May 06, 2021

We Arrived Safe And Sound

I sit in my new computer room with an entirely different view out my corner room windows. So much green, sounds of birds and the smell of clean air. That is one thing both the movers and the guy that transported my VW told me they noticed as soon as they stepped out of the trucks. Clean smelling air. I will try to update you with the trip with 28 photos dating back to my last blog post. You see cattle in back of the house in Sierra Vista. A few weeks prior to departure they dropped off a large number of cattle to graze. They made the doberman bark more due to his confusion about the intruders.

The routines of the hounds and the dog never changed those 8 days from the last blog post to the day we moved. They did get a little curious, maybe a little anxious later, as I packed electronics if they had their original boxes. I tried to pack all the original box stuff that I could before the movers showed up. Still, I was happy with the decision to have them pack and move what little stuff I had. I had a lot of mixed emotions about this move as you might have read in prior posts. By the last couple of days I couldn't wait to leave. I have been here in this house a week as of this afternoon and have yet to hear a police siren or have a border patrol copter fly over the house at midnight heading for the border. It is so quiet here I am almost afraid to talk to the dogs outloud. 

Nothing and I mean nothing has bothered Henry in this transition from one state to another 1700 miles so or so away. He loves everything he does, places he goes ... it just doesn't matter to him. He is a neighborhood favorite which I will explain at the end of the post.

We enjoyed the last few afternoons with the mountain views. It wasn't that hot yet in Sierra Vista but the rocks were starting to get hot enough by the afternoons that made Walter stay on the patio and Stella to tip toe out to the fence area. I didn't tell her that I had a surprise for her in a few days. I had a feeling she was really going to like grass under her feet again.

Tuesday morning, April 27th the local car transporter showed up right on time. He would not leave until the next morning since he wanted to arrive by the time I got there. It did feel strange to see him pull away. In a matter of months I had gone from five vehicles down to two and the one I was driving was a last second decision buy after my road trip a few weeks prior with Henry to see his breeder east of Wilcox AZ. I knew on the way back from that trip I needed to make a change for the cross-country trip a couple of weeks later.

With Walter's keen sense of life, he knew something big was up early in the morning of moving day. Movers were due at 9am. I had ran out early for coffee since I had drained the coffee maker of water for them to pack. Yes, Walter knew things were going to happen on Wednesday, April 28th. Little did he know that he would be riding "shotgun" for 24 hours give or take a few hours. I could feel and knew I was driving this trip straight through.

Stella knows the weather in "the tropics" of southern Indiana so she was going to take advantage of one more morning of intense sunshine at high elevation before getting in the car that afternoon to head east. I wish there was a magic pill I could give her for her arthritis in her rear hips. It hurts me to see her walk anymore, let alone take a step into the house from the patio in the new house.

She didn't let the action or the noise of the movers bother her sunbathing. In fact I even sat on the ground, leaning up next to the corner post on the patio to enjoy some of that sunshine while the movers worked inside.

I wanted to give Walter an early start for him to get use to his harness. He had done better each time I put it on him a few days prior to the move. With the stress of moving it surprised me that he wasn't prancing around nervous while they worked packing my house inside. That sunshine felt awfully good as we sat outside.

Yes, the U-Haul truck surprised me too when it backed into my driveway. I was paying for a professional move, with a small company with a long history of family ownership and great customer reviews. I understood their reasoning as he answered my question about it while sitting at the kitchen table in my new location two days later.

Three men tore through my house like it was nothing. I knew what time my estimated departure time was based on that photo of my gas stops, I showed you a few posts ago and it seemed like we were right on schedule. During this time it surprised me that I was feeling excitement over sadness of leaving a house I loved, an area of Arizona I thought I'd never leave. And that view ... damn what a view out the back of the house.

I did a last walkthrough the house to make sure nothing had been left behind. After my last professional move from Washington to Indiana in 1994, I was going to make sure that my cast iron skillets were not left in the stove like that time. 

