I have received confirmation of the completion date for Wild Thing and all is on schedule for me to take possession on September 22 - just 31 days from today! I have been busy working on the details needed to get me across the country to BC and take possession of Wild Thing.
I plan to leave on September 11 and arrive in Chilliwack on September 19. That will give me a day to rest, a day to get the trailer hitch installed, and a day to take possession of the trailer. September 20th will be a day of rest after the cross country trek. I have scheduled for the hitch to be installed by Trademasters Automotive in Chilliwack BC on September 21. They work closely with Escape Trailer Industries to ensure the hitch set up on the truck will be just perfect for my trailer.
Escape Trailer will provide me with a thorough 2 hour Orientation to familiarize me with the operation and maintenance of my new tiny home on wheels. They will teach me how to safely hitch and unhitch, and ensure I am ready to hit the road. They will also install any final touches I may bring along for the trailer like the TV and Cell Phone Booster. My orientation is scheduled for 8 o'clock am on Friday September 22. After my orientation, Escape will hook up and drive my trailer across the US Border. They will take care of all the necessary import paperwork at the border, so I will officially take possession of Wild Thing in Sumas, WA.
With those details settled, I have finalized my driving route for the trip from Ashland, MA to Chilliwack BC and have booked lodging along the way. I'll be leaving on Monday, September 11 and arriving in Chilliwack on Tuesday September 19. Trying to keep my costs low for this trip, I made reservations at motels along the way using Bookings.com. They offered some terrific rates on basic motels. I was quite pleased to book 8 separate motels for 12 nights at a total cost of around $700.00. I will be making sight seeing stops at Niagara Falls and in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Steve and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Niagara Falls a few years ago and since it was somewhat on the way I thought an overnight there would be a great way to kick off this trip! I'll leave early in the morning on the 11th and have the afternoon and evening to enjoy the Falls.
Mackinac Island, MI has been on my bucket list for years. One of my all time favorite movies is Somewhere In Time (1980) staring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The movie is set at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. I'll take a day to walk the grounds and enjoy this beautiful island. The entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and more than 80% of the island is preserved as Mackinac Island State Park. It's a short 20 minute ferry ride from St Ignace, MI to the island. Vehicular traffic is prohibited on Mackinac and folks get around by walking, bicycle, or horse and buggy. I look forward to stepping back "Somewhere In Time" on this visit to the island.
After Mackinac, I plan to point my big red truck toward Chilliwack and drive on!
Here's my full travel Itinerary:
Sept 11 Day 1 Drive 7 hours to Niagara Falls ON Stay at Travelodge $46.00
Sept 12 Day 2 Drive 7 h 30 min to St Ignace MI Stay at Aurora Borealis Motor Inn 2 nights for $111.98
Sept 13 Day 3 Take Ferry ($24.00) and Tour Mackinac Island
Sept 14 Day 4 Drive 7 hours 6 min to Eau Claire WI Stay at Motel 6 $40.85
Sept 15 Day 5 Drive 7 hours 30 min to Bismarck ND Stay at Days Inn $76.05
Sept 16 Day 6 Drive 5 hours 49 min Billings MT Stay at Extended Stay America $65.65
Sept 17 Day 7 Drive 5 hours Missoula, MT Stay at Motel 6 $74.89
Sept 18 Day 8 Drive 5.5 hours to Ellensburg WA Stay at Econolodge 57.19
Sept 19 Day 9 Drive 5 hours to arrive Chilliwack BC
Stay 3 nights at the Rainbow Motor Inn $217.18 USD ($274.92 CAD exchange rate 0.79)
I estimate my fuel costs for this trip to be also about $700.00. Escape Trailer Industries would have delivered my trailer to me at a cost of $2.20 CAD/mile. This trip is about 3100 miles so even at today's exchange rate of 0.79 that would translate to $5387.80 USD. Ouch! So in addition to the savings, I will have the adventure of driving across the country, twice!
Since I will be staying in more modest motels, I did invest in a few additional supplies to help ensure I don't pick up any unwanted travel companions.
One of the biggest advantages to owning a travel trailer is that you get to sleep in your own bed and not worry about such things again! I don't want to inadvertently bring any critters into my new home, so hopefully these products will eliminate that risk.
Now I'm off to work on the itinerary for the trip home! Stay tuned...