November 18, 2010

Weird Wednesdays

The mother of all rain and wind storms decided to come slamming into our part of the PNW yesterday. For most of the day I was able to put it out of my mind, sitting in my nice dry warm office. Then sometime around 2pm the power went out. A frenzy of "football catch" broke out in the the hallway while we all awaited the power company's fix. An hour or so later and the power was back on and we were back to business as usual. I worked through lunch, so I decided to leave at four and head to the barn while it was still light out. 

I'm not a fan of driving at freeway speeds through driving rain in the dark. Not so much because of my driving abilities, but because everyone around here turns into entirely inept drivers when it rains. It's a something you wouldn't expect from the residents of one of the wettest places in the USA, but it is the case nonetheless. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea, and traffic sucked. Pedestrians weren't doing any better than the drivers either. I managed to narrowly avoid hitting a pedestrian that was dressed in all black and in attempt to shield her face from the rain was only looking at her feet. Her only awareness of my presence was the squealing sliding stop that my winter tires made on the wet, above 45 degree, road. "Geesh" I thought, "what next"? I started getting that pit in my stomach that I get when I know more is going to go wrong. "Perhaps I shouldn't bother riding Rose tonight?" I thought, as I continued my internal dialogue, "maybe I should just feed and groom her". I couldn't make up my mind, and since no one ever speaks back when I think to myself (whew) I decided to throw on the breeches and make up my mind after I got to the barn.

A half hour later I got to the last intersection before our barn driveway. There was a power company truck with flares and hazard/yield signs all over the road. It looked like a power pole was half falling over the road, the lines of which were currently right above my car. Either someone drove into it or it was rotting and the wind blew it over. Shoot, I'd have to back track and drive the long way around. Not normally a big issue, but at this point I was sick of driving in the dark and rain already. Off I went, and 10 minutes later pulled into our barn's driveway. I pulled up and instantly realized something was wrong.

The gate wouldn't open and the barn was pitch black. After a call to the barn manager, I was told the location of a flashlight in the barn and asked to make sure the automatic waterers were still working. Well this would be interesting. I threw my dog's rain coat on him, and found a people gate and walked toward the big black dark barn. Thank goodness for the dog, otherwise, this is the sort of thing that would have massively creeped me out. 

As we walked through the rain to the very dark barn I remembered that I had a flash light app (MotoTorch) on my phone. Yea DROID! With the help of my app, I was able to find said flashlight on the work bench. Unfortunately the button on the handle is broken, so it wont stay on unless held down. Argh! Oh well, better than nothing. 
I found my wheel barrow, hay, grain buckets, and went about feeding. The horses were understandably startled by the flashlight, but by now they all know me and my voice, so they settled right away and happily munched on dinner. All in all it only took me about an hour to feed in the pitch black with a half working flashlight. My ever so loyal dog was a unnerved by this weird this break in our usual routine. He was glued to my side the whole time, tail down, and on guard. I've never been so happy that his weatherbeeta blanket had reflectors on it. When you have a black dog  reflectors are key! Before calling it a night, I checked Rose's legs by flashlight, and decided that was the grand total of grooming she'd be getting, as grooming her in the dark with a flashlight seemed like a bad idea.

On the way out of the barn drive, it appeared that the power company crew had arrived and were working on the power pole. Here is a shot of the glaringly bright work crew surrounded by pitch black driving rain. Feeding horses in the dark may not be a blast, but at least I didn't have to do those guy's job!

I hope your wednesday was bright and dry!

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  1. We got the big blow Monday night. And no, people here in the PNW can't drive when it's raining. They don't drive too well when it's not raining either (sun in their eyes, or some other excuse).

    I don't ride when the weather is like that. The arena turns into a wind tunnel, and the horses are too nervous for it to be worth the effort.

    I do like walking down the alley between their paddocks in the dark, though. I enjoy the peace and solitude.

  2. BR,
    It's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels that way about drivers around these parts! I agree about not riding in wind tunnels. My last arena was like that and the lights would sway and knock into the tresses, spooking Rose like crazy. However, my current arena is fully protected from the wind and rain, so it's been a delight in the bad weather. Unfortunately thought it is pitch black without electricity. So wind or no wind, it certainly wasn't going to happen. Of course riding by glow stick does sound intriguing...



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