If you’ve read my last 4Runner specific post or any of the Sequoia posts you probably are aware that this whole operation is moving and not just down the street. We were on a month to month lease after the first year of being in our location so when PAR Electric made the push to get us off of the property that we have been “sharing” for the last year, there wasn’t much we could do. We weren’t offered to stay at a higher rate, it was just “oh, here’s your 30 day notice”.
We made the move to Dixon two years ago because we were basically out of options in the Bay Area. Between the zoning and asinine thinking you aren’t left with many options. We did look around the usual websites for both Bay Area and Sacramento, but our commute was already 100 miles each way on the weekdays, so I wasn’t looking to add much more to that. We had already talked about sending some of the cars to live with “grandma” just to make space, so we quickly came to the conclusion that we were headed in that direction. We browsed a few places online and I had my mom do a little leg work in Omaha to check out some locations in person. One phone call later we had a space secured. Maybe that’s why they call it “the good life”. It only took a single phone call to accomplish what takes months in the bay.
Friday May 10th 2019
Originally I wanted to use the Sequoia to tow and haul and try to take some burden off the 4Runner. The math was not on the side of the 4Runner. We started off the day hunting down U-Haul Trailers. We need a 6×12 open and a 6×12 enclosed. The U-Haul website confirmed the rental for one location which had neither. We ended up going in opposite directions to two different locations to get both trailers.
We got the enclosed trailer full of what I think was around 90 18 gallon totes before turning our attention to the open trailer. That’s when we noticed that 4 out of 6 D-rings were missing. We made a trip to the tractor supply to grab some replacements, but it was a simple swap. Of course its only made more complicated when most of your equipment is already disabled and packed. We were eventually triumphant and got the majority of the tool boxes loaded up for an early morning start.
Saturday May 11th 2019
With a late night on Friday we were lucky to be up and on the road by 8AM. Everything was going well enough until we started to climb. The 4Runner lost a relay and was only using one of the electric fans which just isn’t enough to keep up. While the replacement relay sat trapped somewhere inside the enclosed trailer and all of my tools were buried in the open I used the 4Runner’s tools kit roadside to rig up some constant power for the fan. We just needed to pop the hood an unplug it when the truck was off or not climbing. Not inconvenient at all, hashtag eye roll. The good news is we made it to the Jimmy Johns in Reno just in time for an early lunch. Put one in the win column!
The rest of the day was a blur of gas stops and one off highway stop for a quick sandwich dinner. Somewhere around 11pm we gave in to sleep and pulled over just outside of Salt Lake City and slept in the front seats of the 4Runner. Things were just to jam packed to deploy the bed, and I was too nervous about the tool boxes in the open trailer to hit the hotel button. One night won’t kill us though.
A standard hitch adapter places the U-Haul trailer too tall to allow the swing out to work on the 4X Innovations rear bumper. We had to squeeze between and go through the back window to gain access inside the 4Runner. You have been warned. Get a different trailer or a hitch adapter with more drop.
Sunday May 12th 2019
Sunday Funday my ass. I woke up just after 5 AM (again) in the front seat of the 4Runner. There was no time to waste though. I stumbled back to the Sequoia and off we went. Other than a quick stop for some brushing of the fuzzy teeth, and breaks for fuel it was non stop driving.
Well at least until Runza territory was reached. We stopped in Sidney (lead photo) for some lunch and Seward (above) for some dinner. While I could probably eat that Number 6 double cheeseburger and fries everyday for the rest of my life, Jamie has been exploring the menu a bit more. At least it makes for some good photos options for me.
It was around 11Pm when we rolled up to grandma’s house and confused the neighbors with our “moving trucks”.
Monday May 13th 2019
Sign here please. The good news is we officially have a new home for the cars, tools, equipment, etc. The better news is in addition to not freaking out about cars inside a building, we actually are able to starting moving in now when we don’t technically start paying until the 1st. That’s 2 in the win column, not that we’re counting.
