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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Moving to the Midwest - the Nitty Gritty

    About two or three years ago, my husband and I decided to move to central Missouri when the time came for me to retire from a long teaching career. This was that year.

    Back in late March and early April, we made a road trip to jumpstart the moving process by finding a rental house in which to live. That was the start of the entire planning process for the move: getting our house sold, how to get our household goods and vehicles to the new area, and more. As soon as we arrived back in Southern California, the research online began, and phone calls made. We talked to our realtor, interviewed commercial movers and got quotes from them, got quotes from U-Haul, talked to specialty item movers (i.e. piano movers) and got quotes. Fortunately, I had a student teacher this past semester who was quite capable, and my students got used to hearing my phone ring in the middle of lessons.

    Our house sold before it officially went on the market, in an "off market" sale. It was a 30-day escrow and we got a rent-back to allow us to stay in the house until we could get moved. We hired movers for piano, household goods, and decided how to get us from Point A to Point B. Here's what we came up with:

    Household goods - commercial moving company, affiliate of North American Van Lines. Top notch ratings.
    Piano - Modern Piano Movers. After hiring them, we find out that they are based down near St Louis.
    Vehicles - our pickup would tow our older sedan, 4 wheels up, on a U-Haul auto transport. Hubby would drive said pickup. I would drive the newer sedan. We would take 4 days to get us from Point A to Point B.

    We also had one thing we hadn't planned on: the need to have our house "termite tented". This means that you bag all of your food (in cabinets, refrigerator and freezer) and move out of the house for 2-3 nights, so that Vikane gas can be blown into your house to kill all the termites (and lots of other bugs). We moved across the road to a local Best Western. It was challenging to pack a lunch to-go from a hotel room, but I managed to go to work through that.

    As we have said on this forum many, many times, a moving trip is NOT the time to go sightseeing. This is especially true if you are towing anything like another auto, U-Haul trailer, or just driving a U-Haul truck (with or without an auto transport or trailer behind it). After deciding how to move and reserving/hiring needed trucks and people, we had to start planning our own trip. Having any type of longer vehicle combination means you should look for lodging that says "Bus/Truck parking" and easy off/easy on to the highway you are traveling along. It means not planning excessively long days. (As I share my road trip report here, you will see exactly why.) So we definitely went with reservations for hotels!

    This thread will be continued with more details.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-04-2021 at 06:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Moving Preparation

    T minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    On Thursday, June 24, we had to pack ourselves out for our eastern trip. Commercial movers cannot take certain items, so we had to make room for all of those things in one of our 3 vehicles while still watching vehicular weight. We also had to have our road trip stuff packed in the vehicles so that the commercial packers would not pack an essential road trip item (like our pillows and pool towels).

    On Friday, June 25, our commercial packers arrived with a van full of boxes and other packing materials. We decided to go this route since I was teaching up until a week before this. They took about 8 or 9 hours to fully pack us out, though they left out a few things by accident. After pack out, we moved back to the Best Western where we'd stayed a month earlier, during termite tenting.

    We were supposed to have a 2nd day of pack-out, on the 26th, but that didn't really need to happen. So we had the weekend to start wiping out the insides of the now-empty cabinets and cupboards, cleaning floors that weren't covered by stacked boxes, etc.

    On Monday, June 28, the 53' truck arrived. The driver supervised while his loaders did all the heavy work. About 3 hours into the load, we left them to do their thing while we took the pickup and the sedan down to U-Haul. Even on a Monday, they were busy, and they added to the stress of moving when they "couldn't find your auto transport trailer". It turns out, it was there, it just hadn't been checked back in properly when it was returned. Whew! It was well over an hour by the time we returned to our home, and the moving van trailer was still being loaded. It took them until almost 5 pm before it was loaded, and we were given an estimated arrival date on the other end as "the 8th or 9th".

    I will place photos in a separate post in this thread.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-04-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Photos from Moving Preparation

    If you've never seen a house wearing a tent (common in the south and southwest, where certain types of termites thrive), here's your chance:


    The professional shipment of a console piano, by the best-rated piano moving company in the US:


    The van bearing boxes and other packing materials:


    The truck got its auto transport and its transportee, a Pontiac sedan:


    The North American moving van took up the neighbor's street parking, our house street parking, and covered our driveway. We had to get the vehicles moved to another place before they arrived!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Road Trip Day 1, Tuesday, June 29

    Tuesday, June 29 -

    This morning, just after 7, we took a last look at the house (outside) where we had lived for 29+ years, and by 7:10, we were on our way. My husband took the lead, usually, with me behind him. It wasn't too bad to make it up to Lake Elsinore. Traffic would get heavy (but still moving) around CA-91, CA-60, I-10, CA-210, but would ease off in between. It was nearing 10 when we pulled into Lenwood area of Barstow for a late breakfast at IHOP.

