Keepin' It Real - The Trip to Colorado (posted by Lani)
In the spirit of full disclosure for those of you who might someday consider a cross-country move from sealevel to a snowy, high-altitude location in the winter, I decided to give you an abridged version of the FUN FUN FUN we've been having over the past couple of weeks, as we moved from Norfolk to The Frozen Mountaintop here in Colorado. First of all, some details: we moved from pretty much sealevel to pretty much, um, well, a mountaintop. Here's a picture taken from our back porch ... beyond the lake, beyond the mountains beyond the lake, you can vaguely see the plains, and ... I think that's maybe Longmont, which is northeast-ish of Boulder. Or it could be the western part of Boulder. Anyway, that represents civilization.
The frozen part? Yeah. Frozen. Definitely frozen. When I got up the other morning it was -1, -17 with windchill. I hear it was colder the next day, but I've started avoiding the thermometer like the plague because in cases like this ignorance definitely is bliss. Our altitude here is roughly 8600 feet, give or take a few feet. We've fortunately had very little in the way of altitude sickness, but definitely can feel it in shortness of breath and headaches if we over-exert -- and over-exertion is, of course, the name of the game when you're moving. We get a lot of snow, and a lot of wind.
So! Back to the moving. Really the least said about the move itself, at least my end of it, the better. The drive out wasn't too bad really. I mean 30 hours, alone in a car with a dog, 3 cats, and a bird. How bad could it be? Don't answer that. You really don't want to know. Truthfully it was all good for about 26 hours. Unfortunately, right about when I hit the Colorado state line, the cats rebelled. They were OVER this traveling thing. Done with it. They'd had enough, and they didn't care who knew it. I was only 4 hours out so I kept driving, occasionally pulling over to peel a cat off my head, the dashboard, the headliner of the car, the dog, another cat, you name it. After giving it a while in hopes that they'd calm down I finally pulled over and slammed all three cats into their carriers; they were caterwauling already, they might as well do it from jail.
Finally, on the horizon -- look, there's Denver! I'm almost there! Except, of course, for the construction on the only route I had directions to take to get to our house. BAD BAD BAD construction. And it's dark. And I'm tired and stressed. I said bad words, a LOT of bad words, and negotiated the mess (and mess it was). And then ... I was lost. I had no flipping clue where I was, but it was on a little, dark, two-lane road with no signs. I wasn't about to go back into the Construction Zone From Hell, so I kept driving until I saw a 24-hour gas station, and stopped to ask directions from a very very nice gentleman who agreed with me that MapQuest directions were good only for starting fires. Fortunately, MapQuest's best efforts notwithstanding, I was actually on the right road and only a couple of miles from the turn onto the Home Stretch.
And finally, I pulled into the driveway here at The Frozen Mountaintop at we-won't-say-what-time am, got out of the car, took a couple of steps, and sank knee-deep into the snow. A couple more steps and I was thigh-deep in the snow. Back up ... regroup ... OK, I see a path. A little, narrow path. I negotiate it safely, scare Steve to death (he didn't expect me until the next day), we get the cats out of the Torture Machine, and wait for the movers.
Oh yeah -- those unhappy cats: They've recovered. (Jasmine was sacked out on the rug next to the chair, but I couldn't manage to get her into the picture. We'll just let Hunter and Onyx speak for her.)
And obviously, given the chair the cats are lounging on, the movers got here right on schedule. Steve our driver was fabulous. Even when the moving van got stuck in the snow in the driveway, and we all (driver-Steve, his unloading crew, and me) had to dig and dig and dig and then he backed up and tried to get out again and the truck slid sideways again and we had to dig and dig and dig again, and then he backed up and tried to get out again and ... are you seeing a pattern here? Moving vans are, by the way, much more work to dig out of snowdrifts than your average car. We all did a lot of cussing and a lot of digging and I sacrificed both of my rubber doormats to the cause, and I do wish I'd taken pictures but at the time all I was thinking about was the possibility of having a moving van instead of a garden gnome in the front yard, unexpected guests until spring. Eventually I'm glad to say that our hard work paid off, and driver-Steve and his helpers were off leaving me with a house full of boxes. Little plug here: we used Bekins for this move, and they were fantastic from start to finish. Especially driver-Steve, who kept in touch with us along the way so we'd know exactly when to expect him and was just a thoroughly nice guy.