So for those who don’t know, here’s the situation: My work contract here in Washington runs out December 31. Mary’s already in Michigan working and taking grad school classes. We most likely will close on a new house in Michigan by the end of October (just locked in our interest rate at 4.5%, huzzah!). I’m renting a room month-to-month with two of the dogs. Since I’ve been keeping an eye on jobs in Michigan for the past eighteen months or so, nothing at all has come up similar to what I’m doing now (as far as I can tell the state of Michigan is going out of business). I suspect I could go back to a social work job without too much hassle, but that social work job probably would pay less than what I’d get from unemployment starting in January. So, unfortunately, logic says keep working here for a couple more months until I get canned. At which point I’ll either have a long paid vacation (apparently up to 59 weeks right now) or a short paid vacation followed by a new job.
A problem I run into with that scenario though is that I’m kicked to the curb in the dead of winter, resulting in a January cross-country drive with a car-load of stuff, two dogs, and $40 Wal-Mart tires on my car. I’ll be honest; I sure like being alive and I really don’t want to make that drive. I mean, yeah, it might turn out to be a bright blue-skied crisp January day across the entire country, but the last time I crossed (white-knuckled) through the Rockies in inclement weather I vowed never to do it again (see below).
So, the only way around this that I’ve come up with is to drive back to Michigan early (before the snow is flying), drop off my car, dogs, and worldly possessions, then fly back to Washington, work for a couple months, and fly back to Michigan at the end of the year. Running shoes and city bus for transportation I suppose. So there may be a brief October homecoming coming up here.
um, I think it’s been snowing in the Rockies already. Is your car able to go up hills yet?
Anyway, the obvious solution is to drive south to the I-10, east to Dallas, then cut north through Arkansas and Illinois
Yeah, it’s been snowing in the mountains around here too already, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say the roads will be significantly better in late October than early January. I’m pretty sure my car will be fine in the cooler temps. If not, I’ve got roadside towing included in my insurance.
I considered that Southern route for a while, but couldn’t figure a good way to make it work. It adds 1413 miles and 23 hours of driving, so roughly $150 in gas. I can fly one way GRR-SEA for $155 (or to YKM for $205).
If I didn’t have a car-load of stuff, I’d probably do it because it would be fun bum around in the warmth for a bit on the way back.
Driving your stuff and the dogs out early sounds like a great idea. Hadn’t occurred to me. That drive back alone is bound to be challenging, even if you left tomorrow. Wish you could find someone to make the trip with you, share the driving (and cross-country adventure) with you, help out with the dogs and chance of car trouble, keep you company and awake . . .
I’ve done it twice solo already. Just a couple 16 hour days of driving. It’s almost simpler by yourself, just pull over a rest area when you get tired, sleep for a few hours, wake up and drive some more.
Drove down your new street and pulled into your new driveway to peek out back. Excited for you and Mary!
Have you considered renting a moderate SUV or something with more room and 4-wheel drive (for size, safety, less risk of car trouble) for the trip to GR with the dogs and all in October? Turn the car in here, and fly back to Yakima (unless you feel like driving it back . . . ). Then you’d still have your own car in Yakima for your last couple months there. You could either sell it in Yakima and fly to GR when you’re ready–or drive it here when you’re not loaded down and traveling with dogs. This suggestion came from my sister Ruth when we talked last night, and it sure seems worth considering, could solve some potential difficulties. We’re all thinking about you and care about you and what you’re facing in this complicated move–we all want you safe and well and doing as little “white-knuckle driving” as possible!
It’s unbelievably expensive to rent a car one-way. Most of the mountain passes are still in good shape out here even with the streak of cold weather, so I think we’ll be alright.