Just after 5pm we rolled the trucks in and started unloading. Four short hours later we were done. And the trucks were unloaded too. We left the 4Runner and the trailer from Sequoia in the shop and headed to find some food, and grab some sleep.
Tuesday May 14th 2019
No time to sleep in, we packed up everything and headed back to the shop. We had to make a stop by an auto parts store to grab an oil drain pan and some wiper blades for the Sequoia, but then it was straight to the shop.
We finished up a bit of vehicle maintenance, and hung up my newly acquired “don’t touch my shit” sign, and were back on the road by 10AM.
Another Runza stop in Kearney, and several gas stops later and we found ourselves in “Little America” Wyoming sleeping in the back of the very empty Sequoia.
Wednesday May 15th 2019
5Am and we’re up and driving. No photos, no fun stops, just get back to Dixon to grab the next load. We arrived back “home” around 9pm.
Thursday May 16th 2019
Still moving just in a slightly different direction. The cars are moving to Nebraska, but sadly we are not. I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on my day job just yet, and neither is Jamie. Both jobs are in San Jose, so with out the cars we found a cheap small studio to take to run out the clock so to speak.
While I hate the San Jose zoning board to an extent that I can’t even explain in words, whoever is planning the roads runs a really really really close second. From eliminating car lanes in favor of mostly unused bike lanes to putting a freaking median down a residential street. How they got the job is beyond me. But they did, and now we get to deal with it.
When I went to see the new place for the first time I had a hard time even finding a parking spot for the Sequoia so I knew the trailers would be a no go. We loaded as much as we could in the Sequoia even down to me not having visibility out of the right hand side of the truck and headed down with Jamie following in her car to be my right side eyes.
It took an hour and a half to run the apartment bound contents from our parking spot (yes only one) up the stairs to the apartment. Then it was the mad dash back to Dixon to talk to Affordable Auto Glass about the new windshield that the Sequoia needed after the last trip.
Friday May 17th 2019
A new day and new challenges. Got the Sequoia windshield taken care of and now its time to load some trailers and see how the trucks do at a mud bog with some heavy ass trailers. The idiots at the electric company unloaded their trucks behind our shop again and to say they lack driving finesse would be quite the understatement. I’ve been watching mud fly all day as they try to drive through the slow at WOT digging themselves into holes. If liked them in the slightest I might offer them the use of my Maxtrax.
Both trucks managed to pull their loaded down trailers through the mud and we even started getting some of the valuables hidden in the cars in preparation for transport.
Saturday May 18th 2019
We got off to an early start and early problems on Saturday. We had chances of rain for the whole trip including the night outside so we threw a tarp from Harbor Freight over the load and tied it as best we could. It didn’t even make it one exit on the freeway before the eyelets were ripped out and it was flying like a cape. With the rain on hold for now we added a stop at the next Walmart along the route and continued on.
We decided not to chance the Walmart acquired tarp until it was needed. The odd shape of the load just made tying things down tightly far too difficult.
The next stop was by our PO BOX to grab the Dragon LEDz headlight and foglight upgrades for the Sequoia. The stock lights probably were pretty decent 10 years ago, but fighting for visibility with the modern space ship looking cars something had to be done. Dragon LEDz to the rescue once again!
We took the safe “Port of Subs” option for lunch. With this much travel time you learn when to eat risky food, and when to stick with something that’s a pretty safe bet. So far Port of Subs has been a safe option to ensure what we will call comfortable traveling.
The Elko Nevada Dairy Queen is where we decided to stop for dinner before heading on into Utah for the night.
Sunday May 19th 2019
I woke up around 5:30 in the front of the Sequoia. My ass in the passengers seat, my legs over the center console, my feet in the drivers seat and my head jammed into the window. The truck was too full to recline the seats but at least I wasn’t trapped under the steering wheel in the 4Runner this time. A quick check of the weather map said we had to go now. The storm that was well behind us yesterday was catching up earlier than the 9AM prediction that I had originally heard.
