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THE RAPID FIRE LIGHTNING SPEED WEST COAST FANDANGO
Scenic view along the way
The Whirlwind Trip Back to the Past and Forward to the Future
The Penske 16 foot truck and car trailer were reserved for a planned departure date of June 11; a Saturday. Pet sitters had been interviewed, the two who were chosen were given instructions and taken through their ‘dry run’ in preparation for a week long ‘endurance’ schedule of care and feeding all the rescued dogs and cats located in two separate homes here in SE Kansas. Yards watered, neighbors alerted; last minute rushing check off of lists and more lists. Our plan was to depart before 2 pm that day; with hopes of arriving 2000 miles later, on the following Monday.This was to be a rapid fire, breakneck, road sizzling, mad dog drive in record time as our individual availability was severely limited due to work schedules and animals. Friday afternoon, we drove to Collinsville, Oklahoma; a round trip of about 150 miles, to pick up the truck and car trailer. We were feeling excited and anxious, knowing that we needed to pack the van as quickly and efficiently as possible and be on the road before night fall the next day; less than 24 hours away.
GETTING READY = DUMPSTER DIVING
I had already packed all the items I planned on taking this first trip. Running to the local Dollar General store dumpster over and over, I found all the sizes and shapes of boxes I’d need along with tons and reams of packing material. Each Thursday, DG stores receive shipments and discard the boxes into huge bins which are perfect for intrepid dumpster divers such as my friend Al and me. The best resource available and all for FREE!! Strong, sturdy boxes with liners, spacers and filled with shredded paper, tissue and Styrofoam peanuts. Perfect for my needs. For weeks, I’d make that Thursday jaunt a few blocks from my downtown home, filling the back of my little Honda hatchback with dozens of cardboard boxes. After each container was filled, it would be closed, taped and labeled. Then, down to the basement it went, on wooden pallets where it would await the day when as much as safely possible would be securely placed into the van. Crystal, china, utensils, silver and glassware; a lifetime of collections; along with everyday items found themselves stacked tightly and snugly with dozens of others…headed for the "Promised Land.”
Our idea was to bring the truck back to Independence that Friday evening, where we would fit all the boxes in place, first. This way, we would only have the larger furniture items to add on Saturday morning.
So, that day had arrived and Al and I were working feverishly fast to meet our time frame. First, in went the boxes; stronger, unbreakable things on the bottom, delicate, fragile things on top. Having done this 3 times previously while moving from California to SE Kansas, we had become proficient at expeditious, space saving compilation of all things great and small.
EXPERT PACKING BY MY PATIENT FRIEND
Next, in went furniture which could rest against the protective wooden railing which runs the length of both sides of the interior of the truck. To these, ropes can be tied to hold pieces from bouncing and bumping each other. Smaller stools and chairs can be placed inside the larger book cases and armoires, allowing for greater compacting and use of space. Al is a genius at this! Though the truck rental companies suggest that a 12’ van is meant to carry one large or two small rooms of furniture, or a 16’ van can carry two rooms worth; Al can expertly fit 3 or 4 rooms of typical furnishings into that 16’ area. And without a scratch, without breakage and no chipping of antique wood or vintage gingerbread.We had chosen to pack the boxes the evening we picked up the truck, the larger household couches, beds, dressers , etc. early Saturday, keeping our departure schedule on time.
Well, because Al is such a great packer, I had not planned on nor prepared the 2nd bedroom or living room for packing. I had no idea (and surely should have remembered) just how great a moving van filler Al was and, therefore, found myself emptying, moving and deciding upon additional pieces I hadn’t planned on taking. There was ample room for an amazing 100% more than I anticipated possible, causing me to rush around, picking and choosing, imagining the placement of these unexpected additions which took even more time to pick ‘who’ goes and ‘who’ stays for the next trip.Finally, we were finished, tied in, packed tightly and ready to load my Vintage BMW onto the car trailer. (please read The Auto Zone in my hubs).
ALL DRESSED DOWN AND NOTHING TO DO
All the neighbors came out to watch this action. (This should tell you how much there is to do here in the heat of the summer sun, while the downtown main street is, virtually, closed up for business except for a few remaining shops and stores which have, so far, avoided the economic downturn that still ravishes small town Americana.) Having done it before with this car as well as my little Honda CRX Si hatchback, I am practically a pro, and was able to complete the task first try. Up and onto the ramps leading to the front tire tie ins…it’s a scary feat because all the driver can see is upwards, above the metal strip that seems to be way too narrow to drive on. But, thankfully, the ramps are just the right size; more than adequate to accommodate my car. Without a hitch, I was able to drive the BMW into the proper location and strap the wheels, tie the rear axel in using a chain attached to the heavy trailer, secure the soft sided car cover tightly and..we’re ready to GO ! Our friendly viewers offered claps of approval and waves “goodbye” with “see you in a few days,” and “we love you guys,” “we’re so sad you’re leaving” well wishes as we were about to start our grueling non stop trek across the lower half of this country, on Hy. 40, to our destination..It was 9:30 pm ! Way past our planned on exit time. But, we were “locked and loaded,” and ready for this great adventure…More to come…I have to find my download cord so I can add pictures of the amazing sights we enjoyed along the way of our hallucinogenic, sleep deprived, ‘in the zone’ driving adventure.
(Excerpt: "It's 3 am...I'm driving with windows down while cruising on open roads at 70mph. Occasionally, I lean out the window as I'm driving, so that cold, shocking air will help to keep me awake. I'm so sleepy that I find myself drifting off to the right side of the road. Thankfully, the road warning strips carved into the asphalt, scream a grating warning to "wake up!" I shake myself from the sleep which had crept into my body, and steered the truck and trailer back onto the road. Al is asleep. I begin to see blotches of inky, oily splatters hit the windshield...and a large, dark spreading oozing slick begin to form in front of the truck......:"