The truism that in a startup one wears many hats was never more accurate than it was on June 29th. That day I found myself, a big time CEO of this little startup, as the guy who had to drive our first house two hours north of Boston to southern New Hampshire.
Now, I’ve had the fortune to tow some things around in my day. Growing up I’d hitch up a small boat behind my sister’s four wheeler and launch it down at a low spot on the Mississippi. Last year, a generous and crazy friend let me take her 26′ Airstream for 5 months and I towed it at least 8,000 miles around the West. But these experiences did little to quell my nerves on June 29th.
People often compare tiny houses to RVs, but for all their similarities, they hardly compare in weight or driveability. Our first house is distinctly non-aerodynamic. Plus, we forewent the stabilizing hitch to save a few bucks. On the way to NH, we rolled the house onto 18-wheeler scale and clocked-it-in at almost 10,000 pounds – more than double that sleek Airstream.
I was foolishly macho enough to not let those facts phase me much, but I couldn’t shake the worry that literally loomed over us: a house standing a towering 13′ 5″ tall. We designed it right up to its max height in an effort to make as much loft headroom as possible – a decision I regretted as I pulled off the interstate onto small country roads. My buddy Justin sat in the open window trying to eyeball the inches between us and every unmarked bridge. Each angling overhead power line and protruding branch formed a lump in my throat.
We missed them all.
The final challenge: our first Getaway site is perched on top of a hill, looking down on a lake. But to make it there, I had to make a hairpin switchback turn on an old, muddy driveway. No turning back now! I racked the wheel hard to the right and floored it. Woomph – in the mud we went. Stuck. Dammit.
Some heaven-sent loggers happened to be nearby to give us a hand, and we got the truck into four wheel drive. It is unbelievable the power a Ford pickup has when it makes up its mind. Up the hill we went, angling the house for optimum lake-views out the panoramic nook window.
And the rest is history (until the day we have to come back down!).