Friday, October 28, 2016

Chesapeake, Part II

Originally I was going to write about the Chesapeake trip as I’ve done with all my previous trips: as an epic Odyssey where model horses are the treasures, conquests, and victories sought.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that was the wrong approach: this trip was more about the experience, than any victories that would come along the way. Any models I acquired would be secondary. Completing the trip unharmed (physically, mentally, financially) was the only true victory I sought.

And find it, I did.

I did that by letting go: of expectations, of preconceived notions, of obsessively detailed to-do lists. Other than doing the things that I absolutely had to do ahead of time, I did very little to prepare for the trip.

It typically takes me a couple of months to get ready for BreyerFest, but for Chesapeake it basically took me an afternoon: a couple of phone calls, a trip to the bank, a trip to the dollar store for some snacks, and then toss some clothes (and my Jet Run) in a suitcase.

And I was off.

After taking Vita for a 45-minute walk, of course: she knew I was going on a trip, and demanded the last few minutes of my time before I left be all about her. After the walk – where she spent most of it glancing back at me and smiling that not at-all-innocent smile of hers – I gave her the carrot and the handful of marshmallows she usually demands in tribute, and then I was off.


The drive itself was relatively uneventful, though a little bit slower than anticipated. I arrived in Pittsburgh about an hour later than I wanted, hitching a ride with a fellow hobbyist from there forward. It’s not very often that I have traveling companions for my horse trips, and I always forget how much fun – and how quickly the time flies! – when I have someone to talk horses with.

We arrived at the hotel sometime around 9:30 p.m., and settled in to our respective rooms for the night.

We were a little disconcerted the following morning at check-in, when we received our event packets and discovered that they did it to us again: there was another 144-piece run among the Special Runs being offered on Sunday, a Palomino Pinto Goffert named Mason. Oh goodness, not again, I thought…

The selections that were offered – outside of the Fell Pony Black-eyed Susan, that I think everyone was sort of expecting – did seem rather odd too, especially for the nature of the event. Three Pinto Drafts, a Pony and a Missouri Fox Trotter?

We were visiting the Fair Hill Training Center and the Fair Hill International: I was kind of hoping for at least one Warmblood or Thoroughbred in the bunch, aside from the Chesapeake model herself, and the little G3 Thoroughbred Cecil we had just received.

Like everything else on the trip, I decided to let go of my trepidations about the models and just go with it. I liked Mason better than last year’s Four Stars, and since I have found almost all my other Gofferts wanting in some way (and sent them to other homes), coming home with this one wouldn’t have been a heartbreaker.

It wasn’t about the models, it was about the journey, right?

And for the inevitable second Goffert that was probably in my future? Well, I did have an upcoming dental appointment I could pay off with it, I guess… though I really did hope I could at least get the Fell Pony. She might have been the plainest – and most “common” of the bunch after Mason – but the heart wants what the heart wants, you know?

I’d worry about it when the time came. Turns out that like everything else on this trip, I didn’t have to worry about it at all, but we’ll get to that next time…

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