2020 Austin Texas Move

(Started 11/1/2020)


Katherine Chung and Brian Wilson moved from Portola Valley, California to Austin Texas on 11/1/2020.  Click on any picture below for a larger "high resolution original" version:

Below is the basic schedule of events:
- Sunday, November 1st, 2020 - pack all of our things
- Monday, November 2nd, 2020 - car movers show up and take two of our cars from Portola Valley
- Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 - movers show up and load our stuff from Portola Valley
- Wednesday, November 4th - Brian and Katherine depart Portola Valley with cats and dogs
- Thurs, November 5th - travel day
- Friday, November 6th - Brian and Katherine arrive at new Austin home with cats and dogs
- Saturday, November 7th - first day moving van might arrive at Austin home with stuff.

Below is the Map Of The Drive:
This is mapped by a tracking GPS I have, the Garmin InReach Explorer+. Click on the map below for a much larger version.


Below are some pictures.


The first picture below is our back yard in Portola Valley.


Another perspective of the pool area.


Backyard of Portola Valley:


So by November 1st, 2020 we gave away the stuff below:


I configured the car with a "rabbit fence" to keep the cats in their area of the car:


Below is a picture showing some of the "features" of the cat area.  There is a "comfy shelf" with a bed.  There is a tunnel to the litter box in the trunk.  There is a zipper portal for Katherine to reach through and deal with the cats.


The picture below is Monday, November 2nd, 2020.  The "car mover" shows up to take the two cars seen below to Austin Texas.


The next day is Tuesday, November 3rd, in the picture below the movers show up and take away all of our furniture.


At the end of the day, we have filled two dumpsters with trash like the one below:


Now it is time for Katherine and Brian and the two dogs and three cats to drive to Austin Texas!  This is the morning of November 4th, Wednesday, and this is the 2002 Nissan Sentra loaded up for the drive but still in our garage in Portola Valley.


And a couple hours along on the trip, here we are on our way to Gilroy.


Driving down the highway still in California.


I took the "action shot" below.  Ava is in the "shotgun" seat, Katherine is in back with Chou Chou on her lap.  Chou Chou gets stressed out in cars, this helps him.


And directly behind me are Bentley on the "cat shelf" and Pixie in the "cat basket" in their fenced in area.


A slightly different perspective.


Another picture of the cats.


In the picture below, we pass by the San Louis Reservoir which is on California highway 152.


A little way on down the road we stop for a break, to walk the dogs.  Below is the first time I've been able to check the "roof bag", it is doing well.


After our dog walking stop, we changed up the configuration to put both dogs in the "shotgun" position.


As we near Bakersfield, I spot the truck ahead of us.  It is carrying an ATV and some guns, because it is hunting season.


Katherine took this picture of all three cats sleeping together in the cat basket.


All three cats hanging out in the "cat basket" as we drive along.  They were pretty happy with the whole setup.


Katherine took the picture below of Chou Chou in the front, and Ava around back in a little dog carrier in front of Katherine.


The cats hanging out doing what cats do.


Around dinner time it gets dark (maybe 6:30pm) and we stop at McDonalds and eat standing by the car and walking the dogs around.  We leave the cats inside the car.  I think the reflection of the McDonalds sign is artsy.  :-)


That night, we arrive at "Loews Ventana Canyon Resort" in Tucson Arizona.  We got two adjoining rooms to house all the animals, and here are all three cats sleeping under the covers with Katherine.


We stayed two nights there so we could rest up, and here we are the morning of Friday, November 6, 2020 packing up the car for the final drive to Austin, Texas.


Below Katherine is putting a "Thunder Vest" on Chou Chou to help him relax in the car.  Ava watches curiously from the "shotgun" seat.


Still in the parking lot, you can see Bentley and Cooper in the lower "cat carrier" which is how we get the cats back and forth between the car and the hotel room.  Pixie is standing on top of their heads.


The cats seem to really love the car on their second day of driving.


In the picture below, Bentley is on the back shelf looking very happy (still in the hotel parking lot) and Pixie stares out of the "zipper portal" at what we are doing.


The picture below shows more of the car setup.  On the far lower left is where Katherine sits.  On the far right is the driver's seat where I drive.  The cats can be grabbed by unzipping the "round portal" and reaching through.


