Thursday, December 28, 2006


It seems ever since we headed to Spokane on the morning of my birthday, December 22, we have been traveling on Interstate 90/94 continually. Once in Spokane we headed out Christmas morning back on this Interstate headed to Waukesha, Wisconsin. We dropped off the Genie this morning and were told to head to Little Falls, Minnesota, again on the same Interstate to Camp Ripley to pick up an Army truck. Then believe it or not, back again retracing our previous travels to Newark, New Jersey.
But at least when we pass Chicago, we will finally be on another Interstate, this time I80 all the way into Newark. Since we have to deal with the holiday weekend, we will have a couple of days of down time waiting to deliver the truck on Tuesday, January 2. We don't know exactly where we will hunker down for the holiday weekend, but it will be the first time for both of us to celebrate the new year on eastern time, that is if we can manage to stay awake. We'll need a triple shot of espresso to attempt that and I'll let you know how we do.

Monday, December 25, 2006


While in Spokane we had a multitude of chores to do starting with organizing our new trailer, chaining and scaling out the Genie S-85, shower, and do three loads of laundry. We had most of those chores done by noon and were able to relax the rest of the day. We were keeping an ear out to weather reports as there was another storm headed our way and we had several mountain passes to get over on our way to Wisconsin.
During the night, around midnight, the rain and wind woke us from our sleep. At 5am we got up and Craig went into the driver’s lounge to check out the weather channel to see what the forecast was. By 6am we were on the road with light rain leaving Spokane. Fourth of July Pass in Idaho didn’t cause us any problems but snow and icy roads were prevalent. Our next hurdle would be Lookout Pass in Montana. With a stop at the weigh station, we started our trek. Slowly we made it through the pass and into Missoula for a short, well deserved break.

Tonight we are in Billings, Montana where we will have our Christmas dinner. We wish all of our family and friends a Merry Christmas and know that each and everyone of you were in our thoughts this special day.

Friday, December 22, 2006


We had two stops in Minnesota to drop off the boats. One at MarineMax in Oakdale and the other also at a MarineMax in Rogers. We arrived in Oakdale about an hour before they opened, but was able to find the loading area without any problems. All went according to plans until we backed up and the boats on top were too tall for their hoist. A quick phone call to the dealership in Rogers and it was decided to off load all boats there as they had a larger hoist.

While we were unloading the boats the weather started to change. The wind kicked in and the rain started to fall. Actually it was a cross between rain and snow. By the time we were done we were both pretty wet and cold but determined to get to New York Mills to get our next load.
As we headed down the road it seemed to get colder and the sand trucks were out in force in an attempt to keep the roads from getting too icy. I watched as the ice started to build up on the mirrors and antennas. We started getting icicles on the frame of the side mirror.  
Then as quickly as the storm came, we were able to drive ahead of it and arrived in New York Mills under clear skies just as everyone was walking out of the building with their holiday frozen turkeys and leaving. Luckily, there were a few employees staying to work the late shift and they told us to drop our trailer and they would load it during the night. We took them up on their offer and found a nice spot to settle down for the night only to awake in the morning to find our trailer with a fine coating of snow. Seems the storm finally caught back up with us while we slept.

Here is where our plans changed. We got a phone call saying that instead of going to Edmonton, Canada, we were to take the trailer into the Spokane yard. Seems Edmonton wouldn't be able to take the boats until January 6th. So we will be in Spokane late Saturday afternoon, do a 34 hour reset of Craig's hours, then pick up another trailer with a Genie on it and take it to Waukesha, Wisconsin. So Christmas day, barring my wish for a White Christmas and it keeps us snowed bound, we will be headed east once again.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


We made it into Latham, New York Sunday afternoon and were able to park in the parking lot of the business until morning to unload the "Siamese Twins". What was funny was upon waking up Monday, there were two more trucks with the exact same load waiting with us. It was a quick unload as we had unchained and unhooked the trailer Sunday, so after hooking the trailer back up we were headed down the road only to run into yet another truck with two more Genies going to the same business!

