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.

Thursday, October 26, 2006



Well, here we are, still in Canada, thinking about getting dual citizenship,but what a sight, eh? This picture was taken Monday evening at sunset as we were headed to Steinbach, Manitoba. Our previous assignment was cancelled, and instead we find ourselves picking up boats in Canada and taking them into the States, how's that for a switch?

We arrived at the Lund Boat plant in Steinbach Tuesday morning. The employees here were very helpful, especially with the magnitude of paperwork which the USA requires for items being imported. This part of the shipping business always fills me with a bit of apprehension, especially when after you submit your paperwork, you have a few hours to wait before calling to see if you have clearance. It's almost like having to take that final exam at school and then the wait to see if you passed or not. Finally, you are at the mercy of the Customs Officers and whatever mood they seem to be on the day you cross the border. Oh well, hopefully with more practice it will become second nature.

As we left the plant, we got about 45 miles away and Craig noticied that something was amiss on the trailer. A wheel of a trailer on the last boat had moved! OH BOY..... we found a safe place to park on the side of the road and went to investigate.
The boat had shifted back about two feet and had slid off the wooden bunk they had placed under the axle of the boat trailer. Had we not checked it, I'm sure we might had seen that boat merrily going down the freeway on it's own. This was a first for us, so McGyver goes into action and finds some ways to strap down the boat as best he can. Of course the the plant where we got the boats loaded had closed, so after making a couple of phone calls to our dispatcher and the safety department, it was determined that we should go back to the plant and wait until morning to get this problem fixed.

So off we go, very slowly, back to the plant. We spent the night in their parking lot and waited to see the arrival of employees at dawn. Upon seeing the whites of the first employee's eyes, Craig was off and I was still in bed. I had somehow come down with the flu. Is it any wonder why I don't like coming to Canada with all this fun? Anyway, 4 hours later, with one less boat, we were finally back on our way with only one more hurdle to go.....Customs.

Thankfully the line was not too long. We got through the first section pretty well. Got asked some questions we haven't been asked before, such as "Ever been fingerprinted"?. Well that was one I could answer with a resounding "Yes, several times"! But might I add also with the comment that I was in law enforcement. Then off to the xray machine where they promptly asked us to exit our truck so they could search it. This was another first for us, but after only 3 minutes we were sent happily back into the USA.

We are now headed to Denver to drop off one of the boats as long as we miss the blizzard the dealer said was on it's way. Our life these days is just full of excitement and adventure and we wouldn't have it any other way!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Well, be careful of what you wish for, more than likely it doesn't get granted. Such was the case with us. We unloaded in Lloydminster late Monday morning, received our new assignment a couple of hours later. We were to go back to Little Falls and take another load of boats to Lloydminster again, but this time with a stop in Melfort, Saskatchewan.

In retrospect, what was really nice about the trip this time was that we knew exactly where we were going, how to get there, and more importantly, what to expect. The only glitch in the trip this time was getting the proper paperwork with the correct serial numbers out of the Crestliner plant in Little Falls. But, after almost 10 hours we were finally on our way back to Canada.

With our load of boats, this time with three pontoon boats, a first for us, we thought it looked like we were carrying spaceships. We seem to draw attention when hauling regular boats, but the pontoon boats create a bigger attraction. Drivers are always slowing down along side us to take a peak at them.

So I really am at a loss for words this week as it is a repeat from last week. The drop in Melfort on Friday morning went okay, although I have to say, in a town that small, quite a few of the older gentlemen seemed to find their way to the boat yard to congregate and supervise. From the looks of the town, didn't seem like it got that much action, so unloading the boats must have been on the top of their excitement list for the day.

We left town and headed to Saskatoon, as we will not be able to unload in Lloydminster until Monday morning. We will spend the weekend here relaxing, doing laundry, and trying to figure out Canadian TV. We are so far north that our satellite TV can not pick up the signal.

We do know that our next assignment takes us back to Minnesota, this time to Pipestone, then to Salt Lake City & Riverdale, Utah for drop offs. I hope to have more pictures and commentary for you then.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


These past few days in Canada has almost felt like we were in a third world country. We have been through some of the most remote areas where there is nothing to see but grain fields. The few towns we came upon were so small if you blinked you passed them up. Finding a truck stop is a lesson in futility as the ones listed in our reference books were either not where they said they were, or were closed and no longer open. But I digress...... Let me go back to the beginning.

