Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Trek Out West - Part 1

Time for a travelogue. September 6th found the movers packing most of my stuff in preparation for loading the following day. After they left, I looked around and thought, "Here it is, my life reduced to boxes." Part of that felt good - released from the burden of material belongings. Part of that felt very strange - all that made this townhouse distinctively me was gone.

Early on the 7th, they returned to load it all into the big big truck. This makes my 13th move since college - oh, I hope that's not unlucky. Most of those moves were made with a U-haul truck but this is my third time being moved by the pros. It's expensive but worth every penny, trust me. I've taken a picture of every moving truck along the way, so here's the latest - one I shared with other people in transit.

I let the movers take more than I normally trust to strangers - well, these guys didn't feel like strangers since they were the same company that had moved me twice and good friends of a friend. Just didn't have the room in the car after loading all my financial papers, first night/first morning things, computer discs, food box, oh, yeah, and luggage plus the dog. I included a satchel with some hand sewing and a book just in case, but for the first time ever I did not take my trusty old sewing machine along with me, but let it and the newer one out of my sight and care for the duration of the time in transit.

My friend from Walla Walla arrived late that night and we stayed at a motel in town. Mmm, me, homeless, I thought, since I hadn't signed the lease on my rental on the other end. Well, the dog and I can always sleep in the car and my friend did offer me a place to stay in a pinch.

We didn't get the earliest start the next morning. Her 11:30 p.m. arrival didn't hamper our staying up to gab until after 1:00 a.m. We kept reminding ourselves that we had 4 days trapped in a car together, so plenty of time to catch up, but we couldn't seem to stop yakking. After a few last goodbyes and a swing past the property where we'd built our dream house only to have to sell it, it was off to Minneapolis and points west.

Ah, points west...not the most inspiring vistas in that part of Minnesota. Flat, flat, flat, and one would wonder what made anyone stop and decide to live here. Well, the farming probably, and look at those giant hay bales.

Eventually, though, we started to see a bit of topography and some water. After all, this is part of the waterfowl migratory route. There were tons of birds in the tree in the second picture below but we couldn't tell what they were.

My friend and I divided the driving time fairly evenly, and she was in charge of how far we needed to get each day. Here she is, determined to make it to North Dakota before stopping for the day.

At one point the clouds moved in and it looked like we'd get a good dousing, but it didn't happen. Oh, look - we're nearly to North Dakota, and with very little traffic around Fargo and the road construction crews gone for the day, we were able to reach Jamestown, ND by our predetermined must stop time of 6:30.

Very tired, very freaked (both the dog and I), and thinking, Oh, My, God, what have I done, I was lucky to have my friend along to remind me of how exciting this was for me and to get me up and out to a restaurant for dinner. Several beers and a hearty meal later, we staggered back to the hotel and collapse for the night.

End of travel day one.


Felicity Grace said...

I love these photos and seeing a part of the world I'm sure I'll never get to see - fascinating! Glad everything is going well! (I like Allied Pickfords too!)

Felicity Grace said...

P.S., I notice they don't have the Pickfords on yours but it's definitely the same company.

margaret said...

A maple in the front of the house and a view of the lake out the studio window -- sounds idyllic!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheila - I loved the photos and it sounded like you two had a great road trip. I hope there's a fabric shop close by! Cousin Lydia