well, that was easy…
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Almost. Whew! OK, not easy exactly, but we’ve finally done it. After all variety of crises, including medical, transportation, realty, mechanical et al, we have finally managed to free ourselves from the gravitational field of the West Coast and make it to North Carolina! Granted, I’m writing this while sitting on a plane that is [...]
Whew! OK, not easy exactly, but we’ve finally done it. After all variety of crises, including medical, transportation, realty, mechanical et al, we have finally managed to free ourselves from the gravitational field of the West Coast and make it to North Carolina!
Granted, I’m writing this while sitting on a plane that is flying to Los Angeles, but let’s not let that factoid sully our victory lap, OK? There is a perfectly good reason for my rapid return: I have to go see a man about a truck. We’ll let you know how that one turns out in another post.
But back to the festivities at hand; we survived — and dare I say even enjoyed — our epic RV-based cat-conveying trek across the heartland. (By the way, if the Midwest and Central states are “the heartland”, then what are the coasts? Do we now live in “the spleenland”? Feel free to discuss among yourselves.)
Luckily, our latest delay allowed us to find a great guy named Steve who is a professional driver. He brought the RV to us from North Carolina, so we did not need to do the two-way shuttle of the land yacht that we had planned previously. With the benefit of hindsight, let’s just say that Steve’s contribution was much appreciated. 3,000 miles of I-40ness was quite enough for us in one sitting.
My lovely bride is a truckin’ mama at heart, and was a tremendous help with the driving, navigation and RV park coordination for the whole trip. (Well, the “shortcut” through Pigeon Forge might have been a bit of a reach, but we’ll just chalk that up to an exploration of cultural diversity and leave it at that…) She’s the best, and I’ve almost got her convinced that we could be a husband/wife over-the-road team as our second career should Fred experience major cost overruns.
Our most precious cargo tolerated the eastward journey very well. We ended up putting them (and us) in a hotel for the two days that the movers did their thing in California. Once the house was stripped bare, we transferred them to the RV and set off. The RV had a bench seat along its right side that held all of the fellas’ carriers very nicely, and allowed us to keep an eye on them as we rolled down the highway. Gus stayed true to character, which means that he carried on a fairly consistent monologue of commentary on matters of the day, laced with a protestation every once in awhile when he felt that the radio was too loud, the road too bumpy, or the road noise too voluminous. Gus likes to talk. I have no idea where he gets that from.
George was unruffled, as expected, with the added benefit that it seems the RV does not make him carsick. (I suppose that would technically be RVsick, no?) In any event, he wasn’t, and that was a pleasant and welcome surprise, as it’s the first time in our memories that his long-haired Maine Coon-ness hasn’t required a BP offshore-esque clean-up effort after transport.
The guy that we were most worried about was my buddy Jack, who possesses nerves of zinc. Amazingly, he was actually pretty calm throughout the trip. Granted, when faced with a new environment, he still proceeded with great caution, complete with lowered tail and ground-hugging abdominal region, hence his new nickname: Abraham Slinkin. In every case though, he recovered from slinkinmoden (I think that’s the German term for his disorder) within an hour or so and avoided the quivering fear-induced paralysis from which he has previously suffered.
The RV itself was surprisingly easy to drive, given that it’s 31 feet in length and sprung like a ten-year-old mattress at a Motel 6. Other than one mechanical scare that came about ten yards into the journey — it stalled going down our 14% grade street and therefore lost both power brakes and steering — its performance was flawless throughout the trip. It almost got us thinking about buying one.
Now onto the task of making our last ever rental house a home. As we enter the close of the ‘pre-Fred’ era, I feel closer than ever to our loving and somewhat furry family. As the spare tire cover on the jeep that we saw for three consecutive days of our trip so aptly said:
Life is good.