First Stop – Southern California

On April 27th, I drove 240 miles from Santa Cruz to Bakersfield to clean out my storage unit for the last time. This took about three weeks. The weather was stifling in southern California. I would get up before the sun, around 4ish in the morning and work until about 10-11:00AM and then drive back to the motel and sleep, then get up around 7:00PM and work until 9:30 in the evening, just before Uhaul would close for the night. Every day, I did this, trying to get the boxes packed of what I wanted to take with me and the rest of the stuff sold or donated.

Shipping vs Professional Movers

Before I drove down to southern California, my plan was to ship a few select items. This would cost about $1000, or at least that is what my guesstimate was when I spoke with UPS on the phone.

But once I started looking at everything I had, shipping three pieces of furniture for $1000 and then replacing everything else? This was going to cost me thousands of dollars that I didn’t have.

I spoke to one of my longtime friends and explained the situation to her. Luckily for me, she agreed to loan me a huge chunk of dough. I was going to go with a U-box, but Uhaul was all out. I asked God what I should do. I looked up truck rentals and Budget Van Lines came up. I gave them a call.

It turns out they’re a broker, but they were within my budget. No pun intended. I was getting professional movers. 🙂

Bakersfield, CA to Evanston, WY 771 miles

My pets and I left on Wednesday May 12th at 10:00 P.M. and drove all night and the next day – 771 miles total. Although a professional mover was moving most of my stuff, my 4runner was completely full. When traveling with small pets, with no air conditioning, I needed to drive the hotter states in the coolest part of the evening.

In the Mojave desert, somewhere in California.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The strip is on the right. I did want to see all of the hotels lit up, but the strip is much bigger than the last time I visited Vegas. I would easily get lost. 😂

Thursday’s Sunrise May 14

It’s very strange to drive in the dark on a highway you’ve never traveled before. I was able to see landmarks from Roadside Attractions and other memorable sites.

Arizona – the Virgin Gorge

I wasn’t able to take any pictures, but we passed in between the Virgin Gorge. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Pristine rock formations jutting upwards towards the sky – peach, terracotta, and swirls of cream and grey! If you ever have a chance to drive through this area, your eyeballs feast upon nature. It was sublime! There’s no where to pull over to take photographs, or I would have taken “a roll of film.”


I was so excited to cross state lines! Closer to my new home, but still so far away.

Open road – still driving through Utah… next stop: Provo. Everyone needs a potty break and my 4runner needs some food – fuel!

Look at the gorgeous snow atop the mountains! This is where we stopped for fuel, snacks, and much needed potty breaks.

Coalville, Utah

I didn’t know the name of this place, but when I looked at my photos – my smartphone let me know exactly where we were at. We saw a momma chipmunk and her babies. She was standing on her hind limbs and wasn’t too happy to see me or my dogs.

Bank of the West, Wyoming

I stopped at the bank to get a money order for my apartment. I had to stop here as this is the last time I’ll be close to my bank. There are no Bank of the West’s where I’m headed.

On our way to Wyoming!!!
Evanston, Wyoming

After driving hours nonstop, we arrived at our Motel 6 at 5pm on May 14th. Our room was gigantic! We walked around the huge lot in back, and I went next door to the gas station for some much needed food and drink – Gatorade.

May 15 – the next leg of our road trip

Wyoming is definitely God’s country! So many mountains and oh the open sky with no buildings to block the view. Absolutely gorgeous! Driving through Wyoming took all day – a very beautiful state.

We stopped at this reservoir to stretch our legs, and the doggies went potty. Aby, my cat, was able to peruse the very crowded back area of the 4runner and use her litter pan.


Days Inn at Spearfish; weekend May 15 & 16

Finishing up another long day of driving – through the entire state of Wyoming, we arrived at our hotel. This was the smallest room they had! There was a Safeway supermarket next door so once again, I headed over there to buy some food and drink for me. I fed the dogs and the cat, we went for another potty break and then it was time to hit the hay. 💤

May 16 – still in Spearfish

I was walking my dogs next to a bush, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this huge feather. It’s over a foot long! It took awhile on Google to search for what type of bird this belonged to. Turns out it’s the state bird of South Dakota. So cool!

At the dog park – Roscoe and Halo rolling around in the grass.
The upper images are across the street from the motel and the bottom right is Halo, my Pom.

May 17 – heading towards home

Another day of driving the southern part of South Dakota from Spearfish to Salem, pretty much the whole state.

More open roads and spacious skies
Beautiful hills and look at that greenery!

At just past 4 o’clock, we finally made it to our new home! It was a little too late to meet with the property manager, so she told me that someone would be there to give me the keys to my new place. She would meet with me the next day. I received all of the keys, dropped the pets off, complete with water and then proceeded to empty out my truck. I was so tired. The delivery truck had dropped off what very little furniture I had, along with all of my boxes.

Update as of today, October 17, 2021 – my house is still in disarray. There’s still boxes everywhere as I slowly organize the living room which is now the studio for JC Heart Designs – Christian inspired jewelry. My Etsy shop