And we’re off! No pics and minimal time at gas stops, but the storms is still catching us. I sped up just east of Salt Lake city but eventually had to pull over and deploy the tarp. It worked for a minute but is still flapping like it should be wearing a giant “S” logo. Then we hit Wyoming. The light rain turns into water dumping out of the sky. I get on the radio and tell Jamie to catch up when she can, and I put the Sequoia’s V8 to the test. Despite the heavy load I’m able to achieve what we’ll call a good speed to get ahead of the storm.
I’m finally ahead of the storm but not by much when I get a phone call. I’ll let Jamie take it from here:
During our 2 nd trip back to Omaha from Dixon it had a lot of surprises in store for me. I can honestly say I would never do that again. Sunday May 19 th started off fine, we took off early that morning outside Salt Lake City, so we could reach Omaha at a decent hour that day/evening. I’m not sure if you have driven I-80 through Wyoming lately this year or not, but dear lord, 80 through 90% of Wyoming is horrific right now. The potholes, the missing concrete in places, no lines painted do to the severely weathered roads, etc.
Brandon was driving ahead of me trying to beat the upcoming storm that was tailing up and the one in front of us passing through the area. I was behind, the load was rather heavy, and I was not pushing the 4Runner. As I was coming up a grade near Arlington Wyoming, it was slightly raining, then all of a sudden it was pouring rain, coming down heavy that the wipers were on full blast. I reduced my speed yet again, already in the slow lane because it was raining, and I was towing. As I crested the hill and started to descend, one of the tires on the U-Haul trailer hit a pothole, well it was enough that it caused one of the D-Rings to break, it actually broke and one of the metal storage cabinets came loose. It
caused the weight to shift and the trailer started to get tail happy and it started to fishtail. At that point going maybe 40 mph down the grade with a U-Haul trailer fishtailing, I’m holding on for dear life and the steering wheel while the trailer is swinging me around. I was beyond lucky that there were no drivers next to me or in front of me.
As I was fishtailing, the trailer is swinging the 4Runner around, I spun out and did a 180, ended up on coming to a complete stop against the guard rail on the left lane (fast lane) side of the road facing the wrong way. The trailer’s rear fender & rear tire hit the guard rail and the fender punctured the tire as we came to a stop. The rain was easing up, and I stopped screaming (I don’t scream), I saw some semi-trucks and cars coming at me, I was able to honk and flash my lights, so they knew I was there and not to hit me head on. It was close, to close to the white line and I easily could have been hit by one of them due to the conditions. Thank god one of the passer byers was a fire chief and I’m assuming he called it
in. As I looked up, I could see an on ramp about ¼ of mile to the left, thinking once all these cars and trucks pass, I could limp it over to the on ramp but would have to be very quick about it. The clearing came, I through it into drive and made a quick dash for that on-ramp. Not 10 minutes of getting off on the on-ramp, there was a Wyoming Sheriff at my door asking if I was ok, then 2 Wyoming Highway Patrolmen showed up.
I called U-Haul after I had assessed the damage and asking for roadside assistance for my blown tire. They were very kind and as helpful as they could be on the phone. Only bad news was since it was a Sunday, and I was at least 40 minutes from a U-Haul it was going to take up to 90 minutes for them to get a road side guy out to me. So, I waited, let Brandon know what was going on, play by play. One of the Highway Patrols waited with me while I waited on the U-Haul guy. It literally took him 90 minutes to get to me.
The U-Haul guy got there, looked at the tire and had it fixed in a few minutes. He didn’t check any of the other tires or the trailer as a whole, he just did what he was told and got me back on the road. He had to use the hook on the truck to pull out the fender, it was still pushed in and he said would puncture the tire again if he didn’t. After he did that, I was back on the road. Something didn’t’ feel right if I went above 55 mph, it still wanted to fish tail, so I kept it under 55. As I was going up the incline of a new hill, I ran out of gas, thank god for the Rotopax’s on the 4Runner. I was able to put in 2 gallons and get to a gas station 11 miles from there.
