Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

Well, not much happened this weekend. Hubby went up to Hindman, KY to take the ATV Safety Course. I'll admit, it was really rough getting up out of bed at 5:30 on a SATURDAY morning, but we did it. We already had the Cats loaded and ready to go. WHICH by the way almost didn't happen! Let me back up here for a minute......
Friday I finally got around to cleaning off the mud from the week before. I know, I should have had it done long before then but, well what can I say. Anyhow, I washed and sprayed and washed till I had two of the cleanest Cats you ever saw! Really sharp looking. While they were drying off I loaded up all the trash I could find to go with what was already loaded on the trailer to take off to the dumpsters. No major problem there...... and while we were out I picked up a couple burgers & fries to have for supper..... NO COOKING! LOL..... anyway... as I was coming out of the store I looked at how the trailer was slanting toward the back end of the truck. I thought, NOW that's weird. I even mentioned it to Hubby.
When we got home we first came inside and ate our supper then went back out to load the ATVs. Or we thought we were going to. Hubby held on to the trailer and lifted it up then pushed it down and.... YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE the movement that there was from the hitch receiver! It scared me to death! Sooooooo we got out the tools and the tarp and laid it down to where I would have something to lay on instead of the ground. Now what was funny, I laid down on the driver side..... scooted over to the passenger side and started checking EVERY BOLT that is in that receiver hitch. Found a couple that were a little bit loose..... but nothing major.
Scooted back over to the driver side...... first I tightened up the 2 bolts that are on the back bar for that side.... then got the 4 bolts that hold that plate on..... then scooted a little bit more to where I could see the two bolts that held the whole thing to the frame and..... THIS IS WHERE I JUST ABOUT HAD A MAJOR HEART ATTACK! The bolt that is farthest to the back.... WAS GONE! That whole left side had actually BENT down! BENT! I was about in tears!
First thought was.... what would have happened if we had loaded up the CATS and took off without seeing that..... Second thought was.... What if it had broken totally off while I was pulling them home last Thursday?!? (Insert look of total horror and shock!)
Now here it is by this time about 8:30 - 9:00 on a Friday night! We had to leave no later than 6:30 - 6:45 the next morning to get to Hindman by 10:00, and we didn't have a thing to pull them with!
I was in a panic and went over to the neighbors house..... he works on cars/truck (but is really a paint/body man) in the hopes that he might #1. have the bolt that we needed.. #2. know where to find one at this late hour! Well it turned out that when I bought that hitch that it came with NEW bolts that replaced the old bolts in that spot..... and I had KEPT and actually FOUND the ones that went there! BUT he did have to go over and get his floor jack to PUSH the hitch back up toward the underside of the frame to even get the bolt started. BUT we got it fixed! THANK GOD! Afterwards we loaded both Cats up, strapped them down...... double checked them and finally came in for the night.
BACK to Saturday...... We managed to find the ATV Training Course with a little help from a wonderful gentleman that we ran into at a little store/gas station in Hindman that knew where this place was. When we pulled up in front of the building I looked to check how far we had driven...... ONE way was 106.6 miles!
Training course was easy.... well for me at least. At times a bit boring. BUT Hubby learned a lot from it so that is the important thing. I got a chance to talk in length with the instructor about what to do and where to go and what all is involved in becoming an instructor. I really want to do this. Not for the money, but to do what I can to teach people how to ride safe and stay safe. I do not want to go to any of my friends funerals anytime soon. If they die from OLD AGE........ that is one thing... but from an ATV accident.... that is another.
I called today and talked with a person from the regional office of the ATV Safety Institute, they are sending me papers to fill out and send back. We will see how that goes.
Well...... that's my ATV adventures for this weekend. Sunday was Easter and hardly anybody that I knew rode any. I guess everybody spent family time. That is the important thing.
Till next week or there is news to report..... Ride Long, Ride Hard, BUT always ride SAFE! Wear your helmet!!!