Sure enough, it looks like I'm moving. This will be a condensed version of the story, but I figured I would share this with all my friends here.
We've been talking about it for a few years. Our property here in TN is nice, but we were ready for a change. We kicked around a few options, everything from staying local to Virginia to going west. We've always loved the landscape, people, and atmosphere on the range so we started seriously looking at the possibility of moving west.
It took some time, but a few things began to fall into place. A few weeks ago I loaded up my gooseneck horse trailer with all the house stuff it could hold and made the 1,200 mile trek to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The trip out was uneventful aside from my CD player dying, my fuel mileage got steadily worse as I crossed Nebraska and started the climb into Wyoming. One tank in particular only got about 5 MPG. I rented a storage unit and unloaded the trailer there, then met with some potential employers and looked at some properties. The housing market out there is hopping right now! When I left here I had a list of properties, by the time I got out there several of them had gone under contract already. My real estate agent worked things out for us to look at two properties before they officially went on the market, and the very next day after I saw them other potential buyers were looking.
I looked at one property that really seemed to fit the bill. The next morning (the first day the house was officially on the market), I met with my realtor to make an offer. As we were putting that together, that house was shown to two other groups of buyers. Did I mention how crazy the market is right now? We put the offer together and signed everything, then I hopped in the truck and started the haul back to Tennessee. A few hours later as I was hauling through Nebraska the agent called and said there was a second offer on the house. We discussed our options and decided to counter, but there was a problem. I would have to sign the contract again if we changed it, and I was nearly 500 miles away. This is where modern technology just blew me away- I stopped for fuel, and the realtor emailed me the new contract. I electronically signed it on my iPhone and emailed it back. Bought a house with a cell phone, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that was possible. The seller accepted our offer and the house is under contract.
The remainder of Nebraska on the way back was pretty boring, but boy did things change in Iowa! I had left Cheyenne later in the day than I planned, and was headed down IA-2 well after dark. I was debating where to stop overnight; I'd stopped in Rock Port MO on the way up and I knew there was a semi-decent truck stop there, but there was also a nice place 30 miles closer in Percival, Iowa. I was feeling good and making decent time, so I didn't see any reason to push things. The plan was get fuel in Percival, eat something, sleep a couple of hours in the trailer and get back on the road. That plan changed when I pulled into the truck stop at 11:00 PM. I shut the truck off, hopped out and heard water running. A lot of water. Turns out that the water pump in the truck had chosen somewhere in the last few miles to let go, and it was pouring. So much for getting back on the road in a couple of hours. I limped the truck over to the 24 hour diesel shop across the street. The guys at Sapp were great, and had me back on the road about noon the next day. As it turns out there aren't any parts stores open at midnight on a Friday in Percival, Iowa. Once I got east of St Louis on the way back, the trip just seemed to slow way down. The temperature had been dropping all the way across Missouri and the trend continued as I got closer to TN.
As it stands now, my current job will end near the end of this month. We close on the new house mid- April and I start the new job a week after that. Between the end of this job and closing on the house, I have to haul two flatbed loads of equipment to Wyoming and store it, and take one more horse trailer full of 'house' stuff. Once we close on the new house, I have to put up a fence and shelter for our horses, then make a trip back down here to TN to get them. It's going to be a busy month with a lot of , but that's alright. My new CD player will let me plug the iPhone into it, and I have all my Chris LeDoux songs loaded up. Should be a whole lot easier than changing CDs in the dark!