This is a zoomed in map of our route centered on Tucson and our hotel where we stayed the night, and pointing out the moment we entered into Texas (later this day)!  Click on the map below for a much larger version.


The whole trip was basically "South on Interstate 5" and then "East on Interstate 10".


In the picture below you can see we're headed east of Tucson, Arizona.


In the picture below, Katherine is exhausted and napping, but Ava is watching what I'm doing.


We stop at the "no name" gas station to buy some "fresh beef jerky" that was pretty good.  I need to find this on a map.


I take the opportunity to take a few pictures of my "Keeper 07204 Black Premium Waterproof Cargo Bag" and how I rigged it up.  I don't have any "roof racks", so I bought these awesome "RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Tie Down Hook Straps" that worked great.  The long straps are built into the "Keeper", the RoofPax are short loops.  I also bought the "Roof Cargo Bag Protective Mat".  In the picture below, you can see I wrap all the loose ends of the tie down straps that might flap around in the wind with white electrical tape.  This whole setup worked like a dream, I didn't have a SINGLE issue with all of this.



Another angle, and shows the very minimal wear after 1,800 miles of driving like this.


I looped one of the strap INSIDE the car around the door beam.  I liked it so we could tell if the roof bag had "flown away" or not, as long as there was no drama and a little slack in that tie, the bag was still "on top".  You could close the doors just fine.


The cat loves that cat shelf in back.


And onward towards El Paso Texas!


Entering El Paso Texas:


El Paso, Texas:


We went through a border crossing.


Border crossing.


We never left the United States, but here we are at a US Border Patrol.  They asked us if we were US Citizens, then allowed us to continue without checking passports or identification.


In Texas, the speed limits are 80 mph pretty much everywhere.


Even when there are deer jumping across the highway it is 80 mph.


As the sun went down, we stopped to walk the dogs at the "Pecos County Safety Rest Area" in Texas.


Here is the location on the map of the "Pecos County Safety Rest Area" (recorded by my GPS).  Click on the image below for a zoomed in version.


Walking the dogs, I took a picture of the Texas sunset and my Nissan Sentra.


Below is a panorama.


The cats are perfectly happy hanging out here.


A little way onward it gets dark and we need gas, so we stop at an unmanned gas pump named "Chevron Bakersfield" on the map (click here to see where).  It was at Latitude: 30.882406 and Longitude: -102.301340 and Chevron describes the address as: "Chevron #102602 at address I-10 @ Fm 11, Bakersfield, TX 79752".  We discovered some cats and a skunk.


Three cats play with a skunk.  They all seemed to be Ok with this.


Close up of the skunk.


This was the unmanned gas pump (called "Chevron Bakersfield" at address: "4683 E, FM 11, McCamey, TX 79752"), probably around 10pm at night.


This is the zoomed in map showing our approach into Austin and arriving at our new rental home:



We arrive safely in Austin, Texas at our new home, and the next morning this package shows up for me!  In Austin they have 1st world internet: Google Fiber.  It takes less than 5 minutes to be fully online at full symmetric Gigabit speeds.


A few days later our furniture shows up.  The truck driver owner/mover (Phil) doesn't watch his laborers and mostly sits in our furniture in our driveway and smokes cigarettes all day as they do all the work.  They broke a ton of our stuff in the move.  Shattered furniture, shattered the top of my computer printer, they assembled the furniture wrong, these guys were pretty much all around terrible.


And finally, a week later, a couple pictures of our house now that it has furniture and is a little more organized.  In the picture below, on the far far left is the front door (wood grain surrounded), and the kitchen is to the right and you can see the living room off on the far far right if you scroll.


Another picture of our kitchen, with dog for scale.


This is the same room (kitchen) from the other end facing backwards.


This is the front door and dining area.


Our living room with dog for scale.


Backyard, Katherine is outside on her phone, with the Ava dog for scale.


There is a second floor on the home, this is the top of the stairs, that's my ladder for scale.


This is my "home office" which is a mess since I haven't fully organized yet.  This is where I'm sitting while I created this web page.  :-)


That's it, all done, we live in Austin!

On 12/12/2020 we had dinner and drinks "upstairs" at "Easy Tiger" in Austin with Britta and Brennen and Colin, below is a panorama as the sun sets (click on the picture for a larger, more high resolution version):


All done for real now.

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