That is a "Chili Red" Mini Cooper S Countryman you see parked on the curb. If your remember my blue 2015 Countryman was my only vehicle back in 'the tropics' the last 10 months I was there. It would hold Stella and Sadie comfortably on our trips. So with only one bloodhound in back this time I knew Henry back there with Stella would be okay.

They had plenty of room to stand, turn around, stretch ... Henry even thought a few hours down the road it was the perfect place to play and wrestle with Stella. So room was not a factor. That cardboard was my $174 pet barrier, with hopes of keeping Henry in back and not my front seat when I would get out of the car to fill it with gas and buy more coffee inside for me. It worked out well, surprisingly.

Now you have to remember that Walter does not like riding in the car. He never liked riding in the truck a half mile to the vet as a puppy. I thought with a familiar smell of his sleeping bag on the seat, along with a stack of blankets in the floorboard to make it one long bed, that he would find a comfortable spot to hang out for the next 24-27 hours for our straight shot 1713 mile trip. I didn't think this was the optimum position but he was snoring loudly with this tongue out, so I knew he was comfortable. He did great on this trip, even on the dog breaks to eat, drink and relieve themselves.

Just as I did two years earlier back in 'the tropics' I took a final photo of the house as I pulled away. With it standing empty it stopped having the feel of home and pulling away was not a problem. Someone was getting a good house, although that house on the left also recently sold ... a sign of the times in Sierra Vista AZ.

I can't remember exactly where this photo was taken. With most freeway speed limits 75mph, we cruised at 85mph, 2200 rpms, 32.9mpg by the end of the trip ... and a quiet engine. Unlike the RAV4 which had a little more horsepower but less torque, it was louder running at high speeds on the freeway with the Henry road trip weeks prior. The Mini was a much more comfortable car and still had that sports car feel even though they started making the Mini a bigger vehicle in 2019 ... I enjoyed the larger size car based on past experiences in the smaller Mini.

The Mini computer in the center computer console on the dash tells me we had 23 hours and 45 minutes of driving time, averaging 77mph even with stops at all the Oklahoma toll road traveling on I-44. Needless to say, if the car was moving the hounds and the dog were sleeping ... just like the 2019 move with Heidi and Stella.

We left Sierra Vista AZ the 28th at 2:15pm PT and arrived the 29th at ~4:30pm CT. As many RV readers already know ... with each mile heading east it just kept getting greener. The hounds and the dog were blown away by what they were walking on, maybe even some confusion ... but it didn't take long for Walter to mark all his area in the yard, for Henry and Stella to smell every inch of the backyard with their powerful noses. I could already tell by they way they acted ... it was a good decision to move. 

We are living next to a field again. On the other side of that berm is an 8 acre field planted with wheat this year. (neighbor told me) and only 5 miles from downtown in a city of 117,000 people, two freeways, one 6-lane expressway, two small universities, a great bike shop, and great bike riding just around the corner from my house.

The swing set was taken apart and moved by the seller of the house on Saturday, the deck is very nice and a favorite sleeping spot of Stella and Walter. Henry spends all of his time in the grass and in fact refuses to come inside when the rest of us do. It was within minutes of arrival that I hammered that stake most dog owners know about, into the ground with the 20' cable attached. Instead I attached a 40' parachute cord to that anchor and that keeps Henry from moving next door.

With all three not wiping their mouths after drinking water, I figured their water bowl in the backyard was the perfect place where they can lift their head after drinking water and let it fall wherever. I have a .4 of an acre here, compared to the .13 acre I had up north a couple of years ago. With my new self propelled 22" Toro, it took me only 5 minutes longer to mow than my other yard in 'the tropics' ... this is flat and so much easier lawn to mow. All of my neighbors use riding mowers but I like the 55 minute exercise.

The hounds and the dog and I were already on Central Time without any adjustment. I had been up an hour on Friday morning when my car transport pulled up in front at 6am. This photo was take a few hours later. He agreed with my suggestion for taking the car off the trailer. I did not want to wake up the neighbors my first morning here because the bug has a loud muffler. We coasted it off the trailer in neutral, with the engine not turned on, then pushed it to this spot. Nice and quiet and the neighbors never heard us unload.

