We had signed up with one of the bigger Allied affiliates in Chicago to move us to Vermont. They seemed to have pretty good reviews, although in doing research it just seems like very few people have great experiences with cross-country movers. I saw several suggestions in moving forums to just “sell all your stuff” and buy it again in the new place. I guess that might make sense if you are in your twenties, but we had spent years collecting books, beer-making equipment and other specialized stuff. So I wasn’t going to do that.
Allied was supposed to move us on August 10th, a Wednesday. They said they would give us exact details once they had a truck scheduled. As the day approached, I called to confirm and they said they still didn’t have the exact details. Finally I called them the day before and they told me they hadn’t yet identified a truck or driver. I asked them what we were supposed to do since we had a lot of different plans made around that date. All they could tell us is that they were working on it. Needless to say, I was not happy and asked them what the point was in scheduling 2 months in advance if this was the result.
This continued for another day and they still had no ETA. I started researching just renting a truck myself after all, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do. I don’t love driving big vehicles, particularly not on a multi-day trip. But it didn’t seem like there was any guarantee of when Allied would get their act together. We had mostly done all our final packing and really didn’t have much left unpacked to even use for a few days. I ended up calling Penske just to see if there was any possibility of getting something on short notice and it seemed like they might have something. There were some advantages to moving ourselves, as there were certain things Allied wouldn’t move for us and it was going to be a tight fit getting all of them into our car. Also, Allied wouldn’t be delivering our stuff for 7-14 days, so we would be in a new house with nothing except an air mattress and Kristin was pregnant.
Finally on Friday, I was stir-crazy and fed up with Allied, so we decided to move ahead with renting a truck and moving ourselves. I canceled the Allied move, which fortunately didn’t end up costing us anything. I called for some help from friends again and I picked up a truck on Saturday morning. We got the storage unit emptied and the truck loaded by Saturday evening. We headed out early Sunday for Kristin’s parent’s place in central PA. This wasn’t the most direct route, but would give us a place to crash where the truck would be safe. Most of the trip went fine, but we ran into heavy rain in PA and then had to go up over a mountain on interstate 81 where it was very foggy and there was roadwork going on. It was pretty scary and I was exhausted from driving the truck all day. We got behind a semi truck and took it slow. There were spots with no guardrail and only one lane was open, so it was nerve-wracking. We finally made it through and got on the last main road going to Pottsville, arriving around 10PM or so.
We took Monday off to rest and I actually did a little work that day. We headed out again on Tuesday to go the rest of the way. The trip went pretty well and we had good weather. As we climbed a hill and crossed over into Vermont, the landscape stretched before us and it was such a lovely site I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears. It had taken so long to get to this point and we had a lot of obstacles. The rest of the way was pretty easy, although the Vermont backroads had Kristin cringing as my back tires would edge off the side of the road. No shoulders, just narrow roads beat up by the Vermont winters. But we finally pulled up in front of the house I had rented and Kristin got to see it for the first time. I still had the truck for another day, so we took our time getting unloaded and hired a couple of local guys to get the heavy stuff. It was money well spent after our long ordeal getting there.
This is a four part series, check out the other posts here: