Wednesday, March 29, 2006
After checking in at Spokane, there was a need for a couple of boats to be delivered into Canada. So once again he loaded up, this time with the Mutt and Jeff of boats, a tiny 10 foot dingy and a 30 foot cruiser. Definitely a wide load and somewhat comical to look at. Wednesday night finds Craig at a small truck stop in Davenport, WA and awaiting the adventure of his first trip into Canada.
He doesn't know quite what to expect, but he is reading up on Canadian traffic laws and hoping to be able to locate some truck stops along the way. If all else fails, he does have some fellow drivers he can call for advice.
Monday and Tuesday will find him back in Spokane for the long awaited servicing of his truck. I'll post some pictures as soon as Craig finds an area with digital cell service to send them to me.
He is still loving it, but very much looking forward to my arrival in the truck to help with the navigation. I won't say this too loud but he has taken a wrong turn once or twice. I'll be more than happy to assume my position proudly beside him reading maps and navigating our way not only through the USA but internationally as well.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
After 72 hours of labor, and waiting and waiting some more, we are now the proud parents of a blue boy truck. We were told on Wednesday that Craig was assigned a truck, however it was at the Freightliner yard getting serviced and a seal replaced. 72 hours later, we finally got our little, or should I say, big bundle of joy.
Friday we spent time taking inventory of the trailer, cleaning it up, and putting all the equipment in all the right places. Most of the day Saturday we spent cleaning up the truck and making it our new home. From the pictures posted you can see that the television is installed and working, the bed is made up, and Craig looks quite comfortable in the drivers seat!
He has been assigned his first load and it is to go to Brisbane, CA, in the bay area, Monday morning at 8am, and take a large piece of machinery to Sunnyside, WA by Wednesday. From there he most likely will be routed into Spokane and the corporate office to get the truck fully serviced and stocked with all the equipment the truck needs before the next load is assigned. Craig will also need to attend a recertification class on Friday.
Can't wait to see where he will be going next. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The plan is for him to go out all day tomorrow with another driver in which he will have ample time to practice his tarping skills. Then they need to figure out how he will get up to Spokane to finish one more day of certification class and then get his own truck.
We are still on track with our time line, in fact the Vice President of the company even volunteered to ease up their restriction on the 90 day waiting period for ride alongs to allow me to get out sooner with Craig. Seems he has made quite an impression with them in Spokane. They truly are a company who treats their employees well, as if everyone is family. We are so very happy being a part of that type of company.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
What a surprise. While attending a training session in San Jose on Wednesday, I receive a voice mail message saying he's flying home! Craig and Ken left Lebanon, Missouri at 1:30pm on Monday, and made it into Spokane, Washington by 11:30pm on Tuesday night. Do you think they obeyed all speed laws? Craig insists that they did. You be the judge.
Needless to say, I was delighted beyond words to get that voice mail. He flew out of Spokane and into Sacramento, with the recruiter who hired him and the Vice President of the company. They then drove to Stockton, where I had the pleasure of finally seeing Craig and then enjoying a very nice dinner with both the recruiter and the Vice President,oh and of course Craig.
Secondly, we were thrilled to have and accept a bid on our house. A young, newly married couple will take possession by the end of April. We are happy for them, and more importantly for us, as it gets us one major step closer to our dream.
I plan to quit work and defer my retirement as of June 1, and join Craig on the road and start seeing the country. I can assure you that there will be many more entries and photos to share with you along our journey. We are so excited!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Hail, hail, the gangs all here
Picture of Craig ,MO
The road to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri was not without some excitement. As you probably heard on the news, the biggest storm to hit that area arrived on Sunday. It seemed that Craig and his trainer Ken kept about 20 miles ahead of the storm and missed the tornado and a chance to see Toto. They did happen upon a big hail storm, don't know if you can see the hail from the picture posted. From the news, they showed hail the size of baseballs!
Did you know Craig was famous in Missouri? Neither did I. It seems there is a town called, yep you guessed it, Craig, Missouri. He was able to get a quick picture of it as they drove by. You can see it is a thriving metropolis!
They finally arrived in the Fort Leonard Wood area Sunday evening. The Army truck was dropped off and then it was on to Lebanon, Missouri to pick up some boats. At about 1:30pm our time, they collected the last of the paperwork and were headed on a fast track back to Spokane. They planned on team driving, night and day, and hoped to get to Spokane by Wednesday evening.
The pictures posted are of Craig, Missouri and the hail accumulated along side the roadway.
Friday, March 10, 2006
I think the pictures describe the title of this post. The Columbia and Snake Rivers in Oregon and Idaho and the beast of the Army truck.
