“Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me.Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Oceans- Hillsong United
Brandon and I were about to embark on the longest road trip of our life together as we moved from Wisconsin to California. In true Chappell fashion, we had less than a month to pack up our apartment and hit the road to California. (This quick decision, quick action scenario has played out a number of times for us.) Moving outside of Wisconsin was a huge challenge for me personally, as I had never lived outside of Milwaukee county in my 22 years of life. For my honest account of the emotions of making a big move for the first time in my life, click HERE.
To my great relief, Brandon was the point person for our cross country move. He knew that with the coming emotional pains I was going to experience, I wouldn’t be able to plan and execute a cross country move (especially the first one of my life). Since Brandon grew up in a military family and had moved 24 times up to this point, he was more than happy to take on the responsibility. The plan would be to do the trip in 4 days total aside from a couple days stay in Omaha. Day one would be Milwaukee to Omaha. Day two Omaha to Laramie, WY. Day three Laramie to Elko, NV. Day four Elko to Occidental– our final stop.
Also, in true Chappell fashion, our move did not start out as we planned it to. We had planned to leave Wisconsin on Monday, December 28th, giving us five days to travel across the country and into California on January 1st. On Christmas Day, Brandon was watching the weather for our stint between Wisconsin and Omaha and found there was a pretty severe winter storm on the way that would dump tons of snow on the ground. Not ideal for a cross country move – towing a trailer of our belongings, as well as a car full of stuff between Wisconsin and Omaha for eight hours (with good weather). We then had to make the decision to leave early and try to make it to Omaha ahead of the storm.
That eight hour car drive turned into a 10 hour haul and brought us into Omaha around midnight— ahead of the snow!. We then immediately unpacked our things that were staying at Brandon’s parents house, so that we wouldn’t have to do it when the snow fell. The first stint of our trip was done and we were now able to spend a few days celebrating Christmas and visiting Mike & Kim.
The next hiccup occurred when we Brandon was taking the trailer back to Uhaul, when we got a flat tire on the car. Annoying as it is to get new tires, it was a pretty easy fix.
For Christmas, Brandon’s parents got us a trailer basket to help us get the rest of our belonging to California. As Brandon was putting it together, one of the bolts busted, before we even got it on the car. Again, as annoying as that was, it was another easy fix. Just had to run down to the hardware store and get another bolt & we were back in business. Just a few days later, our car was loaded and we were ready for the rest of our traveling to our new home.
December 30, 2015. Off we went. The first day of driving would be across Nebraska– a super dull drive for anyone potentially intrigued by the exciting idea to drive across NE– from Omaha to Laramie WY. You guys, Laramie is beautiful!! The road into town was this long, downhill stretch with mountains surrounding us covered in snow. Brandon and I were both blown away because, who knew that Wyoming was beautiful? I always thought is would be kind of boring, just a lot of open land. It truly is a sight to see! After eating dinner we settled into our hotel. Other than being SUPER cold, we had a great travel day and were ready for some sleep.
With the time change across the US, sleep was a little more difficult than we thought. Brandon ended up getting up in the middle of the night to go to the 24 hour Walmart and buy a hitch extender to hopefully get the hitch basket off the ground a little bit more. We noticed it was hitting the ground when we were coming in and out of parking lots. In the morning, we installed the hitch extender (noticing it didn’t seem to lift it a whole lot due to the weight of the totes on the back) & we got on the road.
December 31st, 2015- Day two of driving we would be meeting with family in Utah for lunch and then working our way to Elko, NV. We were a little more aware of the trailer basket and how low to the ground it was riding. There wasn’t much clearance between the basket and the ground when the car was completely flat and, with the bouncing of the car, we were concerned about scraping the ground and losing our totes along the way. We stopped at a gas station in Point of Rocks, Wy and realized that the hitch riser just wasn’t working. The basket was back to almost skimming the ground, even with the hitch riser, which means that something was bent. (Enter my panic attack) We are only about halfway through our trip and could not continue hauling our totes on the hitch basket and had ZERO room in the car for the totes, even if we rearranged things. The nearest next big town was 26 miles down the road to Rock Springs, where we would look for a shipping company to send the totes the rest of the way to California. Bam, we were hit with more expenses (there are almost ALWAYS more expenses.) We found a shipping company in a hardware store and spent almost an hour getting our totes in order to ship out to California, but at last they were on their way and we were back on the road.
We made it to lunch (late), enjoyed the meal with our family and were back on the road. Eventually we made it to Elko, NV on New Years Eve and settled in for another night of rest before our last stretch to our new home.
To this point, we had encountered a number of inconveniences such as a flat tire and broken bolt in Omaha, NE, a sagging hitch all through Wyoming and stomached shipping four large tote boxes to our new home in California from Rock Springs, Wy. Even with these difficulties and the homesickness I was nursing, we knew that we were taking a big step of faith in our lives and were expectant of what God had in store for us in just a few short days. The most important thing was that we were together and that we both had faith that God was with us in our travels and in our biggest adventure to date.