Archive for Moving West

WE MADE IT!

We’re HERE! Finally – a week of driving and here we are in Northern California, Santa Rosa to be exact. It’s chilly – about 60 degrees. You can smell the wood-burning stoves in action. We’re worn out and I don’t care if I ever see a highway again. No more walkie talkies and driving at 75 MPH.

I’m tired and I’m ready to go to bed. I will write more later…

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Day 7? somethings wrong with my count…

Happy Thursday! We’re one mile from California. We sleep in today, so burnt from the previous day. We are on the road about 10:00 am. As we cross into California we gain an hour. Yipee! We are stopped for an agricultural inspection, we pass. We’re on our way.

We have a good day on Thursday! We take it kinda easy – as easy as driving around LA can be. OH Vey! We bypass downtown LA, so it was not that bad. But it seemed to go on forever. Fast lane changing, merging (which can be adventurous when the trailers turn signal fails, or the right side view window is dangling. Nothing a little tap and some duct tape can ‘t fix) We stop for refueling and potty breaks maybe twice. We finish our day on the steepest grade yet. 6 miles down the side of a mountain. Did I mention the darkness? It was a wild ride, 18 wheelers and US going 35 miles an hour down this HUGE mountain side. I was ready for some vallium and an undergarment change by the time we reached the bottom.

Also the truck was issued a verbal reprimand from a cop riding to the left of us. Over his PA system he told the truck and trailer to GET IN THE TRUCK LANE, NOW or get a ticket. Yes, Sir! I was thankfull for the 35 MPH, but it dawned on me when we reached the bottom, there were 50 18 wheelers behind us wanting to make up time. *sweat*

But we made it safe and sound. We are sitting in a VERY nice Hampton Inn, in Bakersfield, CA. We are taking it a bit easy today as we are ONLY 5 hours from our destination. 🙂

I am excited, and tired and ready to relax and find our new home. I will write more this evening – or possibly in the morning. Time to go now andget this trip over with.

P.S. – we could not have ordered better weather. Cool, cloudy, perfect for driving weather

More later…

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Day 6 – It must be Arizona!

Wow – I am a few days late updating the blog. It’s been a CRAZY couple of days. The travel has worn me out. Somewhere in the middle of Arizona, my top blew and the steam came out. I felt much better after that, let me tell you, packing all of your crap into a truck and hauling across 3000 miles is STRESSFULL!

After all the crazy driving in Houston, Mobile, and every other rush hour we have experienced, driving across western Texas was a DELIGHT! Flat, desolate, some traffic, but not wheel gripping, heart pounding driving. I could actually look to the left or look to the right.

Out of Texas and into Arizona, WOW – what beautiful land. And Dry! Apparently the dessert is very dry. I have discovered the definition of parched. I never thought I’d pine for humidity.

In an effort to avoid Phoenix traffic, we took the I-8 Phoenix Bypass. This bypass took us right through the Saguaro National Park. WOW we WOW WOW! The land of the great cactus. HUGE cacti all around us. I wish we had time to stop and really have a look, but we had to keep moving. Definitly a place for future exploration. Not to mention the Grand Canyon and the Sultan Sea. To get back to the I-10 we had to get off I-8 and catch hwy 85 North. HOLY CRAP Batman! We saw signs for a hotel, our intention was to stop at this hotel – time approximately 5:00pm. Well, we missed the directions to the hotel , and ended upon Hwy 85 north (this is a good thing), it was pitch black, two lane highway, 18 wheelers behind us and 18 wheelers coming at us – just across the diving line (this not such a good thing). This was an insane white knuckle ride. I am not religeous but I was praying to EVERYONE! Just let us get through this unscathed. 30 miles or so later we re-connect with the I-10 and head west.

Our plan was to get the first hotel we saw. By now it was dark and cold and we were exhausted! First hotel room we find is outrageously priced due to some NASCAR event in Phoenix. CRAP! After much debate and a 12 mile trip backwards toward Phoenix, we decide to drive the 112 miles to the California border. It was dark, and we were tired but we made it safe and sound. A town named Ehrenberg, AZ its the the 1 mile marker at the border of Arizona and California. We can see California from here.

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Day 5 – Texas, enough said!

We started out bright and early – on the road at 5:30am. Our goal was to get to El Paso for the night. All was going well till we hit San Antonio, and there was amulti-car accident. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour. This totally messed up our time for the day. What may have taken us 20 minutes to get through – cost us 90 minutes.

Other than the traffic delay in San Antonio, we had a very good day. We made it to a VERY small town, Van Horn, TX – population 2,435. Just shy of our goal to El Paso. We blame San Antonio.

I am too tired to write any more.. Maybe tomorrow. Here are some pictures.

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Day 4 – Fog, Bumps, Birds & Bar-B-Que & FOG!

We were up and out by 6:30 am. Us and all the truckers. The weather was a crisp 52 degrees, it feels wonderful! Almost need a jacket. (Maybe in a few days I will change my mind)

Our first obstacle of the day was pea soup thick fog, WOW! I now see why people have accidents in the FOG. I also thought that was a bit odd, not anyone. I’ve included an artist’s rendering of the FOG! See it here on the right.

FOG

.. What? You can’t see anything?

Neither could we.. we battled it for about 2 1/2 hours. No need for caffeine on this trip. Just drive for a couple hours in the fog!

Louisiana has HORRIBLE roads! We were bouncing all over the place. Talk about holding on for dear life. I’ve never seen anything liusy with like it.

Driving over the Mississippi river was an amazing experience. I wish I could’ve seen it I was too busy with my eyes glued to the trailer and my hands firmly wrapped around the steering wheel. Blisters, I am getting blisters on my hands from gripping the wheel.