We were given an assignment to go into Quebec, Canada to the small town of Princeville, where a Princecraft Boat manufacturer is located. It is located north east of Montreal. Six hours later and we arrived to get loaded with one pontoon boat and three deck boats to be delivered to Minnesota. We managed to make it to a Flying J truck stop just west of Montreal for the night.  
We awoke the next morning to some light snow falling. Snow flurries continued on and off throughout the day as we made our way westward. We stopped at a Tim Horton's, (these eateries are as prevalent as McDonald's throughout Canada), for some hot chili. We discovered this tasty dish the last time we were in Saskatoon.
As we approached Kitchener, I made sure I was ready with the camera to take a photo of Shantz Hill Road. One day we will stop and check out the town where Craig's ancestors settled many years ago. Which reminds me while we were going through North Dakota on our way to New York, we saw a large building with "Enzminger Builders" on it. We will have to investigate that as well to see if it is owned by some of my relatives!

So it seems we never have been lucky going through Customs. The irony is that on our way into Canada, the Customs Officer didn't even as much look at us or take our passports and just waved us in, that was not the case on our return back into the USA. All of our paperwork was in order according to the officer at the checkpoint, but he casually mentioned that we needed to drop off the declarations for the boat trailers to another building. Well, one hour later we were finally on our way.

Wednesday night finds us in Black River Falls, Wisconsin with a short drive into Minnesota in the morning to drop off the boats. Then guess where we will be headed? Into New York Mills, Minnesota for another load of boats and straight into Canada again. Looks like we will be spending Christmas for the first time in a foreign country, not that Canada is so foreign. I'll be checking back with you in a few days to let you know how our White Christmas is coming along.

Friday, December 15, 2006


We decided to have a bit of Christmas spirit this year. The last few years when we had our home in Modesto, we didn't even put up a tree, but this year we thought, or should I say, I thought, and Craig went along with it, to put a wreath on the front of the truck. I had seen this over the years on my commute to and from San Jose and thought it was nice. So while we were in Spokane, we purchased the wreath and ribbon and found time to attach it to the truck. Some of the truck drivers have quite a sense of humor. We saw one that had a snowman splattered across the grill like it had been run over. Craig even humors me by playing the Christmas station on the satellite radio at least once during the day. We don't know yet where we will be for Christmas, but as long as we are together it really doesn't matter.

We did pick up not one, but two Genies in Moses Lake before we left Washington state which I affectionately refer to as the "Siamese Twins". We are headed to New York to drop them off on Monday, Dec. 18th. From listening to the weather channel, it looks like we have been one step ahead of a major storm the entire way. Sounds like Washington is getting hit pretty hard and no doubt there will be fresh snow at our new home at Skookum. As I commented to Craig, I am surprised, but not disappointed that there has not been more snow while we have traveled through the Midwest. We can't be so lucky as to avoid a good snowstorm or two before winter is gone, after all, I am silently hoping for a "White Christmas" wherever we might be. I careful for what you wish for..... I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


We finally did it. With some down time in Spokane we were able to rent a car and travel up to the Skookum Resort to check out some property. Skookum is a year round RV resort in which you purchase the land you put your RV or Park Model Cabin on. Both Craig and I have wanted to move from California to Washington for some time, especially since his company is based out of Spokane. After doing some extensive research on the internet we stumbled across the Skookim Resort. With the traveling we do, and want to do in the future, spending the money to buy a home which we wouldn't occupy that much didn't make sense. But, which a small investment of the land (30'X65' or approx 1800 sq feet) and purchasing a park model cabin, we would get to establish residency in Washington and have a home to go to when in Spokane.
The photo above shows what our view is from the site we decided to purchase, and the photo to the right shows what a park model cabin looks like. It is a one bedroom, one bath, kitchen, living room and upstairs loft. More than enough room for the two of us. We also get a 10'x12' storage shed built on our lot and $2,000 worth of landscaping. We are so excited to be living in such a beautiful area and far enough away (about 50 miles) from the big city of Spokane. The resort is about 13 miles north of the city of Newport and is located along side the Pend Orielle River. We are hoping by the time we take some time off in March we will be able to put the final plans down for the park model cabin to be constructed. We'll be sure to update you as we move along on this endeavor.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


After unloading the boats in Bakersfield, we were able to contact Craig's parents for a very quick visit in Fresno. We met up at one of the local truck stops, and were able to spend about 20 minutes before we had to leave to pick up our next load. We were very happy to receive some home made cookies from Craig's Mom which did not last very long at all. In fact, by the time we got to Coarse Gold, CA they were pretty much history. That was the good part, now for the bad.