Pulled into the gas station, waited a minute, they only had 3 pumps working and pparently everyone else was out of gas as well. Filled up and was back on the road. I tired to open the door on the trailer, but it was jammed shut. So, I got back on the road. Still wasn’t right, was still fishtailing above 55 which had me freaked out. Called Brandon yet again to let him know, took it slow as he was waiting for me in Sidney. He originally turned around and started to head back but told him to stay put after I got the tire fixed.
Well, I made it through Laramie, started up the grade to get out of there, and what do I see in the rear view mirror, smoke coming off one of the trailer tires on the driver’s side this time. I immediately pull over and get out and yep, the tire blew on the opposite side of the trailer again. Tire #2, so irritating! So, I had to call U-Haul again, and they thought that it was still the first tire, so I had to explain what happened. This time they said it would be 60-90 minutes, they had to find someone since it was after 5pm and the U-Hauls were closed. They had to call someone on call, who had to go to the U-Haul store and get a spare tire set before they could get out to me. Mind you, I’m sitting there waiting, called Brandon again, and it’s snowing this time. Great.
The U-Haul driver showed up in 20 minutes this time, a new guy. Was so nice and helpful, had the tire changed in no time flat, and he checked all the tires, the connections, anything he could to make sure I was safe this time. He gave the ok to get back on the road. I let Brandon know I was leaving again, and he was going to wait for me in Sidney, poor guy waited 2.5 hours for me due to the issues I had with the trailer.
Finally, after going 55 mph or slower the next 140 miles were LONG. Finally made it to Sidney around 8:30pm, saw Brandon and finally stopped. We were able to get the trailer door open finally, took a lot of shoving and pushing, a lot of crap was pushed against it making it hard to open. Got the tiedown strap hooked up again the best way possible due to the D-ring being broken and finally were on our way to Omaha. I never want to tow a trailer again!
Meanwhile I took this photo while I waited:
By the time Jamie arrived it was getting cold and my impatience to deal with a problem was growing. It took some effort but we finally got the door forced open. We had suffered some damage to a few of the small items that got thrown around, but the biggest thing was the enclosed steel cabinet that was no longer anchored to the trailer wall. No wonder it wanted to fish tail. I jumped in and tried to carefully climb across our possessions to get to the front and figure out what happened. It turns out the same cheap D Ring mounts that were missing from the open trailer was now busted and letting the heaviest piece of cargo roam freely around the trailer. I rigged things up with a few pieces of rope that I had left from our failed tarp attempts and we got back on the road around 9pm.
Monday May 20th 2019
We’re driving. No you didn’t miss a sleep stop. It’s after midnight and we’re still on the road. I’m back to normal speeds , and Jamie is nervous even at those speeds after her previous day’s adventures.
Just after 4Am we reached the shop and droped off the 4Runner and both trailers. That put us at Grandma’s house around 5Am, bed by 6, and up and out at Pepperjax for lunch around noon. We knocked out a few other quick errands and finally made it back to the shop around 2. The next 5 hours flew by as we once again unloaded the trucks and trailers.
After a quick pizza dinner reward at Godfathers, we headed back to the shop for vehicle upgrade time. Yes a smarter person probably would go try to catch up on their sleep, but the Sequoia was missing center caps, had speakers rattling, and dim stock headlights. Those are all way more important to take care of than sleep!
The center caps were first since it was just a matter of snapping the new ones in place of those that had fallen prey to the Wyoming roads. It was actually harder finding the part number for the right color cap than installing them! The headlights were quick and painless. The fin design is smooth enough that a little bit of WD-40 on the rubber boot was all it took to get that slid over the top to allow continued weather sealing. The fog lights were a bit trickier. The tab pattern wasn’t 100% the same as the original but I was able to use a couple of washers to help tighten them in place. I assume these bulbs are a dual fit application so it really comes down to the housing design. The front speakers had a rattle since day one and I figured out early on that the speakers were toast. Like all high end OEM audio systems they’re expensive and an odd size and impedance. I did some glue magic on them to get my by and then did a lot of hot glue frustration fix on the last trip before I finally found these other speakers on Crutchfield. They had decent enough reviews so i figured I woudl give them a try. The fit was okay, they really should have had a new mount made. Being in a time crunch I grabbed some thick weatherstripping foam and lined the inside of the hold to accomodate the smaller driver. Eight long drwayll screws later they were mounted.
