Let’s see, driving long stretches is mostly boring. But a few key things are worth noting.
-Going on a Sunday was genius. Traffic around cities was a lot less. And bigger then that, the construction was on hold. So we still lost time to slow speed limits, but we never had to stop in a line for workers or anything. Any other day would have taken a LOT longer to get through those zones.
-Cool had fairly bad behavior for the entirety of the planning and execution of all of the move. She was the bad kind of manic: Unfocused, irritable, all over the place, no common sense or concentration. So mostly she provided stress upon the stress. BUT the one amazing thing that she thought of–and followed through to completeion–was walkie-talkies. I wasn’t all about them–I figured they’d be fun if we had them, but not having them wasn’t a deal-breaker. Let me tell you: Walkie talkies and 2 vehicles are THE way to go if you have to drive a moving truck. I drove the 16 foot Penske, and Cool (and the cats) followed along in her HHR. This was great, because she could monitor my blind spots. If I wanted to switch lanes, we could just beep each other quickly on the radios. No cost of cell phone minutes (though using Boost, we both have unlimited talk, text, and data anyway) and no one-handed stuff. We could also easily communicate which speed we wanted to go and when we had to stop for gas, bathroom, food, or rest. The walkie-talkies made driving the Penske EASY! Awesome job, Cool!!!
-We got started around 2PM, and drove 5.5(?) hours to Butte, which was about 2 hours past my point of fatigue. Having long-hauled many road trips before this, 2 hours isn’t all that bad–relatively speaking.
-The cats rode in the car well (I’m told). Usually Goose is good, quiet, and still during the car ride. Choco-Luv likes to scream and yell the entire trip. But sans drugs, they did pretty good–maybe Cool just tuned them out with loud music though.
-And the hotel seemed magical when we got to stop for a real shower and bed and TV.
-The cats fussed a little–they do the opposite thing at lodging that they do in the car: Goose is usually a horrible, terrible noise-maker and pacer in hotels. He kept us all awake the whole night in Boise, and when when my dad and I took him from Missouri to Nevada for the final time, Goose was so angry with me he peed on my hotel pillow. He yowled a little, but not incessantly and we could still sleep. I think it helped that we didn’t drug them at all this time.
-Splitting the trip into 2 days helped bunches, and the next day we just had to drive 7-ish(?) hours to Salt Lake City, instead of a whole 10.5 hours. Which I think 10.5 is a low estimate from Google, it might have been more like 13 in real conditions.
-Montana and a nice high speed limit, and I always feel at home under it’s big-sky. Idaho is full of nothingness, but at least they also have an extreme speed limit. I just kept driving the Penske because it was going well. And I think switching off would have made everyone more nervous. Unlike Rusty, the Penske had cup holders, and you don’t realize how important and nice those are until you’ve lived without them. It was also nice having a clock, which Rusty does not have.
-The only thing about the Penske that was bothersome, was my accelerator-foot got tired. The speed tops out at 70 mph, but with a speed limit of 80 mph, I wanted to push it as fast as it was willing to go. But it made the truck roar and shake, and I had to mash the pedal all the way to the floor.
-Utah drivers are awful, and it made it a little difficult that we had to finish the drive like that. You’re at a point where you’re tired and just want to get there–it’s no time to have to employ a bunch of defensive-driving techniques. But we did. And all 4 of us made it in one piece and without very much fatigue or headache. Also–this is of course relative to past trips. We were all very tired of sitting in a car, sleepy, and wanting to be home.
-We got to the new apartment at 3:30PM. I needed a shower. I was fatigued. I was SO done with moving! I just wanted to shower and chill. But alas, the parking situation was tight, so in order to unload the Penske in the vicinity of our unit, I had to park in 3 neighbor’s spots. Needless to say, there would not be an afternoon/evening of rest. Not even a meal break. We had to immediately unload the Penske in order to move out out of the way before people got home from work and had no place to park.
Next episode: Unpacking.