    The sky was overcast until about the time we were midway between Barstow and Needles. When the sun came out it was brutal, 110. Once we started the climb into Kingman, it started to get cooler again.

    I had gotten gas for my car in Barstow leaving hubby in the parking lot at IHOP. Then in Kingman we stopped to get fuel for the truck but couldn't get into a reasonably priced station. We had to pay $3.99 a gallon in Arizona. In retrospect, Love's and Pilot in Arizona were running $3.49.

    Despite long upgrades, the truck's tranny rode comfortable. It was the fuel mileage that stunk at 12.5/mpg. Ugh! On the other hand, the Focus was getting over 40/mpg. So not too bad!

    We pulled into the Quality Inn East Flagstaff around 5:20 pm. After unloading everything into the room, in a drizzle, we drove over to Outback for dinner. Figured we should enjoy one decent dinner on the trip, as there doesn't seem to be much in either Tucumcari or Claremont (our other planned stops).

    This was about a 500 mile day in about 10 hours.

    The view I got most every day (as the tail dog):


    Parking at the rest area with "the big boys" (the Focus is parked behind our truck/AT combo):



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Wednesday, June 30

    Wednesday, June 30, Day 2-

    We got up early, had a leisurely cup of coffee in the room and then got ready to leave. We pulled out at 7:10. The drive to Holbrook was easy, about 80 miles, and we pulled into the Maverick station there for fuel for both rigs and to pick up ice.

    The trials of the day included 4 sections of construction, two of which caused lengthy delays. The first one delayed us about 20 minutes while miles of eastbound traffic played Zipper into one lane. The second and third weren't so delayed. We stopped for lunch at Milan, at the Iron Skillet there, and moved on, figuring we were going to hit Albuquerque at early rush hour.

    ABQ wasn't bad at all. Just normal daytime traffic, it didn't seem “rush hour hectic”. In the mountains east of ABQ, though, we came into lots of traffic and a horrendous rainstorm. I was literally following hubby's taillights, and I'm sure he was following someone else's. We were thankful when the rain eased off as we pulled into Moriarty.

    We were around Clines Corners when the 4th, and most horrible, construction delay came upon us. Traffic came to a standstill and we didn't move for at least 10 minutes. We finally started crawling around. I edged over in each direction to see what could be seen (just a lot more cars ahead). My husband got on the CB and all he could get out of it was that it was a construction delay that was made worse by the rainstorms of the day. We were delayed about an hour with that one.

    We fueled up again at a little Sinclair station just west of Santa Rosa. They did not have inside toilets – only a couple of porta-potties. Well, they don't charge as much for their fuel ($2.86 for diesel and $2.99 for regular) so I guess we can't really complain about it much. Everyone else was in the $3.30 range for diesel.

    Tucumcari was a welcome sight. Our reservations were at the Quality Inn. Last night's Quality needed a lot more TLC, though it was clean and the bed was comfortable. This one looked like a revamped Holiday Inn, with large windows, an outdoor pool in the center of the property. The room is MUCH larger than last night's, and the price will probably end up about $10 less.

    There was a restaurant inside – not much to write about. I had the New Mexico Green Chili Cheeseburger and a bowl of refried beans. Hubby had chicken fried steak which he said was pretty bland.

    Afterwards, we took the Focus and drove through Tucumcari. What used to be a vibrant town right on US-66, is now a depressed, sad looking town. So many buildings were falling down, boarded up, or just looked abandoned. So many older motels were completely shut down, while a few other historical ones (including the Blue Swallow with its garages) looked like they were still a going concern. We saw the Circle K and stopped in there for candy (for hubby) and a new jar of Coffeemate. Then headed back to the room.

    It was another 500 mile day, but it took us 11-1/2 hours, not including the time change.

    Sitting still in that long, long construction delay :



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Thursday, July 1st

    Day 3 - Thursday, July 1st

    We left around 6:55 am MDT this morning and within a few miles, we were in Central Time. Getting into Amarillo, we decided to take a chance on parking and try Cracker Barrel. Yay, great parking, good food, and good service.

