Wednesday, December 31, 2008


When we finally left the Shipper's lot in Spokane Tuesday, it was nearing 11am. Seems most of their loads were cancelled the day before due to the storm, so we had to wait until the trucks from the day before got loaded, before we could have our turn in the dock. You can see from the picture they were stacked up pretty good waiting.We were glad to see that once we got back out on Interstate 90, the roads had pretty much cleaned up and we were happy to take the chains off at our fuel stop at the Petro in Spokane. I marveled at what clear roads actually looked like, and on top of that, there was even blue skies.
The plan was for us to meet another driver in Ellensburg, WA and swap out loads. The other driver would continue on into Canada and make the delivery at midnight, and we in turn got his load with a delivery in Kent this morning at 6:30am..........oh yeah, and one additional drop in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

Now when we left the boat fleet, I was pretty confident that we would not have to deal with border crossings anymore, but I guess I was wrong. It's only a short little jaunt of no more than 10 miles across the border, and then I am hoping we can skedaddle right back across again. But first, we had to make the delivery in Kent.

After swapping trailers, we knew we needed to get over Snoqualmie Pass while the weather was good and it wasn't snowing. We set our sights on a company drop yard in Pacific, WA, and managed to make our way over the pass and into the yard by 6pm. We were thrilled to finally be able to return to a somewhat normal sleeping pattern.

This morning we arrived at the Receiver at 6am, and eight hours later, with a nice eight hours of detention pay, we were finally given the paperwork to leave. The rest of this load does not deliver into Canada until Friday the 2nd, so we headed once again to the drop yard in Pacific to find a spot for the night.

Our plan is to drive tomorrow, New Years, to Ferndale, WA which will get us almost to the Canadian border for an easy drive on Friday morning for the delivery. Along the way, we hope to find a place we can stop and have a nice New Years breakfast or dinner, but if not, we know we can always count on the Golden Arches in Ferndale. Such is the life when you live it out on the road.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I think before this Winter is over, snow will be the new four letter word added to George Carlin's 7 words you can't say on TV. Every weather and road condition we have heard this past week, has that dirty little word in it, and it shows no sign of leaving. I know I would embrace it more if I could be inside my stationary home, instead of our moving one, where we have to worry not only about us, but those driving around us. Case in point.

After our empty call on Sunday, we were told to head to Spokane. Since Craig had no driving hours left, we told dispatch that we would head that way early Monday morning. Sleeping in, which these days is 3am, we took off West on Interstate 90. The roads were pretty good until we hit our first mountain pass near Butte, and progressively got worse as we hit Missoula and then Look Out Pass.

By the time we got to Fourth of July Pass, just before Coeur d'Alene, ID, traffic was getting heavier. Ahead of us was a pickup pulling a travel trailer which was as light as we were with our empty trailer. As we started coming down off the pass, on a 6% grade, on a banked turn, the travel trailer ahead of us slowed and started to jack knife. In order to avoid hitting it, we also had to slow down which caused us to loose traction and start to jack knife as well.As my finger indentations on the passenger hand grip became permanent fixtures, Craig was able to right the trailer and slowly straighten out the rig and avoid the travel trailer who had moved over to the more snow packed lane to get some traction back. With a big sigh of relief, we were both able to get down off the pass and we happily watched as the travel trailer took the next exit and left the Interstate, no doubt to change his underwear.

It didn't get much better as we got closer to Spokane, as traffic was even heavier. As one driver said on the CB, the four wheelers are just like sheep, they herd together as they travel, which is the main cause of most accidents. Craig kept as much cushion as he could between us and them as we tried to make our way on a very slushy, slippery, ice and snow covered road.

I was so happy to see the exit for our Company yard in Spokane, and as we pulled into the yard we knew it would be difficult to try and find a place to park due to the vast amount of snow everywhere. Luckily, we found a spot, and Craig decided to put chains on for in the morning where we had been given a dispatch to a local beverage company. We had no way of telling what condition the local roads would be in compared to the Interstate and we wanted to be prepared.