We had some difficulty finding the location to meet our contact person. Upon finding him, he led us up into the mountains on very small, steep, mountain roads. Making turns on these roads with a semi and 53 foot trailer was not easy and made me extremely nervous. We had checked with him to make sure there would be a place for us to turn around once we got there. He assured us that there was a cul-de-sac we could use. Once we saw the cul-de-sac we knew it was going to be tricky. We had a cliff on one side of it and electrical and water boxes blocking another area. But with Craig's driving skill, and my silent prayers, we safely turned around and parked in front of the residence to load the backhoe.

This proved to be challenging as well, as the roadway was not even. We were able to get the trailer apart to load the backhoe, but putting it back together again tried both of our patience. Craig had jokingly stated when we started that one driver had spent four hours trying to put his trailer back together. Well, we came close to that, after 3 hours we finally were able to make our way down from the mountain, albeit very slowly as by now it was dark which made the journey all the worse.

We made it back into Fresno to Klein's Truck stop for the night and assess our various cuts, possible broken finger, and sore muscles. But we kept telling ourselves tomorrow is another day and tomorrow came and it was. Tuesday we headed north on Highway 99 right through Modesto. But unfortunately, no one was home to visit, and with the delay in getting loaded, we needed to make up for lost time.
As we went further north, we could see Mount Shasta in the distance, and eventually drove right by it. It was a great day for sight seeing as we began to see more and more snow. We made it all the way to Chemult, Oregon before stopping for the night. To give you an idea of how cold it was there, when we awoke Wednesday morning it was 36 degrees inside the truck, but we were toasty warm under our sleeping bags.

And now the ugly. Normally we have never dreaded weigh stations and up until this time have had no problems with weight issues, truck problems, or securement of our loads. Until today. But it seemed we weren't the only ones. Just about everyone going through the scales at the Washington border at the Plymouth entry was asked to pull over and stop. As the Washington State Police inspected the truck, making sure the lights, horn, and truck and trailer passed a visual inspection, I sat in the truck feeling anxious. Then he asked for Craig to come inside the office with all of our paperwork. The anxiety level for me racheted up a bit more as I waited, and waited, and waited some more in the truck. Craig finally came back with his warning in hand, thank goodness no ticket, and we went about putting some extra strapping on our load and a quick mechanical fix to the trailer.

These past three days have certainly been trying at times, but in retrospect, I'd still rather being out in this truck and having these adventures with my husband than any thing else. After all, it was just one part of this wonderful journey we call life and we plan on having many more adventures to share.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


We often commented to each other that as much as we are on the road we are bound to see our share of accidents (never ourselves involved) and accidents occurring in front of us. We have seen the post accident aftermath, but today, on Highway 10 we saw one happening. I think it was a blessing that what caught our eye was the huge dust cloud in the center divider, and thankfully the car coming to rest just into the fast lane and not coming any further into our lane. As we passed it, I commented that I didn't think anyone could have survived it, and Craig, with his EMT training stated he had to stop and render assistance.
Off Craig went with protective gloves in hand, while I stayed behind to call 911 and give all the information I always hoped that I would receive when taking one of these types of emergency calls when I was a dispatcher. There were plenty of people standing around the car, but once they saw Craig, they parted and let him get to work. I was happy to hear later that there was only one occupant inside the vehicle, an elderly lady, who I am happy to say was very much alive, although injured.

