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Driving to Alaska: Day 1

May 4, 2010

Greetings from Grand Forks, ND!! Today was the 3rd day of our drive, but I’m breaking this up into a few posts, so I don’t bore you with all of the details all at once. 🙂 We originally planned to cross into Canada tonight, but we decided to stop early somewhere we were familiar with, because the weather has been a little crazy. So instead, we will cross the border when it’s daylight tomorrow morning.

The last week has been a complete whirlwind!! We packed everything last week, and on Friday we were all over the place finishing up paperwork, running some errands, and picking up the UHAUL and car trailer (getting them into our driveway was a whole other adventure though…), we also had our “going away” party on Friday evening at Madra Rua. It was very hard to say goodbye to our closest friends in Charleston. Hopefully we’ll get to see a few of them up in Alaska in a year or so though! 😉

Saturday morning we got up around 6am and frantically tried to finish cramming the last few random odds and ends into boxes before the movers arrived at 9:15. We were packing/moving everything ourselves, but we hired professional movers to load the UHAUL – and boy, was it worth it!! We ended up getting a 26ft. UHAUL truck – the largest one they have. Howdy had wanted to get the next smaller size, but I convinced him we needed the larger one. When they started loading the truck I was nervous that all of our things would not fit. Howdy was sure they would fit, AND have 4-5 feet of space in the back. We were both so confident in our opinions that we made a bet on it. The winner got their choice of dinner stop one night of the trip – no complaints allowed. (As an aside, this is a big deal for us because I will almost always choose a soup/sandwich place, and Howdy always complains that I only want soup and sandwiches. On the other hand, I give him a hard time for wanting BBQ or Mexican all the time). Obviously, since this is my blog and I might not admit it otherwise, I won the bet. They couldn’t get quite a bit in there, and we did some fancy cramming/packing with the remaining things later Saturday night after my father-in-law and step-dad arrived.

We spent Saturday night and Sunday morning finishing up the last few things around the house. We fixed the holes where we had hung pictures and shelves on the walls, touched up the paint, painted the master bathroom (which we had been meaning to do forever, and it looks so good, I really wish we hadn’t waited until our last day in the house), packed the Jetta to the brim with all the “super fragile” things, and put it on the vehicle trailer attached to Howdy’s truck. There was NO WAY we could have accomplished so much of what we did, especially as quickly as it was finished, if Mike (my father-in-law) and Scott (my step-dad) had not been there to help us. They were awesome, and have truly been invaluable to us over and over again in the process of this move!

*Another Aside – Did I mention Howdy got a truck? I may have a few posts ago, but so many things have happened since then, I can’t remember. In case I didn’t tell you, I had to say goodbye to my Prius and we are now the proud owners of a truck:

We locked the doors on our first home, and drove out of our neighborhood at noon on Sunday. We went down to the base to weigh the truck and the UHAUL, as well as stop by the squadron so Howdy could pick up his last quarterly award from Charleston and show the “dads” the updated squadron bar that he designed and helped bring together. Then, of course, we had to have lunch before we left town – and I wanted one last meal at Panera Bread, since they don’t have one in Alaska. 😦 We finally made it out of Charleston around 2:00. I knew then that my original goal of getting to Lexington, KY was out of the question.

All things considered, we made good time and had perfect driving conditions for the majority of the day/evening. We were worried about the weather, because there were reports of massive thunderstorms with flooding and tornadoes going through western Tennessee and heading our way. Due to several factors, including sinus pressure, weather changes, the heat and humidity while we were moving out of our house, stress, etc… I developed a killer headache/migraine throughout the day. I was pulling out all of my usual migraine remedies, but nothing was helping. I was pretty useless the rest of the drive – I even managed to navigate us 20 miles in the wrong direction after I made hotel reservations for us. (I always have a hard time thinking straight when I have a migraine). We stopped for the night in Knoxville, TN when the rain started with a vengeance, and I ended up passing out in the room with the dogs, while the men went to Waffle House for dinner (can’t say I’m sorry I missed that one though!).

I woke up on Monday morning feeling much better, which was a good thing, because we had a FULL day of driving ahead of us!

(… to be continued) 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. lauren permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:49 am

    so excited to see an update! :o)

  2. Jill N permalink
    May 5, 2010 12:34 pm

    Very sad you left but very glad you have missed all the weather. Keep the updates coming. Fingers crossed…hopefully within the year 🙂

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