Friday, September 17, 2010

Finally Home - The Move Odyssey: Day 19

The morning begins with new phone calls to the towing folks in Trinidad. They'd originally quoted us $400. Now it becomes $150/hour and they won't charge us for the time going out to the land to look over the road with Quantum.

However, when Quantum had talked with the tow guy from the campground, regarding the clearance and the need to use the flatbed (which was suddenly nonexistent) the guy had said, "If I break it, I'll fix it." Of course, considering his timing and all with the repair on CK's trailer tongue, our question was, "and how freaking long will that take?" The guy from Trinidad instead says, if we break it, "my insurance company will pay for me fixing it" which instead seems like a more likely and swift repair.

Meanwhile the logistics also keep changing. First we were supposed to hook up both trailers and meet the guy at the Safeway. Now he wants Quantum to come out and meet him with just the Blazer. Meanwhile CK and I are supposed to hook up the large trailer to the pickup. Quantum takes off and with him goes the jack we need to get the trailer on the tow ball. We spend the next hour struggling with the damn thing. Finally I go over and start up a conversation with an autobody guy I'd said hi to a couple days before, and we end up borrowing a jack from him.

Not fifteen minutes after we finally get the trailer hooked up, Quantum calls and tells us to unhook the trailer from the pickup. Sigh. "You do realize it took us an hour to get it on there, right?" We borrow the jack again and unhook the damn thing. The folks come and hook the big trailer to their tow truck (also not a flatbed) and take off while we're just finishing hooking up CK's trailer to our blazer. As they pull out of the campground ahead of us, I realize that I hadn't been given a chance to lock the door on the trailer, and I imagine the door swinging open and all our possessions tumbling onto the road. CK chases off after them and manages to catch them and lock the door.

Now the marching order through town is supposed to be CK first, with us following right behind, to cover the fact that the plates on the pickup are out of date. Of course with our Blazer chugging the trailer uphill (and thanks to the inept repair, it's now listing to one side) and we can't catch up with CK. "What is his problem?" we wonder, growling at him as he zooms ahead, paying no attention to slowing down so we can cover his fat butt.

We finally make it through town, down the seven miles of gravel road that lead to our land and a slight way up the dirt road that forks off that. We find a place to park CK's trailer and take it off the Blazer's tow ball, then hop back in and follow the folks towing our trailer. By the time we catch up with them, they've made it almost to the track that goes onto our land. They've got two people walking alongside the trailer, moving rocks and putting up small ramps that help get it over the ditches in the road.

Finally they make it out to the spot we've found to park the trailers, dump that and go back for the other one.

Quantum grabs a tarp and starts unloading our trailer. The plan being to get as much out of the trailer as we can so that we can find things and sort them. Then he realizes that these folks are probably going to want more money than we have on us in cash, and runs to town, realizing that he' needs to check our bank balance (hopefully our money has cleared). "They might try to get us for $600," he says. "The guy told me that he wasn't charging for the time scoping out the land, but now he's saying there's a mileage charge."

By the time they've got CK's trailer here, Quantum still isn't back. CK comes over to me and says, "they want to get paid." "Well how much is it?" "I don't know. They said they're charging us till they get paid." "Well," I say, suppressing the word, "idiot," "how much is it RIGHT NOW?"

CK trundles back to them, and returns with the information that it's $940 something. I nearly have a heart attack. The chick wants me to sign something. I tell her I'm not signing anything till Quantum gets back. I send CK off with the pickup to see if he can drive to a point where he can reach Quantum via cell. A few minutes later they inexplicably move CK's trailer over to where it's supposed to be, take it off the hook and leave. Maybe they've managed to reach Quantum by their satellite phone? Certainly there's no cell reception.

Sure enough, they end up charging us $940. Fortunately enough of our money has cleared so that we at least have it even though it's way over what we wanted or planned to afford. Quantum reports that he made them take off the time they spent jerking off in the Loaf & Jug (convenience store) anyway. He tells me that he spoke to the guy about the wind turbines we're planning to build, explained that we'll eventually be selling electricity back to the electric companies and the guy's eyes light up like dollar signs. He wants to see it when its done and probably buy at least one from us. "That'll be $940," I joke with a growl.

Quantum goes back into town again for beer and steak. Darnit we are celebrating with steak tonight! Of course by the time he gets back, we're too tired to think about cooking steak. We bake some potatoes and heat up leftover chicken from the Thai stir-fry I'd made the night before.

The moon comes out, a slim crescent hanging huge just over the trees to the west. Then full dark and more stars than I'd ever seen, even back in the woods of New York. Between the altitude, the thin clear air and the lack of much light from nearby cities, it's astounding.

CK remarks on the fact that we really ARE in the middle of nowhere. "We told you, dude. No cellphones, hardly any road. It's the middle of nowhere. We knew what we were getting into and we told you what it was." "I didn't believe you," he says.

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