Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Well, we finally did it. We found us a Verizon Wireless while in Pharr and finally got hooked up with a broadband wireless card for my computer. Now we don't have to wait to surf the internet or make a blog entry until we get to a truck stop or WIFI hot spot. I can be merrily working away on the computer while Craig drives down the highway. This will come in handy when we need last minute road or weather conditions, and of course to catch up with the latest breaking news.

As I mentioned in my last entry, we were hoping to have our trailer back by Tuesday morning and we did. While we were at the yard hooking up our trailer, we met up with Harley, the marine driver who went with us on our trip to Yellowknife. It sure was nice to see him again. What really surprised us was that he would also be delivering to Kent, Washington on Monday.

We made it as far as Ozona, Texas, Tuesday night and finally made it out of the State of Texas a little bit past noon. But before we did, we had a fuel stop in El Paso where the wind was blowing so hard the flags were flying straight out as the picture shows. It was so windy the visibility was hampered by the dust. The wind stayed with us until we stopped for the night in Lemitar, New Mexico.
Our plan tomorrow is to make it through the Canyonlands of Utah and into Green River for the night. Let's hope we leave the wind behind us, although we think we will probably be hitting some snow going through the Salt Lake City area. But until then, we enjoyed the view as the sun set on yet another day traveling the information highway.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Won't be getting to California.... at least for another week. There was nothing going out of Las Vegas on Friday when we made our drop of the boats, so we were sent back to Pharr, Texas. My, it seems like we were just there! And of course we were. We traveled back down the same route and arrived in Pharr early Monday morning. As of Monday late afternoon, the trailer had not been returned from Mexico. Bad thing is, there was already another marine driver at the hotel when we arrived and he was still here this afternoon as well. To think that we have had such good luck the last couple of times we were here. Well, we are still holding out hope that the trailer will be there tonight and we will be able to get a fresh start Tuesday morning. We are slated to deliver the boats to Kent, Washington by Monday, March 5th.

You would not believe the weather we are having here in Pharr. If it wasn't for a gentle breeze it would be downright HOT! You know from the previous posts how much we just love hot weather. (I hope you caught the sarcasm there) We much prefer cold weather to hot, so hopefully as we go further North we will get some.

Since we have traveled this route so many times in the past, there wasn't much new to report. I can tell you that ever since I have been on the truck with Craig, he has always said that he would love to haul a helicopter some day. Well, would you believe that while we were going Eastbound on Interstate 10 in Texas, we saw a helicopter being transported, a Huey Helicopter to be exact. Check out the picture. There was another truck traveling along that held three small Robinson 22's. Not that I would know what type they were, but Craig sure did.
I was trying to find something to like about the Southwest. After all, except for a stint in the early 90's when my whole house was decorated that way, I can't really say I like the actual region. But it does have it's share of beautiful sunsets and sunrises. I caught this picture as we were passing through Wickenburg, Arizona at dusk. So as we travel down these lonely stretches of highway to the Southern point of Texas, I'll try to always look on the bright side.......we will be leaving.......eventually....... and hopefully with a beautiful sunrise or sunset to help us along the way.

Friday, February 23, 2007


We have done quite a few things for our anniversary. We went hot air ballooning, took a cruise to Mexico, stayed in Mendocino, Reno, and even spent it apart last year when Craig was in training. So this year finds us in Las Vegas. Not by choice, but certainly better than a lot of places we could have ended up. Six years…. My how time flies when you are having fun! Where has the time gone? We can only hope that the rest of our days together are as happy and eventful as the last six have been.

I know we had some family that was skeptical of our union six years ago. For those of you who didn’t know, Craig and I met on the internet and approximately two weeks later decided to get married. As I told my friends….” I can’t find anything wrong with him”. And you know, to this day, that comment still holds true. We are best friends and I think being together 24/7 these past 9 months has proved that. I couldn’t imagine not being on this truck and sharing in these adventures with anyone other than Craig.


With our trailer load of six boats we made it out of Texas. Damn, that is one big State to drive through with not much as far as scenery to look at. But then, New Mexico and Arizona isn't much better. Tuesday night we ended up staying at a rest stop in Waring, Texas. Wednesday night found us in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Thursday we made our way into Arizona with a fuel stop in Phoenix. As we left the Phoenix area we drove through Sun City. Seeing the golf carts driving through town was something to see. But then if I was retired.....wait, I am retired, but you won't see me driving around in a golf cart, at least not yet!

After Sun City we saw nothing but desert and cactus. Along Highway 93 we came upon Nothing, Arizona, population 4. From the looks of the building and the fence surrounding it, it seems even those 4 people have relocated to somewhere better.
We stayed in Kingman, Arizona Thursday night which leaves us with about 130 miles to the boat dealer Friday morning. From there we don't know what our assignment will be, but being in Sin City AKA: Las Vegas , we will make the best of it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Our drop in Austin went smoothly and in no time at all we were on our way to Pharr, Texas. With a stop in San Antonio for fueling we were in Pharr by 2pm Monday afternoon. After checking into the hotel, we made our way across the street to Rudy’s for some BBQ. With full stomachs we were back in the hotel and I had the laundry facilities all to myself. A couple of loads of laundry and I was soon joining Craig relaxing and watching TV.

With our last two times in Pharr, the trailer was returned within 24 hours. So we made sure to get up early Tuesday. A stop at Wal-Mart for our bi-weekly shopping, then on to Starbucks for my iced latte coffee fix ,and then to our nearby theater to see a movie. We chose Music and Lyrics and enjoyed it very much. A phone call after the movie to the broker and we were told our trailer was there waiting for us.
By noon we were on our way to Las Vegas. We are getting closer to California, but still do not have any confirmed dates as to when we will be there. There is talk of getting a back haul out of Vegas to California but we have yet to get the dispatch. But Las Vegas isn’t such a bad place to have to sit and wait, I’m sure we will find something to do!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Ok, we have been hearing about the "big race" for weeks now. With having Sirius Radio, it has been the talk of the airwaves. They even told us we would be able to hear the radio conversations between the driver and the pit crew. We talked ourselves into listening to the pre-race chatter, but it meant nothing to us. We asked ourselves, "What decent truck driving couple wouldn't be beside themselves with excitement over this race? This is what we thought about on our way to Waco, Texas.

Along the way we saw bass fishermen out on the lake near Dallas.
We saw parking lots full at church services. People doing their Sunday shopping at the local Wal-Mart, and when we got to the truck stop, the lot was nearly full. Going into the the store we could see the driver's lounge filled up with drivers watching the pre-race show. So off we went back to our truck to set up the satellite to at least try to get into this race.

We settled into our favorite TV watching positions and intently listened with what we hoped was convincing interest. About one minute after the race started, we both looked at each other and agreed, this wasn't for us. Honest, we tried, so we hold our truck driving heads in shame and beg forgiveness from our peers.

When the race was ending the excited voices of other drivers was heard over the CB screaming about who had come from behind to win. Even now I don't recall who did win the race.
But as the sun set over the truck stop, I realized that we may never fit into the stereotypical description of a truck driver and that's okay, because we have learned there really isn't one description that fits all drivers. Oh, and watching Beauty & the Geek was really more our cup of tea.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


We awoke Saturday morning to realize that it had snowed during the night. There were patches of snow on the ground and accumulated on the fenders of the truck. With less than 800 miles to go to our destination in the Austin area we had slept in a little, 4:30am Pacific time. Normally Craig wakes up around 3am. We will have to readjust our clocks as we get closer to California.

