Saturday, March 31, 2007


Vacation was great, but I gotta tell you, being back in the truck, high above the "four-wheelers" is great too. It is the perfect world, happy no matter where we might be, or what we might be doing. Friday morning, bright and early, we were at the yard, to unpack our bags and receive our dispatch. We are going to Roseburg, Oregon, to the Bayliner plant to pick up a 24 foot cruiser. We will be taking it to Newport Beach, CA.
We have been enjoying the drive through Washington, Oregon and California. Especially the drive on Highway 84 along the Columbia River. All three states were absolutely beautiful this time of year, as everything was green and the skies were blue.

As we passed into California, we were cordially invited by the CHP to stop for awhile at one of the weigh stations and visit with them. We had an enjoyable stay in one of their inspection bays while one of the nicest CHP officers we have come across did an inspection on our truck & trailer. We are happy to announce that we passed with flying colors, received our inspection sticker and were sent happily on our way.

We are staying in a truck stop in Redding, CA tonight, with plans on staying just north of the Grapevine tomorrow. We will be delivering the boat first thing Monday morning. Speculation is that we will probably be heading south into Texas for our next load. We'll know soon enough, for now, we're just happy to be back on the road again!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


We arrived in Leavenworth in the early afternoon, and after checking into our hotel we took off on foot to explore this little Bavarian town. It was a pleasure exploring as the tourist crowds were not present and we had the town all to ourselves. After doing a bit of shopping we had decided that we wanted an authentic German dinner.

Craig decided on the sausage platter and I had the schnitzel. This of course came with the side dishes of sour kraut, red cabbage, and fried potatoes. I also enjoyed a couple of German beers with my dinner and we all shared in some strudel and German chocolate cake for dessert.

Mike and Cori have been to this town during Oktoberfest and during Christmas. Their description of the town during those times drastically was different from what we were seeing, but did not take away the charm of this little town.

Cori and I decided to go into a bar where she had previously enjoyed "duck farts". We sent the men off to the store for some supplies for the rest of the evening. Let me say, they returned far too quickly as Cori and I could have enjoyed quite a few more of this tasty little shots. They consisted of Kahlua, Bailey's, and Crown Royal in a shot glass. I could put up with these "farts" anytime!

We decided to sleep in a little longer in the morning and had a late breakfast of waffles and German sausage. We had to get in as much as we could as we had to leave to get into Spokane for our last night. But, before we left, we took a ride around the area. It is truly a beautiful location any time of year. It's too bad the home and land prices have escalated so much over the last couple of years.

We headed East toward Spokane along Highway 2 which took us through farm lands and little country towns. Craig had wanted to stop by the company yard to make sure the truck had returned from it's detailing and was happy to see it had. After turning it on to make sure the battery was charged we were off to downtown Spokane and the Davenport Hotel.

The Davenport first opened in 1912, was slated to be demolished in 1985, but was saved by Walt & Karen Worthy who invested over 40 million dollars to restore this grand hotel back to it's regal place in downtown Spokane. The city is extremely proud of this hotel and it's history and rightfully so. It was an honor to stay at such a historic building.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so it was with our vacation. We are relaxed and well rested. We enjoyed spending the week exploring Washington State with Mike and Cori and will fondly remember the times we shared together. Friday morning will find us taking a cab back to the yard to our "home" and looking forward to hitting the road again!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


We headed south to Walla Walla after, yet another great breakfast at our B&B, but then, isn't that why we stay at these places? From Newport it was a 3 1/2 hour drive, with nothing much for scenery. Craig & I have driven this road many times going to our company Yard in Spokane. It wasn't until we took Highway 12 into Walla Walla that you really began to see the vineyards and agricultural areas of this valley.

We found the Abeja Winery and Inn which is our home for two nights. The picture on the right shows our view from the living room of our cottage we are staying in. The Locust suite is an 840 square foot cottage which was named for the fragrant trees that grow just outside the front door. The main living area retrains its original paneling, where upon close examination, we found the mechanical repair history of the farm's early machinery. This cottage has a kitchen, slate floors throughout, and reflects a den-like atmosphere. Perfect for Craig and I.

The winery name, Abeja, is Spanish for for bee. Their main focus of production is Cabernet Sauvignon. We were fortunate enough to meet up with the winemaker for some wine tasting Tuesday afternoon. To hear the winemaker himself explain about the growing of the grapes, and the process to get it to our wine glasses was quite a treat. You could tell from the way he talked that he loved what he did. Might I add that the wines were very tasty.

