Saturday, September 30, 2006


This my friends is what we waited almost eight days for. Four boats, one headed to East Wenatchee, Washington, and the other three to Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. This is, I think, the third time we have traveled this route back into Washington. I've taken the opportunity to read another book, and Craig enjoys listening to his satellite radio. As the sun was setting one evening, I took this shot and thought that if you let it, the road could be long and lonely. We are thankful to have and enjoy each others company along our journey discovering this great country of ours.

Going through New Mexico we came across a sign marking the Continental Divide.

I've always wondered what exactly the Continental Divide was so I found out. The Continental Divide in the Americas is the line that divides the flow of water between the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Rain or snow that drains on the east side of the Continental Divide flows toward the Atlantic Ocean while precipitation on the west side drains and flows toward the Pacific Ocean. The continental divide runs from northwestern Canada along the crest of the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico.
So now I know and if you ever wondered you know too. Let's move on.

My favorite season is fall so I have been enjoying the change of seasons we have seen along our way. Most times there is not an opportunity to take a good photo, but I will keep trying. This shot was taken in Utah.

We are currently staying in Stanfield, Oregon, just south of the Washington border. We will be here for a 34 hour reset of Craig's driving hours before dropping off the boat in Wenatchee early Monday morning. We will be traveling on some roads we have not been on before and hoping to get some great photos along the way.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006



The picture is fuzzy, but I think you get the idea. We had severe thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour while we have been at Pharr. The electricity went out several times and we had over 1000 lightening strikes. All the TV channels were advising severe thunderstorm warnings as well.

As I told you in a previous post, this area was hit with an eight hour downpour which pretty much flooded everything last Monday. This storm that hit on Sunday didn't do too much to help things dry out. In fact, our hotel room, which was on the first floor actually started to flood. The rain leaked through the windows and the floor was wet. We assumed it was from water gathering beneath the hotel. They promptly moved us to another room, this time on the second floor.

So Tuesday morning, day seven of being in Pharr, and we are hopeful to be able to pick up our trailer and head to higher ground. After waiting around all day Monday at the trailer yard and watching other drivers from other companies drive off with their boats, we are hopeful that today will be the day we can do the same. Our dispatcher checked on the load yesterday and told us it "should" be here today. We will keep our fingers crossed, after all there are only so many movies and TV watching you can do in this town to keep busy.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I can now officially say we had some Texan BBQ. Craig and I have seen this place every time we have come to Pharr. It is within walking distance to our hotel. It is a chain, about 15 of them throughout Texas. What makes it unique is that it is a country store/gas station/BBQ restaurant.

When you walk in they have tables and benches lined up family style with red checkered table cloths, a real down home serve yourself type of place.

You order basically your meat by the half pound, brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, and sausage. Then if you want a side dish, we chose potato salad, you grab it out of a refridgerator case. They serve it up in a plastic crate with some paper to put down on the table as your plate.

Of course the meal would not be complete without some homestyle BBQ sauce. They had two to choose from. Their regular BBQ and the one made for sissies. We opted for the regular over the sissy style.

But when all was said and done, both Craig and I wiped the BBQ sauce from our mouths, and looked down to see we had eaten everything and boy was it great! This is definitely a place we will return to when we come back to Pharr.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


When we arrived in Vonore, Tennessee the sun had finally come out and we were at the Sea Ray Plant by 6am Monday morning. A mere eight hours later and we were at last getting the boats loaded onto the trailer. Seems the boats were ready, but they had a shortage of trailers for the boats. We weren't the only ones waiting around, two more boat drivers from our company showed up after we did and they were both still waiting when we drove away. At least the scenery was quite nice while we were there. They had a large lake which I would imagine they probably use from time to time to test out some boats.

Leaving Vonore we ran straight into a large rain cell. It started out like this:

Then it progressed to this:

And finally it rained so hard you could hardly see the road:

So you know what happens when it rains like that, you get scenes like this:

Now the interesting thing with the first picture of just the tractor, there is suppose to be a trailer attached to it. As we passed by we tried to see where it had finally ended up but couldn't find it. We are always thankful when we are kept from harms way on our journeys!

We arrived in Austin, Texas Monday morning for an unload of 5 boats and then it was off to Pharr to pick up more boats headed to Wenatchee, Washington and Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. We took our usual route into Pharr and I finally got to take a picture of something I have been wanting to share with you all. As you know on our travels we are always seeing or stopping by a Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart Supercenter. But have you ever seen a Wal-Mart Express? It's a mini Wal-Mart, go figure.

We arrived in Pharr Wednesday afternoon. We were told there was so much rain on Monday the entire town of Reynosa, Mexico, where the trailers are taken to get loaded was under 4 feet of water. We were told to expect some delay in waiting for the load to come back. So here we are, in Pharr again, doing our Wal-Mart shopping, getting our Starbucks fix, and enjoying a movie or two.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


After staying in Maybrook, New York for 34 hours to reset Craig's driving hours, we headed out Saturday morning towards Vonore, Tennessee. In a little over five hours we had driven through New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. WHEW..... as Craig said you can't even drive through five counties in California in that amount of time.

The one thing that stood out to me, and maybe it was that the fifth anniversary of 9/11 had just passed, but every single over crossing in New York had an American flag on it.

We were only about 28 miles from New York City when we changed freeways and traveled into New Jersey. Both Craig and I never imagined New York or New Jersey to look like they did. We expected a very urban and industrial look, but instead it was green with lots of open land which had a real country feel to it.

We came upon some road construction in West Virginia. You can tell from this picture that traffic was not moving too fast. Check out our speed, certainly were not breaking any laws here.

The nice thing about going so slowly was being able to check out the scenery. I saw this farm and old stone house and just knew there had to be some history to it. All along the roadways you could sense that history was made all around you.

We really do see some interesting things on the road. Most towns all have water towers with the name of the town on the sides, but the water tower in Mt. Jackson, Virginia was very unique. No mention of the town name, but the art graphics were amazing. They made their water tower look like a basket of apples.

In Tennessee we came across a very big guitar. I'm not sure what it was advertising, but it did catch your eye as you went by.

But probably the one thing that really caught our eye was a small cemetery in Elliston, Virginia.

What was so strange about it, was that it was right next to where we parked at a small truck stop there. Good news is they were very quiet neighbors.

Friday, September 15, 2006


We unloaded the Genie in Montreal about the same time as the mass shooting was taking place at the college. Both Craig and I have been amazed to find ourselves in areas where major news events are taking place, thankfully, always out of harms way.

We thought we would be given another load right away, but hey, we have been wrong before, so off to our favorite truck stop in Montreal we went. We waited most of the day there before being told to go ahead and make our way back into the USA. If we had been thinking we would have realized that it was rush hour traffic and we would have postponed our start time a bit later, but off we went, albeit at a very slow pace.

When we finally made it to the border crossing, which now seems to always fill me with some angst, I was quite pleased to come upon our first border patrol agent who was actually quite pleasant and helpful. What a nice change from the experiences we have had previously.

Since we got started so late and with traffic being so backed up, we ended up staying at a truck stop just over the border where we were able to fuel up. Although late for East coast time, we still managed to stay on Pacific time and watched some television before calling it a night.

The next morning we still did not have a dispatch, but being as there was only one main highway to get anywhere out of the area we headed south towards New York City. This particular highway took us directly through the Adirondack Mountains. The leaves where just starting to change. I can see why people pay the money to go on tours of the fall foliage. Check out these pictures I was able to take along our way.

We stopped at a service center on the turnpike for some lunch and I was delighted to see there was also a Starbucks. What I had always heard about New Yorkers was their attitudes and how they don’t take any grief from anyone. Well, as Craig and I sat waiting for our lunch to arrive we saw not one but two different arguments break out between some New Yorkers. Quite entertaining to say the least, no punches were thrown, but words can be a mighty sword. No blood drawn, maybe some pride bruised and they were back to eating their meals.

We stopped at the news stand for the most current copy of People magazine, which has become my guilty pleasure every week. I also spotted the New York Post. I was always curious about this publication as Regis was always referring to its cover on his show in the morning. We purchased a copy and after reading it, came to the conclusion there wasn’t much substance to it, almost a cross between the Enquirer, People and USA today.

We drove as far as the crossroads to any direction they might send us, but no dispatch came through so we stayed at a truck stop in Maybrook, New York. We didn’t sit idle though, as we took the opportunity to shower and do laundry. It has rained continuously for the past three days, not that I am complaining as I love the rain. It does tend to make Craig a bit water logged as he tried vainly to set up the satellite TV, but alas, due to the close proximity of the truck trailers beside us we could not zero in on the satellite receiver we needed. So off the bed we went hoping that the morning would bring us a destination to drive to.

During the night we seemed to have some electrical problems and in the morning, with the rain still pounding down, we started to smell an electrical smell. Craig tried to turn off the truck but it wouldn’t shut off. Ever the McGyver, he set off to find the source of our problem. He was able to open up the panel behind his seat to find that rain was coming into the electrical wires. We aired out the panel and headed to the nearest Freightliner dealership. Once there, they concluded that since everything worked fine, there was nothing for them to fix. Off to Lowe’s we went to get the proper tools to further take apart the inside panels of the truck. I was able to find a Barnes & Noble in the same shopping center to load up on books. With the proper tool located we went back to the truck stop to try and stop the moisture from getting into the electrical panel. We did what we could with some silicon and hoped for the best. In the mean time we received our dispatch to head to Vonore, Tennessee to load up some boats on Monday morning. With the rate this rain is pouring down on us, those boats just may come in handy!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It was with much trepidation that we were once again headed to Canada for our next assignment. Was this going to be Deja Vu all over again? Let's just say this time around, after loading the Genie, which was headed to Saint Laurent, Quebec near Montreal Canada, we stopped by the office to make sure all paperwork was in order. We also confirmed our port of entry into Canada and made sure the paperwork would be faxed and approved before our estimated arrival into Canada on Tuesday.

So, as I mentioned after dropping off the de-icing truck at the Spokane Airport, we headed into the company yard. We took the opportunity to get a full service done on the truck and do laundry. Craig also got shoulder tapped by Curtis to do a question and answer session with some new hires. We ended up spending the night there and waited Friday morning for our information on the load to get sent over the computer. Off to Moses Lake we went, with our now customary stop at Starbucks along the way.

With the Genie loaded, and the aforementioned stop at the office to send in the proper paperwork, we were headed east towards Montreal. It had been awhile since we had been this way. You could certainly tell there were wildfires burning in the area as "Big Sky" country was more than a bit smoky.

As we neared the city of Big Timber, the smoke got thick and we were able to glimpse the command post for this major fire. They had several helicopters, fire rigs and tents as far as the eye could see.

Over the next couple of days we experienced a very cool and wet climate which we happily welcomed. It has been so nice to have the windows open at night. Driving through the Detroit area we came across the biggest tire I have ever seen at the Uniroyal factory.

As we neared the Canadian border we were more than a bit hesitant that all the paperwork was completed. We checked in with our dispatcher Katie, and after a small mixup with the serial number it took just one last phone call into Customs to make sure we had clearance. I was elated to hear the voice on the phone tell me we did. Passing through the border this time was uneventful and we were thankful for that!

Tonight finds us happily in Napanee, Ontario with just under 200 miles to go to our final destination in Montreal. In the meantime we are enjoying satellitelite TV and looking forward to our next destination.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


After dropping off the boats in Kent, Washington, we received our next dispatch to head to Richmond, British Columbia, Canada to pick up a truck used for de-icing airplanes. Since we were already in the Seattle area, we decided to spend the night at the USA border in Blaine, Washington before crossing into Canada. On our way up I started noticing how the leaves were changing and that the hint of Fall was fast approaching.

The small truck stop we stayed at had parking along a narrow stretch of dirt that bordered the local airport. We had the pleasure of watching small aircraft land and take off while we were there.