So after our usual breakfast, cereal, fruit and juice for Craig, and oatmeal with raisins for me, off we went westward. It wasn't long before Craig mentioned since we had time today, that he would like to stop at a Lowe's or Home Depot to get some McGyver materials to position our satellite dish just perfectly. No sooner had he mentioned it than I pointed off in the distance to a Lowe's. As we got closer, I mentioned, to make this day perfect there should be a Starbucks nearby.
No sooner had I said that and Craig was pointing to a Starbucks on the corner. As he pulled off to the side of the roadway, I ran inside and got our usuals. With drinks in hand I was back in the truck and we were headed down the street to the Lowe's. Let me just say, it had been a long week since my last Starbucks and I was indeed a very happy girl!As I waited in the truck and enjoyed my iced venti latte, Craig had his own happy time wandering the aisles of Lowe's. After a short period of time I saw him walking back to the truck armed with his materials. A successful hunter if I ever saw one!We were back on the way to our next fuel stop and so as we left Tennessee we said hello to Arkansas as we passed over the Mississippi River. As we got closer to our fuel stop I knew we would be passing by a very important city and wanted to be ready to take my photo.Yes, it was Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace of President William Jefferson Clinton. If you blinked you would miss the town entirely, but they at least have the sign to let you know you where there.
So as the sun set on our perfect day, we found ourselves at a Flying J in Texarkana, Arkansas, with one more thing to make this day perfect. Our East coast/West coast network feeds were finally programed into our satellite TV. What a perfect day!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


We were at the SeaRay plant first thing Friday morning to find a bright new bumper put on our trailer and it loaded with two 26 foot pleasure cruisers. We could get used to these “drop and hook” assignments. No waiting around to get the boats loaded onto the trailer, just drop the empty trailer and hook up to the loaded trailer and we were on the road again in about 20 minutes. We had discussed the day before that we would need to get a service done on the truck in Knoxville since we wouldn’t be back into Spokane for at least another month. We pulled into the Petro and got right in. Everything was going smoothly until they told us a wheel seal needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, they did not have a mechanic on duty to perform that service. Luckily, there was a TA Truck Stop across the street. They did have a mechanic on duty and after a couple of hours we had the wheel seal fixed and our truck serviced. We were back on the road again!

As we listened to the radio and heard about the horror stories from the drivers stuck in the snow storm in Pennsylvania, we were thankful for the beautiful, sunny weather we have had, and expect to have, on our trip into Texas. It was interesting that in the sun there were still icicles running down off the rocks.

We will be delivering on Monday into a subdivision of Austin called Round Rock. With only 1000 miles to our destination we plan on having a very leisurely, relaxed trip into Texas. In fact, it was so relaxing that Craig took a rest break at one of Tennessee‘s Rest Stops. What a life!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This has been one of the easiest trips we have had. Since our trailer was damaged and needed to be repaired, when we arrived at the SeaRay plant in Knoxville, we were able to leave our trailer there. They already had a trailer loaded with the two boats going to Florida and Georgia waiting for us. A quick 5 minute hook up and we were on our way.

As you can tell from the photo, these are the biggest boats we have hauled since I have been on the truck. The one on the back is headed to France and the big one in the front is going to Norway.
When we left Tennessee for our Southern journey it was raining and pretty much stayed overcast most of the way through the Carolinas. I would very much like to see this area again in the spring when everything is green.

But my, how the weather changed when we got to Florida. It was warm and sunny and in the high 60's. Finding the port was easy, but finding the location for us to drop the first boat proved to be a bit challenging. They had some road detours set up due to road construction, but in the end, we found it and 30 minutes later we were done. With a short drive to a truck stop at our next location, we stayed in Brunswick, Georgia for the night.

The drop at the port in Brunswick was even easier. We located the drop site without any problems and in less than 30 minutes we were headed back to Knoxville. The plan is to retrieve our fixed and loaded trailer in Knoxville Friday morning and head to Austin, Texas. We'll see if the trucking Gods are with us, so far we couldn't have asked for an easier run than this one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


After we had unloaded the boats at the port we had some time to sit and wait for our next assignment. We watched some local TV and heard that there was a major snow storm heading to the north east. Just as we thought about putting up the satellite TV for entertainment, our assignment came in. We were to go to Knoxville, Tennessee to the SeaRay boat plant. We were a bit short on driving hours, but checked on a truck stop about 90 miles away in Clear Brook, Virginia that we made our destination for the night.

