Continuing our Trajectory Towards Transformation…
Between the trips back & forth to Colorado, there was the Packing, of course. That was mainly Sara’s gig: fetching a never-ending supply of empty boxes, loading them up, and taping them shut. She’d been doing this for months now, making steady progress in “containerizing” much of our accumulated, um, stuff. We held a yard sale, which was mildly successful, both in selling and helping us determine what to simply dump. Me, I hit a rhythm of running loads over to the Goodwill, Half-Price Books (nicknamed 1/10th-Price Books by Sara & Lucas for their low-low-low buyback prices), and anywhere else we could off-load anything.
We experienced a high level of anticipatory dread about driving a rental truck. Sure, when we met, we drove a huge rental truck (24 foot, I think) towing Sara’s car behind us all the way from the Bay Area down to Houston — with 3 cats in carriers in the cab with us. But that was 27 years ago. This time, simply thinking about the size of the smallest trucks gave us pause. We went to the rental lot and took a look, and while a 10′ truck seemed huge from the outside, it didn’t look so big on the inside — would we need a bigger truck? We worried about not only the height and width and weight of this monster, but also about depending on mirrors only for visibility. What had we signed ourselves up for?
We discovered that despite our worries, the truck was well-powered for its size, handled easily, and the mirrors worked wonders once you learned to use both flat and convex mirrors on both sides to check lanes before moving. And we avoided backing up as much as possible — and it’s almost always possible.
As to general clunkiness and concerns about other drivers: we joked that rental truckers of all kinds ought to come with the large warning; “AMATEUR DRIVER — I do not usually drive anything this large.” Most other drivers tended to cut us quite a bit of slack.
No, the main problem was simply the road. With a thousand miles to drive, much of it across featureless plains under an endless sky, the road gets wearisome. And while the truck was well-powered and handled well, it still proved more tiring to drive than a standard vehicle.
That first day, we made a “chip shot” drive to Sweetwater, happy to find decent food there at our hotel. Not having to drive the Ark (as Sara dubbed it) any more that day was a blessing indeed.
Day 2 found us making our long, slow way across the Texas panhandle, then north to Lamar, Colorado to stop for the night at a marvelous old-style motor court hotel, the Blue Spruce. Imagine our delight when we found a Chinese restaurant that would deliver our food to our door, once again removing the need to drive the Ark further that night.
The following morning, we had about a 3-hour drive before pulling up in front of our new home. As we started unloading, a teenaged boy rode up on his bicycle to see if we needed help. “You’re hired!” Sara responded, and we put Cody to work. Within 2 hours, we’d emptied the truck entirely and were ready to unpack for the first night in Our House (cue Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: “Our house is a very, very, fine house…”).
We took a day off from driving before having to turn the truck in at Denver. Driving the empty truck to Denver was certainly faster and better on gas, but it felt bouncy on the highway, eventually requiring us to drive a little slower. We dropped the truck off with little fanfare, got a ride to the airport ad caught our afternoon flight back to Austin — to prep for the next run in a couple of weeks.
Round 2 proved to be simply more of the same. and I do mean more of the same. When you start recognizing abandoned homesteads in the country, you know you’ve seen that road a few times.
We got a slightly larger truck the second time which Sara nicknamed “The Queen Mary”, but it felt much the same once loaded and rolling. You hit a pace — the rhythm of the road — and it’s easy enough to handle, but it’s still tiring.
We wrapped up our rental-truck-run #2, and rested another day before another drive to Denver and flight home, feeling very much like we had just one more run in us, the Big One.
To be continued…