Monday afternoon we met up with a realtor who showed Mike and Cori some homes with property that were for sale in the area. After a few hours the last one he showed was a parcel of 10 acres on a bluff overlooking the valley. If I was a betting person, but wait, I am, I would say this particular piece of land caught their eye. Plus it gives them an opportunity to build a home perfect for their family on it. Time will tell if I am right or not.

Monday evening we ventured into the downtown which has begun to develop again into a thriving area with quaint stores and restaurants. I think we had our most decadent meal to date at 26 Brix. The food, service, and atmosphere were fantastic. Definitely a place I would return to enjoy an evening out.

Tuesday we spent the day driving around Walla Walla and going to a couple of wineries. We found out that Walla Walla still retains its small town atmosphere, as the server in the tasting room knew everyone from the realtor to the innkeeper at the Inn we were staying at. We then decided we would buy some cheese, bread, and take and bake pizza to enjoy in our cottage. It also was nice being able to relax and enjoy our accommodations. Since the Inn's satellite TV received an East coast feed, we enjoyed watching American Idol and a few other shows 3 hours earlier. Let's just say, being able to enjoy some wine, without the worries of driving, made the evening that much more enjoyable.

It will be sad to have to leave this beautiful winery and Inn, but Leavenworth is calling, or should I say, yodeling for our arrival. So with a heavy heart we say Auf Wiedersehen , but know we will return again some day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


After a great breakfast at the B&B, we headed out to check out some properties we had located on the Internet and in the newspaper in the Newport and Sanpoint areas. Over the last couple of days we have been able to drive along both sides of the Pend Orielle River to get a better idea of what the landscape looks like.

We met up with a realtor south of Sandpoint to look at a new constructed home on 5 acres with a creek and pond on the property. A very nice home and area! We went into the downtown area for a coffee and a snack before deciding to head up to Switzer Mountain, the local ski resort.

I was surprised by how much snow was still there and the amount of people skiing. You can see from the photo what a great view of the valley we had from the mountain top. After walking around the resort we stepped into a little pub. The ladies had wine and the men enjoyed one of the local ales.

When we returned to the B&B the sun was just setting. What a beautiful site awaited us when we walked in and out onto the deck overlooking the lake. The view was breathtaking. What a life to live there and have that view to look forward to in the evenings.

Along our travels we had stopped to pick up a few bottles of wine. We decided to settle in for the evening with a movie, a fire in the fireplace, our wine, and the best company we could ask for, Mike & Cori. We have truly enjoyed this time off and sharing this vacation with such great friends.

We are looking forward to seeing the Walla Walla, WA area on Monday and what it has to offer. We know it is a very big wine area and I am sure we will hit a few of them for some wine tasting.

Until then I'll leave you with these beautiful pictures, and will be looking forward to posting more pictures and sharing more of our adventures with you over the next few days.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


We started our vacation greeting Mike and Cori at the airport Friday afternoon. After securing our transportation for the week..... a Ford Explorer, getting all of our luggage packed away small feat, we were on our way! This was Mike and Cori's first time in Spokane, so as we drove through the city to our rooms at the Inn by the Lake, we pointed out some landmarks for them. (I of course pointed out the Starbucks) Posted by Picasa

We arrived in Newport at our Bed and Breakfast and were delighted with the accommodations and the beautiful views from the house on Diamond Lake, as the photo shows. As I told Craig, I could live in just one of the rooms looking out over the lake and be perfectly content. After getting settled in our rooms we took off to explore the area. Over the next two days we checked out both northern Washington and Idaho.

We drove out to the RV Resort where we have purchased our lot for our park model home. This was the first time we had seen the area when it wasn't covered with snow. They are progressing with putting in the storage sheds and crushed rock pads on the lots. We also saw quite a few people already setting up home there for the spring and summer. After walking around the grounds we were quite happy with our decision to live there. It was even more beautiful than we remembered and we are looking forward to calling it "home" in the near future.

As we traveled around we came upon Deer Park and found an RV dealer who had three Park Model Homes for us to look through. We were so happy to see the model we liked and that we could custom order it to our liking. We walked away having all the answers we were looking for. However, for Mike and Cori, the question of what area to relocate to was still in the air.