The result, a better looking, better sounding Sequioa that you can drive at night! All around a nice set of upgrades.
Tuesday May 21st 2019
We’re off to a slow rainy start, but we still managed to get some work done around the shop.
Wednesday May 22nd 2019
We were up and out of the house by 7:30, and spent about an hour at shop finishing up a couple things, and grabbing the 4Runner and trailer for the Sequoia.
We tried to make our stops a little more scenic on the way back. The first two being from the War Axe State Recreational area in Nebraska. The last 3 being from Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. A little scenery can go a long way on a trip like this.
While in Wyoming we stopped to grab some shots of that pesky pot hole Jamie spoke about earlier. We weren’t really sure how that was going to play out so we wanted to get any evidence that we could. The unibomber shake just happened to be down the street from where we parked the convoy to walk back to the scene of the crime.
Runza and Jimmy Johns, together again. Well probably not for long.
Final stop of the day not quite. Technically it was just after midnight when we made it to the Bestwestern Inn in Evanston Wyoming. Either way it’s close to the half way point which is close enough for me!
Thursday May 23rd 2019
Oh good its snowing. I was just thinking what could make this trip more fun? Okay honestly the snow wasn’t terrible and both trucks have the Toyo ATII’s on them but still I thought it was supposed to be spring here.
Soon the snow ended …. and the rain started. Utah is looking a bit um flooded at this point. Seriously the 80 is starting to look more like a causeway than a land locked highway.
We passed through the rain just in time to see the salt. We made a pit stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats rest area and snapped a few photos. I’m a bit envious of the people out here making a day of shooting, but this definantly is in my near future.
The food highlight of this leg was Burger Me in Reno. They don’t have space in their parking lot for a truck and trailer or two, but they do have a great burger and the parking lot down the street was pretty empty at this time of day.
We’re starting to get better with this tandem trailer parking!
Or I thought I was. The dumbshit neighbors dumped about eight inches of wood chips down while we were gone. Maybe they really don’t want us to leave and decided to set a trap that we couldn’t get out of. I did manage to jacknife the trailer into the rear bumper of the Sequoia trying to get the trailer unstuck from this stupid shit though.
Friday May 24rd 2019
I could post about a million photos from Friday, but at the end of the day everything came down to this one epic scene. A few years back I joked that I wanted an auto transport for Christmas. Of course nobody thought I was serious, but here we are paying some other guy a whole lot of money to give the kids a piggy back ride to their new home. We talked about driving some and trailering some, we talked trying to store some locally for a minute, but at the end of the day this really was the cheapest and easiest option to get them all there. As a bonus I just acheived the adult version of the best “Hotwheels collection” ever.
Saturday May 25th 2019
Feels a little lonely here when were down nine cars. Good thing there’s plenty to do to keep my mind off of that. We started the day by running to the east side of Scaramento to grab a used bumper cover for the Sequoia. It was supposed to be in great shape and white. It wasn’t in great shape and it was quite the same shade of white. Apparently the Sequioa had two different white options. I got ahold of my Alex at The Great Auto paint and we arranged an “emergency drop off for the rear bumper cover”. Jamie ran the 4Runner down to Campbell with the bumper and a few minor things for the apartment while I finished loading the Sequioa with items tagged for San Jose, and headed down after the fact. We quickly unloaded and headed home.
We had been dragging the trailers back and forth to avoid U-Haul’s premium for one way service. We needed to do at least one more round, but after some deliberation aka arguing. We decided to make a trailerless run to Omaha to meet the cars and grab the empty trailers from there to bring back. We still managed to stack the Sequioa from top to bottom for the trip. We didn’t waste that real estate!
