There’s a thread on a forum I frequent about moving from studio to studio, and I have the mother of all stories about that.
I was moving from Wisconsin to California at the time – I’d just bought a house in Antioch (Northern CA, bay area) and I’d loaded the largest UHaul truck you can get full of our stuff, and got a trailer on the back with my Blazer on it, all piled up with stuff too.
So Off I go, into the wild blue yonder. I had my plan, I’d asked a friend to print me out a map to my new house, I had tunes and I had myself for 3 straight days. It was interesting, driving this monster truck that had zero acceleration at all, and seeing a lot of the country side as I did.
When I went through Salt Lake City I actually hit a massive sand storm on the other side of the city – I did a good deed and sheltered a guy on a motor bike in the lee of my truck through the storm, but found it had completely sand blasted my car – you just couldn’t see out of the windows at all.
Anyway, my plan was to stop off the last night in Reno then hit CA the next day. However, driving around Reno at 10pm looking for a hotel that could accommodate my truck and trailer without having to back out was hard. I found two, but both told me of a hotel just outside of town on Route 80 that would suit my needs. So off I went, anticipating a shower (since I was quite ripe at the time) and a nights rest.
I found the Hotel, and found it was actually a massive casino. Cool! I thought. Then I found out the hotel rooms were $250 a night. $250 for 8 hours sleep. Yeah, much as I like being clean, $250 was a bit steep. So, I thought, ok, why not just push on to CA – I’m only 4 hours or so away! Lets dooooooo it!.
So off I go. Some scary moments coming down the mountains into Sacramento, but I did it! Eventually I find my way down 680 and into Antioch, around 3am.
At which point I discover that the maps I have been given are, in fact, to the zip code where my house was, not the actual house itself. I’ve only been there three times and I have no idea where it is. Problem.
So I drive my massive truck around a bit looking for a landmark I might recognise, failing completely. Eventually I find a gas station still open with a map on the wall (the guy won’t let me in to buy a map, oh no. Obviously people with large trucks and a car on the back are Extremely Dangerous! Approach at your peril!). I figure out where I am and where my new house is. I have to memorise it, but I get there in the end, making a HUGE racket with this bloody great truck and trailer.
I get to the house. Now this new house is at the end of a road, with a turning circle at the end of it. It’s at the end of a gentle hill, and I pull up thinking “Jesus, I just want to get the Blazer off the trailer and get home to my apartment and get some sleep”.
Then I look at where this truck is and think “you know, I really should pull it into the drive way as much as I can, because otherwise it’s on an incline (facing upwards) and I wouldn’t want the breaks to fail or anything”. I’m tired and making bad decisions, but I thought it was the right thing to do at the time.
So I jump out, look at the trailer and start to unhook it. Obviously the moment I try and lift the hitch off the I realise I’m not going to be able to do that with the Blazer on the back, so I climb up into the blazer and start to back it off the trailer. Now remember, I can’t see dick out of this car because of the sand storm, so I back slowly, not wanting to rush off the trailer and hit anything. However, as I back down slowly, I suddenly hear metal scraping and can discern from the front window that I’m moving!
WTF?? I have my feet firmly on the brake, yet I am moving? Then I hear that CRUNCH that everyone who’s ever been in an accident knows. I’ve hit something. I jump out and find that the trailer has removed it self from the truck – me back up had shifted the center of gravity so the trailer had tilted back and un hooked itself from the hitch, and since I’d removed all the chains, it had just come completely loose. It had started rolling down the incline and embedded both the trailer and the back of my Blazer into the next door neighbors pickup truck.
Well, welcome to the neighborhood! Of course the neighbors door flies open and they come steaming out yelling at the top of their voices. After they had calmed down a bit, I get someone from over the road come out yelling at me as to ‘why was I moving in at 3am??’. To crown it all, someone says “Are you the Australian moving in??”.
Now I’m tired. I can’t believe that this whats happened. We call a tow truck to try and separate the cars, but he has no success, and he calls another truck to come out and give it a go. While we are waiting for the second tow truck, I realise that the reason we can’t separate the two cars / trailer is because the trailer / Blazer is pressing down on the car it impacted. Perhaps if I pull the Blazer back up onto the trailer, the pressure will be relieved and the other guy can pull his car out from under the trailer / Blazer combo?
Worth a try it think, neglecting to realise I am tired and therefore stupid. So I climb up into the Blazer, start it up and try edging it forward. Remember though, I still can’t see a thing, and I don’t feel like I am moving forward much. Also remember I’ve been driving a wacking great diesel truck for the past 3 days with No Acceleration What So Ever. So, of course, I gun the Blazer too much and run it right off the trailer and embed the trailer hitch in the engine pan of my car.
Fucking Great. Imagine, if you will, a toy Blazer stuck on the end of a pencil shoved up inside the underside of where the engine would be and you’ve got a good idea of the situation.
I’ve just made a bad situation 10 times worse, and the neighbors can hardly contain themselves by now. What started as a WTF moment for them has now turned into Street Theater, complete with popcorn.
It took 2 tow trucks to separate the cars and pull the Blazer up off the trailer, and I didn’t sleep that night. The wife point blank refused to believe that I could do something as stupid as this (which is nice of her) and yet we ended up having GREAT neighbors at that house – the best we’ve ever had so far.
Moving sucks. Have an adventure in stead.
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