Presently we are sitting at the Shipper's lot waiting to be called to a dock. The weather forecast calls for yet another storm with 6 inches of snow predicted. This load is suppose to go into Canada, but Craig's 14 hours will be up and there won't be time for a mandatory break before the scheduled midnight delivery tonight. We will either swap out loads with someone else, or the appointment will be changed. But first........we have to get loaded and then make our way West and over Snoqualmie Pass and the snow that will surely be waiting for us.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is safe to say that my adventure threshold is not the same as Craig's. Once again, with a 12 am wake up call Saturday morning, we took off hoping to stay ahead of the storm. In the darkness, on a secondary highway, the roads where snow and ice covered. Craig took this as a challenge, I took it as an opportunity to shut my eyes in an attempt to hide my head in the sand, and hope it would be over when I opened my eyes again. No such luck.

One of the wise things we did do though, was make the decision, once we got on Interstate 15, to stay on it to Interstate 90, instead of taking secondary highways on our way to Billings, MT. It did add a few extra miles, but those where without a doubt less stressful miles than if we had taken the other routing.
I was keeping a watchful eye on the developing storm as we steadily moved in a northeast direction. Once we got into Montana, the roads actually cleared up nicely, but what replaced it was the wind, oh.....and a herd of cattle that was loose on the Interstate. We got ample warning from the drivers on the CB to be on the lookout. We neared the area and watched as one lone fellow tried to get one very feisty cow off the roadway before it became tomorrow's six dollar burger at Carl's Jr. And just when we were getting confident that we would have no further problems, we see the flashing road sign stating that the Interstate was closed up ahead due to high winds. We debated on whether to find a place to hunker down for the rest of the evening until we gained driving hours to make the delivery, but thankfully decided to press on. I can not begin to describe to you the mess the town of Livingston was in with all traffic being diverted onto their city streets. To add to it, there was an accident where traffic was finally allowed back onto the Interstate, and emergency crews were trying to get there on a two lane road with both lanes blocked by traffic. Now add 40 MPH winds and blowing snow to that mix, and I would have to say that was the longest 7 mile detour I have ever taken. Especially, when we were stuck on the overpass to get rerouted onto the Interstate, with the high winds, and our trailer with only 1900 pounds on it. You can bet I was saying some prayers! That was all I needed to experience to know that I would never want to be around a hurricane.
Safely back on the road, the winds were blocked somewhat by the mountains and we limped our way into a very small truck stop in Big Timber, MT to try and get some sleep before, yes, you guessed it, yet one more 12am wake up call. We had just 80 miles to go, but with our truck and trailer still rocking and rolling from the wind outside, we didn't know what to expect, and wanted to get an early start just in case.

I am happy to report that it is now 5:30am and we are backed into the dock and getting the lettuce unloaded. There is a brand new Pilot Truck Stop in Billings, MT that is calling our name and which will be our home for the remainder of the day. Craig is pretty much out of driving hours and we can't imagine getting a dispatch until Monday morning which suits us just fine. I can't say that I'm looking forward to traveling back to the west coast on some of those same roads and with yet another storm headed our way, but with enough exposure, maybe my threshold of adventure just might make it closer to Craig's. Nope......that'll never happen.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Oh don't you know that's the sound of the men
working on the chain gang

I know Sam Cooke wasn't singing about the chain gang I saw working at 3am Friday morning. The past two days has really been a blur of trying to sleep at odd hours, driving on ice covered roads, and trying to decipher the weather satellites to always be either ahead or behind a storm.

With our 12am wake up call on Christmas morning, we took off to Fresh Express to pick up our loaded trailer. Really, loaded is not what I would call it. We only have 1900 pounds of lettuce in this trailer. This had to be the left overs from a fully loaded trailer, but the lack of weight doesn't make for ease of mind when traveling on the roads we were going to be on.

So off we head towards Sacramento to hit Interstate 80 and attempt to go over Donner Pass. As we neared the Company Yard in French Camp, all indications on the computer websites was that Interstate 80 was closed due to heavy snow fall. We pull into the yard and hunker down and get a few hours sleep. Upon awaking, we are checking for road conditions again, and find out that they have opened I80, but not to trucks. It was so much more important to get the four wheelers up the hill to the Casinos than it was to let truck traffic through.

We had now logged another 10 hr break, and finding out that trucks were still restricted, we thought we would at least head that way, after all, they couldn't keep us off that road forever, or could they? By the time we hit Sacramento, still no trucks allowed, but thankfully, Craig knew a place we could park near where he used to work, so we hunkered down again and got some more sleep. By the time we had recorded yet another 8 hour break, we saw that they were now allowing trucks with chains required.

At Applegate, we were screened by CalTrans to make sure we had enough chains and was told that at Baxter we would need to put them on. Sure enough, we arrive in Baxter and trucks are lining up and down the road and the drivers forming their own version of a chain gang putting on chains. Not to feel left out, we parked and went to work. Now when I say "we", you all know that really means Craig. But if I do say so myself, I did a superb job of holding the flashlight.

With chains on the appropriate tires, we headed up the hill at the next CalTrans checkpoint, to make sure we had enough chains on. Given the okay, we took off and had no problems getting over Donner Pass and into Nevada where we had a fuel stop at Sparks and we took the chains off. Thankfully, we had no need for the chains the rest of the day, although Nevada websites and 511 failed to update with that information.

We finally called it a day in Wells, NV where we took a well deserved hot shower and had a nice warm meal. We still have 600 miles to go for our delivery on Sunday morning and as Craig told me, once again, we would have yet another 12am wake up call to hit the road Saturday morning. Nothing like getting an early start!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Boy, did we get a Christmas surprise. Here we were, sipping on our Starbucks, driving down Interstate 5, when the beep of the QualComm interrupts our listening to Christmas tunes, and you know how much I love listening to them and Craig doesn't. Anyhoo, I reach down and read our message......."Drop trailer in French Camp, pick up empty and head to Fresh Express in Salinas". Hmmmmm, okay, guess we won't have a leisurely drive into Puyallup with our bananas after all, and come to think of, there goes our Christmas Eve dinner we were planning on at Bill & Kathy's.

Shortly there after, the beep with the dispatch details comes across. "Pick up loaded trailer at Fresh Express and deliver to Billings, Montana". Yes folks, you read that correctly. I guess if you squint Montana is considered the west coast, and here I thought I had seen the last of Billings and the State of Monanta when we left the boat fleet. Just goes to show you that you never can tell where you might be sent. We are thinking the possibility of Wisconsin and/or Chicago might be next!

So into the Company yard in French Camp we go with two things in mind.....fuel up and beg, plead, and possibly cry to have them give us real chains instead of the cables Craig had to use last week. Especially since two of the cables busted and with a lot more area to cover which will most likely require chain control, we wanted the "real deal" instead of cables.
Fueling goes nicely, and we find the trailer we need to pick up. Alas, there is a bad mud flap on the trailer that needs to be replaced. Craig heads to the shop to find someone to replace the mud flap and finds out that the only guy that can give us chains or cables is out of the yard picking up parts. This is getting more complicated by the moment. It's now late afternoon on Christmas Eve, and we still need to get a trailer wash out since the one in Salinas won't be open by the time we get there.

So, mud flap replaced, we head to a near by truck wash to get the trailer washed out. We had to interrupt their Christmas party of pizza, but we found someone who was willing to burn off a few more calories for some more pizza to wash out the trailer. Okay, two of the three items done, now drive back to the yard to see if "the guy" is back for the chains/cables. We pull into the yard and see his little white pickup. Yeah!

Craig goes inside, and comes out with cables, bungees, baling wire, and line ties for our trek through the mountains and snow. It was determined that the chains would add too much weight to the truck, so cables it will be. Now to get back on the road and get to at least Santa Nella, CA where we can take a mandatory break before heading to Salinas to pick up our load. Luckily, the roads were light with traffic and we made it to Santa Nella just in time to grab a bite to eat before getting some sleep for a 12 am take off.

Yes, we will be driving at night again, yes, we will no doubt be encountering snow and chain laws, and yes, we did get our Christmas Eve dinner, albeit, at a truck stop and not the nice little restaurant we were hoping for, but we are together, and you know what? That's what really matters. Merry Christmas everyone and may you have a blessed day with the ones you love.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


For those of you who might be sick of snow, may I present exhibit A, photos of beautiful San Diego, where the temperature is in the 60's, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and we even had the AC running. We have now gone over 24 hours without seeing any snow. Except for seeing some on the mountains going over the Grapevine, I think we may be able to extend that run to a little over 48 hours before we once again travel to the Big North White South, Oregon and Washington State.

