Sunday, August 11, 2013

holy cats! (part 1)

I put off writing this post for so long because, frankly, it is exhausting just thinking about it. I was going to write out the entire adventure in detail - my cross country move, aka Julia and Liz's Cross Country Debacle 2013 - in one post, but in the interests of saving my sanity and your time, I am going to let the pics do most of the talking and split it up into a few posts.

I thought when I decided to move that I might be able to hire and train a replacement at Interior Designs, but since the owner lives in North Carolina, she decided it was time to close - after 25 years of business. So I had about two weeks to completely shut down a retail store. I am proud to say that I sold almost every single item and emptied out the entire store in those two weeks. There were many clients and friends that were out of town and will be shocked when they discover that we have closed; in fact it is still a shock to me, as well.

Interior Designs, Inc. closed after 25 years - surreal

I worked through Saturday, the 27th. That evening we went down the street for a goodbye cocktail party, and the next day my mom came in for the big move. I thought I had everything so nicely packed that it would be a simple matter for movers to load us up and get out of town. I was wrong. 

16 foot truck plus car carrier = a hot mess
Even with our help, the movers took several hours to load up the truck. Then we had to go back to the truck rental place so they could help us attach the car carrier. This picture does not adequately show how long this travel arrangement was. Driving a 16 foot truck with a car carrier attached is not easy, my friends. It feels like an 18 wheeler! We were not able to leave Nola until 4pm on Monday and the goal was to reach El Paso by midnight. We could only pull straight off the interstate into truck stops - we could not go anywhere that involved turns or reversing! Needless to say, we were emotionally and physically drained that night.

Tuesday we embarked on the trip across the Texas desert. I will say this about Texas. There is a star on every single building and riding along the border with Mexico is not fun. If you are in a regular car at least the speed limit is 80 mph. But a huge truck will not get over 65. So Tuesday was 14 hours of this:

                                        and this...      

                                     and this...

We had decided to start looking for a truck stop or gas station every time the truck was on half a tank. So when we reached Ozona, TX, we still had more than half a tank and did not stop. For some reason we did not get the memo that Ozona, TX is the ABSOLUTE LAST CHANCE FOR GAS FOR HUNDREDS OF MILES. Another hour with absolutely nothing in sight and we started to worry. 

We were writing a journal notebook of our trip so we would always remember how it went. At this point in the journal I wrote: "Can't find gas station. 1/4 tank left @ 2pm. 767 miles into trip. No cell service." We were putting notes in the notebook so that our loved ones would know what we had done if we had to leave the truck! We were trying desperately to call and text people when we had a spot of cell service, but then we were on empty and there was no cell service at all and nothing in sight. We were making jokes about me dragging my mom across the desert on a moving blanket, but it was truly not funny. Then I decided that if we totally ran out I would unhitch the car and try to go on in it to look for gas. Only later did we realize that my small car would not have made it to the next stop either.

Finally, ahead there was a rest stop. There was no gas or phone or anything there, but there was a place to park the truck and a bathroom, so we pulled off the interstate. There was a little old man sitting there in a tan work outfit. I asked him where the next gas was, and he said, "in the trunk of my car." We almost died from happiness! He charged us $30 for five gallons of gas, and that got us to the next gas station. I truly believe this man was an angel sent to save us.

to be continued...


Unknown said...

Goodness, what an experience on the road for you and yours! I can understand you not being ready to write about it until some time had passed. Will look for "the rest of the story".

Erika said...

I am SO excited to see this post!! I kept coming to your blog everyday with hopes to see a new post on the trip. Sounds like things "got real" in TX; but at least you're there!!! Can't wait for part 2!!

Erika said...

I am SO excited to see this post!! I kept coming to your blog everyday with hopes to see a new post on the trip. Sounds like things "got real" in TX; but at least you're there!!! Can't wait for part 2!!

Heather Peterson said...

I've been thinking about you and wondering how the move was going. This reminds me of driving cross country with my dad when I was 25. We had a moving van full of stuff for my new apartment and the gas gauge was broken! We were very surprised to run out of gas when the gauge said "full." Luckily we were NOT in the desert. Texas goes on forEVAH!!!!

Hope you made it and are getting settled!