Today found Craig driving 552 miles to Twin Falls, Idaho before Ken took over the driving. As you can see from the two pictures he had some nice scenery to look at while on the road. They took Highway 84 through Oregon and parts of Idaho before veering off on Hwy 86 to Hwy 30 into Wyoming. They stayed the night at the Flying J in Cokeville, Wyoming, just east of the Idaho border.
Craig was unable to get cell service during the night, so he next caught up with me about 20 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming about 10am Saturday. They had a flat tire on the trailer and were making their way to the Petro in Laramie to get it fixed. Their next fuel stop is scheduled for Cheyenne and they hoped to make it into York, Nebraska for the night.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Just when you think you know what to expect, mother nature and the boss have other plans. We were hoping to be able to finally see each other for more than a few hours by the end of next week, but then our hopes were dashed.
Craig and his trainer made it to Seattle, by way of a nasty snow storm going over the pass outside of Spokane. Craig was driving, he crept along, and managed to make it down the pass without incident. WHEW They dropped off the boats and were told they would be unable to make it back to Spokane due to the pass being closed right after they made it through.
The boss then says to head to Portland to pick up a new Freightliner truck and head to Missouri. As of tonight they are at a Flying J truck stop in Troutdale, Oregon, just east of Portland, and on their way east one more time. This of course delays his tarp training in Spokane by at least a week if not longer.
They are scheduled to drop off the truck Monday morning, so they can actually take their time and only drive about 600 miles a day. The truck is to be dropped off at Fort Leonard, Missouri, an Army base. They will then pick up a load of boats to be delivered back to Spokane. Let's hope the weather plays fair this time.
The photographs posted are of the lake entering Coeur d' Alene, the truck loaded with boats at the dock in Seattle, and Portland near sunset.
We have to say that we are very happy with our decision about this job change for Craig, but the separation has been so much harder than we ever imagined. With daily phone calls, text messages, and of course photographs, we have managed one day at a time.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Today finds Craig on the move again. They loaded up three 22 foot pleasure boats out of Vonore, Tennessess around 1:30pm and were headed towards Seattle. When I last caught up with him, he had awaken from a long winter's nap at around 8pm our time and was somewhere in Kentucky. They planned on driving through the night on this 2800 mile trip and be in Seattle by Thursday. I warned him that the pleasant weather he had experienced this past week would probably change as they go back up north through Missouri and get back onto Highway 90 to Washington State.
Craig called around 2:30pm on Tuesday to report that they were headed west on Highway 90 through South Dakota. They had taken turns driving through the night, took a rest at a truck stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to fuel up and take a shower. They predict they will be in Seattle by Wednesday afternoon and drop off the boats on Thursday morning.
We still suspect that Craig will spend some time in Spokane with a flatbed driver to learn the ropes, so to speak, about tarping and then receive his own truck. We are hoping to meet up the end of next week.
The pictures posted are of South Dakota and the Missouri River.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
From Baltimore Craig and his trainer headed back to Tennessee and the city of Knoxville. They are delivering a trailer that needs to be repaired. They arrived in Knoxville this afternoon and will not be able to drop off the trailer until Monday morning.
They are staying at a full service truck stop where Craig will be able to do his laundry, shower, and relax in a lounge with a big screen television. When I talked to him this evening he had just had a great meal of meat loaf and mashed potatoes and was making his way on foot to the local WalMart. He was in search of a small TV to have with him to occupy some of the down time.
Not much to report until Monday when they will get their next assignment. The picture posted is of the truck loaded with boats at the dock in Baltimore.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Craig and his trainer left Pharr, Texas early Wednesday morning headed for Baltimore. Craig checked in with me around 10pm our time and they had made it to Meridian, Mississippi just west of the Alabama border. They were going to drive a few more hours then rest and sleep for awhile. At around 9am Thursday morning, Craig checked back in with an updated location of Bristol, Tennessee, right on the border of the state of Virginia. They plan on being in Baltimore, Maryland by this evening. Now that is some time travel. It is hard for me to imagine traveling that far of a distance in that short amount of time. When you look at the map posted you can see just how far Craig has traveled in the past three weeks. Quite amazing!
Their trailer is loaded with six Bayliner boats destined to go over seas to Amsterdam in cargo containers out of Baltimore. They will learn when and where their next load is first thing Friday morning, as they need to get loaded before the weekend.
Craig reports that after all the years of waiting for this to happen it finally has. Every day is a Saturday and time has no meaning. When talking to him I have to remind him what day it is, and the only time he needs to be concerned about is when to drop off or pick up a load.
The pictures posted are of a Texas oil well, Lake Charles in Louisiana, the rolling hills of Tennessee, and a rest stop in Virginia. He said he had a very beautiful trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.