Precious Cargo

Planes, Cats, and Automobiles

We had two back-to-back trips to the tiny house recently with very precious cargo: Jon’s airplane and then our cats.

Jon has been so busy with work and other things the past couple years, that he hasn’t had time to finish his Maule repairs and it is currently not airworthy, so we decided to tow it to Bishop.

Yep, the horizontal stabilizer will have to come off

Jon did a lot of measurements and planning to determine how long a trailer he needed, how he would secure the wings and horizontal stabilizer (they both had to come off for transport) as well as the fuselage, to the trailer. He needed some cushion for the straps, so I sewed them out of polar fleece.

We have no furniture at our tiny house! After sewing one strap cover in this unergonomic position, I put the sewing machine up on the counter. Much better!

I found an 18′ long flatbed trailer to rent and we organized rental dates with the availability of a shop at the Watsonville airport that would help Jon take the wings off and move the plane up on the trailer.

At the shop

The big day came. Jon worked most of the day with the mechanics and I got ready for the trip. We started driving a little after 4 pm. The first leg was nerve wracking because the wings on their stands would wobble and shimmy every time a big rig drove by us. Unlike Sammy Hagar and most big rig drivers in California, I can drive 55. When we cinched the ratchet straps down tighter, the shimmy was much reduced, and so we cinched at each leg.

I love Inyokern supercharger because there is a dedicated spot for cars pulling trailers.

There was no skipping of super charger stops on the way. No sir, we had major drag. We got to our tiny house around 6 am and zonked out until noon. Then we met our friend, Jeff, at his hanger where the Maule will live. Jeff waved over another friend, Clive, to help unload. And, even though we didn’t plan it, we blocked Phil from taxiing his plane and he helped us, too.

At Bishop in front of the hanger. I don’t have any photos of the unloading because we all had our hands full.

After we tucked the Maule in, we drove to the tiny house and took a nap. Then we drove back to our big house and the cats. I returned the rented trailer in the morning. Then we spend the next day getting ready to move the cats and Jon to the tiny house!

The cat nest

I drove our first cat, Pussywillow, up the AlCan while Jon and Jeff flew the Maule up. And I drove Ziggy, Kenny, and my mom down the AlCan when Jon got the job at Tesla. All of our cats so far act much less stressed if they can move around freely vs. being safe in their cages. And I even tried large cages with beds and litter boxes.

How much longer is it?

So Jon’s job was cat wrangler and I drove (much faster than 55 mph because I wasn’t towing.) The cats weren’t happy, but Grover had the most worrisome reaction: leaving his mouth open in silent scream mode. He mostly calmed down with a calming spray and lots of petting and massaging his neck where a mother cat holds kittens. Who’s a major cat mom?!

Grover finally started to relax in Mojave

We arrived safely and both spent a week with the cats at the tiny house. I had been looking forward to my first rest day in months and had planned to sip tea and read all day long with cats on my lap. Well, I slept the whole day! The rest of the week, we took short hikes in the area and started organizing the tiny house. Then I went back to the big house to finish up odds and ends, while Jon stayed and got back to work.

Our sun lovers are happy with the many sun puddles here
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Categorized as Moving

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