Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Journey Begins (aka: If I had a bumper sticker it would read "Cat is my co-pilot")

For this blog, please become acquainted with this little man... Hairy Konowalchuk Jr. From here on known as Kono
In all great adventures, certain decisions have to be made.  Do you spend the travel allowance on big trucks and professional movers or do you save the dough and do it yourself.  As you all know, I am nothing if not cheap.  I like to call it penny-wise.  I am the guy who has flown first class to Hawaii the past two years for a grand total of $20.  American.

I had to decide.  I had to cross the Rubicon as my old friend George Washington would say.  Luxury or economy.

I had made my choice.  I was doing it big time.  Going out in style.  I even had a professional help me load it up.

Yup, 5 feet by 8 feet of pure excitement.  And thanks to my renter Kyle, a professional loader of airplanes, we got most of it to fit....... Most of it.

With a little help from my old friend, the Taco.

Monday at 6AM, Kono and I and our 25 feet of travelling circus headed out on the open road.  Travel with a pet can be difficult.  Travel with a cat can be excruciating.  Travel with Konowalchuk can be mind-numbingly horrendous.  I say can, but I should say is.  He hates the car.  He hates the wind whipping thru his freshly bathed fur.  He is convinced I am taking him to a pound somewhere filled with ugly volunteers and a pen full of male dogs with attitude problems.  And, did I mention my cat is very vocal even when he is just peacefully wandering around his domain? Put him in a crate or a car or a crate in a car and prepare for the worst book on tape you ever heard.  He makes listening to Marilyn Manson, Clay Aiken, or even the Eagles seem almost tolerable as an alternative.  (Although I doubt I would actually choose the Eagles over his howls.  Talk about Sophie's choice.)

I went against everyone's advice and let him ride free in the passenger seat, his crate in the back seat where he could get in it if he wanted.  Turned out all he wanted was to scream.  At me, at every car that passed, at every truck we crawled by, he voiced his serious displeasure with my decision to leave his mansion behind.  I also think he was annoyed by the trailer that seemed to be tailgating the truck at all times.  I shoulda had someone move my junk for me.  Anyway, I digress.

We stopped in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Didn't really need to.  I gassed up but mostly I needed to find that pair of ear plugs I had packed for just such an eventuality.  Kitten took my getting out and leaving him in the cab alone pretty well.  He only ripped apart one seat and crapped on my sunglasses.  Then he sat in my seat so I couldn't open the door and get back in.  I ran to the passenger window and knocked to get him to go there.  Then I ran around the back of the truck, tripped over a trailer tongue that some jerk had attached to my truck and managed to get into the drivers seat, bloody, beaten, and having given days worth of laughs to the truckers who had watched my little one man show at the J&J Truck Stop.

This, by the way, would be my routine for each stop across the state of Wyoming.  And thanks to that stupid trailer and a strong headwind, the stops were very frequent.

I had hoped by the time I reached Rawlins he would be settled in.  Then I hoped for Rock Springs.  By the time I reached Salt Lake City I felt like I had been on one of the wagons crossing the Oregon Trail.  I was ready for an indian to shoot me with an arrow and scalp me.  It would make the searing pain in my brain from K's anger seem like a stubbed toe.

Then we came to Idaho.  And I noticed something.  For the first time in 8 hours, I could actually hear the dulcet tones of Adam Carolla coming from my iPod!  The kitten had settled down.

Adam Carolla.  American Genius. If you aren't yet downloading his podcast, start today. Awesome listening.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Idaho. Home of potatoes... um, potatoes, and a suddenly quiet cat.  He had clearly given up his fight.  He had accepted his fate.  He was not happy.  But ten times we had stopped, ten times we had begun again, and he was still along for the ride.  So why not stop screaming about the trip and start yelling at me for my driving.  And at that stupid trailer that was STILL tailgating us.

Day 1 came to a close in Boise, ID.  My sister has a job.  I don't know if she likes it or not.  I do.  She can get me hotel discounts pretty much anywhere.  And she got kitten and I a room in Boise for the night.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet.  Kitten... well, he decided he was home.

In the hotel, he claimed the furniture for himself and then wanted the remote. Just like in the house, he took charge.

The next day, we left for our new home.  But that is for another post.  This one I fear has become too long.
Thank you again for reading.  And, if indeed you did read this far, this will be the last time I thank you. So thanks one last time.  Next up, Oregon, our first major water crossing, and a few new scratch marks!


  1. Ha ha ha! "dulcet tones of Adam Carolla?" Sure, I like the podcast, but that's not at all the way I've ever thought of describing that voice.....

    Can't wait for the next installment. Blog-pimping begins this morning. But I must take some issue in the fact that you don't consider any of the following as major water crossings: the Green, the South Platte, nor the North Platte... Interesting....

  2. I appreciate the help and the readership... Just hope its somewhat interesting or at least slightly amusing.

    Tips are always welcome. Any ideas to make it better, pass em along!