Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hurricane, Utah: Sale of the Whale

It was with mixed emotions of excitement and wistfulness that we packed up for one last tow. We automatically set about our routine of de-cluttering, stowing loose items, lashing the TV and chairs, raising jacks, running in the slides,disconnecting water and electricity, and hooking up the truck. This was certainly not our favorite part of living on the move, but it was unique to this lifestyle we've been living for most of the last two and a half years. This last drive under tow would be different in another way: Nancy would not be in the passenger seat of Gigantor - instead she would be following in the Penske truck. It was an easy drive - all highway - but we used our two-way radios for communication, like when and where to stop for lunch. We arrived in Hurricane, checked in, and backed into the site next to the buyers, Steve & Maria.

That first afternoon and evening were pretty much just what I'd hoped for. The four of us excitedly walked around and through the Whale, and that evening Steve and Maria hosted a nice dinner of bruschetta, grilled fish & squash. We talked over wine and cocktails, sharing stories and plans for the future. Nice.

The next day wasn't so much fun. Nancy and I still had a lot of cleaning and packing to do, and the moving truck was already very full. We were running out of boxes, and getting to more difficult items to pack. But the real source of stress came from Gigantor. Steve had noticed some wetness from oil under the engine. I was aware of it, but paid it no heed as it had been that way for so long and had gotten no worse. But Steve wanted it checked out, and suddenly we were afraid that they wouldn't buy the truck. We had naively assumed that the sale would go through without a hitch, had paid a lot of money for the moving truck, and were not prepared to take Gigantor home with us.

We dropped the truck off at a repair shop, and busied ourselves for a few hours, taking care of chores, including the wire transfer from Steve to the bank which held our lien on the trailer. That part went well anyway.

When we returned to the shop to hear the prognosis I was full of dread. It seemed that sometime in the truck's past someone had damaged the upper oil pan, and repaired it with epoxy or something. This repair was failing, and oil was now leaking through cracks in the patch. But, for $650 it could be put to right, so I agreed to absorb the cost, and Steve agreed to buy the truck. Not too terrible an outcome.

That night we retired to our separate quarters, all tired from the emotional impact of the day. Nancy and I were upset by the unexpected truck issue, wishing we'd had it checked out and fixed beforehand, so that we'd have arrived confident and with no lurking problems. We also had the question of the trailer title to deal with. In retrospect, we should have borrowed from ourselves, paid off the trailer, and shown up to the sale with a clean title. But, time was tight and its hard to get mail when we move so often. Plus, by having Steve pay the bank directly, then the title would get issued directly to him in his name, thereby avoiding the step of taking our signed-over title to Utah DMV for reissue. But, Steve was wary of the process, and wanted to hold back the balance of the combined sale price until he had title in hand. We didn't want to leave that much money behind, along with both truck & trailer. A compromise was reached that we would leave behind just $1000 as insurance that the title arrived as promised.

And so, after a last flurry of packing and cleaning, we piled into our rented Penske truck and pointed its nose toward Connecticut. It would take us six days, driving 7-8 hours each day, to cover the 2800 highway miles to get home. We were eager to get started, as we were eager to have it over with.

Much more full than expected - somehow all this was neatly tucked away in The Whale:

New owners, Steve and Maria:

Our six days of driving home were not without their moments, and I'll tell those stories in the next post. But this, now, is the end of the story of our adventures with Gigantor and The Whale. If that comes across as anticlimactic, that's because that's exactly how it felt.

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