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#Write31Days – Oct 23 – The Road

Two years ago at this time I was in Ohio, freezing, working in the Annex building of the Quarter Horse Congress, going into the final weekend of the show and getting ready to head on another road trip to Oklahoma City for Quarter Horse World Show.  It had only been a couple of months since I started life on the road, after losing my job, packing up my apartment, completing Alternative Certification courses for teaching and deciding instead to work for a friend and travel full time. 

The season started working one of my favorite events, Texas Antiques Week, then I made a trip across the country by myself (well, with my dog) from Texas to Ohio pulling a trailer, navigating interstates, gas stations and hotel parking lots that sometimes got tricky.  I didn’t really know what to expect in Ohio, we were super busy most days, I made lifetime friends in that month of working together, and had only one really bad day – food poisoning from bad sweet tea. 

Barney’s trip looked a lot like this…

And, I wasn’t getting away from any hotel room without him…

I did miss home and my friends.  My life had been completely uprooted 5 months prior and I was just trying to go forward one day at a time.  After 15 years in the City, corporate America kicking me in the shins twice, and an unsettled spirit within me, the time on the road – living and working – turned out to be such a great season for me.  I knew I wouldn’t do it forever, but I really began to embrace the traveling gypsy life for the season I was in. 

It was always interesting to me the people who “were keeping up with me” while I was on the road via my Facebook.  It was an adventure indeed, and I was always amazed at how many people “wished they could take off and do something like that”.  Sometimes I wanted to respond back with the reality, but I usually just smiled, took it in stride and remembered there’s been times I wished I wasn’t doing what I was or something else “looked” more appealing. 

Don’t be fooled, the road can be a lonely place.  Living far away from family and friends and everything familiar.  Though it does offer a bit of an escape, eventually reality sets in.  I knew this season wouldn’t last forever, but while it did I would embrace it! Here’s where all we set up….

Texas Antiques Week – Round Top, TX
The Texas summer was still in full effect in Sept/Oct.
All American Quarter Horse Congress – Columbus, OH
We got out of town just before Super Storm Sandy hit the East Coast.
Quarter Horse World Show – Oklahoma City, OK
My parents came to see me here, which was a very welcomed visit!
National Finals Rodeo – Las Vegas, NV
No one should be in Vegas for 17 days!
Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo – Ft Worth, TX
If I had to choose another city to live in Texas, Ft Worth would be it.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – Houston, TX
Perhaps one of the best Rodeo seasons I’ve ever had, and there have been some good ones!
Capped off seeing George Strait from the 8th row on the floor!
Texas Antiques Week – Round Top, TX
Super fun time with my co-worker in tiny no-named towns.
Living in a Camper in Weatherford, Texas for a bit before the summer run
Season of tornadoes across North Texas multiple days while I was there,
including the one that damaged lots of Grand Prairie
Midwest Horse Fair – Madison, WI
Took a little detour home to Iowa to visit friend from the road. 
Paint Horse World Show – Tulsa, OK
Worked this show by myself, a gym was right beside my hotel which I went to daily
 
There are so many stories from each of these shows, however, the road was starting to wear on me…the season was coming to an end for me and I knew it was time to get back to what I had set out to do, complete a year of teaching school and earn my Teaching Certificate. 
 
I wouldn’t trade that season for anything.  It was one of the best times of my life.  I worked harder than ever, physically setting up booths, loading/unloading trailers and long show hours.  But, the memories last a lifetime and the friends I made are one of the greatest gifts.  
 
Thankful,

1 Comment

  1. The Fields Are Calling… - Angie Gillikin on September 24, 2019 at 11:12 am

    […] Week which kicked off a year of work “on the road”. The year which I now call my adult gap year, a year in between my second corporate layoff and beginning a career in public education, a year in […]

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