A Soggy Start

✍️ 🕑 Late August through September 5, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: automotive foiblesEastern Pennsylvania • Places: Colmar, PA

In this post, I'm kicking off a series describing various stops on my way west to Seattle, a journey that took three weeks, spanned 4,400 miles, and crossed 14 U.S. states.

Except, of course, before I could leave, I had to hang out at my parents' house and pack. Lord knows, we need a blog post specifically devoted to that, right?

The End Was Nigh!

Mid-August 2021. Summer was at an ebb. An unexpected and interesting chapter of my life was soon ending, sooner than I realized. I needed to get out west soon. Or else my notions of tent camping in the mountains would become unsafe, rather than just unappealing.

I had never planned to move back in with my parents, let alone stay there for 18 months. In the blink of an eye... the present would become the past, and I would move on. Hypothetical plans for backpacking trips, visits to other East Coast cities, and so on seemed increasingly distant possibilities.

During those months, I had never unpacked some of my boxes, which lined the perimeter of my bedroom. What would my parents' house need with a second set of dishes? Extra carpet pads? A disassembled $10 shelf?

I frantically packed & repacked my belongings, trying to ascertain what I really wanted. What was worth moving? Should I donate this? Do I want to pack a bunch of clothes hangers?

I went to see how some of my boxes would fit in my car, starting with a ridiculously heavy box of LP's...

Water From The Sky!

I soon discovered my car's large, panoramic sunroof developed a leak. The trunk of my car was wet, and my spare tire was sitting in a pool of water. My headliner was stained.

I knew that leaky sunroofs were a perennial issue for Volkswagens when I purchased my car, so it's not like I didn't know it could be an issue. I had, however, left a moisture absorber in my car for a while and hadn't noticed any moisture. Presumably because... it did a good job.

I paused my packing and got on the internet and the phone. I sorted Volkswagen dealerships from "nearest" to "furthest," and went down the list making phone calls. Step one: ask for service. Step two: find out the soonest appointment was sometime the week after Labor Day, far after you intended to move.

Somewhere down the list, I hit North Penn Volkswagen in Colmar, PA. They told me I could drop off my car on Tuesday, and they thought it might even be fixable by Saturday, which would be ideal for my plans. And guess what, they had an incredibly quick turnaround, and I was roadworthy (and rainworthy) by Friday.

Two snags, though. They didn't have a loaner vehicle, which meant I accidentally forced my father to leave the house at 6AM to take me home from my drop off. (Thanks & sorry, dad!) The second snag was Hurricane Ida. Felled trees blocked many-a-road to Colmar when the time came to pick my car up. (Note to self: sell this car before the warranty ends.)

With that out of the way, the race was on to actually prepare and load my vehicle.

Oh, and, I had a surprise going away party from my high school friends.

Part-way through packing. Photo by my dad.
Part-way through packing. Photo by my dad.

With a little help from my dad, I got the car loaded, and miraculously could still see out the back.

I left road around midday Sunday. Next stop: Pittsburgh.

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