I found out from another truck driver who was behind her that she drove off into the median and rolled her vehicle four times before coming to a stop. I had a lot of things to be thankful for. One, the lady did not seem to have any life threatening injuries, two, that no other vehicles or people were involved, and three, that there are still people, like my husband, that will put themselves at risk to stop and help someone else. In fact, when I looked around, the majority of the people who had stopped were truck drivers. Whatever your stereotypical idea of truck drivers might be, I have often witnessed them being the most helpful in times of need.
So as the sun set in the desert, we continued on our way praying for the drivers quick recovery, thanking the Lord for keeping us safe for another day, and for the way of life we live which lets us enjoy nature's beauty.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


After six days in Las Vegas, we were happy to receive an assignment Monday morning. We didn't have to go far, just up the road to UNLV. The information on the assignment stated we were to pick up mirrors. Now that was a first for us, and upon arriving at the University we found out these weren't your mother's mirrors.
We were surprised by how large these mirrors were. We also found out that they are solar mirrors. What caused us to stop and ponder was just how were we going to tarp these things? Thank goodness, Rick, the employee at UNLV stuck around with his forklift. He was a huge help in lifting Craig and the 80 pound tarp up twelve and a half feet to drape the mirrors. Let me just say this, it wasn't a pretty stie after we were done tarping, but it got the job done.
Off we headed toward Socorro, New Mexico. Leaving Las Vegas, all trucks are detoured around Hoover Dam onto SB Highway 95. Upon reaching the turnoff, we noticed that traffic was backed up and could see flashing emergency lights. We finally inched our way up to the officer and were informed that the highway was shut down due to a dust storm. He had no idea when it might open back up and told us of an alternate route. Only problem was that the alternate route would take us about 150 miles out of our way. We decided to turn around and park out at a small casino about 2 miles away. After about an hour, and no longer hearing truckers ranting and complaining about the road closure on the CB, we tried our luck again. Thankfully, we could see traffic going southbound and no roadblocks. You can tell a bit from the photo that the dust was still in the air.
After a night spent in Holbrook, Arizonia, just before the New Mexico border, we arrived at our destination, The New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology. We found out that the consignee was a student at the college who was doing a junior project with a federal grant.
I kind of dazed over as he explained his project to me using very technical terms, but nodded and said the appropriate "wows" when needed. Funny thing was he only needed one of these mirrors for his project, but UNLV told him they would give one to him, but he had to take all of them off their hands. With the mirrors unloaded and sitting next this his project, we left one very happy tech student to find a way to save the world.
  With the sun setting over the desert, we knew there was only one place we were headed, yes, back to Pharr, Texas. Wish us luck that the wait will not be too long before, (are you ready?), we head back to California once again to beautiful Bakersfield!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


We ended up unable to receive a load going out of Las Vegas on Wednesday, which left us stranded here until at least Monday. Good news is that we are paid to sit which equates to a paid vacation in the adult Disneyland.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, we enjoyed a delicious buffet at the Petro Truck Stop with all the traditional dishes being served. True to our past festive holiday eating, we ate too much but managed to make it back to the truck to undo the pants and make ourselves comfortable. The rest of the day was spent watching football and a marathon of "What not to Wear" on the TLC channel.

Friday we lounged around watching TV and playing our computer games until 2pm, and then managed to get out of the truck to take showers and do laundry. We had quite a bit to do as our laundry bag was filled to the brim.


Saturday we decided it was time to hit the Las Vegas strip. We left the Petro and headed to the Flying J Truck stop, which was about 7 miles closer to the strip. After consulting the internet, we determined we could walk about 2 miles from the truck stop and catch a bus to the strip. All went according to plan, until the bus stopped at the old strip downtown.


Therefore, off we went on foot again. We could see the Stratosphere and knew that would be the start of the casinos. We had to walk through some areas that I would not like to walk back through again. I was just happy it was daylight. As we continued to walk north, I kept seeing people with Starbucks cups. That was all the incentive I needed to keep walking. We finally located my oasis and after a short break, we were walking again. Our first stop was Treasure Island, then Caesar’s Palace.


By now, it was past the noon hour so we went into Paris for some lunch. We were fortunate to be seated in the courtyard area of one of the restaurants where we could see the casino action around us. After a great lunch, which included some wine, we were on our way again.


We spent some time inside New York New York and then the MGM. We had heard about the new monorail system but never saw it until we were handed a brochure, which showed that the monorail ran behind the casinos on the east side of the strip. Having now walked over 10 miles,(I checked our mapping program to confirm how far we walked), and with our feet telling us it was time to stop, we decided to take the monorail at the MGM back to the north end of the strip.