Upon waking Tuesday morning it was snowing. A very wet snow, but the snow fell on us as we left the truck stop and continued our journey southwest towards Knoxville. The snow slowly turned to a light rain, but the chatter on the CB was of the snow they expected to get in the east and which roads they should taken.

Thankfully we didn't have to worry about that as our new assignment is to deliver two boats to two different locations. One is going to Brunswick, Georgia and the other to Jacksonville, Florida. We have been wanting to get to Florida, especially this time of year when the humidity will not wilt you, for some time. We will also get to visit two more States on our "to see" list, North and South Carolina. We are both looking forward to seeing some new areas and scenery along our trip. Who knows, I may just deside to turn into a Southern Belle.......but then again, no...I don't think so!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


This assignment had us in Pipestone, Minnesota, picking up three boats and delivering them to the port in Baltimore, Maryland. Just a quick two and a half day trip. What was interesting was that the large middle boat is being shipped to Madrid, Spain, and the two smaller boats to Mougins, France.

So after leaving the boat plant after the dental emergency, we only got as far as Dexter at the Windmill travel plaza. It was bitterly cold there and to our amazement we were the only truck and trailer there. Even when we arose the next morning, only two other trucks had come in during the night.

Saturday night we spent at a travel plaza in Ohio before making a stop for fuel in Breezewood, PA, where we also had time to take showers. We will be spending the night at the port in Baltimore tonight with an early off load in the morning. We have requested to be routed back to California so that I can see my dentist to finish the work on my tooth. We will soon find out how close we will get.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


When I started this new journey in my life, I knew we would eventually have to deal with a couple of fears I have; being out in the middle of no where and having a medical or dental emergency. Now my family and closest friends know about my dental phobia. It took me years to find a dentist I was comfortable with and now have the smile and dental health I have always wanted. That comfort came to an end Wednesday evening in Kenmare, North Dakota when an unpopped kernel of corn which was hidden in a popped piece of corn took on a tooth. Let me just say, the unpopped kernel of corn won the battle. With agonizing reality of hearing the crack of a tooth, I knew that something dreadful had happened. It was one of my front teeth so I couldn’t even hide it. I tried to convince myself that it would be okay, but the nerve in the tooth told me otherwise.

After a short period of panic and wondering what I could do with my dentist 1500 miles away, we thought about our options. We knew we had to get to Pipestone, Minnesota Friday morning to pick up a load of boats. As soon as we were able to get an internet connection I started surfing the web for dentists in Pipestone. Having found one that had some experience in cosmetic dentistry I wrote down the number and called the office first thing Thursday morning. I told the receptionist of my dilemma and that I would be able to be at their office first thing Friday morning. Thankfully they agreed to see me.

The dental office was only 2 miles from the boat plant, so upon rising Friday morning, we unhooked the trailer and Craig drove me to the office. Five hours later, with an emergency root canal performed and a temporary cap put on what was left of the tooth,, I happily walked out of their office without pain.

I learned a few things the last couple of days. One, that dentists taking patients from out of town, even with having dental insurance, want their money in full when you leave. Two, that when a emergency happens there is always a way to find what you need ,even when you are in unfamiliar places, and three, that the unpopped kernel of corn may have won the battle, but it will not win the war.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Leaving Edmonton on Friday afternoon, we started our trek north to Yellowknife. We made it as far as High Level, which would be our last fuel stop until our destination. As the sun set I thought about what loomed ahead of us.... the frozen river we knew we would have to cross.

Crossing into the Northwest Territories we captured some local wildlife scampering around the sign. Actually there wasn’t too much activities anywhere around once you get this far north, other than seeing tanker trucks coming and going. We had to stop in Enterprise, Northwest Territories to purchase permits for the trucks and get weighed before crossing the frozen river. Both Craig and Harley were surprised that one of the Officer’s wife was baking cookies, which of course they were more than happy to sample as they waited for their paperwork to get completed.

The time then came for the crossing of the river. With much apprehension we left solid ground to traverse the frozen water. Seeing large cracks did not make me feel any better.

Slowly we drove, and laughed when we saw these two birds sitting on a snow pile just watching the traffic go by. It was almost like they were lying in wait for disaster to happen so they could take advantage of any leftovers.