So off we went checking out Loon Lake, Priest River, and Sandpoint . Cori fell in love with the downtown district of Sandpoint and we had a great dinner at the Hydra Restaurant. We headed south on our quest and drove to Coeur d'Alene and took a nice little drive along the lake. Although it was raining most of the day we didn't mind getting a little wet to walk around.

We are thoroughly enjoying this time away from the truck Although we feel as if we are on vacation all the time, this has been a delight to travel around and leave the driving to someone else. Our thanks to Mike for taking the driving duties!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


As the picture shows, we were so happy to be reunited again after 10 long days. Craig made his delivery into Spokane on Wednesday and patiently awaited my arrival on Thursday. We are delighted to be back together again and to start our vacation.

I was glad to complete my dental work, so there is no need to return except for my 6 month check up. I felt great after reconnecting with all my friends in San Jose and Modesto, and with a commitment to stay in communication with friendships that had lapsed for way too long.

With all that said, we will be meeting up with my BFF (best friend forever) Cori, and her husband Mike at the Spokane Airport Friday afternoon and head to our first leg of what I am calling "The Great Northwest Expedition", be the first one in your town to purchase the T-shirts! Our first stop is the Inn at the Lake, in Newport, Washington. I will be giving a full report as our vacation progresses. Until then, the "do not disturb" sign is on our door.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I'm lookin' out the window, happy just watching my world go round
And I think to myself, how lucky can a girl be
I've got everything, more than I ever dreamed
I love my life
I thank God for all I have
And that I love this man
Who loves his wife
I love my life

These lyrics to the song "I Love My Life" couldn't ring truer if I had written them myself. I spend most of my time looking out the window of the 18 wheeler we call home and every day I consider myself so fortunate to have the life I now live. This, coming from someone who not much more than a year ago thought I had to have a house, job, and possessions to be happy. Today everything I own can be put into a duffel bag and I consider myself the richest person in the world. Why, you ask? My husband and my friends.

I was able to meet up with five of my closest friends, Dave, Cori, Denise, Craig & Peggy, Saturday night. I haven't seen them in over 10 months, but spending time with them reaffirmed what is truly important in life. To have people surrounding you that accept you for who you are, support you in the decisions you make in life, and are always there with a smile and a hug! I only hope I give back to them as much as they have given to me over the years.

I would like to give a shout out to Irene, Jim, Kim, & Kris too, for always giving me their support when we worked together and after I made the decision to leave. You guys and the five I had dinner with made the last couple of years of work bearable and most of all fun! I will always keep you all in my heart and be forever grateful for your friendship.

I also had the opportunity on Sunday to hook up with 4 co-workers from my time working at Stanislaus Co. Sheriff. I haven't seen them in over 17 years. It was so nice to catch up and re-establish some old friendships. I promise you guys to keep in touch. ( please excuse the poor quality of the photos, camera phone, sun had set, enough said)

As for Craig, he did a 34 hour reset of his driving hours in Amarillo, Texas. He left early this morning and will be staying in Wyoming this evening and in Montana Tuesday night. He is still on course to deliver the boats in Spokane late Wednesday morning. I can't wait to meet up with him in Spokane on Thursday. As I said before.......I love my life!

Friday, March 16, 2007


From the images on the right you can see that at least I
have been consoling myself with frequent trips to Starbucks.
I'm halfway done with my dental appointments with one more return trip on Wednesday. The days are going by slowly but with phone calls from Craig I am getting by. It has been nice to catch up with friends I haven't seen in almost a year, and am thankful I have had the opportunity to do that.

Craig completed the first 2,000 miles of this trip and made it into Pharr, Texas by 3pm on Thursday. He said he had barely unhooked the trailer before a driver from Mexico had hooked up to it and was driving towards the boat plant. We are confident that the trailer will be back for Craig to leave Pharr early Saturday morning and deliver the boats on Wednesday in Spokane. Until then he will rest, do a bit of shopping at the Wal-Mart and I'm sure hit Rudy's for some excellent BBQ!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


We arose very early Monday morning to get into Oakley before the Monday morning commute into the Sacramento area. We breezed through with hardly any traffic, but arrived a bit early at the dealership. Thankfully, after only a very short wait, the employees showed up and we were on our way to getting the boats unloaded.

