Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Road Trip: Part One


The view from my living room.
Now that I am moving to Korea, I have to make a few lifestyle changes. The major one is not having a car anymore. I've had one since I was 18. The other one is not having Catface Meowmers by my side. That really hurts. I have had him for nearly two years now. I will write a longer post about him later, hopefully in the next couple of days. But for now I think I'll describe how I altered these two aspects of my life.

The plan, as brilliant as it was simple, was to drive from Portland, Oregon to El Paso, Texas in three days, taking both Catface and the car to live there. My brother lived with me when I first got Catface, so that works out. My sister needs a car, so that works out. Perfect.

The day before leaving I went to Midas on 99W to have the car checked out. $585 later... the car was ready to go. Parts of the brakes were replaced. The oil was changed. I hate paying to have the oil changed since it is so easy, but my apartment does not allow us to do it here, so I took it in. It is not big deal in the long run, but, man, that is a lot of money to spend. I guess it was more important for me to get to my destination in one piece than to save money. I applied for financing there. It is a horrible, horrible APR, though I should be able to pay it off next month in full.

Everything we own
By Friday, I was nearly ready to leave. First I had to finish taking the rest of Jackie's and my stuff to our storage unit. The place is great and quiet. I love hanging out there. I loaded up the car with her art and the last of our dishes. It took a bit longer down there than I expected (that's what she said). When we come back to live in the United States years from now, this storage space will serve the function of a time capsule. It will certainly be exciting to open it up and see all the things we collected in, what I am sure will feel like, a previous life.

I then went to Safeway to pick up some snacks for the trip. Commenting on the Pringles I was purchasing led an older lady to ask me about my trip. She left after telling me she was praying that "angels surround your car and guide you safely on your journey." That was nice of her. I left there and grabbed some Sonic for lunch/dinner. I had yet to eat.

The goal was to drive about ten hours the first day and sleep in the Walmart parking lot in Jerome, Idaho again. I had done that on the way up and it worked out swell. This time I left at 5 p.m. though. The drive alongside the Columbia River Gorge was marked by a severe sense of regret for not spending any time exploring the area. It was my intention while driving through the first time to check it out. Oh well. I passed by the giant factory that had seemed so intimidating last time. It did not as much now, but the thing reminded me of the furnace (Was it a furnace? I can't exactly remember) from Home Alone. The thing just looks scary.

Not that you can tell from this picture or anything...
Catface did a bit better this trip than the last one. He still hid under my seat for a good portion of the drive, but he also spent time in my lap and in his carrier. It took about an hour and a half for him to adjust to the moving vehicle. Every time I would stop he would come out of hiding and want to be petted. I would oblige.


I eventually arrived in Jerome very late. The good thing was I discovered the McDonalds inside had free wi-fi. This is the first time I have had a laptop, so the whole "looking for wi-fi" thing is rather new to me. I rearranged the inside of the car while last week's episode of The Office played on Hulu. Finally I went to sleep at around five in the morning. The next day I had to drive 14.5 hours. It did not help that I lost an hour thanks to the time zone change. This suddenly seemed like terrible planning and I regretted my decisions from the previous couple of days.

The next day would be a long one for sure...

[Here it is Part Two. And here is Part Three]
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