Another highlight of this truck stop was a local coffee shack just across the street. Since we had the time Wednesday morning, we took advantage of their outdoor seating, grabbed a local paper, and a couple of cups of java and took in the crisp cool morning in style.

After our morning coffee we headed off to the border crossing. When you are not hauling anything it is so much easier to get across. Canadian customs had us on our way in no time at all after careful inspection of our passports. A mile down the road we got our official welcome.

Let me first start off by saying this day started off great, but soon turned into a comedy of errors, a Murphy's Law type of day. I know one day soon we will laugh about it, but for right now we will keep the details to ourselves. First off the traffic around Vancouver is horrendous. The routing which they gave us was wrong and if it wasn't for another trucker talking to us on the CB we might still be lost in Canada.

One of the nicest things was crossing the Alex Fraiser Bridge. It really was pretty going across the water and seeing the greater Vancouver area come into sight.

So after finally locating the address to pick up the truck, we had the pleasure of finding out it was over the height limitations for Canada and Washington. Needless to say there were some faxes and phone calls, permits and routing information to be obtained. But we got it loaded onto the trailer to make our way back across the border.

This is where our little story almost became "The Couple Without A Country". I promise we will tell this story to anyone interested over a nice bottle of wine. This quick trip to Canada is one Craig and I will never forget!

Monday, September 04, 2006


So after purchasing every known gadget for the truck we could possibly use, we finally decided to get satellite TV after much debate. Since we have been on the truck we have survived using our remote antenna and trying to get local TV. Sometimes we get crystal clear reception and at least one network station, but more often we get fuzzy reception. What we always seemed to get was at least a couple of local stations, some fuzzy, some clear, but why did it always seem they were religious stations or speaking in languages we didn't understand? (not that there is anything wrong with that, as Steinfeld would say)

Craig did his normal research regarding satellite TV, and although the receivers were a snap to find anywhere, locating the satellite dish was like being a bounty hunter. You just can't pick them up anywhere and it wasn't like we were in one location to have DISH TV come to our door to deliver. We ended up finding that the dish could be located at Camping World.

We put our best bounty hunting experience to work locating one which would be accessible to a big rig pulling a 53 foot trailer. Try this my friends, it is not as easy as it would seem. El Paso, Texas was our prey and we snuck up on it and captured our dish and receiver without incident.

So MacGyver went to work putting it together using his paperclips, popsicle sticks and of course the manly duct tape. All kidding aside Craig had the dish put together in no time at all and with his handy compass was pointing it in the right direction and clear English speaking channels we had. This really came in handy for our layover day resetting his driving hours in Prosser, Washington. After all, what Labor Day holiday would be complete without at least watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon?

But I digressed. Let me take you back to what we saw prior to our arrival here in Washington. We left Pharr with our sights set on getting the heck out of Texas, but being as big as it is could only make it to Fort Stockton Thursday night. Friday, after our stop in El Paso for the dish, we traveled to Milan, New Mexico to spend the night. We were quite surprised to find the temperature here very cool in the evening and were able to sleep without the A/C on.

Saturday we once again drove through the canyon lands of Utah. We stopped at a rest stop within the National Park area for some lunch. Now maybe I have been looking at these rocks too much, but one of them caught my eye. Tell me if this doesn't look like a rat with a piece of cheese in front of it's mouth?

I also couldn't resist taking a picture of our truck loaded with the four boats going to Kent, Washington.

Saturday night found us in Willard, Utah at a truck stop right next to the water. Come to find out it wasn't the Great Salt Lake, but a sewer farm. Needless to say we backed up to this little piece of heaven and had a view of the mountains instead.

Sunday we drove through the rest of Utah, Idaho, Oregon and finally into Washington were we are today relaxing and watching our satellite TV. The small truck stop here in Prosser is very nice. It has several restaurants and even a coffee shack so I can get my caffeine fix. We will enjoy the rest of the day and take off early Tuesday morning to get into Kent by 8am. Where our travels take us next is anyone's guess. Stay tuned!


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