<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] Hahira, Part One

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    [RC] Hahira, Part One - Howard Bramhall

    "I'm off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of horse
     Because, because, because, because, Because
     Because of the wonderful horse, of course....na na na na na na na"
    There just ain't enough good ole na na na songs.  Pam Tillis said that right before she sang one when I saw her in concert a few weeks ago.  I sort of have a thing for female country and western singers; my wife, once in awhile, even lets me wander up to the front, at some shows, so I can get a better view.  Hey, who said all groupies had to be female?
    Hahira, it's the place to be.  Every rider in the Southeast goes to this one.  And, I'm getting there early, cause I got a new tent and it's got heat, a fridge, running water, a shower, and, check this out.   A GENERATOR!  haha
    It is a quiet one (the generator, not me), and I promise not to run it except to charge the batteries an hour or so each day and if I see someone setting up a real tent next door I plan on warning them.  I will be a good neighbor, unless one of those folks, with their obnoxious generator, who used to keep me up all night, when I was trying to get some sleep in my tent, makes the mistake of parking next to me.  Then, the gloves are off.   
    "Na na na na, na na na na, naaaa, naaaa, naaaa, Haiiiiii-hiiiiiiiii-rrrrrrrrraaaaa" (Sung to "Hey Jude").  OK, I can't sing (can't write either).  We're off!  I might as well come clean and tell ya'll we went and purchased a 32' Coachman Aurora Motor Home, and till Hahira, I'd only driven it up to Wal-Mart and back (8 miles, round trip), twice.  Needless to say I was still very green behind this wheel and a nervous wreck leaving my driveway, with an additional 15 or 20 feet of horse trailer dragging along behind. 
    Right off the bat, I took out my own mailbox while exiting my driveway (gotta learn to turn right a little before I turn left).  I saw the damage in my left outside mirror, after I hit it with the horse trailer, kinda in slow motion, Jim Carey style.  I didn't even say anything to the wife or kid cause we had already spent most of the morning trying to figure out where to put all the clothes, shoes, boots, underwear, bathroom supplies (yes, I have one, with a shower, God Bless), pillows, blankets & food (human & horse), tack, etc., etc.  I had no intention of spending another hour or two trying to fix the post and repair, with duct tape, my obliterated mail box. 
    Have you ever seen what a mail box looks like after a 3 horse slant load trailer, with two horses inside, runs over it?  Not purty, and with my luck, my Postal Delivery person, who happens to also live across the street from me, will notify the police of this Federal infraction and they will be waiting, in my front yard (this won't be the first time I've had the Police on my property) when I arrive back home after the ride.  Destruction of Government Property (US MAILBOX), even if you think it belongs to you (it really doesn't) is a serious offense. 
    "We'll need to impound the vehicle as evidence used in the crime against the Government."  Yea, I want to see you tow away my Motor home with the horse trailer attached, ya dirty copper!  Ever since 9/11, I don't think this is a stretch of my runaway imagination. You will obey, you will behave, you will be good citizens or we'll lock you away till we think it's safe enough to allow you to come back out and play with the neighbors (with me that might be til the start of the next millennium).  Anyway, I leave the scene of the crime with Toby Keith (as usual) singing "Shoulda Been a Cowboy" on the CD player.
    I now, literally, drive a bus, with underbelly compartments you would not believe (for the first time, I have more space than stuff, although that won't last long).  Only in America, even with my credit history, is such a thing possible.  Here's my philosophy on life in a nutshell:  "Life is but a Dream," enjoy it all the way and, whenever possible, write the story yourself.  
    I knew as soon as I pulled into Hahira, with my Gator license plate in the front of this gas guzzling, green eyed monster, some jaws were going to drop.  Especially, when they saw who was behind the wheel.  "You went from a Wal-Mart tent to this?" some would ask.  And, that's exactly what happened. 
    I think I lost 15 lbs on the drive up to the River Run ride.  Even with the AC on, I was sweating like a Turkey two days before Thanksgiving.  Every time a truck would get behind me, and another one would pass me on my left, I could feel the motor home starting to drift, first to the right, then towards the truck that was passing me.  Man, I wish they made these lanes a little wider.  I think I need to go to truck driving school.  This is crazy!  Some cop is going to pull me over for sure going 35 MPH on the Interstate.
    We finally get to the Linahan farm.  This place is so big!  I have no idea how many acres they own, but it has to be in the hundreds.  And, since this isn't my first time to the River Run Endurance ride, I know they own a few of the other farms we see on the trails during the ride.  That's why they get so many folks here to this ride, cause we all like to see how the "other half" lives.  I don't know why it's called the "other half" because these folks are in the top one percent, that's for sure.  
    You should see the new house they're building!  Just incredible.  It isn't done (they've been building it for over a year now), but when it is, it will have more than 8,000 feet of living space (yea, I had the nerve to ask Willie).  The Biltmore just moved south to Hahira, GA, of all places.  Even after 9/11, American capitalism is clipping along at a steady pace and doing just fine.  I truly believe Bin Laden will have to kill each and every one of us before that ship sinks.  And, I don't think it ever will; it's in our blood and is who we are.  Someone, please, tell me where he's hiding.  I need the reward money to pay the bank for this Motor Home I'm attempting to drive.
    OK, I'm drifting away from my horse tale here, so I'll stop.  For now.  We pull in to this wonderful farm on Thursday around 2 PM.  I spot a really large, Gator "blue" (she'll love me for calling it that color), gooseneck trailer, with living quarters, that is the home of the living endurance legend, Susan Kasemeyer.  She's not going to believe who is driving this Gator bus.
    Her husband, Don, tells me she's not at home, but, riding around, on a horse, of course.  I did happen to see that she and Don had, somehow, managed to find electricity.  If you follow the cord you notice that her wire is running out of a light bulb hooked up to a building that runs the water pumps.  If we can't get any water for our horses this week-end it means Susan has just blown the circuit breaker running all the pumps on this huge farm.  This woman can smell electricity from ten miles away.  Out of 200 rigs, she'll be the only one hooked up to direct current.  She's one of a kind (later on, during the ride, I come to find out just how unique she really is).


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