Anyway ... I finally dealt with the left-over stock up at Access Publishers Network. Bright and early on Monday morning I took the Blue Line el down to "terra incognito" (I don't think I'd ever taking the blue line south from the Loop) to the "new" Greyhound station (new to me ... I hadn't taken the bus since they moved the station from up on Randolph), and got on an Indian Trails bus heading to Kalamazoo where I was to change busses to get to Traverse City. Slept most of the way. One screw-up happened in the planning ... I'd gotten a motel room on the "main drag" up in Traverse City, and had reserved a U-Haul truck for pick-up at the gas station two doors down the block ... somehow that did not work for U-Haul so I eneded up having to take a cab back across town to a U-Haul location right down the block from the bus station ... if there had only been a hotel down that way I could have cut out two cross-town cab fares. Oh well.
Once I got settled in this big honking 14-ft truck (I made the "mistake" of actually reading the specs on the U-Haul web site ... it turns out that you can only put about 900 pounds of stuff in their 11-ft trucks, and even less in the vans! The load of books I was picking up was going to be in the ballpark of 2,500 lbs, so I had to go with the big truck) I made my way down to Grawn, MI (which took some adjusting, since I'd only brought my map print-outs which "got me there" from the other end of town). I was really surprised at how unimpressive the Access operation looked ... it was three "pole barns" linked together down a dirt road off a county road. I don't know what I was expecting ... maybe something more like the corporate digs of Borders over in Ann Arbor. Anyway, the books were on two skids that they were able to fork-lift into the truck, and I was on my way.
MapQuest had charted out a kind of funky route for me down to I-94 ... it was kind of "back roads", but there was like ZERO traffic so it did go fast (probably faster than the "more logical" route down the coast). I stopped for a late lunch in South Haven and gassed the truck up again ... my "ballparking" on the gas costs were pretty much dead on ... I put in $60.00 worth, which is a bit more than I needed (trying to bring it back at 1/4 ... could have probably gone with $50, but might have had to make an extra stop to throw a few more gallons in before takign it back). Traffic did not get REALLY bad until I got into Chicago proper ... that route in from the south is NUTS. I "accidentally" got off the expressway down my the old Maxwell Street market area, which worked out fine (I used to go down there to sell stuff with The Foundation on Sunday mornings back in a "previous life") as I was able to take Halsted up north. I had previously "cased out" places that I could park a truck overnight, but they were all going to be charging me an arm and a leg to do so, but I had an inspiration that required me getting up here before 5pm. The Public Storage that Eschaton uses as our "warehouse" has big loading dock area that is locked up tight at night ... closing at 5pm. I swung the truck up in front of the place at about 4:45pm and popped into the office saying "Uh, obviously, I'm not going to be able to get this unloaded tonight ... could I leave this in the dock overnight and unload in the morning?", and they were fine with that ... which was great, from both a $$$ and a convenience aspect (just have to run over there when they open and start hauling boxes without having to get the truck out of a lot).
Anyway, I'm sure folks had a burning desire to know what happened to me over the past couple of days.
I wrote a couple of poems over the two days ... not real great stuff ... dealing mainly with my apprehension about the trip. Since I don't drive as a regular thing, and have only driven a truck a couple of times, and was damn near killed in a horrible wreck 8 years ago, I have lots of phobias that come up around driving. I was having all sorts of visions of being back in the hospital, semi-conscious with tubes all over me. (Shudder.) Needless to say, I will be very happy to get this truck back into the hands of U-Haul tomorrow. The poems will be up when I get a chance to decipher them.