After our tasty time in Wisconsin eating our way through the state in cheese we arrived in Little Falls, Minnesota at the Crestliner Plant. We arrived too late in the afternoon to get loaded, so we spent the evening in their yard. As I mentioned before we awoke to 22 degree weather. We were lucky in that they were ready to load us first thing that morning. We drove into their warehouse and they closed the doors to try and keep it warm in there. As they opened the doors to let us out after getting 5 boats loaded we saw this:
It had started to snow while we were inside the warehouse. Not only that, but the wind had started to blow. As we drove north towards Canada, the wind got stronger blowing in at 45mph, and it was a head wind at that. Talk about a rough time steering. Each one of those boats were like a sail.

Speaking of which, the back boat started to lose it's shrinkwrap. As the wind blew it slowly got ripped to the point where we could no longer even attempt to tape it closed again. So at a rest stop just south of the Canadian border, we called into the claims department and explained our situation. They had us completely remove the shrinkwrap from the boat so that the loose covered would not beat up the coating on the boat. This is what our load looked like after that:

So, we approach the Canadian border. I had called earlier in the day to make sure we had our clearance, which we did and we confidently pulled up to the customs booth expecting a quick departure. WRONG..... the customs agent keeps asking us about the one trailer we had and paperwork that should have been with it. To make a long story short, three hours later, several walks in 45mph winds between the customs office and the brokers office, two difference types of paperwork submitted, and on our third try at the customs desk we finally were allowed into Canada.

So now we get to enjoy endless miles of nothing. I had to amuse myself so I ended up taking a picture of our shadow as we drove down the road.
As we got closer to Lloydminster I started seeing quite a few grain elevators in every town we passed.
So there you have it, our latest trip into Canada. We hope to be able to unload first thing in the morning and get another load assignment which will take us directly into the USA without passing Go and getting the $200, and between you and me, I really won't mind.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Hello from Tomah, Wisconsin. We had to stop and have some real authentic Wisconsin cheese and call each other "CheeseHeads". We took the opportunity to send a few of you some samples and hope that you enjoy the cheese here as much as we did.


Wisconsin this time of year is quite colorful as is evident of the pictures I was able to take Wednesday morning even though it was quite rainy. It was almost so cold here that people were talking about it snowing. We may get the chance as we are heading even further north.

Our new assignment is to go to Little Falls, Minnesoata to pick up boats and then head to Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada.

As you can see, Little Falls is small town America. It is situated along the Mississippi River with old quaint houses lining the streets. On our way to Little Falls it started to snow! My first snowfall I have been able to witness and I'm sure not my last. It has been a steady 32-37 degrees all day today.

Since we are only a handful of drivers that have passports, we will probably get a lot more loads going into Canada after the first of the year. That is when it is mandatory to have a passport to go across the border.

Well as Craig and I hunker down in our truck (aka: home) for warmth and a little TV watching, I'll be looking forward to posting our next update from Canada.
PS - it got down to 22 degrees during the night.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


We left Spokane late Saturday morning after loading the Genie, making sure we had chains, new windshield wipers, and scaling the load to make sure we were within limits.


Heading out on Highway 90, our path for the next 1400 miles, we quickly crossed into Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene area. It was beautiful as usual giving me an opportunity to take some pictures.

You could tell that fall was in the air with the changing of the leaves. Going through Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota the scenery did not change much. Had a chance to drive past Sturgis, South Dakota. What surprised me was that it was such a small town to host such a large gathering in the summer with all the bikers. The weather was great, hardly a raindrop to be found, and the temperature never above 70 degrees.

We also were able to add another state to our list of states visited, Iowa. We now only have 10 more states to complete the list. Here is something I am sure most of you have not seen in a very long time. How’s this for a flashback:


Can you believe it? I even saw it as low as $1.95 a gallon in Missouri. As we got within about 15 miles of our final destination in Roxana, Illinois, we crossed the mighty Mississippi River, which is the border between Missouri and Illinois.