While we were in Frazier Park, waiting for Craig to gain some driving hours, watching the fog roll in and then out again, it started to snow. It was coming down pretty good, but wasn't sticking to the ground. When we finally went to sleep we weren't sure what to expect when we woke up. But upon rising at 3am, we were happy to see that the ground was still clear and we would have no problem getting over the mountain.
Arriving in Long Beach for our delivery at bit early, we stopped to park where we normally do. A short time later another driver from TWT pulled in front of us and was asking if we were delivering to the same place as him. We were, but he had not been there before, so we told him to just follow us when we left. However, before we could leave, a nice Long Beach DOT Officer pulled in between us and paid us a visit. Seems we didn't read the fine print on the parking signs, and we needed to leave the area. No problem, with a smile and wave, we were on our way with the other driving following us.

The delivery went well, with a nice bonus of 4 hours of detention pay, and we were quickly dispatched to San Diego to pick up bananas. With our day running like clockwork, we arrived at the Shipper and immediately backed into a dock and 30 minutes later, loaded and ready to leave. I think that might have been the fasted load we have ever had. Down to National City, 5 miles away to scale the load, and we were headed back North, towards the Company yard in Bloomington, well ahead of the rush hour commute traffic.

While at the Company yard, we did laundry, showers, and dinner. With little more energy than to crawl into bed, that is exactly what we did and quickly fell asleep to the gentle hum of the reefer keeping the bananas at a comfortable 58 degrees.

Our plan today is to drive as far as Craig's hours will allow, and that appears to be Dunnigan, CA, where we hope to find Bill & Kathy's Restaurant open for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Both Craig and I hope that all of you will enjoy this Holiday Season in your own special way.............. with or without snow.

Monday, December 22, 2008


At around 3am this morning, I received the best birthday present ever.........reuniting with my husband and getting back on the truck. Craig had made his way through Oregon and into California, over snow packed roads, and into Dunnigan, Ca, just north of Sacramento late Sunday morning, when his driving hours once again ran out. Up at midnight, and with a fuel stop in Lodi, he rolled into town to pick me up.

My Mother and I, like pre teens getting ready for a slumber party, had curled up with blankets in the family room, for some late night TV watching, instead of going to bed. We took turns taking cat naps until fully awaken by Craig's phone call that he was 45 minutes away and inbound. My Mom, bless her heart, never batted an eye about this very early morning drop off, although I know it is always difficult for her to see me go. Even the tasty morsels of food she offered Craig would not sway him from grabbing me into the biggest hug and wishing me a Happy Birthday, saying he was taking me with him.

After loading the groceries I had purchased, and my personal effects into the truck, we took off south towards Los Angeles. Craig's driving hours would only allow him to get as far as Frazier Park, CA, just shy of the Grapevine. After parking and using the facilities inside the truck stop, I had gone to the sleeper of the truck to retrieve my camera to take a picture of a little snowman that someone had made not far from where we parked. In under 5 minutes time, the skies went from clear to completely fogged in with a powerful wind rocking our truck and trailer.

Looking at the road conditions, we saw that the Highway Patrol was escorting vehicles over the Grapevine due to the fog and wind. As I type this, the fog has lifted and the wind has died down. We are in a holding pattern waiting to hear instructions on how to proceed with this load. Since it was due to be delivered today at 11am, we know now that the likely hood of someone taking it from us is remote. Best guess is that we will sometime today receive a message telling us of a new delivery for tomorrow morning.
With no TV reception here, thank goodness we have the Internet.......and each's good to be back home again. Oh....and that little snowman I wanted to take a picture of? Well, sometime during that fog blanket, a grinch went and knocked it over. Let's hope there is a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is the kind of stuff my husband lives for........the adventure of man versus the elements. For quite a few years of his life, he lived and drove in the snow. He's not unaccustomed to it, knows how to adjust to slipping and sliding, knows that most times, it not so much what you do, but what others around you are doing.
All this doesn't ease my mind much, as I know he will be taking off tonight at midnight to make his way south in an attempt to make his delivery in Long Beach. Odds are that the delivery will not be made on time, but more importantly, is our plan to meet up so that I can get back on the truck. If he can only get to French Camp we can make it work, as long as they don't swap out his load before he gets there and head him back north again..........without me.

Such is the life in trucking, Craig is at least prepared for his middle of the night driving. For the second time in three days, he has put on chains in anticipation of an interesting night of driving ahead of him. He is sitting idle at a rest stop in the middle of no where on Highway 97 in Oregon, waiting until midnight when he gains some driving hours. I think putting those chains on in daylight while he waited at the rest stop was a great idea, except for all the people that kept coming up to him asking if chains were required up the road. I think he got tired of explaining what he was doing.

