me about going around the country with racehorses, they used to put small amounts of applecider vinegar in the horses drinking water before they left home, then when they were on the road if they came to a new location where the horses might not like the water they did not stop drinking and dehydrate because the water was different, lot of money on the line with big stakes races. Not gonna win with a dried up horse. LOL
  3. By major_danny. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:15pm:
    Can't the horses pull their own damn trailer?
  4. By J-Walk. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:16pm:
    Kind of like this, but in the opposite direction:

  5. By Doug. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:18pm:
    I've driven most of that route and it looks like an aggressive schedule hauling a trailer & horses. Are B-E their intended night stops? We tend to stay away from larger cities & stop in more rural areas. Hope Arkansas is better than Texarkana for nice & inexpensive motels.
  6. By Pamn. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:20pm:
    Dinsdale Piranha
    Thanks for the info. My daughter has received info from the vet on traveling with horses (their food) but I will pass this info on water along to her. Nice! Any other suggestions from other blog commenters??
  7. By General Critic. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:20pm:
    Since they're stopping in Texarkana, I hope they'll pour some Coors beer on the sidewalk in memory of Jerry Reed who just passed away.
  8. By cdemon. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:21pm:
    Tell her to check out the Crooked Road Trail it's all about bluegrass and banjos in the mountains of Appalachia. Also Floyd county, no four lane highway, no bus, train, or airplane service, no water flows into the county, 376 square miles and one stop light and some of the best blue grass and old time music anywhere.
  9. By Pamn. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:22pm:
    Their choices are all about where to stable the horses overnight. Fairgrounds and such are the normal for this. I agree that some of their schedule looks aggressive. I asked if they had mapped out alternatives in case...
  10. By Mean Jean. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:22pm:
    Staying in big cities is not so bad if you drive to the other side so that when you wake up you are not caught in the rush hour traffic.
  11. By Sheldon. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:31pm:
    My first reaction was to start humming the theme song from deliverance, but I live in Texas, so all I had to do was open a window...
  12. By Mister E.B.. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:31pm:
    That's five hundred miles a day for five days in a row? If so, agree with the "aggressive schedule" comment. Hope they're taking some breaks along the way.

    Otherwise,I'd put one kid, one dog, and one cat in each of the trucks. They need another cat to even things out.
  13. By red molly. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:42pm:
    I remember two years ago when my son and his girlfriend drove away from Jax headed to NYC in the Penske truck packed with his Vespa and her belongings. To be young and adventurous...Oh what fun. Good luck to your family, John and Pamn.
  14. By 12-stringer. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:44pm:
    Of course, they're bound to have planned lots of travel activities for the kids, like license plate bingo and other stuff...
  15. By Blayne. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:47pm:
    Great advice Mean Jean! A keeper for sure.
  16. By mare. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @06:54pm:
    I'm so glad I have no kids and no horses.

    Accidenly friends of mine did a similar trek 5 years ago with 8 mules and 20 sheep. Also from San Diego county, but only to Colorado.
  17. By Pamn. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:00pm:
    I'll be sure to pass along your suggestions of how to keep the grandkids occupied. Of course, THEIR plan is to keep them separated - one in each vehicle. I figure that will work. They'll have their I-Pods, V-Smile games, books, etc. to help. But they WILL get bored.
  18. By Doug. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:08pm:
    We've driven Toronto - El Paso round-trip about 10 times. We boot thru with few stops, it's 2,000 miles, and I'm hard pressed to do better than 3 nights on the road (average 500 miles/day). I'd be impressed if a Budget van and horse trailer can keep that pace. West-East is a harder drive because of the time zone changes.

