It was a crisp Sunday morning in August, 2008. I was helping my family load the last of the supplies into our trailer left over from showing our horses at the Missouri State Fair. It had been a long week, and we were all exhausted. However, today would be the first time that I would drive a truck and trailer all by myself, and I was excited. As I was pushing the last bale of hay onto the trailer, I heard Mom yell, “Drive safely! Dad will be right behind you if you need anything!” I laughed and waved as she drove away. With one final heave, I crammed the bale into the trailer, slammed the door, and motioned to Dad that I was ready to go.
Once on I-70, I was feeling pretty confident. I had the trailer spaced perfectly between the lines, and I was singing every tune on the radio. I still don’t know what made me think about my ratty boots, but the thought crossed my mind about buying another pair. My mind immediately went to Kleinschmidt’s Western Store in Higginsville. At that same moment, I happened to catch a glimpse of a giant boot sign to my right, whizzing by at 70 mph. I started to laugh at the coincidence until I realized what I’d done. I had missed my exit!
I muttered as I reached for my cell phone. I would just call my dad to tell him that I would meet him at home. As I flipped it open, there was a blip at the bottom of the screen letting me know that Dad was calling. I hit the button to answer, and was greeted by the cheerful tune of my phone dying.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Leave it to me to forget my charging cord! The next exit was a little ways down the road, so once I finally reached it, I just pulled to the side and turned my flashers on. This had to be the exit to Timbuktu; there was not a soul around. I figured Dad was probably behind me, so I told myself I’d wait a bit. 15 minutes later I gave up started the truck. Just as I was pulling out, I happened to catch a glimpse of his truck and trailer travelling slowly up the exit ramp. It took a while, but he finally came to a stop just behind me. I could tell he was upset.
He couldn’t understand why I’d hung up on him, or even why I wouldn’t answer my phone. After I told him what had happened, he told me his side of the story. Apparently, right after I missed the exit, one of the tires on his trailer had blown and it was swaying all over the road. He was calling to tell me to wait up because he would probably need help. I was laughing as I went to get the trailer jack. Unfortunately, there was no jack to be found. We had left it in Mom’s trailer!
There were many lessons to be learned from that day’s adventure. First of all, never leave your phone charger somewhere where your phone is not. Second of all, don’t get so carried away singing to the radio that you miss your exit. Last, but certainly not least, don’t discount simple objects as useless. It took some time, but we pulled the trailer over an anvil for use as a trailer jack. Believe it or not, it really worked pretty well considering that we had 4 horses on the trailer!
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