It’s been a long journey flying back and forth to see each other for more than a year, but my fiance officially moved here!
Memorial Day weekend was an extra long weekend for us because we were making the trek from Denver to the Bay Area.
After exploring a number of options, we decided it was most cost effective to rent a 16′ Penske truck, hitch her car to the back, and then make the long drive home.
We thought loading the truck would be easy, but it turned into a difficult task. There was no easy way to hold doors leaving my fiance’s apartment, so we had to hold it open every time we came down with stuff.
Then there was the heat. A heat wave decided to hit Denver the weekend we were moving, and it hit 85 degrees by 10:00 am of dry, summer heat.
It was definitely a good idea getting the next truck size up. We didn’t have to play Tetris and we were able to make a walkway to the rear.
We finished a day of loading by 4:00 pm on Friday, and then we got ready for dinner with her coworkers for one last hoorah.
We went to Hop Alley, which I’d describe as Chinese American fusion food with hip hop music playing in the background. The team let me do the honor of ordering everyone food, so I ordered the most appetizing and expensive items on the menu lol.
We got up early Saturday morning, and started loading as we felt the sun rise and dry heat hit us. We managed to finish loading everything by 11:00 am, and headed to Penske to get her car hitched. It was the first time either of us had to tow something.
The guy at Penske (who was really chill) showed me how to hitch the auto transport. Theresa drove her car on board, then I put the straps on the front tires and ratcheted them down. The last step was to hook up the chains to the rear axle as a safety measure.
I was nervous as hell when we left the Penske parking lot. I was now driving a 16′ truck with an auto transport hitched to the back. Luckily, I took things slow and after a while I got used to it.
I never appreciated Colorado much until we got to Wyoming, and Google maps decided to take me on a “short cut” which ended up being an unpaved, bumpy road.
I hope I never have to drive through Wyoming again with the exception of visiting Yellowstone.
Theresa taking over the next shift.
Fillin it up Big Bertha somewhere in Wyoming.
It took us about 10 1/2 hours to get from Denver to Salt Lake City. That includes us pulling over to get a late lunch, dinner, and gas. We were never sure when we’d see the next gas station, so we pumped gas around 1/3 of a tank just to be safe.
We managed to find a Ramada in Salt Lake City not far from the I-80 that was recently remodeled. We tried parking in a spot reserved for buses but we were too long. You should’ve seen me to do a few 3-point turns in the parking lot with this thing.
The front desk clerk was kind enough to come out and let us park along side the building.
The next morning, we had our free continental breakfast, got ready and then got back on the road with Big Bertha.
Salt Lake City is definitely a place I want to come back to. I wish we had time to pull over and touch the Salt Flats, but we couldn’t afford it going 65 mph for the duration of the trip.
After about 4 hours, we arrived in Nevada. Nevada is sooooo typical. As soon as we got to the border, we saw billboards for gambling lol.
Around 4-5 hours later, we saw Reno in which we originally planned to stay for one night and rest. We said Fuck it, and kept driving to get home.
Welcome Home. Westside!!!
I was a little nervous because we were supposed to stop at Weigh Stations in Nevada and California. We got lucky in Nevada because all the weigh stations were closed, but when we entered California, we saw our first active weigh station.
We followed a semi truck that was in front of us, and realized how easy it is. You pull in and drive 5-10 mph over the scale, and then you exit.
The next stop was the California Inspection Station, in which I knew we had to stop because Theresa was bringing her house plants from Denver.
It was really easy. The ranger tells you to pull over, and then she comes over and inspects your plants with a flashlight to check for any bugs.
Here’s the form you get after you pass inspection
You don’t realize this until you drive through other states, but drivers in the Midwest are generally a lot nicer. They don’t cut you off. They signal. They don’t stay in the passing lane.
Then you enter CA, and no one gives a fuck that you’re driving a 16′ foot truck and need to merge onto the freeway. For me, it’s a good way to say Welcome Home Phil lol.
We didn’t get back to my place until around 11:45 pm. We were both tired and irritable, but were finally home.
The next morning we felt so much better. It was Memorial Day, and luckily Penske was open for a few hours so we could get the auto transport off the truck.
Made it home in one piece (above)
The Penske dude was chill and showed me how to remove the auto transport. The part he’s holding is a jack, and you jack off the auto transport from the tow hitch.
The next day, we headed to Public Storage near our new apartment (we had about a week before we could officially move in) to unload the truck.
Lil Moolah in our empty storage unit
Officially a Bay Area resident!