Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Moving to Texas: Part 2

Part one of the moving to Texas was basically about packing up and preparing to leave.  This part will be about the drive.  Both are simply telling the mechanics of our move.  Getting to the heart of what it means to me will need to wait for part three.  I'm still mulling that one over.

Driving to our new home involved a packed-to-the-roof 26-foot Penske truck, the largest they rent to non-CDL drivers, towing our packed-to-the-roof minivan behind, and driving Nathaniel's Ford Escape.  Three drivers, two steering wheels, one of which is a normal drive, the other terrifying.

We drove away from our Pennsylvania home on a bright and beautifully sunny day.  The loaded truck pulled slowly away from the house and the van didn't keel over, so we had a good start.  Nathaniel followed in his Ford in order to keep an eye on the van and to simply stay with us.  With the load we were hauling, we weren't going to be reaching normal highway speeds.

It didn't take long to realize that the slightest hill would slow us down.  And there are a lot of hills between southeastern PA and south-central Texas, (or, mid-Tennesee, at least)  The trailer had a giant warning sticker cautioning us not to exceed 55 mph.  No problem there, we were doing well on the uphills to maintain 35 mph.  And that was on the highway.

No worries, we had planned an "extra" day into our drive.  What would take 3 days in a car we gave 4 days with the truck.  Good thing.

Early in the summer Nathaniel and I drove to and from West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in southwestern Virginia, stopping in Lexington Virginia for an hour or two before finishing the drive back to our home in PA.  That last leg had taken maybe 4 hours, and I was hoping to stop in Lexington again to do some last sightseeing before leaving this region of the country altogether.  As the truck chugged along the Interstate, and traffic was passing us as if we were standing still, that dream began to wither on the vine.

I realize now why Penske paints their trucks bright yellow, it's to give drivers traveling at normal speeds a highly visible target for passing on the highway.

To help the time pass we had packed music and audiobook cd's in the cab of the truck.  Kate made up some disks of special music for us to enjoy, so I popped one of them into the player.  Between the loudly growling truck engine directly in front of us and the rattling of the cab all around us the subtleties of the music were quickly lost.  Listening to an audiobook was equally futile.

Fortunately there was much to talk about, and the scenery was spectacular.  Driving down Interstate 81 through Virginia is a feast for the eyes.  Mountain ranges down each side, beautiful farmland in the valley in between.  We made it as far as Lexington before stopping— very late— for the night.


The next morning we got started early and went to see the few things that we had hoped to see from the very beginning.  The campus of the Virginia Military Institute is nestled right in the center of the historic old town and we found a parking spot as cadets were swarming to classes.  I say "swarming," but they were all  mindfully respectful of everyone on the sidewalks.

***Public Service Announcement***

Several weeks have flown by since I began this newsy post about our move.  In the interim I have forgotten many details, found other things about which I would like to write, but didn't because I was procrastinating wrapping this post up, and we have moved into the Christmas season and many activities which I will also forget if I continue procrastinating.  

I will hereby hastily conclude this unfinished post in order to clear the way for a clearer head and a lighter conscience regarding my blog.  For those who must know how this story ends, here is a link to the Facebook album with all the photos which show what words can't tell:

My apologies for the interruption.  Thank you.

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