Sunday, November 18, 2007

Moving Odyssey

For those who are more numbers-oriented, here is a brief summary of our cross-country trek:
*5 days
*2000 miles
*8 states
*2 U-Haul trucks
*259 gallons of gasoline
*43 state license plates spotted
*4 breweries

For the story behind the numbers, read on:

After realizing that living in two different states wouldn't exactly be good for our marriage, I decided to take the plunge and move out the Northwest. After lots of tears and "freak out moments," I was sort of, almost, maybe, kind of ready to relocate.

Actually, Jon has been amaaaaazing throughout it all. He has not only been overly supportive (causing my Catholic feelings of guilt to kick in once again because he's been so sweet while I've been slightly less so), he has proven himself to be an incredible packer. I was quite impressed at the sight of (nearly) all my worldly goods securely tucked inside a 14-foot U-Haul truck.

On Monday, 5 November, we hit the road. We were doing great: Jon was driving and I was reading in between mini-naps. Until we made it to Hays, Kansas. For those uninitiated with western Kansas, Hays is approximately 50 miles west of "Are we there yet?", 30 south of "Where the heck are we?", and 10 miles due east of the "Middle of Nowhere." A perfect place to have a flat tire, no?

Not only was the tire flat, but when the tow truck driver arrived after approximately an hour of waiting, the compressor on the jack didn't work. I pretend I know what I'm talking about, but the gist of the matter is that we had to be towed into town. Picture in your head a truck towing a U-Haul towing a car. Yeah, that was us.

Fear not, however. Like bloodhoods, we sniffed out a brewery, so the evening was not a wash. Sure, we weren't in Colorado as anticipated, but we would get an early start the next morning...after the other front tire was changed. Sounds simple, right? Not so much. It turns out that the problem was actually one of alignment and not a single shop that Jon called was able to fix it.

So we limped on to Denver, stopping at every rest stop along the road to make sure the tires were okay. Keep in mind that every time we pulled off the highway and hit even the slightest bump my car alarm would go off. It was certainly quite the drive. Unfortunately we arrived in Denver too late for any of the technicians to look at the truck, so were sent on our way under the assurance that U-Haul would reimburse us for any hotel and food costs.

We took that for what it was worth and found a really cool hotel in the heart of downtown Denver. Definitely a far cry from the Budget Host Inn, Economy Inn, and Royal Motor Inn in such bustling urban centers as Hays, Evanston, Wyoming and La Grande, Oregon. Oh, and we found another brewery. Near a train station. Shocking.

Denver was great, but we knew we had a long way to go, so we headed back to the U-Haul shop in the morning. We then discovered that our alignment issues resulted from a problem with the tie-rods. At this point, I kind of quit paying attention, so you'll have to ask Jon for specifics. At any rate, while they could fix the truck, it would take several days, so they decided to give us a new one. Jon and I stood by as the truck that had taken so long to pack was transferred into another truck. I am not making this up.

The "excitement" of the trip pretty much ended there. We had an uneventful drive through Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. We managed to stumble upon a couple of more breweries and some incredible scenery. And yes, we had to feed two meters when we stopped for lunch in Hood River, Oregon.

We finally rolled into DuPont, Washington on Friday, 9 November (good day), apparently hungry for sunglasses.

Although our driving odyssey has concluded, I'm confident we're in for many more adventures in the coming days/weeks/months...

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