I hadn’t moved in thirty-three years, that’s three plus decades of stuff that probably should have been repurposed years ago. To be precise, we didn’t just move, we relocated 2,700 plus miles.
Who remembers the Beverly Hill Billy’s opening scene? Jed and family driving down the road, pick-up swaying from side to side. That’s what I felt like as we pulled out of the driveway in Monroe. The Tacoma pulling the trailer, the back of the truck loaded to the full mark and not an inch of room left in the back seat. The only thing missing was Granny and her shotgun. We made great time on the flat (think Kansas) but the up-hills were a challenge. Do you know how many hills there are between Monroe, NY and Kalispell, MT?
Despite feeling like the King of the Road (10-4 good buddy!) I quickly found that our ‘big-rig’ was not the biggest thing on the road, regardless of how it felt as we drove it. In fact, it reminded me of an old ship interaction movie as the big-rig bow waves swayed us towards the edge. Unfortunately, there was no bank cushion to save us I-80. We didn't fit in the auto spaces anymore, but we seemed tiny in the truck and trailer spaces when we pulled into a truck stop or rest area.
Truck stops are like oasis of the road. A magic land of big parking lots, a convenience store with all kinds of junk food and bathrooms every sixty miles or so. Most people never consider that getting products from point of production to a “store near you” requires someone to be away from home for extended periods of time. An over-the-road trucker’s life isn’t much different than a seaman’s life. Always taking a shower in a strange place, spending too much time on the cell phone—when you can get service- and mostly waiting to be somewhere else. A tough way to earn a living.
Unlike my trucker buddies, I got to spend nights in various RV Parks. The first two nights were spent in State campgrounds in West Virginia and Indiana. The park in West Virginia was way down in a dark hollow, think of ‘Deliverance’ with a trailer. The Indiana park was beautiful but almost empty. There were about two hundred spaces but only about twenty had campers. Spooky. This is what Armageddon will be like, assuming our Tacoma/R-Pod combination survived the apocalypse.
For your information, RV Parks are not really parks, they are parking lots for trailers and mega-RV’s. The commercial parks try to fit as many over the road mansions in as small as space as possible. Think maximizing revenue.
Our trailer seemed big in our Monroe driveway, we quickly found it was one of the smallest on the road. The amount of discretionary income driving the interstates is staggering. These units are huge and even if they aren’t the self-driving type, most of the trailers are big-rig long and require a heavy duty pickup just to roll forward. One night, I was positive that the unit next to us had a flat screen as large as my trailer. God bless their 401-K’s, I hope there’s something left.
So just how big is America? We didn’t get to the west coast but I think I can reliably say you don’t get a feel for this country by flying over it. Wyoming looks nothing like New Jersey. There’s supposed to be a magic line, the 100th parallel of longitude. East of this gets rain so the horizon is all corn and soybeans. West of this is cattle and tumble weed. Miles and miles of miles and miles. Eventually you get to the Rockies. A wall of 10,000 foot mountains where the only way through is to wind your way along various river bottoms. Basically the same route taken by the wagon trains. They did twenty miles a day on a good day, we could do sixty miles an hour. How big did the country seem to them?
Eleven days after we departed Monroe we made it to Kalispell and, after seven days at a nice local RV park, we have found a place to live while our new home is being finished. We were lucky to get this place, its perfect for us.
We stored our trailer on the Patrick Creek property where it can watch our house going up. It seemed small as we took it cross country but it not only made it, it did everything we needed it to do in a small package. Now it’s waiting, waiting for its next road trip. It will have to wait since I’m not moving for a while.