Next up Houston, OH VEY! Mobile was rough – then we look at the map for Houston and it looks like a big bowl of spaghetti. We tried to plan it so we did NOT enter during rush hour. We go there about 4:00PM. *sigh* I am sweating bullets by this time. It took us about 1 hour to get through, it was CRAZY – a ton of traffic, but not as stress full as that Mobile Bay Bridge. Maybe we’re just getting use to it… NOT!

We are currently resting in a small town just west of Houston,TX. A place called Sealy, TX ( population 5248).

We had our first taste of Bar-B-Que for dinner – it was ok. We’ll try some more tommorrow.

We oull in the shell station to fill the cars up for the next days drive. And there must be 300 birds overhead on the powerlines. The guy in the shell station said it happens 2 times every day, once in the morning, and once again durring dusk, It was amazing. We took a video of them and a still shot. Here ya go… I was so messmerized by the birds, I over filled the gas tank in BMW, and poured gas all over the place, including my sneakers and socks, OY! I am such a mess up sometimes.

Ok, as they say in Texas, “I’m fixin’ to go to bed, I am all pooped out”

Good night y’all!

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Day 3 – The gnome’s misadventures..

Nothing very exciting to report. We’ve made it into Mississippi, Pascagoula, MS (population: 23,719 Current temperature: 51 F) .

We had a WILD ride through Mobile, AL

It all started at a very large bridge. The posted Speed limit was 40 MPG. The crazy people were going at least 55MPG! From what iI can tell, it’s the Mobile Bay Bridge. It’s not like I had a chanceti read a sign or anything! Have ya ever heard of white knuckling it.? Let’s just say I am developing blisters on my hands from holding the steering wheel s o tight. I am truly convinced I can drive anywhere after today. Don’t let this pretty picture fool you! It was an insane. ride over the bridge. Not to mention, the tunnel at the end, the crazy lane changes to keep on I-10, the laggin motorists , that caused the trailer to brake in he middle of all of this insanity.

The gnome is resting comfortably after some minor surgery – poor guy took a tumble out of the truck as we opened the door to repair the dangling side view mirror. Oh did I mention the mirror is being held on by duck tape and a prayer. So far so good! And of course the trip would not be complete with out a little electrical issue. Nothing major,just a bad connection on the right blinker of the trailer.

Did I tell you? We are communicating between vehicles via walkie talkies. Apparently they’re battery life is not as long as our driving time, They ranout of juice about an hour before we did.

Some minor bumps and bruises (course the guy driving the trailer would beg to differ that the bumps in the road have been minor.

Well, its late and we’re tired. I am off to sleep.

More tommorrow..

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Day 2? A “ray” of sunshine.

Ocala, FL (34482)
53 Degrees
clear

Up and out kinda early 8:00 ish – had to get to the trailer shop A.S.A.P. All went well there, 5 new trailer tires and we’re on our way. we broke down in the right place – very close to Rayside Truck and Trailer – our new heroes.

The rest of the day was uneventful, except for a few minor incidents (the Gnome broke his foot and arm, more about this later). We are currently in Ocala, and preparing ourselves to get up and out early. About 6:00 if not sooner.

Of course – in our body time it’s really going to be 5:00 am.

We are both so tired. Keep your fingers crossed for no more mechanical problems.

I’m off to bed! Sleep well and stay warm South Florida!

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Day 1 – Welcome & road ranger to the rescue!

Welcome to my adventure blog. Here I will share with you all of our adventures as we travel across the country.Due to weather our trip was delayed by 2 days. Concerned about the high winds and driving the trailer we felt it was a smart idea to wait until the winds subsided. Who would’ve thought a tropical storm would be causing problems as we were to head out of a Florida. Just our luck tho – EVERY time we move we do so with a hurricane looming… On the day we were suppose to leave there was a 5.6 earthquake in the location were we are headed. *sigh* From hurricanes to earthquakes. I think the powers that be don’t like it when we move all of our stuff!

Speaking of stuff, we have to much! We sold ALOT, we gave away ALOT, we have no furniture, except for a folding chair and 2 folding tables, yet some how we were able to PACK a 6′ X 12′ trailer. And I do mean PACK! We couldn’t get another thing in there if we had to. So it is with exhausted bodies (we’re getting old) and frayed nerves (and tires – more about that later) we begin our journey.

My passenger for the trip is the last gift my mother ever gave me before she passed. A very large FROG. He and the Gnome ( A Home is not a home without a Gnome) are riding shot gun! Expect more about the frog and gnome later as we travel.

Our first day of travel brings troubles on the turnpike. Fifty miles north of our previous place called home we experience a blowout on the trailer. I am driving behind the trailer for just this reason. At first I thought it was just some debris driven over, soon I realized the trailer tire was the debris. Equipped with walkie talkies to communicate between the truck and the car, I grabbed the walkie talkie and in a very calm voice (me calm in an emergency = ha ha) said …”the right rear trailer tire is shredding”. Luckily we were just south of an exit ramp and had plenty of room to pull over.

Friendly Roadside Assistance

With the help of a CB radio we were able to call FHP (*FHP in case you find yourself in a similar situation) and get assistance. I rode back with the ranger to get air in the spare. He was nice enough to share a story with me about a recent accident on the south bound turnpike.

A guy driving a pickup truck going 100 mph ,2:00 in the morning crashed right into the barrier wall. When they went to go find the guy they found him 100 feet from the vehicle , decapitated. Hey – thanks for the cheery tale 🙂 Here’s the kicker – he was an off duty police officer coming home from a party and drunk! Way to go dude – at least he did not hurt anyone else.

So, here we find ourselves, in a hotel room in beautiful West Palm Beach. It’s really not that beautiful.. its just sounds better this way.

Hopefully day 2 will have better news to report. Our first stop a trailer shop for new tires.

Wish us luck!

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