Sunday May 26th 2019
Originally we wanted to leave on Saturday to be a day ahead of the transports Sunday morning departure schedule. We found plenty to do on Saturday, and pushed our own departure until Sunday as well.
We got an early start but were slowed a bit by scared Californian’s in the fresh mountain snow. I did take a couple of side roads to stop for some pictures. As an added bonus I can tell you with certainty that a loaded Sequoia on Toyo ATII’s doesn’t need 4WD engaged to hold WOT up an on ramp in the snow. You know in case you were wondering.
Eventually we crested the summit and were back to a normal drive. Once in Reno we stopped back by Burger Me and posed the Toyota twosome out front for a photo opp while we gave them a few minutes to hit their open time.
Before long the familiar site of Mr Will was coming in to focus. Will and I have been waving to each other for years. I don’t always stop and say hi, so we figured it was probably time.
Just down the street from our friend we spotted the classic Pizza Hut shape. Maybe I was longing for my 80’s fix more than I knew already, but for some reason we stopped. I know we should know better. This has been the go to for pizza since “be kind and rewind” was a thing. And it still isn’t Greasy and gross is the only way to describe a modern Pizza Hut pizza. One more thing that seems to have forever changed. On the other hand forward to Godfathers Pizza territory!
No I didn’t recycle an old photo. We are back at the Best Western in Evanston Wyoming. It’s as good coming as it is going!
Monday May 27th 2019
We’re about 4 hours in to an otherwise pretty easy day when this happens….
Yep that’s hail. Yep its hitting both trucks. Nope I don’t have a clue if that car carrier holding my other 8 cars is anywhere near this storm. Yes I’m nervous.
One photo we did have to stop for … the Sequoia turned 250k. Yes the same Sequoia that had 240,612 one month ago when I bought it.
Ahead of the storm and staying there! Sure we made the normal food stops, but no extra frills like photos. Just stay ahead of that red. We made it to the shop by around 10 and got the 4Runner in safety. The Sequoia, well it braved the elements while we crossed our fingers that it and the other eight cars survived the night.
Tuesday May 28th 2019
I got a phone call from our driver around 9am, but he didn’t mention anything about the condition of the cars, just that he would be in town in a few hours. It was an agonizing wait until 11:54 when the phone rang again. The driver was up the street refueling and was ready to meet up to bring the cars the rest of the way “home”.
Well the cars were filthy, but they looked intact. Nothing had massive hail damage, or had fallen off the truck. Next step was to unload them. Everything went fairly well. I almost rear ended the Hi C with Red when Red’s e brake wasn’t enough to hold the car in place and I went clutch in. The Hachi’s battery was dead so I got to learn how to pop the clutch coming down off the trailer in reverse. Nothing super scary, but a little nerve racking none the less.
We gave all of the cars a quick was to give them a better inspection. Whitey had taken a hit from a bird or something and had a bit of blood in the side vent. The Camry had a nick in one of the Aeronautics from the tie down strap, and several of the lower cars got a bit of oil rained on them from the upper cars. I’ll take it. I’m sure we would have had at least that much damage had we driven the cars out over the trail formerly known as I-80.
Washing the cars consumed the majority of the day. By the time we finished and got everything fit inside the shop it was after 10pm.
Wednesday May 29th 2019
We are 1600 miles from Dixon, have a fair amount of shit still in the shop and house, and have 3 days to be out. Yep that out the window sunset shot is about the only photo I snapped. We drove from 9 AM to almost 1 AM before stopping in Rock Springs Wyoming for the night.
Thursday May 30th 2019
Same shit another day. One photo shot out the window and lots of driving.
Friday May 31st 2019
Final day. We should get up and load some trailers right? Or we could run a bunch of errands and save moving to the last minute.
