I had forgotten how much I hate moving.
The last time I moved, I was transferring from a small-ish two bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house. I was moving in-town, had the help of several friends, and wasn’t alone. I thought that was a terrible move. It was cold, wet, and I hurt myself at least once.
That move was a cakewalk compared to this one.
Any move has its complications. The last move I made was done in winter, with bad weather, a frozen trailer and a not-so-completely packed apartment. This one was easy to pack, stack, load and get ready for transport.
So the idea was that we would rent a U-Haul trailer, attach it to an SUV, and drive that to New York so that Steve, Meegan and Leif would have an easy trip home after they dropped me off in my new apartment.
That didn’t happen. The rental company, Avis, told me that I could rent an SUV with a towing package when I called. So I made a reservation, and we arrived bright and early at 8:30AM ready to get the SUV. The guy at Avis informed me that company policy forbid anyone from towing a trailer behind their vehicles. So they don’t have towing packages installed on any of them.
A mad scramble to try and find another rental vehicle left us with nothing. One angry best friend, two confused-as-to-the-plan moving-buddies, and one desperate-not-to-move me were all trying to figure out what to do. All the while, a summer shower had decided to grace us with its presence.
We decided that we would just use Steve’s truck, as it was the only thing we had that would haul the trailer. Unfortunately, he needed an oil change, so we had to do that. In the rain. Luckily, Leif took over on that regard, and ran down the stuff we needed for that. Meanwhile breakfast was had by several of us.
Then we were on our way.
We got gas and headed north toward St. Louis. We stopped by my Grandfather’s house, and talked with him for a bit. I showed Leif, Meegan, and Steve the goats, the Saw Mill, and a few other things that he keeps around the farm. But then it was time to go, so we clambered back into the vehicles and took off.
Hurdle number two: We’re driving in Illinois. We’ve been there for just a few minutes, and Leif radios us this message:
“Uh, we’ve got to stop. The car just started overheating.”
We stopped just about half a mile ahead of him, and waited. He told us that a bypass hose seemed to spring a leak, and we needed to get some hose. He gave us two different sizes of hose to grab, and we headed off to find an auto part store. We found an O’Reilly’s Auto Part store about seventeen minutes away… and they told us that they only had fuel hose in one of the sizes that Leif told us to get. Luckily, we didn’t end up needing that size.
All this time, I was worried about money. Not only because I knew I had first month’s rent to make, but also that I needed to pay for gas and tolls, and I was tight. Credit Cards are a savior when you need them, and I feel bad for needing it at that moment in time. But we were able to get the parts, and we headed back to Leif’s location, and performed surgery on the car right there on the side of the highway.
I think this is a really good time to mention that Leif is a fantastic friend. He managed to do repairs on a hot engine on the side of the road on a hot day without a single complaint. It took between two and three hours to fix, and we were all hungry by that point, so we went in search of Taco Bell.
It was dark when we got back on the road. Steve demanded I take a nap, instead of taking my shift. Leif said the same thing to Meegan, So we took naps.
Around 5AM I took over driving the Truck. Meegan was too tired to drive, as she wasn’t able to get much sleep. I drove through the last part of Ohio, a brief stint into West Virginia, and most of Pennsylvania. There were a few areas there that were… tight. Driving a trailer through that area was tough for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the torrential downpour that hit us while squeezing through narrow construction lines next to Semi Trucks that don’t enjoy staying in their lane.
But we made it through, stopped for Gas, fueled up, and switched drivers again. This time Meegan took over, and Steve took us through New Jersey and into New York.
While in St. Louis, my grandfather decided to give me some advice on the best way to get into New Jersey. We followed it. The bridges into New York were terrible, and very thin. It was a horrible bridge to move through, and our GPS took us on a street that we were apparently not supposed to be on. A kind Indian man tried to tell us that, but we kept our window up because it seemed weird.
The traffic in New York was stop and go for a while. Steve didn’t like it. Meegan didn’t like it. I don’t like it. But we were able to quickly get to the apartment, finish the final paperwork, pick up keys, and get inside to unload.
Successful trip, I guess.