    We drove and drove, through the rest of Texas and into Oklahoma. Our fuel stop was in Weatherford, at the same station where we'd fueled back in the spring. Still, we looked out at the sky in the distance and those clouds looked mean.

    Those clouds were exactly that. It started to rain about 10 miles out of Weatherford, and it was horrendous downpours for 15 or so miles. It was to the point of following tail lights, like yesterday outside of Albuquerque.

    We breezed through Oklahoma City, making all the interchanges to get from I-40 to I-44 and stay on it. The turnpike began, which was very busy traffic, but nothing obnoxious. I was getting worried about possibly hitting Tulsa during Rush Hour, and especially that awful intersection with construction that we'd hit not quite 3 months ago. Well, Tulsa was a non-issue! Outside of Tulsa, we got off on OK-66 and headed NE through Catoosa into Claremore.

    We overnighted at Holiday Inn Express Claremore. It's a nice place. We enjoyed the pool and then went out to dinner. The gal sent us to a place called Hammett House, but it was closed until July 7. Tried the Golden Corral, only to find that this location had closed permanently. Finally ended up at Chili's.

    This was another 500 mile day, but because of the lack of issues, we made it in about 9-1/2 hours.

    Most, but not all, Cracker Barrels have RV parking. Here we are, utilizing it. My car was parked in regular parking.


    The best fuel mileage I have ever seen on my Focus! (taken while sitting still at a light):



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Friday, July 2

    Day 4 - Friday, July 2 - We arrive in our new home!

    An awful sound woke us from a sound sleep at 5:27 am this morning. It was the smoke alarms of the hotel, bringing back memories of Whiskey Pete's in Primm. I called down to the desk to find that it was a false alarm, so we didn't leave. The alarm shut down about 4 minutes later, but not until most of the hotel occupants were wide awake and many had made their way downstairs. Then it went off again about 10 minutes later. It appears their ovens misfired.

    We had leisurely coffee, breakfast at their breakfast room (which was late due to the oven problems), and were packed and on our way by 8:10.

    It was a lovely day for driving and arriving in our new state. We got ice at the first service plaza on the toll road. It took 2 exits and 3 stations to finally get fuel for both cars, but it worked out in our favor. Then we took Exit 18 from I-44 in MO, and headed north on I-49 to Nevada (about 60 miles). At Nevada, we took US-54 another 115 miles to our new (rental) house. Home!

    Our daughter and granddaughters came over to greet us, making us welcome in "our new home" though we weren't going to be able to stay there for awhile.

    We unloaded a little, then drove over to Magic Dragon Motors (the U-Haul dealer) to drop the car transport and retrieve our Grand Prix. It took us a while because he was a one-man operation and we were right after a man who'd driven up from Rolla to get a truck to take back to Rolla and then on to Oklahoma. Also, we really didn't know how to disconnect the car so we needed his (Les) help.

    After dropping the trailer, we drove back to the house in two cars, did some more unloading. Then took only the truck to the motel, leaving the two sedans in the garage.

    This motel has gone downhill in 3 years. It used to be an Econo Lodge with a pool, continental breakfast. Now, the pool is closed, no breakfast, Internet stinks, the sink faucets are reversed. It's OYO at the Lake, now. Same owner, and my assumption that he just changed the name was wrong. The pool is closed for many reasons. I guess business is slow to pick up and OYO does not require continental breakfast. We are also in a double queen room, instead of a king, but I remember him saying that he only had a double queen available for the whole week. We just paid for the weekend and told him we'd find out on Monday about the arrival of our goods. (In reality, we already know that they may arrived on the 8th or 9th.)

    We went to our daughter's for dinner. While there, we made arrangements to move to another place on Monday through Friday, since we'd already paid for the stay here through Monday morning. We also paid most of the bills from her place, where the Internet was great, and far more secure than a hotel Internet (especially one that was as quirky as this one is).

    Getting the two vehicles separated. I'm sure if they were human, they were both saying, "I'm free! I'm free!" after that happened.



  8. Default

    Glad you made it to your new home destination and thank you for taking us on your journey. You are totally correct about a moving road trip is a totally different travel experience than a vacation road trip!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada


    Congratulations on a safe journey.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Exactly...

    It's always the Nitty or the Gritty that makes a trip. Thanks for the details.


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