We’ve been behind on updating the blog about our transition week because it was incredibly hectic.
We got back to the Denver area on Tuesday afternoon and rescued both the dogs (they didn’t actually need rescuing since they were both in great and safe hands).
Then we set about getting over our jetlag (I really wasn’t functional to any great extent for at least the first two days) and getting organized for the next part of our grand adventure. We had decided that we wanted to get an RV for this next leg so that we could take both dogs with us on our trek from Long Beach up to Vancouver. We also figured this would give us more autonomy than we’d had in Europe when we had been limited on cooking facilities and had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out where to eat for every meal (a bit expensive and boring, plus you don’t always feel you are getting the best nourishment).
We set about seeing if we could buy an RV even though we knew that Angie had to be in Long Beach by the evening of December 3. This was obviously a tall order.
Angie had been poring over Craigslist and other sites, and we’d been asking some friends for advice. We couldn’t do much on the first couple of days we were home thanks to that little Thanksgiving thing that was going on, but on Saturday we decided to look at some vehicles for sale by private owners and dealers. We test-drove a pretty nice Winnebago that was well over the blue book value (top blue book for low mileage, good condition would be $12k, the seller wanted 18 and would only agree to coming down to 17.5). Obviously he would have sold the thing when he put it on sale two months ago if he really wanted to get rid of it rather than make a bunch of money. The cupboards were still full of their stuff so one wonders whether they really wanted to make a sale. One thing we didn’t like about this model was that the over-cab area had a lot of storage, so only had room for a twin-sized sleeping area.
I drove it and liked it, feeling that I could manage to maneuver a hefty vehicle, but these issues were deal breakers and we moved on.
We decided to check out a few of the RV dealerships up around Longmont, since they have bigger stocks than the dealers in Denver (largely because they can have bigger lots up there). We looked at some pretty nice rigs at Johnson RV and Camping World, and continued to learn more about what we did and didn’t want. One key thing on our wish list is a full-time, made-up bed, in the back. And much as we would have liked the nicer Class B type for some reasons (they are more luxe, but therefore also more expensive), we were thinking Class C because of the extra sleeping space over the cab. We also went to Cruise America, which reconditions and sells their used rental fleet after a few years. We didn’t love that the Cruise America vehicles don’t have ovens and have a configuration for the kitchen area that to me wastes a lot of space.
We weren’t sure what to do at this point: Go and see a model in Avon that had been painted in “fun” colors? Go and see one in Monument that was probably overpriced?
Angie thought maybe we should look at renting from Cruise America, even though we didn’t love the configuration. Her reasoning was that even if it wasn’t perfect (and what is?) it would give us a chance to see if we even liked the idea of traveling by RV. I felt that was an excellent idea and so we tried to move forward on that tack, going as far as getting stuff out of our storage unit that we would need on our trip were we to be traveling by RV.
Sadly, it was not to be. We had run out of time. In order to reserve an RV for the next day with Cruise America, one needs to undergo an ID check. The beyond stellar status of Angie’s credit and driving record proved to be irrelevant. We are not sure of the exact reason, because they wouldn’t tell us, but we were denied, possibly because her current residential address did not match her mailing address, or some such thing. The only way we could have made it work was to reserve a rig two days out, have Angie fly out to Long Beach and me to drive the RV out and meet her there (a two-day trip at best). Both of us were leery of this solution. It would have been a lot for me to handle to drive a large vehicle, find places to stay for at least one night without “dewinterizing” the vehicle, which would have meant not using the shower or anything. It didn’t seem worth it, even if we hadn’t each been nervous about me driving alone such a long way with two dogs.
Angie said that she felt the universe was sending us a message, with how complicated it seemed to be to carry this effort off. I concurred and we decided to drop the plan and go back to plan A. Sadly this meant that there was not going to be room for Shiloh (to be frank, there’s not a ton of room for Rebbe either).
Therefore we had to make sure we set up accommodation for Shiloh with Angie’s ex, who had kindly taken care of her while we were in Europe. As Angie noted, the house in which her ex lives is the house in which Shiloh has spent most of her life, so there is that as a positive, even though we both dearly wish she were with us.
That done, we began scrambling to get ready to leave on Tuesday (this all happened on Monday, with Angie needing to be settled in Long Beach by Wednesday night). In order to get on the road, we needed to figure out what we needed for a car-only trip, pack that, and take everything else back to the storage unit (and get it squared away there). One advantage we do have at the moment is that Angie’s brother Greg had obtained a car-top carrier for her parents, so we can use that between here and Ohio (Ohio being the start of phase three).
I don’t know if either of us was convinced we could get it done in time. The back-up plan was similar to the RV plan: that Angie would fly and I would leave as soon as possible with Rebbe and the car. We had clothing and supplies spread out in two empty rooms in Greg’s basement and it seemed so daunting. Somehow, we managed to get everything packed, and fit our other belongings back into the storage unit with some room to spare.
That done, we were ready to hit the road. We had originally aimed to be out of Denver by noon. We left around four.
Details on the drive in a separate post.