We did not make it to Prescott in time. We hit Payson around 5:30. Google maps says it takes about an hour and 45 minutes to get to Prescott, so we could have theoretically made it if we drove fast. We ultimately decided to take it easy because it was now dark and the elk were out. Payson is the perfect mountain town for large mammals. As we previously described, most of the land surrounding the town is protected forest. That means lots of elk habitat and high risk of hitting them at night.
Loading the Truck
We woke up really early on Wednesday morning because we wanted to be at U-haul as soon as they opened at 7am. That meant it was cold. I was glad to have packed my long underwear. The U-haul building was organized with the loading/unloading area in the back of the building, which faces north. The building itself was tall, which meant we worked in a shadow all morning. So even though the sun was up by 7:15, we were unable to take advantage of its warmth.
The U-box made it in one piece and NOTHING broke during the move. Our packing job was so awesome, that nothing even shifted; and we didn’t use tie-downs!
It took us 2.5 hours to load the truck. We had to plan very carefully because we discovered we had no tie-downs (they were in the Smart Car in Payson). The u-box was taller than the truck, which had a fat, more square shape. The truck also had more volume so we knew we end up with extra space….without tie-downs, that meant a risk of damaged goods.
The ladder, desk and bookshelf ended up saving the day. They were our three biggest objects and we were able to strategically use them to lock everything in place. Oh yeah, the unwieldy futon mattress helped too.
Driving to Payson
It was a little unnerving to drive behind Brian to Payson. He did a great job but sometimes the trailer would meander about and the tires would coast back and forth over the shoulder line. The mountain roads are beautiful but tricky when you’re moving a large vehicle or a truck and trailer.
We arrived in Payson around noon and had the car loaded by 1:00ish. The dogs played for awhile in Jacque’s yard. Since they had spent ~7.5 hours in the dogs crates the day before and had already been in the car since 5:45am, this was a welcome pit stop. Over the course of the day, they spent over 16 hours in their crates (5:45am – 10:00pm).
The Final Stretch
The drive had the feeling of excitement up until the sun set. When the light begins to fade, the animals come out and you have to be super careful. I was also getting concerned because we hadn’t eaten and it also looked like we were not going to make it back to Silver in time to get food for Thanksgiving (since everything would likely be closed on the day itself).
We decided to stop in Thatcher, Arizona and grab the essentials from a Bashas supermarket. Since we had already seen the state of the rental, I knew we would need some cleaning supplies. We also picked up eggs, meat for the dogs and some snacks. Back on the road!
Arriving at our new home
We had a deer crossing incident right outside of Silver. Thankfully, I was in the lead and the Fit likely responds better to slamming on breaks than a loaded truck carting a car. It’s been awhile since I had a near-miss experience like that. I made sure to reassure everybody in the car (the pets) that we were okay. In reality, nobody seemed to care except for Fred, whose escape efforts were temporarily interrupted by the car’s sudden deceleration.
We pulled into our parking spot around 10pm. I fed the dogs while waiting for Brian to arrive. Our first steps were to get food for us, unload the car and return the trailer so we could unload the truck without it getting in the way.
We then debated what to do for our first night of sleep. It was nearing 11pm by the time we decided to put the futon mattress on the ground and postpone unloading the frame (which was in the very back of the truck) until the next morning.
It was a good sleep.