Normal routine for them except for the different room. The movers had not arrived yet so there was no computer room per se, where they normally sleep after eating breakfast. So while I drank coffee at the kitchen table that was left, they slept on the kitchen floor waiting for their furniture to arrive.

It did not take long for Henry and Walter to figure out the 20x20 great room with no furniture was a great hockey rink. They would run full speed, slide along the floor 10' feet before getting to wrestle. Walter was growling like he normally does where a stranger would think he was going to kill Henry. While Henry would drag Walter across the floor by his jowls, Walter found that heavy Henry would slide across the floor just as easy as he did, if he pulled Henry by those long ears of his. Needless to say ... I need to get some furniture in this room as soon as possible ... LOL.

Although most days have been like this photo, early morning and afternoons ... we have had more rain in 5 days than I saw in a year in Sierra Vista. I really like this place. I will write more about my past weekend and my introduction to some of the friendliest people I have ever met, just like my long time college roommate friend and the seller of this house told me it would be.

There is something good about a patio door that dogs love to sleep in front of. 

With all utilities, tv, internet, furniture (except for greatroom) .. back to normal routine ... get up early, dogs eat and then sleep in computer room while I put this post together. Walter even refuses to eat unless his bowl is brought into the computer room just like he did in Arizona the past few weeks.

I gotta go ... I will write more about this trip tomorrow.

It's great to be back in 'the tropics'.


  1. Glad to hear all went well for you and the gang. Looks like you picked another great place to call home.

    1. It is a great place full of friendly people. Seems pretty easy to get around the city and all my stores are within 3 miles similar to Sierra Vista. Thanks.

  2. LOL... the "Boys" and their "Woman" appear to be well adjusted and that warms our hearts. Will you be installing a fence to assist Henry and Walter from neighborhood wondering? That indoor gym they have is pretty large. I had a red wall in my last home, and the vet told me red interior for our lab was not so good. She told me it does contribute to our black labs anxiety. So when we moved here, I painted the walls a pecan color and the lab was so much more mellowed out. I know my BP did drop as well. Perhaps, colors do play a part in our health. I can't wait to see more of the boys, it already appears they LOVE their new digs.

    1. I mentioned to the neighbors I was installing an invisible fence after the good feedback I had from friends in town with large dogs. But the two ladies next door suggested I keep it open so the dogs could visit their yard when they wanted and they could see them more often. So we will see. I will be painting some rooms but not sure about the indoor gym. LOL

  3. Welcome home again Steve. Its nice to see green again. I hope no allergies for the new kids and grass. They look well adjusted already.

    1. One big difference I forgot to mention. In the short time we have been here, ALL of their noses went back to being black and most instead of dried out and cracked. I HOPE ... for no allergies but am prepared with my old Tick Off tool to pull any ticks they might get. Like they say "Back Home Again In Indiana."

  4. Sure nice to see you moved out of Arizona, and now getting used to your new home. It looks and sounds like a great place to be, just as you thought. The hounds and the dog will all enjoy it, I'm sure. Walter and Henry really enjoy pulling each other around in that great room, so that's a lot of fun for them, I'm sure. Furniture in there will cramp their style, but may save the wear and tear on their body parts, like jowls and ears. LOL Looking forward to reading about all your new experiences in your new home.

    1. Thanks Russ. Neither university plays football but both are big on basketball. USI is Div II National Champs when Bruce Pearl was coaching. He is now at Auburn. The "Purple Aces" of UE have quite a basketball reputation and play in a good conference. My friend and I are buying IU season tickets this year. Places to explore and kayak and things to see around here. Should be some good blog material in the future.

  5. Seems like an easy, good transition...

    1. It was very smooth transition with my old house and new house closing within days of each other. Moving arrangements and car transport about the same time. Being on the phone all the time to make things happen near each other reminded me when I was working. I am now more than ready to return to retirement. LOL

  6. Quite a change from the high desert. Green and plenty of water. I see Arizona is about to announce their plan for rationing this summer.