IdahoPilgrim’s Wagon Trail West – May 1999

First I would like to thank the moving party that showed up on Sunday morning. We can never express our gratitude to you all. What a superior job the team did, as always!

Let us tell you about our moving adventure: 

We left Monday from Orlando at 4 am and drove 1000 miles our first day. We spent our first evening away from home in a truckers rest stop, sleeping in our trucks around Paducah, KY.

After a few hours of shut eye, we moved on down the road and by 9 am cst we were outside of St. Louis, MO, heading for beautiful Nebraska. Nebraska had an awakening for the Mangold family in the middle of absolute no where on I-80. Our U-Haul, with 130K miles on it, threw a rod to the bottom of the oil pan, releasing all 18 quarts of oil onto the pavement over the back tires and I-80, and spewing upon all the cars and trucks behind us. It was only through God’s helping hand that Tommy, my brother, was able to control that rig and pull it to a safe stop. As all the cars and trucks passed us with engine oil all over their windshields, they stuck their hands out with a half of a peace sign. 

Talk about an isolated feeling. Looking around us is nothing…. nothing but corn fields as far as the eye can see, with the fragrant scent of an aromatic pig farm close by. If you’ve never smelled a pig farm, it smells like we spent the night in a sewer. Being out here in the corn fields, gave me the same feeling in my stomach as when I use to get a beep from Dales office or maybe store number 9, or from 640. You know what I mean, that “am I gonna get the squirts, or am I gonna puke” feeling….. You know what I mean, that same feeling we all get everyday? 

Anyway, after a few helpless hours along I-80 with no help from any good samaritans (which is probably a good thing, because it reminded me of the movie about all those corn husker farmers…. Deliverance? I don’t know which would be worse…. a corn farmer or a pig farmer),  but anyway, no one gave us a hand. We did have a Nebraska highway patrolman stop… he had a few teeth left that were’nt rotted out…. he said someone would be along directly. 

Needless to say, we spent the night in Nebraska. Now we know why there are only 600,000 that live in the whole state. We had the task of unloading our 26′ Uhaul into another UHaul. And guess what. they hired 6 corn huskers to help me. They started unloading the contents of the back of the Uhaul and put it in the front of the Uhaul…. God I was praying that you guys would suddenly beam to Nebraska. You never did… gosh, where were you guys when I really needed you…. not in Nebraska I’ll have you know. We’re not going to talk too much more about our movin adventure. It was kind of like Chevy Chase and National Lampoons  vacation”. Comical, after a while. As if changing trucks wasn’t bad enough, they brought a replacement that had a flat inside back tire, loose alternator belts, and 6 quarts low on oil, and a bad brake system. We drove that piece of crap another 1500 miles. Its a terrible feeling when you’re climbing up one of those mountain grades, not knowing if you’re going to have enough power to get up to the top, and then, not knowing if you’d have the brakes to stop you when you;re going down the other side. Thats the same kind of feeling we use to get when we’d get a call from Marcy at 4149…

So much for the Uhaul. We were told we’d get about 10 miles to the gallon, but we ended up getting only about 5 mpg. Between my Ford F250 and the Uhaul, we own a diesel refinery somewhere now! I will say something positive about the whole experience… even though Uhaul’s hardware is the worst on this nations highway system (their product reminds me of the warehouse voice mail), their service was good and we were reimbursed the entire cost of the 26′ Uhaul truck, just this morning.

Since arriving, following our move from hell, our last 12 days in the big sky country of Idaho, has been everything we dreamed it would be. The weather has been absolutely beautiful, with high 40s at night and the days, high 70s with no humidity. We woke up this morning to raining and 44 degrees, and we feel that as soon as the clouds lift, we’ll be able to see snow in the closeby Bitterroot mountains. We worked hard for a week straight unpacking, putting furniture into just the right place, and getting our treasures organized, and now we are enjoying our home like a home should be.

We’ve had the wood burning stove cooking all day, and we haven’t heard a siren, a tire squeal, been in a traffic jam, or had anybody flip me a bird since we’ve arrived. Mary and I still wake up at 4:00 am every morning, which is close to sunrise here. We watch the deer and the turkeys feed in our front yard, and something we’ve never realized is, “Man, this is alot of grass to mow”. We had to go out a buy a lawn tractor, and it took eight hours just to mow around the house. But the pastures have received divine intervention from some cow angels that we ran up from the canyon. They show up every morning. I always thought cows ate alot, but I’m still gonna need to mow. I think they’ve been leaving more cow patties than they have been eating, and also, licking our salt lick, which is for the deer. There’s still bear dukie at the bottom of the canyon, and my brother religiously monitors their coming and going with a bear feeder. Its a big 50 gallon drum that was full of rotten potatoes, and this morning he checked it and found that the bear had turned it over, eaten the contents and tossed it 125 feet down the canyon. Oh yeah, we also found a cougar foot print in our barn. So now, anything I need at the barn, I send Mary. Man, she’s brave, she even takes out the trash for me at night. We’ve placed a loaded double barrelled shot gun hidden in the barn for easy accessibility, and we have a loaded 410 above the garage door to ward off any boogers. Then above my mantel, I have the most beautiful Remington Model 700 you have every seen, ready to lock and load! And man, do I cherish this weapon.

My brother Tom took Duke, Mary, and I to Mount Idaho yesterday, which is right across the road. We took our ATV’s up to the snow caps of the mountains, searching for moose/elk/deer antlers. Tom and Duke have been two other times and together we have found 9 moose antlers, one elk antler, and a couple of white tail antlers. And I must say I’ve been very impressed with Tom’s ability. What an outdoorsman he is. We will be safe under his wing. He is a real Jeremiah Johnson. More than that, we have feasted upon the riches of the land more than one time. Two nights this week we dined on a couple pounds of fried morel mushrooms. The moose horns are incredibly beautiful, and if you wanted to sell them, they’d bring atleast $8 a pound. We probably have a 100 pounds or so all together. We’ve got pictures of these beautiful treasures from nature, and will post them on the web site soon. It takes 10 days to get the photo’s developed here.

We had our satellite dish/receivers installed last Tuesday. A very fine gentleman and his wife came out. They worked as a team, and installed our system, as well as dismantled the biggen that was sitting on the roof. They arrived at 9am and didn’t leave until around 1pm, and also installed a phone line for Mary’s computer room, and charged us a whopping $60 for all that time. We feel that they felt sorry for us pilgrims………… flat footers.

Mary and I would like to express our appreciation again for all the wonderful gifts, warm emails, phone calls, and friendship that all of you have bestowed on us. We love you all, and miss you.

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