He has been given instructions to give me updates throughout his travels tonight, kinda like a where's Waldo, via text messages. Sure beats me lying awake all night wondering what his progress is. If you have a moment, say a prayer, not only for Craig, but for all the truck drivers out there, making a living, and driving in conditions that are not fun for anyone........well except my husband, who always did march to a beat of a different drum..... and that's what makes him so darn lovable!

Friday, December 19, 2008


SNOW..... Yes, that is how much snow fell last night in the Spokane area while Craig was tying to make a delivery. Can I just say how proud I am of him, and let's face it, all the other drivers out there, that literally risk their lives out on the roadways during bad weather to deliver the food and items you want. It's amazing how much you forget about the nightmares of winter driving once the snow has melted, until it comes raring back right at you in the middle of the night.

The night driving that I so dreaded has continued. Craig did safely arrive in Pacific, WA around 1am Thursday morning. I was never so happy to receive the text message that he was safe and sound, especially after checking the road conditions and knowing that Interstate 5 was shut down just shy of his exit due to an overturned big rig. Some how it's a bit easier to take when you are together than when parted.

At daylight, and after his 10 hour break, he received his next assignment to head over to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA and deliver a load into Spokane, WA that evening. Oh Boy..... here we go again. But my husband, ever the smart fellow, didn't call and tell me any more details until he was almost over Snoqualmie Pass. In the middle of Wal Mart, with my Mom by my side, I think just about anyone in shouting distance could have heard my sigh of relief when Craig called. What I am sorry I missed out on, was the chaining of the truck and trailer. See, Craig made it almost three years in the trucking business without having to chain up. I would have liked to have commemorated the occasion with a photo opportunity, although I'm sure he wasn't near as excited about it as I was.

But the worse would not be over for Craig, because as easily as he made it over the pass in daylight, it quickly turned to night and the snow started falling. The road into Spokane was much worse as the snow plows could not keep up, and the big trucks turned into make shift snow plows as they made their way into the city. Getting to the store on city streets that had not seen a snow plow either was yet another adventure. When he finally arrived, he apologized to the store that it had taken him so long. They in return, were so grateful that he had even made it, ecause there were several trucks that they were expecting, that would not even attempt to get to them until morning.

At around 1am, he finally made it through the massive amounts of snow into the Company yard. This afternoon finds him yet again on the move, heading south into Kennewick, WA to pick up a load of frozen french fries headed to Long Beach, CA. We are both hoping to figure out a way for him to swing by and pick me up, and God willing the roads stay clear enough for him to make it happen!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Yep, here's the scoop. No, seriously, it's a scoop. Okay, because I have been benched, and sitting on the sidelines, I really don't have much to elaborate on as far as Craig's progress. He arrived in Salinas, CA early Tuesday morning, had the trailer washed out, and then dropped it at Fresh Express. He spent the rest of the day, napping and sitting around, waiting for the dispatch details. Those long awaited details did not arrive via the QualComm until around 3:30pm. By then, Craig had put in a 10 hour rest period and we both knew the dreaded night driving would rear it's ugly head again!

By 5pm, he had hooked up to his 12,000 pounds of fresh produce, and fueled the truck and reefer unit, and was headed North. With 900 miles to his final destination of Auburn, WA, he would have to knock out just about half of it Tuesday night. My concern was the weather and him getting over the mountain pass north of Redding.

This morning I received the phone call I wanted from Craig, letting me know he was safe and sound and at a rest area north of Weed, CA. It was about 30 miles short of where I had predicted he would get, and delighted to hear that the roads were clear of snow. I quickly informed him of the road conditions further north and surmised that he would have no problems weather wise until nearing the Portland, OR area, where they were being bombarded as we spoke. But knowing that he would not pass that area for another 7 hours, we both thought the worse might be over by the time he got there.

The plan is to get as far as the Company drop yard in Pacific, WA Wednesday morning by 2am at the latest. The load is due to deliver at 6am, which of course, Craig will not be able to do. It has been reassigned to another driver to pick up in the morning and make the final delivery. Now, to get him headed south again so he can swing by and get me back in the truck. I'm counting on the home made chili to do just the trick.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I don't sit on the sidelines very well, especially when it comes to being apart from Craig and he goes off on his own. But when Craig was bribed by my Mom, with a truck full of home baked goods, in exchange for leaving me with her for a week, you can imagine how quickly he kicked me out of the truck. Yes, the way to a man's heart and soul is directly through his stomach.