We were more than happy to flag down a cab at the Sahara Hotel to take us back to the truck stop. We had spent well over 9 hours gambling and enjoying ourselves, and came back to our truck with the same amount of money we left with. Overall, it was a very successful day and a great way to spend one of our idle days while in Las Vegas. We will be more than happy to rest our weary,blistered feet Sunday watching football. We are hopeful to receive a new assignment Monday morning, if not we may just have to make another trip down to the strip, but this time, in a cab!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


After our relaxing weekend at the beach, we headed off to Wilmington to pick up the two containers. Since we had just had the experience of loading and chaining containers, we made good time and had them chained and strapped down in about an hour. Making our way through the maze of containers out of the freight yard was another matter. But with flagging down an employee and getting a general idea where to go we made it out and on our way to Vegas.
With a stop in Barstow for a fuel stop and a shower we felt renewed and refreshed which made the last 130 miles into Nevada a breeze. We decided to stay at a Casino/Resort we had spotted on our last trip through this area, since we did not want to venture anywhere near the Las Vegas strip. We stayed at the Primm Valley Casino Resort which is actually 3 different casinos connected by a monorail system.
The casino we parked at was called Buffalo Bills. It had quite the amusement park atmosphere with a large roller coaster and a log ride. Across the way was another casino with a very large high end mall with all the designers you can think of and then some. Both my friends, Cori and Denise, could spend a day or two enjoying themselves there, with my company and check book of course! The monorail takes you over the freeway to the third casino, Whiskey Petes. All in all, if you don't like the crowds, this would be a great spot to spend some time. Sadly, we weren't as lucky here and ended up losing what we had won in Reno a couple of weeks ago.
Up early Tuesday morning we decided to take a walk to the Starbucks we had seen at the Cheveron station. Alas, much to my disappointment it was not open yet, how unamerican! It was after 6am after all. With a heavy heart we walked back to the truck and headed into Vegas to drop off the containers. We had been to this particular place before. It is on the grounds of the Vegas Motor Speedway, a facility that is quite huge. After making a few laps around, although not on the race track, we located the auction yard. We had been here before picking up a water truck after one of their auctions and had taken it to Texas.

Much quicker than it took for us to unchain and unstrap the containers, they had them off loaded and we went to work putting the trailer back in order. While we worked we could hear someone putting the racetrack to good use and with a very powerful engine too!

We headed to a Petro truck stop about a half mile away from the racetrack. As of 3pm we are still waiting to hear where we might be headed for Thanksgiving. We are hoping someplace a little cooler than the southwest!

Monday, November 20, 2006


It is for times like this, people might be able to understand why it is we do what we do. After leaving Pharr, Texas early Thursday morning, we had made our way to Chula Vista 48 hours later on Saturday morning. We dropped off the 5 boats in a storage yard not more than 100 yards from the San Diego Bay. With not having to be in Wilmington, California until Monday morning we had the entire weekend to enjoy this area. We were told of a location where we might be able to park near the ocean so off we went in search of. We located a great spot right next to the Chula Vista Marina.

We waited awhile to see if anyone would approach us to tell us to move, but it seemed no one cared. We could see the marina and the boats from the front seat of the truck. We put on our walking shoes, grabbed the camera and off we went to explore. Besides the marina and several restaurants, there was a park, pier, and RV park a block away. Quite a few of the RV’s had a clear view of the ocean out their windows. We walked past several men playing a spirited game of horseshoes and found a park bench for us to sit and enjoy the cool ocean breezes and scenery.

Getting up Sunday morning, Craig went to work putting some framework together for the containers we will be picking up and taking to Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday. I took the opportunity to clean and organize the truck. With our morning chores finished we cleaned up and took off on a walk finding an El Torito Restaurant about a mile away and enjoying a very delicious Sunday champagne brunch. The walk back was much needed after indulging just a wee too much. The afternoon was spent enjoying some football while the ocean breeze kept us cool and very relaxed.
We left this area hoping that sometime in the future we would be able to return and enjoy this beautiful spot.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006



Well, here we are, in Pharr, Texas again. Can you believe it? Here it is the middle of November and I am in a tank top dealing with 90 degree weather! As you can tell, we are making the best of the situation. The one nice thing about Pharr is that we know where everything is.....WalMart, Starbucks, movie theaters, and some nice restaurants. We always seem to get antsy after a couple of days of sitting and are always anxious to get back on the road to some new destinations. We are very hopeful to get our trailer back tomorrow (Wed 11/15). Until then, look for my next update from beautiful Southern California!