Unfortunately the errands weren’t things that could be put off. We started off by stopping by a stop to the local Walmart to get some Chemical Guys soap and a wash mitt. The Sequoia was beyond dirty and I needed it at least sorta clean. After a half ass scrub at the local car wash, the glass shop that put the new windshield in the Sequoia was the next stop. Because I had just gotten the truck, the insurance took quite a while to confirm that it was indeed covered and we needed to stop by and pay my deductible.
Then it was back home to grab the Lexus and load the Sequoia with the final items for the new apartment in San Jose. We stopped by my work to drop off a few things and this is where I noticed that the Lexus had a tires that was almost flat. Just what we don’t need. We dumped the Lexus at Jamie’s storage unit and unloaded the last little bits of things in San Jose.
Next up was the body shop. If you remember there was a bumper snafu with the Sequoia when the neighbors dumped wood chips down where our trailers needed to be. It took around 45 min to swap the newly painted used bumper in place of the original one, but the paint match was good and the Sequoia was once again free of damage.
With all of that done, we started on the San Jose to Dixon commute for the last time. The only issue was that it was now 1:30 and this was a true commute. We didn’t make it back to the Dixon shop until almost 4:30.
Time to load trailers, and get our scrap metal guy out here. But first let me fix the Sequoia. The handle on the rear hatch has once again broke. The “all metal handle” we just installed had failed again. Luckily nothing was in the back so I pulled the panels, and the for the time being I’ll just have to roll the back window down and pull the cable to release the door. New part is again on order.
“Our scrap guy” was nothing more than a random guy with a craigslist ad. He had said a few times that he was having truck issues, so I was more than a bit nervous that he would actually show. We continued to load the trailers and trucks with as much as we could fit. Eventually the scrap guy did show up and we got rid of more than just scrap. My parts washer and a few shelves didn’t quite fit so there wasn’t much we could do other than give them up.
Sometime around 9 the property manager showed up for keys, and I finally got to tell him off. Sometime around 2 AM we were loaded the last piece and headed over to a Days In in Davis to catch a few hours of sleep.
Saturday June 1st 2019
We got here at 2 AM and 7 hours later we’re “ready” to hit the road again. Much like every other day it wasn’t what I would call a clean get away. We had stops to make on the way out.
At least we aren’t so rushed that we can’t snap a few photos as we go now. First stop was in Jackson to check the mail, the next time we had a camera out wasn’t as planned.
Around 6 PM the Sequoia’s little tire light started blinking at me. Nothing felt terribly off so we stopped at the next gas station and found that the front right Toyo had gotten screwed. Luckily the 4Runner has a repair kit and air compressor rather than just some worthless little light to blink at you. The whole process took about 30 min and we were back on the road. The light reset and everything was fine. For all of about 15 min. The light was blinking again. Fearing the worst I had Jamie pull up next to me, but she said everything looked fine. We weren’t far from the hotel so we decided to just keep going.
Once we got to the Red Lion Hotel in Elko NV. I double checked the tire pressures. My good old fashioned gauge says everything is fine, but the damn light keeps blinking. I’ll have to do a bit of reading and see what I can find.
We’ve grabbed a burger or two at this hotel on past trips, but never stayed here. It really just didn’t line up with a good driving distance most of the time. After a capping off the month of May with a 20 hour day we felt an early night was deserved. I’ll be honest the room photos I just plain fucked up. My arms were too trashed to hold the camera steady in the dim lighting like I normally can, and they came out blurry. Dinner was good as usual, the music on the other hand was okay at best. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the hotel, but it was actually pretty nice and updated more so than a lot of “nicer” places we’ve stayed have been.
Sunday June 2nd 2019
My cactus co-pilot is intact and ready to go, and so am I. The Sequoia on the other hand is still blinking that stupid little tire light at me. Even though I’ve done the reset procedure a couple of times now.
We made a DIY lunch stop in Utah and found a father and son in the Dodge Ram that lost a water pump and were attempting a parking lot repair. They needed a ride to grab parts, but while I offered to get one of them to town we weren’t able to head back this way to bring them back.
