3 days, 2 disasters, 1700+ miles

I got back late Friday night from a whirlwind 3 days. I am moving to Maui on October 16th, and to save money, I decided to take my car and personal items to the coast rather than have them picked up by the shipping company. I was excited about a small adventure with Nick, but I didn’t anticipate all that happened.

Wednesday, October 6th, 8am

After a couple days of packing my dad’s van like a jigsaw puzzle, we had everything (140 cubic feet) ready to go,

with room to spare! Boxes,plastic bins, 3 bikes, and numerous suitcases. We headed over to my dad’s with the van and tow dolly I had rented to get the car loaded. That wasn’t easy, and we ended up using a mallet and ramp, but we got the job done.

9am, Nick and I head out on our 12 -or-so hour drive to Los Angeles. Nick had commented that there was a tornado warning in Flagstaff, of all places! The drive is a straight shot along I-40, so there is no getting around the storm.

Disaster #1:

When we go to Flagstaff, there was a bit of a light rain, heinous wind, but certainly no tornado. Then we saw the carnage. Seems a tornado touched down at an RV dealership. In its wake, it derailed and overturned a train, tossed and mangled several motor homes, and bent power lines in half. Disaster #1 missed, thankfully. I only was able to shoot the power line on the way out. The pictures I got of the carnage are from the drive home. I wish I had gotten a picture of the young man standing inside an RV turned upside down, the backside blown out.

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Thankful we weren’t involved in the tornado, we headed on, crossing Arizona, then into California. Last time Nick was in Los Angeles, he got extremely ill, and it was getting late, so I suggested we stay in Barstow and head to LA in the morning. Barstow smells like urine, and I had to wonder if there was a dialysis clinic nearby, or perhaps a homeless camp of some sort. Nasty. We ate at Dinapoli’s Firehouse, which was OK. All the waitresses must have been transported from Hollyweird, because they had full tattoo sleeves, dyed hair, and lots of makeup. Ramada took us in with open arms.

Thursday, October 7th

We ventured down in the morning for enough free coffee to drag our butts out to get some real coffee. Good thing we got coffee, so we could be aware for what lied in wait for us. Our mission for the day was to take my car to get detailed, take my belongings to the coast for shipment, get my clean car to port to have it shipped out, then start the drive home. Traffic was insane, especially when you are driving a van with no windows behind the front cab, towing a car on a tow dolly much wider than the van, and dealing with a traffic jam in Los Angeles. It was a giant parking lot, and it took us the full 3 hours to get from Barstow to EcoDetail in Los Angeles.

Disaster #2

The reason for the traffic became grossly apparent when we saw the firetrucks to the left. It looked like a semi had driven into the Metro Rail. That is bad enough, but then we saw what had happened to a black pickup truck strewn across the Metro Rail as well. The pictures I got were on my phone, but I think you get the gist.


Semi overturned on the LA freeway and lying across the Metro Rail



You can just see the smashed truck...



3 full pallets o' stuff



Andre spinning 'round and 'round



Wrapped and ready!



My "5-layer cake"



3 full pallets, wrapped and ready



Final touches on my windshield



Black Rice Paella at Sevilla


We lived it up, even had dessert, and headed back to crash for the night. I have to post a picture of what we saw in the mini bar. Hilarious!


An intimacy kit and a first aid kit side by side. How appropriate!



Friday, October 8th

I think that by this morning, things had finished going wrong. Nick and I woke up with plenty of time to get the car to Matson. We got everything settled, grabbed some coffee, and hit the road by 9am. The drive home was pretty uneventful. I tried to study, but I either had a hard time concentrating, or I was sleepy, and then it was dark. Nick drove the whole 12 hours home, despite back pain and an odd pain in his mouth that I still think is due to possibly biting a bit of shell in the paella. Despite getting in so late and feeling like crap, he went to work the next day for his 12 hours in the hospital.

All in all, quite the adventure. Glad to have my stuff en route to Hawaii, looking forward to taking the MPJE Tuesday, and then having nothing to study or pack for a few days.

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