Friday, November 10, 2006


We received the assignment to head to Long Beach, CA to pick up two 20 foot containers. This would be a first for us, we usually see these containers on trailers made specifically for them. We left late morning on Monday and ended up staying in Arvin, CA just before heading over the Grapevine. Up early Tuesday, we maneuvered our way through L.A. traffic and were at our pick up spot in Long Beach by 7am.
The entire area of Long Beach by the docks were covered with containers. You never realize just how much stuff is shipped by containers on trucks, ships, and by train. Next time you are out and about traveling, take notice, I think you will be surprised.  
The containers got loaded onto our trailer, empty containers I should add, and the real work began. It took us almost 4 hours to chain and strap these two containers to our trailer. We had to construct frame work for the second one. With them both securely on the trailer we were ready to head to Gallup, New Mexico.
Along the way, as we approached Flagstaff, Arizona, Craig pointed out a fire in the mountains. We came upon the road signs warning of smoke and then the fire came into view. Craig thought it was probably a control burn as we didn't see any fire fighting equipment anywhere around.
As dusk came we were treated to a beautiful desert sunset. We made it into Gallup and were happy to know our drop off spot was not more than a half mile from the truck stop we stayed at. With the containers quickly off loaded and our equipment put away we were headed south to Pharr, Texas.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Well, we thought we would be on the road Friday morning, but they were unable to find us a load, so with two days of layover pay, and not wanting to stay in French Camp, it was time for a road trip. Now most people I'm sure would think that driving on our off time would not be at the top of our list to do since driving is what we do every day. But we called and was able to obtain a rental car and hotel reservations, and by Friday evening we were on our way to Reno.
We had the most relaxing and enjoyable time in Reno. This was truly like a vacation to us. We even managed to gamble the entire weekend and still take home some extra money, as the slot machines were very good to us. I also managed to get my Starbucks fix as I hadn't had one of their coffees for over a month and a half. Oh the inhumanity of behing in rural Canada all those weeks without a Starbucks in sight!

We were given our assignment late Monday morning to go to Long Beach, California to pick up some containers to take to Gallup, New Mexico and then onto Pharr, Texas to get a load of boats. After six days off we were happy to be back on the road again!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


With this last load ending up in Fresno, California, we took the opportunity to take a couple of days off. I need to go to Folsom to my dentist for a cleaning and a tooth repair, and of course see my awesome hair dresser for a coloring and a cut. We plan to be back on the road again on Friday to where we don't know yet, as the title says, stay tuned!

Friday, October 27, 2006


No, I'm not talking about the blizzards I adore, the ones at Dairy Queen, but the weather related ones. After we safely crossed into the states we made some phone calls to the dealers we are delivering the boats to. Upon contacting our first stop in Denver and advising them we would be there Thursday afternoon, the dealer promptly informed us that Denver was on blizzard watch with severe storm warnings.

Now this California girl had hardly ever seen snow, let alone experience a blizzard!
Thursday morning when we left Nebraska for Colorado we kept an alert ear out for weather reports. We even checked the internet before leaving and yes, there it was on the radar, the before mentioned storm. So onward we went, hoping for the best, but expecting the worse.   

But a funny thing happened on our way to Denver, we never saw a dark cloud, a snow flake, or a rain drop. About 90 miles out, we called the dealership for an update and were informed, yes indeed, the storm had arrived and had left leaving behind some snow but clear roadways. Entering the city we were happy to see the aforementioned clear roadways and a safe arrival at the dealership. Although it was cold, wet, and snowy, we were able to get the boat unloaded and be on our merry way.

We headed towards Laramie, Wyoming for the night with this beautiful sunset, and as the sun went down, the winds came up and Wyoming started to look dark and cold.  


But in the morning it was this glorious sunrise we were able to witness. We only had a little under 400 miles to go to Draper, Utah to drop off one more of the boats Another quick drop and we were kicked back and relaxing at a truck stop about 40 minutes away.

We will be going through Las Vegas on Saturday on our way to beautiful downtown Fresno, California to drop off the last of the boats.


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