As we approached Cheyenne Wyoming, it was apparent that there was some weather ahead of us. We took our time to make sure we stayed behind the store this time.
Our slower pace put us in to Sidney Nebraska around 11 PM which was later than we originally thought. We ended up staying at the new Marriott in town which is where I got to see just how muddy the trailer had gotten during my jaunt to down a road/driveway to get into position to snap the above lightning photos.
Monday June 3rd 2019
I fully expected to wake up and have an easy drive to Omaha. Last nights storm on the other hand. Still taking its sweet ass time getting out of our way.
We finally arrived at the new shop just after 3 PM and about 5 minutes after the store passed through. The biggest issue ahead of us was that both trailers were due back by the end of the day. We unloaded the 4Runner trailer first so I could send Jamie the 140 miles back down the I80 to Grand Island where we grabbed that trailer. Then I started unloading the Sequoia’s load. The trailer had the spare GS430 power train, the Camry’s original engine and trans, a spare all trac transmission, and other fun stuff like that. Needless to say emptying it by myself sucked more than a little. The shop was a disaster, but I did get the trailer back just before close.
By the time I got back from dropping off the trailer and emptied the Sequoia itself out I had just enough time to fix the rear hatch again, and run down the street to the lake to grab some sunset shots.
June 4th – 7th 2019
The rest of the week was spent organizing, cleaning building and then starting to help my mom move her shop. Meanwhile some of the cars got to enjoy some sun while others were still busy working.
June 8th & 9th 2019
We were still working, but we spent a little bit more time running some errands and trying to relax a bit with a decent meal here and there.
Monday June 10th 2019
Jamie leaves via airplane to make it back in time for some work related thing. Or so shes says.
June 11th-13th 2019
A mix of cleaning cars, organizing the shop and helping my mom move her shop.
Friday June 14th 2019
It took until almost 2 AM the “night before”, but the cars are all tucked in, I’ve moved as much as I can, and its time to go.
It was almost noon, by the time I was actually on the road, and the weather was back to it’s old tricks. Storm clouds ahead.
I made it as far as Laramie Wyoming before I decided to stop for the night. I picked the Travelodge by Wyndham partially by name, partially by price, but mostly because driving and trying to use apps is a pain in the ass. Especially when your hands and arms are barely working anymore.
Needless to say the hotel was less than stellar. Dirty and uncomfortable I should have just stayed in the truck.
Saturday June 15th 2019
I woke up in a shitty hotel room and had a really far drive. The only photogenic stop of the day was the Bonneville Salt Flats Rest Stop. I was determined not to suffer through another bad hotel room, so I jumped on the I Overlander app this time. I just needed a decent camp site somewhere between I80 and Jackson, CA. The app has been good to me in the past, but screwed me this time. The “camp ground” I found on it turned out to be nothing more than a park in a residential neighborhood. Probably a decent spot to sleep for the homeless, but not quite what I was looking for. I kept travelling along the route towards Jackson, but navigating to this “camp ground” was taking me through South Lake Tahoe. Not a place to find a cheap hotel to crash for the night, and apparently not an area with any real campgrounds.
Sunday June 16th 2019
It was just after midnight when I couldn’t wonder down the road looking for a better spot anymore. I pulled over and crashed for around 5 hours. It wasn’t worth trying to convert the truck into sleeping mode, so I just sorted curled up on the 2/3rds sized platform and covered up with some of the clothes in the back.
It turns out my sleeping spot was only about 30min outside of Jackson. I had my mail and was set for home by 5:30. The commute actually wasn’t bad for once. It only took around an hour and a half to make it to the new apartment.
The only good thing is that Jamie had been here for almost a week starting to get things set up. While she wasn’t able to install the window AC at least the temps had dropped to reasonable. The rest of the day was spent breaking in the new futon where I’ll be sleeping until I can re-join my cars, tools, cameras, and close to everything else I own.