The Pickup

There is a curious thing I learned from U-Haul recently. That is that it’s hard to get a car trailer. Sure, we could have rented one up here in Seattle, but I didn’t really feel like dead-heading a trailer for 4 hours down past Portland. I figured, it would be easier to pick one up in the Portland area, that also being one of the major metropolitan areas of the Pacific North West. Well, as it turns out, car trailers seem to simply not exist in Portland. The only one I was able to find was in Vancouver WA, which is actually a pretty good “on-the-way” spot and kinda close to Portland. The trouble started as soon as we hit I-5 and pulled up the address in Google Maps.

“Warning, you will reach your destination after they close.”

How is this possible? They close at 4, Vancouver is less than 3 hours away and it’s just barely past lunchtime! Due to an accident on I-5 between Tacoma and Olympia, it was going to take an extra hour plus. No good. Once we cleared the traffic jam and had a clear shot to Vancouver (ETA 4:10 pm), we called the office and explained to them the situation — We hit traffic, we have an appt to pickup a car tonight, no trailers anywhere, etc, etc. They said they had to leave at 4:00. I put the pedal to the metal.

Now, Lisa says I was driving a little “scary” at this time, exceeding the speed limit in the rain, in her Dad’s truck trying to make up time. Sir, if you’re reading this, I have no comment on Lisa’s claim, I would just note that you received your truck back with no damage and that’s all really matters.

In order to distract herself from the near death experience greeting her continuously through the windshield, Lisa called U-Haul customer service to see if there were any other car trailers in the area at facilities which were open a little bit later. The agent said, “There’s a note on your reservation, that they’ll be able to wait until 4:10 for you.” The ETA had dropped to 4:07 by this time. 3 minutes to spare, no big deal! This did cause me to let a bit and bring it to a low simmer.

As it turns out, we pulled into the place at 4:04 and thanked the people profusely as they checked us out. Friends, if you’re ever in need of U-Haul equipment, rent from the folks at I-205 Mini Storage in Vancouver WA. Good people. With trailer in hand, or rather on hitch, we proceeded the additional 1:20 to our destination.

The remainder of the trip down was uneventful, I dare say it was pleasant even, as we were under no time pressure, the weather had cleared and the countryside was quite pretty.

Eventually we wound our way through the hills and farmland and happened upon our destination. If you look VERY closely, you can see the unmistakable roof-line of our quarry in this picture somewhere.

We’ve arrived!

One we figure out the logistics of getting the extra long truck with trailer into the barnyard where the car was, we started looking the car over. I knew it needed some things, but I wanted to be sure I knew what I was getting into. We poked at the car over the course of an hour. I will admit the car was little rougher than I expected cosmetically, but it was fairly represented.

I made an offer, we haggled a little, sold for $1800.

Once we pulled away, I think we’d been at this guys house for over two hours. In addition to buying this car, we talked about all kinds of car stuff and he showed us some other treasures he had on the property. The seller being such a nice guy was really the cherry on top of an already fun adventure.

We stopped for dinner in Forest Grove and took the first picture of it being ours. We pulled into our neighborhood about 1:00 am — in all, about a 13 hour adventure.

Next up…Diagnosing and repairing things!


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