This dealership had a motorized movable hoist to off load the boats. It didn't take long before the four boats were unloaded and we were headed to the company yard in French Camp.

As we were on our way to the yard, we had a request to call into our dispatcher Katie. Craig made the call and found out he was picked for a random drug test. Once at the yard, Craig checked in at the office and was informed we had to go to Tracy to get the test done. So off to Tracy and about an hour and a half later we were done.

What I haven't mentioned was that we made a tough decision a couple of days ago. In order to get to Pharr, Texas and then back up to Spokane, Washington with our next assignment, I would have to stay behind for my dental and hair appointments. I know this sounds crazy, but even after spending the last ten months together every minute of the day and night, we were saddened to have to part our ways for 10 days. We have become so much more than husband and wife, but a team working together, and more importantly best friends. Until then, I will use this time to catch up with friends and family I have not seen in awhile, but my heart and soul will remain in the truck with Craig.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


We are almost to California. We have spent the last couple of days driving through Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Tonight we are staying in Fernley, Nevada. We did a marathon drive today to get to this location so that we could get a 34 hour reset of driving hours. We have been given a dispatch to head once again to Pharr, Texas to deliver boats to Spokane, Washington and we'll need all the driving hours we can get. We are hoping to accomplish this in time to start our vacation on the 24th.

While driving through Wyoming, I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures of the terrain we took in as we drove through the state. We did have some snow leaving Wyoming and a bit more in Utah, just before Salt Lake City. Since entering Nevada it has been blue skies and sunny warm weather.

Sunday will be a day of rest and relaxation. Craig will tinker around on the truck and trailer, I will be tinkering on the internet. We have an early wake up call Monday morning, 2am to be in Oakley and ready to unload by 8am. Then it's off to French Camp!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Before I go into detail about the title, let me catch you up on where and what we have been doing the last couple of days. After our night in Greycliff, Mt we headed towards out next fuel stop in Rapid City, South Dakota. When we arrived we saw that Harley was there also fueling up. His original dispatch had been cancelled too and he wanted to know if we would want his assignment......a trip to Newfoundland! If we didn't have commitments in CA, I think we just might have switched.
We stayed the night in Chamberlain, SD. This has got to be one of the nicest and most scenic rest areas we have stayed at. It sits on a hill overlooking the Missouri River. That is the Lewis & Clark Bridge on the left. Most rest areas in South Dakota have these tepee structures on them. I do have to say that the weather turned cold and windy while we were there. It got down to 17 degrees in the morning when we left.

As we got closer to Minnesota we could see a large amount of cloud cover in the sky. When we took the off ramp to head to the boat plant, it was as if a deep freeze had set over the area. The area of Pipestone had been hit hard by snow. In fact, there was so much snow that they had closed down the plant the week before. When we arrived at the plant there were two other trucks ahead of us waiting to get loaded. After Craig checked in he found out they were down two employees who were out sick. Craig was more than happy to put on his hard hat and give a helping hand loading the other two trucks and ours. It didn't take long before we had our four boats loaded and we were happily on our way.

So now we come to the reason for the title of the blog entry. All along Interstate 90 through South Dakota you will see signs for Wall Drug offering everything from free ice water, 5 cent coffee, homemade donuts and ice cream. We had made a decision to stop on our way back through South Dakota. If you don't know, Wall Drug was bought in 1931 by Ted Hustead. He gave himself 5 years to make a go of it in what he called this "town in the middle of nowhere". Nearing the end of his 5 year plan, and still not making any money, his wife had the idea to post signs along the highway offering free ice water to travelers. That was the start of what Wall Drug has become. A mecca for tourist, especially in the summertime where up to twenty thousand people visit this quaint little town and the drug store that put them on the map.

Here we are doing the tourist thing. It was fun walking around and seeing all that they had to offer. They had everything from food, to clothes, boots, furniture,
and of course...................
SOUVENIRS! (Notice the bag in my left hand)
After all, as they say...... been there, done that.....bought the T-shirt.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


After our stop in North Bend, WA and a reset of our driving hours we left very early Monday morning to arrive in Kent, WA long before the morning commute started. When we arrived we saw that Harley was already there. Shortly after 7am we started unloading the boats, and between the three of us, had 8 boats unloaded from our trailers in less than 2 hours! Thanks again to Harley for all his help!

