After making several all-day trips to New Paltz to retrieve items from storage, and in anticipation of the new addition, we decided to bite the bullet and relocate all our stuff to a storage facility here in Binghamton. It fell together quite easily, unlike some of our previous relocation efforts. We found a storage unit here in town, then emailed some friends to see if and when we might be able to get some help. We expected the planning to take some time but as it turned out, our good friend David was available almost immediately, on a weekday no less (better rates on the truck rental).
Dave and I meet at seven in the morning to drive down to Highland, where I had arranged to rent a 17' truck through U-Haul's website. However when we arrived at Pete's Collision Service, a very upscale establishment on 9W, I was somewhat dismayed to find out Pete had no trucks. So much for the conveniences of the internet. Fortunately another U-Haul center was only 5 minutes away, and a quick call reassured us a truck was waiting. Even if he had no trucks, this Pete sure was helpful and friendly.
We found the second center slightly less helpful than Pete's, not to mention quite a bit less upscale, but after a half-hour or so delay we were back on the road with our truck. Brandie had called a local mover to arrange for a third set of hands to help load the truck, and a few minutes later we arrived at the storage facility to find Ryan waiting. After a quick look at the truck (17') and the contents of our storage unit (25') he declared, "There's no way all this stuff is going to fit in that truck."
We were anticipating this somewhat, given the amount of furniture and boxes stacked in the unit, but hoped to pick up the slack with the extra vehicle and if necessary a towed trailer. At the last minute we had decided not to bring my dad's Suburban, so that Brandie could use the Passat in the event of an emergency, and so had Dave's smaller SUV. Despite this, Dave was confident. "It's aaaall going home today," he confided to me in a wild-eyed stage whisper out of earshot of Ryan.
In any case, we tackled the problem with gusto. Dave, always brimming with energy, optimism and natural athleticism, had worked for a mover during college and now had legendary moving skills*. He loaded up the handcarts inside the storage unit for me to run out to Ryan, who filled every square inch of the truck, and within an hour and a half we had finished.
And by "finished", I mean that the U-Haul was stuffed to the gills. Nothing else would fit, except maybe a few items up in the cab with me. The floor of the storage unit was littered with Pottery Barn bed parts, a Weber grill, a rolled up rug, a large wooden rocking horse and a collection of rakes and shovels, not to mention both king- and queen-sized box springs and a queen mattress. Ryan was apologetic but probably a little validated that his prediction had come true. "I packed it as full as I could, there was just too much stuff," he said. "If you have a friend with a pickup, you can probably come down and get the rest pretty easily."
It didn't look to me like anything that would fit in one or even two loads with a pickup, but something that we would have to rent another U-Haul for. I was regretting not renting a larger truck, but at least we had gotten the important (baby-related) items to take back home. I thanked Ryan, paid him for the work and escorted him through the gate. On my way back to the unit, Brandie called. I told her we would have to make another trip, but that Dave and I were going to get lunch before heading home.
Over lunch, Dave reiterated his pledge. "It's all going home today," he reassured me. "I have some ideas, but we'll need to stop somewhere to get some rope and a tarp." On the way back to the storage unit, we visited a hardware store and then set ourselves to the seemingly impossible task. Somehow, to my lasting disbelief, Dave made all that stuff fit in his Trailblazer. I have a picture of his over-burdened truck on my cell phone that I'll try to post online, but it hardly does justice to the real thing.
We checked out of the facility and got on the road, expecting Dave to experience some problems with the handling of his vehicle. To the contrary, his hardy Trailblazer was fine. At 45mph on the onramp to I-87 however, my U-Haul started tipping from side to side like a perpetual motion machine. I stopped accelerating and let the load settle, then answered my ringing cell phone.
"What the heck was that?" I asked Dave in horror. "It felt like I was going up on two wheels!"
"I think you'll want to keep it under 50," he answered. And I did. And it was the longest four hours in recent memory, as every time I went over an uneven set of expansion joints or an overpass with just the right geometry would get my vehicle rocking and set the overweight load into motion. With the Weber immediately by my side threatening to brain me if the vehicle overturned, I spent an anxious evening watching the rain turn heavy and eventually to snow in the Catskills. Fortunately it didn't stick, and we got a second tarp on the exposed bedframe hanging out of Dave's truck before it got too soaked.
We made it home and unloaded Dave's truck in the new storage unit (conveniently equipped with a light for such circumstances), saving the major unloading work for the next morning.