hello, part one

How about that? We made it to Colorado with minimal death and destruction. 

I can’t lie, it was really hard to leave our home. Harder than I imagined it would be. I had prepared myself for weeks, months, and when it finally arrived I was an absolute wreck. We spent the last night in our empty little house, save for our bed and the coffee maker, and when it was time to go to sleep I just stood in the barren living room and cried in the dark, and I couldn’t really stop. I could barely function to pack the remainder of the items the following morning; the beau hustled around doing the majority of the work himself.

Thanks for that, beau.

I feel have so much to tell you about our move, and yet so little. What is there to say? There was a truck, there was the relentless hum of the road. There was the carrying of boxes, and the unfamiliarity of a new apartment. There’s no story here you haven’t lived yourself. 

Except, you know me. I always have to tell all the details. 

But you know what? Maybe this time I should just show you the rest. 

I have here a collection of badly composed, heavily filtered cell phone photos from our travels. For those who would cluck at me for using a phone while driving, let me assure you that most of the photos were taken while we were either 1) stopped in traffic or 2) one of the few vehicles on the road. Which totally doesn’t make it okay, but come on, I had VERY IMPORTANT THINGS to document.

Like this. The following was the very first picture I took on the trip. You would think the first photo would have been at our starting point, as we were leaving Santa Barbara, but no. I was too upset at the time to consider the fine, delicate art of linear storytelling. So this was taken on the 210 somewhere east of Glendora, and is notable because that was the point, two hours into the trip, when I finally stopped bawling and started being distracted by blindly shooting photos out the window of my car. What fun life is!

I love how the road looks warped. Welcome into the Inland Empire, hope U enjoy UR sta–AUUUUUUGHHHH.

Here is what driving out of LA and into the desert behind a Penske truck looks like:

And here is what passing a semi in a Penske truck looks like:

I can’t look at any of these photos without feeling massively uncomfortable, because in my anticipation of cooler weather later in the trip I’d dressed in pants, and it ended up being 90 mother-effing degrees in the desert that day. Since I have no air conditioning in my car, I had to just roll down the windows and drive leaning forward so my back didn’t touch the seat, moaning softly to myself. For miles, and miles, and miles.

OH, so when we were approaching Nevada I decided: wouldn’t it be great to have photos of the truck with all our belongings crossing each state line? That would be SO MEANINGFUL.

Except… I pulled the trigger a little too early. Plus, it turns out the “Welcome to Nevada” sign leaves a lot to be desired. That tiny smear of reddish orange off in the distance, to the right of the almost-indistinct Chevron sign? That is it. That is all there is. 

So this is basically a picture saying, “WELCOME TO PRIMM VALLEY CASINO RESORTS.”

Here is an unspectacular view of the Penske truck in Las Vegas, and approaching Arizona.

I did better with the sign timing coming into Arizona, except it was just after sunset and so the photo got all blurry. Curses! Then I missed the Utah one completely, because it was already dark by the time we crossed that state line. Damn my lack of continuity!

Around here is when we realized the clock had lurched forward an hour, so we found ourselves at 9:00 p.m. local time dining at a Taco Bell in St. George, Utah. While getting back on the freeway we then proceeded to accidentally get separated by a stoplight, and so our three-vehicle convoy temporarily became two. I slowed the pace to about 55 to allow our beloved yellow truck to catch back up, but even still, it was about 15 minutes before I finally spotted it in my rearview. So, lesson learned for next time: just drive straight through all the red lights.

We hadn’t made hotel reservations for the first night because we wanted to see how far we could make it. It was almost midnight when we finally pulled into Richfield, Utah. The Days Inn was one of the few hotels in that town with any vacancy, which I thought was odd for a middle-of-nowhere location, even if it was a Friday night. As we were checking in we couldn’t help but notice all the teenagers milling around the lobby, manhandling the vending machine, shrieking and sprinting up and down the steps. My friend tentatively approached the desk clerk.

“Is it possible to get rooms away from the kids?” she asked. His brown eyes held hers for a a long beat. He looked very tired.

“It’s the Future Farmers of America, they’re having a state convention here. There is nowhere you can go in this town to get away from them.”

Okay then.

That’s all right, though. Because our rooms provided us plenty enough distraction from the high-schoolers:

The television didn’t have a remote, there was wallpaper with a wheat pattern in the corner, and the sheets were like fine-grain sandpaper. Even in my dead-tired road haze, it took forever to fall asleep. I kept thinking something was crawling on me, and I kept staring in mild alarm at an unexplainable white shape on the ceiling in what was otherwise a dark room.

So. That was our first day.

I will have another installment for day number two, which will thrill absolutely no one but me and my fervent need for documentation.

3 Responses to “hello, part one”

  1. Are you sure that’s a TV? It looks sort of like a toaster oven. Those crafty Utah folks, passing off broken appliances as remote-less TVs. Or, you may have documented the last remaining place in America where the TVs don’t have remote controls!

    I am glad you made it to Denver in one piece. Now the question is, did you get a picture of the Penske truck crossing into Colorado?

  2. I remember the first time I made this trek (from Arizona, not CA), but still. I’m glad you made it okay, and I hope you’re settling in. I was a mess just moving from our little Christmas house 15 miles away to our new house (that we BOUGHT), so I totally understand your meltdown.

  3. Those truck photos made me laugh very hard.

    Farmer’s Convention? You couldn’t have made that up.

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