With a sigh of relief, we hit dry ground again. It was still a few hours until we would arrive in Yellowknife. The roads were noticeably rougher, and no wonder, with the amount of tractor-trailer traffic this road got. We were told that there are only 6-8 weeks in the winter where the ice is frozen enough for fuel and supplies to get up to the mines which were even further north than where we were going.

I was not in position to get a proper picture of the sunset we saw upon our arrival in Yellowknife. I have never seen anything as beautiful as it before. As we pulled into Yellowknife Saturday evening the boat dealership was just closing up and we would be spending the weekend in front of their business.

As I mentioned before, we were able to listen to the Super Bowl on satellite radio and was happy to hear that the Colts won. We were able to watch the locals using their favorite mode of transportation around town. But with lounging all day Sunday we were ready to get to work and unload the boats on Monday morning.

I have to mention that it was very cold in Yellowknife and we made sure to bundle up good when we unloaded the boats. We made quick time of unloading both trailers and fueling up before heading back towards civilization and crossing that darn frozen river again.

I swear this time across the cracks were even bigger, and this warning sign is not one you want to see. But slowly we made our way back across onto solid ground.  

Now all along our route up and back from Yellowknife we saw warning signs of free roaming bison. It wasn’t until our drive back that we finally saw them along side the roadway. Not only that but we also saw a moose out for his morning walk. You certainly would not want to travel the highway there at night as you would never see anything come out at you until you were right on it.

Monday night we were in High Level, Alberta again and feeling just a bit closer to home. This afternoon we are in Edmonton for a short break to do a minor repair on the truck, shower, and hopefully laundry before heading toward the border.
Although we didn’t have a real opportunity to explore the area of Yellowknife, it was interesting to experience the cold weather and say that we were there. It would be nice, if the next time we are sent that way that, it would be in the summertime!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


We made it to Yellowknife! The frozen river did not claim us, but we still have the return trip to make. I have very limited access to internet here, in fact, I am writing this as we are fueling up at one of the few places for us to get gas. Will post all about our trip with pictures when we get into Edmonton. Until then, we are keeping warm in subzero temperatures and enjoying the three TV stations we can get, one Canadian, one Eskimo, and one French channel. Will try to at least listen to the Super Bowl later this afternoon on satellite radio.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Well, here is the information on our new trip. We left Canada Tuesday morning and drove into New York Mills, Minnesota to load up with 3 boats. These boats are headed to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. If you are not familar with this town, or area, let me give you some information.

It is situated at the edge of the Arctic, in the heart of the wilderness. Yellowknife is the Captial of the Northwest Territories, and home to about 20,000 people. Located on the shores of the Great Slave Lake, only 318 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it is the most northern city in the Northwest Territories.

Built on gold, and growing with diamonds, Yellowknife has three operating diamond mines since the discovery of diamonds in 1991. Yellowknife has the coldest winters, recording an average nighttime temperature during December, January and February, of -21.8 degrees. It is also the coldest city with a mean annual temperature of 22.2 degrees.

So there you have it, our next great adventure. You gotta love it! How else would we have had the opportunity to see this area of the world had it not been for driving a truck and being sent there? But the question I have is why do they need these fishing boats in the winter when everything is frozen over? Speaking of which, we will have to drive over a frozen river to even get to the town. I hope to survive that little adventure and write about it on my next entry.

We are lucky enough to be traveling with another marine division driver from our Company on this trip. He has made this journey once before, about 3 years ago. Since it is such a remote area, it sure is nice to have company in case there might be any problems.

Speaking of mining, we observed several rigs like this mining the fields just south of Regina, Saskatewan. The picture doesn't even come close to showing just how massive it is.

One last comment on our trip so far. It has been cold, and I do mean cold! I know, nothing like it will be in Yellowknife, but the good news is, as far as any weather reports go, no mention of any snow. We did experience high winds today which had the snow blowing across the highway. We will keep our thoughts positive that this clear weather will last at least until we get back into civilization.


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