Last Saturday was load-the-truck day. Of course, prior to Saturday, there was a whole lot of packing going on. Karen's parents came up a few times to help pack and clean, and Karen's dad did a lot of the fixes that the buyers wanted done. Thursday night Ken and his dad arrived from Tamworth where Ken's mom stayed behind to take care of the sheep and other critters. Friday was Karen's last day at work, but in the morning we went to our lawyer's office to sign all the papers that we needed to sign for selling the house. Karen's co-workers gave her a wonderful send-off with a luscious cake from Muscoreil's and a card, and many hugs goodbye.
Saturday we had to go get the UHaul truck. When the UHaul reservations agent called on Friday, she said the place was open at 8am and when did we want to pick it up? We told her 8am, so we were there, bright and early, at the "East Park Gas & Convenient Mart" in Tonawanda, and no one was there. A few cars drove in wanting to get gas, and had to drive away again. There was a paper lying in front of the door and another piece of paper stuck in the door, and the whole place looked sort of trashy - literally - with garbage cans and a dumpster filled to overflowing. At about 8:20 we called UHaul and told them there was no one there. They put us on hold and came back to say that the main UHaul terminal said that this place was not usually open until 9am, but we could pick up another truck at a different place on Main Street. Where on Main Street we asked? Across from Canisius College, they said. Oh. Well, it would take almost as long to drive down into Buffalo as it would to wait for the store here to open up, so we opted to wait.
About 10 minutes later the store owner/manager arrived. He was very smiley and apologetic. He opened the store and then got our reservation information and printed out the contract (3 copies), gave us the key, and said "have a nice trip". We went out to the truck, which was a big one. We reserved a 24 footer, but I think we actually got a 26. Overall the truck was 34.5 feet long. We checked the mileage on the truck and it was higher than what was on the contract, by about 80 miles. The gas gauge was also reading lower than what was on the contract. So Ken went back inside to let the guy know, and he said someone would have to come out from the UHaul terminal to verify the mileage. About 10 minutes later the UHaul guy showed up and wrote the correct mileage and gas amount on the contracts and initialed them. We had also checked the oil while waiting and it seemed a bit low, so he got us a quart of oil to top it up.
So we finally headed back to Ransomville, Karen driving the UHaul and Ken driving the Santa Fe. We stopped at the reservation for gas, and it took 47 gallons to fill the truck, at 3.89/gallon. Ouch! It also took something like 15 minutes because the pumps were running so slow.
When all was said and done, we didn't get back to Ransomville with the truck until 10:30am, after assuming we'd be back by 9!
Continued in Part 2....