Tag Archives: Texas

1700 Miles to Austin – Part 6 – The Work Day


Mr. Ming steeling himself for the adventure ahead.

The apartment looks twice as big when there’s not a damn thing in it.

The last thing I thought when I closed the door to 490 East 74th St wasn’t waves of nostalgia or reminiscing about my three plus years in NYC. It was the practical matter of how my voice echoed in the empty living room. The ocean of space and opportunity a vacant apartment presents.

That’s the story of Day One. Practicality. The steadfast work of loading up the truck with everything we own. Jamie’s kung-fu kick to the box spring to get it down the stairs. The $200 payoff to the guy whose driver side mirror we wrecked pulling away. To our credit, he was double parked too.


The truck loading champions: Drew anf Jamie

It was the three hour trek to the Lincoln Tunnel. Two hours to go fifteen New York City blocks, during which I was able to walk to a hardware store, buy a lock for the truck, pick up some food stuffs and walk back to the vehicle. No worries, traffic had moved a block and a half. Could have had a full dinner if I wanted to.

It was the burst of adrenaline when we first broke free of the 495 slog and sprung onto Turnpike South. Exit 6 to the PA Turnpike and $20 tolls. A 9:00 Burger King dinner in an empty King of Prussia rest station. Bad food in worse lighting never tasted better.


Showing off the guns

As we settle down in a Pottstown, PA Motel 6, I can’t help but think of how much was done in fourteen hours. Drew Gilchrist’s heroic box moving. Bobby’s selfless dedication to lugging the heaviest furnature. The guy in the toll booth who said, “Must have been a long day”, when we pulled up to pay.

It was young fella. It was.

The only New York sadness hit unexpectedly. Driving along somewhere around hour six, the local radio station started playing Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys. I looked up at a driving Jamie and said, “Awww. New York.”

Sometimes, even in the most practical of days, there’s a little room for old fashioned thoughtfulness.

Oh, and the truck looks tiny when there’s piles of crap resting in it.


1700 Miles to Austin – Part 3 – The Route

Whilst reading this post, listen to the above tune.  The energy of our cross country trip is perfectly captured by the great Ben Gibbard.


Hotels?  Check.

Truck friendly highways?  Check.

Enough road snacks to satiate a small colony?  Maybe.

Overall Map

Above is a Microsoft Paint cropped map of our long anticipated journey to Austin, Texas.  At first glance, our route looks like a diagonal Fruit Ninja slash through the belly of Southeast America.  1700 miles of highways, rest stops and the occasional cactus.  The trip will be a grand opportunity to discover places we’d never visit otherwise, all in the cab of a sixteen foot truck with questionable gas mileage.  Drive through dining will not be an option.  Below is the step by step tour of the trip.

August 15th: Separation

A to B

After spending the day packing up the vehicle, we’ll be in no shape for long distance traveling.  The goal for Thursday evening is to get a head start on the trip and crash out in Pottstown, PA.  We were aiming for Billy Joel’s Allentown, but due to a lack of truck parking and an inexplicable “no dog” policy, we opted for a town about 40 miles out.  According to the kindly gentleman at the front desk, there’s a steakhouse across the street and a variety of fast food joints in the area.  Over the lips and through the gums, look out stomach, here it comes.  Adventures in on the road eating.

August 16th:  Driving

B to C

The goal for Friday is to drive.  And drive.  And drive.  By far our longest day, the 600 miles between Pottstown and Newport, Tennessee will be a vehicular marathon.  While we wanted to end up in the hippie town of Asheville, North Carolina, the same issues of dog friendliness and available parking reared their ugly head.  You’re lucky you’re so darn cute, Ming…

August 17th:  Touring

C to D

After a breakneck day of highways and byways, Saturday will be a more relaxing affair.  Once we shove some groceries down our neck, we’ll head out on a three hour blast to Nashville.  There, we’ll do a bit of touring, have lunch and check out the scene.  From there is a four hour trip to Memphis where we’ll pack up the pup in the hotel and have dinner / drinks in the border bound city.  My Spidey Sense tells me we’ll be rather thirsty following a day on the road.

August 18th:  Texas

D to E

Sunday Funday will start off with a sleep in / sleep off followed by a quick two hour jaunt to Little Rock, Arkansas.  Lunch and then back on the road to the Lone Star State.  A scant five hour drive will take us into Palestine, Texas, a tiny town smack between Houston and Dallas.  Palestine is the home of Jamie’s mom and stepdad.  Familiar faces and relaxing sleep in a non-hotel bed will be most welcome.

August 19th:  Family

Monday will be spent relaxing in Palestine.  A day of noodling about, picking up needed Austin items and antiquing, all in preparation for…

August 20th:  Austin

E to F

Today’s the day we arrive in our new home.  Four hours from Palestine, we plan to arrive at our new place around noon where Jamie’s dad will help us unpack everything we own into the apartment.  A long day after a long trip, this marks the end of the journey and the beginning of our new lives in Austin.  Can’t wait to take the trek and see what random fun awaits.