    Make a list of Radio Disney stations on the way for the kids.
  19. By Hans. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:23pm:
    I've driven across the country enough times, but I don't know the first thing about travelling with horses. Do they ask you to pull over at every rest stop along the way, like my wife? Or, do they just ask "Are we there yet?" every five miles? Either way, it's obviously Pamn's Job, neigh Duty, as your wife to take over this topic.
  20. By Curtis. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:29pm:
    I'd find an alternative to Texarkana and stay the hell away from the Nashville truck stop - kids don't need to see that. I'd also figure out a way not to do 500 miles a day - we drove from LA to Saint Paul when we moved (no pets, no draft animals, one kid) and that would have been a killer of a schedule.
  21. By RickHap. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:40pm:
    Get a couple of radios for talking between vehicles during travel.
  22. By wally the duck. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:40pm:
    Shall we take up our posts along the route, boss? We'll give you regular reports just like you asked. Want photos, too?
  23. By John Wilson. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:40pm:
    Did NY to San Antonio in my younger years straight through. Don't remember much about that trip except that I made it. Texarcana does hold some vivid memories though. I think it was my first (and only) trip on a Greyhound bus. Started in Shreveport, LA and ended in San Antonio. Heading through Arkansas to Texarcana was a lightning storm. Without exageration at any second in time I could see at least 100 lightning strikes on either side of the bus (it's definitely flat out there). The scary part though was that every underpass was filled with tractor trailers (you know...those guys that drive for a living that know when it's too dangerous to keep going??). My bus driver was either the best driver in the world or the stupidest. At least he was lucky. He never slowed down under 70 the whole way through. If you're ever in an old Greyhound bus with a big brown stain on one of the front seats?? That's the bus I was on.
  24. By aniroo. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @07:44pm:
    If it were me, I'd keep the kids in separate cars. Saves on the sibs getting cranky with each other and allows some quality parent/ child time. You could share an earbud and listen to whatever the kids are listening to.
  25. By NoAlias. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @08:02pm:
    I second the idea of radios. Those walkie-talkie radios are pretty cheap and they have a range of 2 miles or so.

    When we moved my daughter from Baltimore to Georgia, we were 3 vehicles - I drove the U-Haul van, daughter drove her car, my husband drove our car (so we'd have a way back home). Walkie-talkies don't rely on cell phone reception and don't use minutes. We used them to schedule bathroom breaks and complain about the traffic.

    Kids could use them to annoy each other, or they could play tour guide, radio dj, trucker. Breaker breaker, good buddy.

    Also, pre-planned scavenger hunts - not just finding a red truck, cow, etc. Have the kids look for 'educational' stuff, things specific to the area they are traveling through. Takes some work to do, but will they pass wind turbine farms? Highest elevation sign? Evidence of storm damage?
  26. By Doug. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @08:03pm:
    I'm just off the highway in El Paso if I can be of any en-route assistance. Email sent.
  27. By Volt. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @09:03pm:
    Imagine how weird that caravan would look to our pioneer predecessors, heading east, wagon pulling the horses. And then, if you could speak to them, you could tell them about our presidential elections.
  28. By Ense. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @10:00pm:
    People in Virginia are really, really into horses. The horses will be very happy there.
  29. By Thrash Cardiom. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @10:10pm:
    Camille's sister and partner moved their Clydesdale horses once. They moved them about 50 miles and it took over a week to do it. Of course the horses were pulling the wagon the sister and partner lived in which did slow the journey down a bit. Must have been hell on those prairie trips.

    Good luck to them and nice to see Pamm posting.
  30. By KLAW. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @10:40pm:
    That does not give you much time to install a corral and stable,Pamn.
  31. By Nick Hodge. Comment posted 02-Sep-2008 @11:34pm:

    Pamn guest blogging, that should at least liven the place up ;-) Can the blooging staff no just take down notes and stuff from Pamn and save you both the trouble?

    I'm trying to recruit for when I'm in India, but it's proving very difficult...any takers?
  32. By Wendy!. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @05:43am:
    I know someone who drove coast to coast (within 20 miles of each coast!) 2 drivers, never turned the vehicle off - straight through!

    J-Walk, where are you putting the horses at your house? Photos of the horses at your pool would be nice!
  33. By Pamn. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @06:16am:
    No stables or corrals being erected here for their horses. I found a ranch not five miles away - between our house and I-10 where we will board the horses. They're also allowing us to leave the U-Haul and horse trailer there for the night. The kids plan to begin travel @ 3 a.m. each day in an effort to beat the heat. Carisa is very excited about stopping in Nashville. Her love of country music, I suppose.
  34. By south. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @06:39am:
    Wise choice not stopping in Memphis.
  35. By Snag. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:13am:
    We've got horses too, but I don't think I'd take them on that trip !

