We are a family of trucks. Between the two of us, we have three trucks. Thankfully, the big daddy Dodge diesel mostly stays hitched to the trailer sitting in the barn yard. I drive the big momma Chevy half-ton truck—my beloved Avalanche. Luckily Rich has an economical Toyota to drive up and down the mountain every day. For well over a year, the most we have ever paid to fill-up is $75—the maximum allowed to charge gas on credit cards.
They have finally released the ridiculous cap on credit card expenditures for gas and for the first time in a couple years, we now know exactly what it costs to fill the tank. It’s not like we were under the illusion that $75 was actually what it cost to fill-up—we’ve witnessed the steady drop of the needle that $75 would buy, but seeing the numbers spin well past $100 without slowing down was a shocker. $109.85 is what I paid on my last fill-up. Now that I can assign a number to it, it seems more real. It pretty much takes me a whole tank to drive to Denver airport and back—so that is the hard cost of my commute.
My truck is getting up there in mileage at 80K+ and I dread the day that I have to replace it—I love driving it. I know I should look at a more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicle but what can I use to haul grain, haul my three 70# suitcases that I travel with, not to mention the truck load of tables, product and display stuff we haul to trade shows within driving distance? With some of the hellish winter commutes I have, driving 175 miles through a snow storm and crossing 6 mountain passes, I have learned to appreciate the big 4WD machine. So for now, I’ll stick with what I have and try to conserve as much as possible. How are the gas prices affecting your horse travel? Can you conserve and still drive a truck when you need to do horse chores?
I know I am not supposed to talk about the weather in my blog, but we are sure having some! We almost had to turn on the heat last night. It rained and hailed most of the night and it’s pouring today. We don’t get a lot of rain here in the high mountain desert that we live in but if we get it, this is the time of year. Yesterday it never got much over 60*– I had to put on the fleece! Everyone grumbles that summer is already over and although I know we’ll have some nice warm—if not hot—weather ahead, it is our subtle reminder that the long winter approaches. We’d better enjoy what’s left of the summer!
Unfortunately, what seemed like my long stretch at home has dwindled to only four days I’ll be home in the next 3-4 weeks. I head to Fort Collins for an annual meeting at CO State University. I am pleased to be a part of their Equine Science Advisory Board and we meet annually to review the curriculum and brainstorm on programs and ideas. Then I am home for two days before Rich and I head to the west coast for a few days of R&R, then we are off to Martha’s Vineyard Labor Day Weekend for the TV shoot. But today, I’ll enjoy this rainy day at home. I think I’ll bake some muffins…
We’ve got a 1992 Chevy 4×4 with the smallest V8. I can’t see how I could safely get anything smaller and still haul my horse around. We also get snow here (not like Julie) and I really don’t want to consider chaining up again. Too old for that. We’ve got a Subaru Outback which is great for commutes but with the horses, gotta have a truck. Several years back we used to trailer into Yosemite every Monday during the non-snowy season. My young horse could now probably do those rides but truthfully the price of gas will limit it. Maybe once a month now we’ll head up there. I wonder how it’s affecting the endurance world. I know those people travel all over the place.
Gas prices..well we needed a new car to replace hubby’s aging Accord. Bought a Chevy HHR gangsta car. HUbby decided to keep his Honda and persuaded me to part with my beloved Explorer. Went from 18 MPG to 29 MPG highway. It makes a difference in fill-ups but I sure miss the rolling tack shop. Have a diesel extra cab Ford truck that just sits except when we need to pull something.
I noticed at the shows, a lot of local riders are staying home. The usually top 4 always come, plus a few extras, but not nearly as many as before.
Send some of that 60 degree weather down here to Louisiana! It is too hot and humid here to work the horses too much right now.
BTW, I LOVE your show and blog! I really enjoy your teaching and horsemanship style. 🙂