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.


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