It took us only 34 minutes to unload the Genie and be ready for our next assignment. We are anticipating going to Lebanon, Missouri for a load of boats since it is only 180 miles from Roxana, but as we have learned, you never really know for sure until the dispatch comes through.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Ok, it’s the age old question to which men have fallen victim to throughout the ages. Of course we all know what the answer is, but at times like this, absolutely no thought should go into the matter and the absolute lie should be said, "NO". So ponder this picture and see Craig’s dilemma when the question was asked, “Does this load make my trailer look fat?”

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Yes, we had another oversized load this past week. Remember, I mentioned it was deck tooling which I didn’t quite know what it was? I’m still not so sure, but it is kind of the polar opposite of the hull mold we transported the last time. This is the component that fits inside the hull and shapes the inside of the boat. We arrived in Arlington late Tuesday morning, a day earlier than expected, and it was not ready for us. We were able to leave our trailer at Meridian Yachts, as they had said when it was ready they would load it on for us while we were away. With that said, we decided to get a hotel room down the street and relax, do laundry and enjoy a meal out.

Up early the next morning to check, and it was still not ready. What’s a girl to do? Go shopping of course!

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Right down I5 were outlet stores and a Wal-Mart. With grocery shopping done we headed to the stores. Craig took the opportunity to relax and read in the truck while I meandered through the stores. Although I wasn’t much in the trying on mood, you know girls, sometimes, no mater what, nothing seems to look good. I knew I needed some long sleeve T-shirts to get me through the winter,so off to Eddie Bauer I went. About an hour later, and a little bit less in our checking account, I walked out a happy shopper.
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Since the load still was not ready we spent the night at a truck stop a few miles away and hoped it would be ready Thursday morning. Upon arrival the next morning, they were ready to load it on our trailer. With all the proper permits and paperwork in hand, we waited for our pilot cars to arrive to take us safely to the Interstate. Now I don’t know what it is about people and CB radios, but they seem to make them chattier than normal. Thank goodness it was a short trip to the Interstate as we were soon running out of things to say to their comments on the weather and traffic congestion.


As we did before, we had the good fortune to be able to drive through Seattle; well for me that is, Craig still does not like driving through the big cities and especially with an oversized load. I used my good camera and was able to get some good shots of the area.



With what we could consider now a relatively short drive, about 400 miles, to Roseburg, we arrived in the area Thursday night for a delivery first thing Friday morning. With the deck tooling unloaded we were directed to come into the Company yard to pick up a Genie which was slated for Roxana, Illonois.

We never grow tired of the drive on Highwy 84 along the Colombia River Gorge. It is gorgous no matter what time of year.

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We finally pulled into the Company yard around 8pm after a very long day for a good night’s sleep to be rested to load the Genie first thing in the morning and head East!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Up very early Monday morning to get into Wenatchee by 0730, the sun was just rising as we pulled into the dealership yard to unload their one boat. With a quick phone call to Kelowna, Canada to see if they would accept delivery that afternoon, to which they said they would, we were off northbound.

I was excited to be seeing this part of Washington. I had no idea all this land surrounding the Columbia River was so rich in agriculture. Pears, nectarines, grapes, vegetables, and of course apples, apples and more apples. Every square inch of this land which was not mountainous was used to grow something. It must have been harvest time as the crates for harvesting were piled high.

The other thing that was plentiful in this area were fruit stands. You would have no excuse not to get your daily recommended servings of fresh fruits and vegetables here. You could also tell that Fall was in the air as most of the fruit stands were putting out pumpkins and Halloween decorations.

As we passed through the border into Canada we started following the Okanagan Lake which is huge. There were many beautiful homes lining the shoreline of this lake and I'm sure coming in at a very high price tag.

With the three boats successfully unloaded in Kelowna it was time to head back to the USA. Since we had started so early in the morning we only had a few hours to drive before we had to shut down for the night. Luckily we found a rest area within the Coquihalla Mountains. We had the rest stop basically to oursevles. It was already a bit chilly when we were settled in watching TV, but by morning it was a very crisp 33 degrees. I had left the vents open in the truck to awaken to a very cool 43 degrees inside!
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After thawing out and getting the feeling back in my feet and nose, we were off to the border. After seeing the border sign,I am always thankful to be back safely inside the USA. Our next assignment takes us back to Arlington, Washington, at Meridian Yachts, to pick up some deck tooling. Not exactly sure what it is, but you can be sure I'll post a picture of it when it gets loaded.


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