We made our way to the yard in Spokane to get new tires and an alignment done on the truck, but not without first stopping at Starbuck's in Moses Lake. With a caffeine induced rush, and a little double chocolate bundt cake for Craig, we arrived in Spokane in high spirits. It didn't take long to get the new tires on the truck, but we found out the alignment would have to be done Tuesday morning.

We checked in with Katie and found out our dispatch had been cancelled and they didn't have anything yet for us. We took that opportunity to head across the street to the Petro for showers and a bite to eat. Early Tuesday we drove into Spokane for the alignment and while we were there we received a new dispatch. We will still get to California and even sooner than before. Thankful for the cooperation of everyone to get us into California, we were told to head to Pipestone, MN to pick up a load of boats going to Oakley, CA.As we drove by Coeur d'Alene, I was happily making my dental and hair appointments for next week. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather either. The sun was out and the temperature was in the high 40's. The passes were clear and dry, and with an empty trailer we were able to make it up the hills with no problem. We made it as far as a rest area in Greycliff, Montana for the night.
We plan on being in Pipestone, MN Thursday morning and deliver in Oakley, CA Monday morning. But as we all know......things can change in the trucking business.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Here we are in North Bend, Washington, and the
picture is our view out the windshield of the truck. In fact, we are completely surrounded by pine trees and mountains up here on the Snoqualmie Pass. We were a bit concerned yesterday, on our way up here, as we knew we would be having to go over two mountain passes. Good thing for the wireless broadband card, as I was quickly able to access the DOT website and even look at camera shots of the passes to see the road conditions. I'm happy to report we had no problems going over both of them. However, it was interesting to hear another trucker talking on the CB about losing traction and almost hitting us. We made sure to stay a very safe distance away from him!
This is a picture of our load. When we hooked up I told Craig to take a look at the back boat. It always seems that when we pick up our trailer from Pharr they don't extend our bumper out far enough and the last boat is always hanging over, but never as far as this time. Well Craig (MacGyver) went to work, measured and knew we were just barely legal as far as length went, but wanted to make sure. He attached the red flag and then attached red lights to the rear of the boat, so it had brake lights. Pretty cool and it made us feel better knowing that the rear boat was clearly visible after dark. We have been relaxing today, doing some house cleaning and organizing of the truck. Seems we have been on the go for about two weeks straight without a day off from driving, so it has been a nice break today. But we both know that come Monday morning we will be more than ready to hit the road again.

Friday, March 02, 2007


A week or so ago, Craig wrote an email into the Sirius Satellite radio show Freewheelin' telling the hosts, Meredith and Chris how much we enjoy their show and to let them know about our blog. Much to our surprise we got a response back right away asking if we might be interested in doing a guest spot on their show. We thought why not, if we make complete fools of ourselves we doubt there would be anyone out there listening that would know us.

So this morning at 9:30am we were both connected into the show for a half hour chat about blogging , how we met, and how Craig got interested in driving truck. It was yet just another fun experience for us to share together, and between you and me, I think we did okay!

Let me catch you up on where we have been the
last couple of days. We left Lemitar, New Mexico, and made our way through the Canyon Lands of Utah. There was a dusting of snow on the ground. I thought it made this area look even more photogenic than during the summer. I seemed to have formed an allergy whenever we are in the Southwestern area of the country and this proved to be no exception, although I think there was a bit of a flu bug too. Thankfully, I was able to sleep most of it off in Wellington, Utah.

We hit a bit of snow showers as we neared the Salt Lake City area, so decided to stop at a Flying J and wait for our time to be on the radio. After our 15 minutes of fame, we took a shower and headed to our next fuel stop in Snowville, Utah. It was originally suppose to be Jerome, Idaho, but with the strong head winds we have had over the past couple of days, the fuel consumption increased a bit. When we called dispatch, we found out we weren't the only ones requesting additional fuel due to the winds.

We are going to be staying at a rest stop on Interstate 84 outside of Boise for the night in an attempt to get into North Bend, Washington to do a 34 hour reset of our hours before our next assignment. We were given a preplan this afternoon which has us going to New York Mills, MN and then to Las Vegas, NV and Dixon, CA to drop off boats. Seems we just may get into Modesto so that I can get my tooth looked at by my dentist, oh....and it's about time for a hair coloring. A girl does have her priorities!


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