On Friday morning March 25th we picked up the U-Haul truck and a 6×12 trailer.  Around noon the safe moving company that we hired showed up and moved our gun safe from the bedroom and loaded it in the truck.  To us it was worth the money to have a professional move an 800lb safe so no one got hurt.  This was a big relief to get this done!

Saturday morning was rainy and the forecast was not looking good for loading, but by 1200 the rain stopped and it looked like we could get some work done.  Around 11 Andy, my friend from work, and Neil, our neighbor came over and we got started.  We had a plan where the bigger items were going on the truck and the plan was to just have our friends help for just an hour or so with the heavy stuff we could not move ourselves.  However, once we got started we just kept going and we got so much done on the first day of loading!  Sunday it rained all day, loading would have to wait!

On Monday we started the truck to move it and discovered it had a hole in the radiator, really?!  We had a lot of our household stuff already loaded including that safe we paid to have moved.  The thought of having to unload, rent a different truck and reload was not something we wanted to do.  We called U-Haul and they sent a tow truck to take it to Pensacola for repair.  They said it would be a 2-3 hour repair if they could find a radiator in the local area.  Later that day U-Haul called and said the radiator they found also had a leak and there was not another within 100 miles of Pensacola.  Best case, another radiator would be here by 11 on Tuesday and then a 2-3 hour repair.  We are now a little worried we wouldn’t be able to finish loading and clean the house in time for closing on Thursday!

We got a call early Tuesday morning the part came in and the truck was fixed and on the way back to our house!!  Andy and Chaps came over and we got started again and by the end of the day we had almost everything loaded except for what we plan to travel with and use in the RV once we get to Custer.  Thanks for all the help Andy!

Wednesday March 30th:  I had my final flight in the T-6B, a nice lunch with all the maintenance folks, and after that we headed back to the house for the final cleaning.  The buyers wanted to do a final walk through at 4:30 and we finally got everything cleaned at about 4:15!

Thursday March 31st:  We closed in the morning and finally got on the road around 10:30, a later start than we planned but at least we were headed out of town.  The weather forecast was not great for our route especially in the northern part of Alabama but we had no choice, that was the route.  On our second stop I locked the keys to the U-Haul inside the cab!  That mistake cost us over 2 hours and we were not able to then make our planned stop of Jonesboro, AR.  Instead, we decided to press on as far as we could get.  As night approached, the skies began to fill with lightning and thunder, and we found ourselves fighting some heavy rain showers and high winds.  As soon as it became completely dark, both of our phones sounded the emergency alert that we were in a tornado warning area. We decided to stop at the nearest hotel which was in Winfield, AL.  As we scrambled to find a parking spot for the enormous truck and trailer, the Winfield tornado sirens sounded.  We ran into the hotel where no one seemed too worried about the sirens, and fortunately were able to get a room for the night.  We were exhausted and frustrated that we only covered 296 miles on a day we had planned for just over 500.  We reminded ourselves….this is an adventure and there would be some setbacks.  We said, “Tomorrow, we re-attack!”

More to follow as the journey continues…


We hired Scott’s Gun Shop to load the safe


The caption on the door says it all

Load Planimageimageimage

So day 2 of what was supposed to be a 3 day journey, we travelled over 500 miles from Winfield, AL to Springfield, MO.  We had great weather and some rough roads and traffic in Memphis, but we plowed on up and over the winding roads through the Ozarks,  and stopped in Missouri.  The next day we drove to Council Bluffs, IA in a 30 mph crosswind for 5 hours.  Originally we had planned to stay 2 days in Council Bluffs so we could spend some time with Jen’s parents and brother. After driving a 26 foot U-Haul and trailer in nearly tropical storm force winds, we agreed we should stay 2 days even though we were a day behind.  Plus, it was great to see Ron, Eileen, and Bill for a little while.

Outside the hotel in Council Bluffs, IA

We left the Bluffs on the 4th, well rested and ready to go again.  Fortunately we had waited the extra day as the entire state of South Dakota was in a high wind advisory on the day we had originally intended to travel.  We would have been facing a 30 mph headwind the whole way, with gusts up to 40 mph!  Instead, we had only slight winds on the 4th which made for an easier journey.  Our morale was high as we crossed into South Dakota.

It is a fun road trip across I-90, filled with beautiful scenery, rolling hills, wildlife, and strange tourist attractions.  We stopped at Al’s Oasis for a buffalo burger and ate lunch overlooking the Missouri River.  We bypassed the Mitchell Corn Palace but we did stop for some ice cream at the iconic Wall Drug.  We also laughed at all  the signs for the Firehouse Winery in Rapid, including a series of signs that included this limerick (NO Kidding!):

“There once was a farmer named Lear

Who had a fine cow that gave beer.

Ports, Reds and others

came from her udders,

And pretzels came out of her rear!”

Well we finally made it to Rapid City!  The storage unit we rented allowed us to park our U-Haul and trailer inside the gate the day we arrived and we scheduled the moving help for the 5th.  We needed some rest!

On Tuesday the 5th we got up early and went to the storage unit and started sorting short term storage (what we may need in the RV) from long term storage.  The moving helpers showed up right on time and what took 3 days to load was unloaded and neatly packed in a 10’x30′ storage unit in 2 hours flat!  We can’t say enough good things about the Thomas and Sons Moving Company!


Long term vs short term
4 guys carried our 850lb gun safe down the U-Haul ramp and into the storage unit!


Somehow they got everything from the truck and the trailer in one storage unit!


Well we bought an RV today!