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!


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