The road to Prescott Valley, Arizona, from Truckee, California, should have been fairly straightforward for me after I accepted the job as the News Editor at The Daily Courier in spring 2018.
Give two-weeks notice that I was vacating my position as Managing Editor of the Sierra Sun in Truckee; inform my landlord that I was leaving my apartment; and then start packing up my stuff.
After that was done, it was time to rent a moving truck; load the vehicle; get the auto transport attached; secure my 1997 Jeep Cherokee to the auto transport; spend one last night at the Tourist Club (T Club) in downtown Truckee drinking with the locals; then make the 12-hour drive to Prescott Valley after I slept off a doozy of a hangover.
But, as moves can sometimes go, it wasn’t that simple. I should have known better, given that I had worked in five states, for eight newspapers, over the past 10 years before taking the job in Prescott Valley.
The drive was awful, largely because of the length of the trip and the relentless wind that made driving the moving truck question my sanity. The idea was to drive about halfway, find a local watering hole, cozy motel, and spend the night.
No such luck. The closer I got to Prescott Valley, the more determined I was to keep going. So, I made the 12-hour trip without stopping for anything other than essentials. The gasoline bill, alone, easily exceeded $300. The bill for beer might have too had I been in the passenger seat of the moving truck.
When I finally arrived in Kingman, Arizona, I stopped at a gas station and called the folks at the hotel at which I was to spend the next few days in Prescott. I told them I was going to be late, and ended up checking in at 11:45 p.m. on a Sunday with my cat in tow.
The cat did not take kindly to the trip, nor the suite in which we stayed. All I could see were dollar signs, as he tore through the place one day after the next. So, the following morning, I located a veterinarian hospital and boarding facility to house the cat until our home was ready to be occupied.
Twenty-seven days later, the cat was liberated from the boarding facility and we moved into a ridiculously beautiful and cavernous house in Prescott Valley. Three-bedrooms, two-baths, a two-car garage and more than 1,500 square feet of living space for a guy whose stuff easily fit into a 5-foot-by-10-foot storage space upon arrival in town.
Safe to say I didn’t need a McMansion, but it was all I could find on such short notice. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Tell the folks in Truckee that I changed my mind because I couldn’t find a place to live in Prescott Valley? And, would it be OK if I continued to hone my beer drinking and snowboarding skills in the mountains? Too late.
So, here I sit writing this column in a home with three pieces of furniture – a bed, a chair, and a curio – and some boxes in the living room. I also have the cleanest stainless steel gas stove and oven in town because it hasn’t been used since I arrived.
It’s kind of cool, in a way. Reminds me of a story about a former NBA player in the late 1990s. At the time, he was living in a really big house, but largely confined himself to one room where he played video games. He was shown in the room with boxes in the background.
Not sure if he ever settled in, but I’m trying.
Daily Courier News Editor Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 928-445-3333, ext. 2031 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.