13 July 2007

Moving to Oregon, Part VI

We rested for a day in Auburn before taking the truck down to Salem to unload it. The plan was to leave Auburn about 8 or 9 AM and be in Salem by lunchtime. We decided to take the van instead of the truck, so I rearranged everything, backed the truck up and hooked up the trailer, blocking a large portion of the main entrance to Mom’s neighborhood, then got in to start the van to pull it off the trailer. Wouldn’t start. Instrument panel was doing goofy things, gauges moving, needles jittering, etc. Called AAA again to have it towed to the local Dodge dealer. Only took an hour this time. We finally got into Salem about 5:45 PM. A local geocacher, whom I had met online, had her son and one of his friends “volunteer” to help me unload the truck. I barely got into town in time to rent the storage unit! After three hours of unloading, everything wouldn’t quite fit in the unit, and I had to go back to the hotel that night, then come back the next morning and rent a small unit for the rest of it.

About noon the next day, I got the truck empty and told [my now-ex-wife] to meet me at the rental place to drop it off. Of course, I had to fill the truck up with diesel before I turned it in. One thing you might not know about Oregon: State law forbids self-serve gas. That’s right; they have attendants that pump your gas for you. Hard to get used to, but I suppose when it gets cold, I’ll appreciate it more. Anyway, it was like pulling teeth to find a station in town that could accommodate that big ole truck! But we finally got it turned in and were on our way.

After a brief visit at my new workplace to introduce the family, we visited two apartment complexes, both in the desirable “West Salem” area. We visited a couple of others the following day, a couple of very nice complexes in Wilsonville, about 30 miles north along I-5 from Salem. Finding anyone who had a 3BR unit actually available was a bit of a chore, and finding the 4brs we really needed was impossible. We were running out of time, so we headed back to Auburn for the weekend. Over the weekend, we ranked the complexes on a scale of one through four, and started applying. Although the commute would have been longer, the two in Wilsonville ranked second and third, behind the very first one we visited, which was a brand new complex in West Salem. Unfortunately, the Wilsonville complexes were also the more expensive, though one was not that much more. The number 4 choice was the cheapest, but also the least attractive.

Back in Auburn, we picked up our van, which they said had an “internal short” in the battery, about $200. Could have been worse.

That weekend, we took advantage of some beautiful weather to visit North Bend, WA, where [my now-ex-wife]’s grandfather and step-father are buried. It is an idyllic little cemetery in the shadow of Mt. Si (pronounced “sigh”). They also have a neat Railway Museum and old passenger train that runs about a 15 minute trip from North Bend to Snoqualmie Falls Resort. If you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit.

On Sunday, we chilled a bit and got me packed and ready to head down to Salem to start work on Monday, 2nd July.

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