    It will be an interesting adventure to follow, especially with a few photos of the countryside along the way.
  36. By susan. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:17am:
    Hey, looks like the line stops right here in Lynchburg!
  37. By Maconga. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:20am:
    Lots of good advice in the comments above. I pulled a 35' travel trailer all over the US a few years back and averaged 45 to 55 miles per hour, overall, driving at the speed limit. With kids and animals, there are going to be a LOT more stops so your average miles covered per hour is going to suffer. Unless you're used to it, towing can be pretty intense at times, so you are going to become mentally fatigued sooner than normal. Don't push yourselves, especially after dark.
  38. By Ice Giant 37. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:32am:
    Tell them to keep up on the weather. Gustav is past, but it may be followed by Hanna, Ike, and Josephine. Hanna and Ike are currently projected to hit Florida and the Carolinas. Their travel route is far enough inland that they won't encounter hurricanes, but they could see copious rain in the southeast at certain times.
    National Hurricane Center
  39. By Pamn. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:50am:
    You are correct. Lynchburg is their initial stop in VA. Jim will be working in the Roanoke area, but their intent is to live in the "country". Why haul your four horses across country if you don't plan to have them on your property, right?
  40. By Ice Giant 37. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @07:56am:
    Lynchburg, VA? The home of Liberty University? Yee-haw.
  41. By jhenderson. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @08:27am:
    Speed limit is 55 for trucks and cars pulling trailers
    They will be better of for shooting for 300 to 350 miles per day
    They can do that in an 8 hour day without stops
    500 per day is going to be a killer, kids and horses and cats not very patient at traveling that many hours
  42. By Dean. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @08:28am:
    Remember to take a couple of 5 gallon containers for water for the horses, and water them every stop. Also yes to a radio, however the FRS/GMRS handi-talkies have less than 2 mile range. Actually, even though people on a CB get "potty-mouth" with a magnetic antenna you can have a 10+ mile range with a cheep unit. Nice area to move to, we drive thru there on our way from DC to the cabin.
  43. By Pamn. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @08:35am:
    They will be stopping every so often. To use facilities, stretch, water the animals and give the horses a small amount of food. The vet told Carisa to feed the horses small amounts of food while on the road as they could get ulcers from the motion. (Good to know.) Plus horses will eat however much is put in front of them, especially if they're bored. And who/what wouldn't get bored, stuck inside a moving vehicle/trailer for 10-12 hrs a day?!?
  44. By Paula Chait. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @09:47am:
    Good luck to all! I drove from Montana to Maine several years ago with 1 horse, 1 donkey, 1 dog and 5 cats and then back again, 6 months later. They'll probably find that the places that board the horses overnight will let you camp out on their property, even if they don't advertise this (then they're not obligated to do so if someone makes them uncomfortable). Also, water tastes differently in different parts of the country: if they start adding a drop of peppermint to their horses' water now, and work their way up to 8-10 drops (per 5 gallon bucket) by the time they leave, it will help keep the horses drinking across the country.
  45. By susan. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @10:44am:
    I'm so sad that everyone associates Lynchburg with Jerry Falwell. Liberty is pretty much something most locals loathe. LU actually had the nerve to deface a mountain to put an enormous "LU" on it. It's an eyesore that you can see from many miles away.
  46. By Pamn. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @10:45am:
    They've been putting apple (?) flavored electrolytes in their horses' water for a while now to acclimate them to the change in water. Keep the suggestions coming. Knowledge is a wonderful thing!
  47. By Dean. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @12:24pm:
    A trick I have done with cats is to have a extra large cage, and put one of my worn once t-shirts in the bottom and the cats favorite napping blanket on top. The cat knows that the "tribe" is still with it, its "home place smell" goes with it. I have allways trained cats to be "leash walkable" so if they have to be transported they can be safely let out of the cage. If possible only let the cat out when the cage is in a bathroom with a litter box.
  48. By KLAW. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @12:45pm:
    Peppermint or apple flavored electrolytes will make their breath sweet as well,there is only one thing worse than horse breath and that is my breath.
  49. By Dave Kelly. Comment posted 03-Sep-2008 @03:50pm:
    Tucson to Odessa ia a pretty aggressive jump. Expecially if the moving van is equipt with speed control.

    Tell them to fuel up every chance they get, there are some long lonely streaches of road between El Paso and Pecos.
  50. By MikeB. Comment posted 04-Sep-2008 @05:05pm:
    Are they heading anywhere near Roanoke?
  51. By Sol. Comment posted 05-Sep-2008 @08:48am:
    My brother and his girlfriend are currently making nearly the opposite trip: From Hampton, VA to Santa Barbara, CA, minus the trailers, the kids, the dogs, the cat and the horses. I'll tell them to wave when they pass the UHaul truck and the horse trailer.
  52. By Sol. Comment posted 05-Sep-2008 @08:48am:
    Budget, UHaul... it's all the same.
  53. By Pamn. Comment posted 05-Sep-2008 @07:06pm:
    They are in fact ultimately heading to the Roanoke area as that is where Jim will be working. They drop the Budget truck off in Lynchburg, where they'll stay with friends until they locate a place to rent/buy in the "country" near Roanoke.
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