When I left Craig in French Camp on Sunday, brownie crumbs already on his shirt, he had the six deliveries of the boxed meat, waiting for him in Stockton and Madera. In the early morning hours today, he started his first delivery at 4am and by noon, he was in Ripon fueling up, and heading towards his last drop in Madera. All went smoothly, and when he went empty he was advised to dead head to Salinas for a load out of Fresh Express on Tuesday.

Here I sit, monitoring his route and the possible locations he could be sent, and trying to figure out if he will run into any winter weather problems when he heads up North. Not that I can do anything to change it, or help the situation, but it is always difficult to sit back and watch from the sidelines. Mom is baking some almond bread as I type this. I'd like to think of it as an enticement to have him hurry back and pick me up, but I may find myself still here on his next pass by as he happily munches on that darn almond bread going down the road.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


As we were leaving the Flying J in Pasco, WA, after scaling our load of meat, another TWT driver drove by us and entered the freeway ahead of us. He called us on the CB, inquiring if we would like to run together with him, given the big chill storm that was looming over us. Always safety in numbers, so we agreed, and Craig was happy to have a leader he could follow.Like us, the other driver was on a tight schedule, and we knew we had to get as far as the elements would allow us to get. I kept an eagle eye on the Internet and the most current satellite images updating Craig as we moved steadily along. We didn't encounter must resistance from the storm until we turned onto Highway 97. The clouds had a beauty of their own as the snow flurries started.
Climbing a bit higher in elevation, the roads quickly became snow packed and icy, and as we tried to avoid all the speed racers that were out on the road, we knew the weather would cut us short of where we wanted to stop. After driving a few hours in the darkness, we both decided to call it a night in Chemult, OR at the Pilot Truck Stop. Luckily for us, there were two spots open and we quickly backed into them and settled in for some sleep.
Up early this morning to check the satellite images, we determined that if we left before daylight, we just might miss the rest of the storm going over the mountain passes near Mount Shasta. We woke up the other TWT driver, and he agreed with our assessment and we took of. It worked in our favor because it was Sunday morning and nary a soul on the roadways. As I type this we are currently on Interstate 5, just north of Lakehead, CA. All indications from my satellite reading indicate we should be leaving the worst of the storm behind us as we make our way south.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I enjoy that show on FOX when I can catch it on Friday nights.......Craig.......not so much. Now don't go reading anything into that. It's not that he feels inferior to children 40 years younger than him, it's as he says......why test the waters when you don't need to. Me....I like the challenge, and now that I think about it, it's not really saying much that I can be smarter than a 5th grader, now is it?
But I digress. As we sat early Friday morning in our warm, cozy home, the snow had started to fall. We had been watching the weather reports and knew that the Mother of all storms, white and frigid cold was headed our way. So with a little regret, we started closing up the house for the next month or two, did our laundry, and packed the truck with all of our stuff. We had decided the best course of action was to head to the yard early for our Saturday morning start back to work day.
Thank goodness Craig has many years of winter snow driving under his belt. As he calmly drove, I had flash backs to winters past in the big truck, and as I white knuckle clenched the hand grip on the passenger side, I tried not to make any noise every time we slipped or slid on the way towards the Company yard in Spokane. To make matters worse, we needed to make a couple of stops on the way, to get something to eat and then to Wal Mart to get food to restock the truck.

The snow kept falling as we made it into the yard and found our truck and unloaded our gear and groceries. With our pick up parked safely in the employee lot, and the heater on the APU being used for the first time this year, we settled back into our second home and had a very restful nights sleep.
As soon as we put in the reset of Craig's driving hours this morning at 6am, we received a dispatch right away. Hook up to an empty trailer in the yard and head to Tyson Meats in Wallula, WA. The snow had started to fall again and we were more than happy to try and get ahead, or behind, or wherever we could be to get out of the storm's path. Looking at the weather satellites, it appeared that as soon as we could get south of Interstate 90, we might be able to have some clearer weather.

So back at work we are, happy to be on the road again, albeit a white slippery one, and headed to California for 6 deliveries in the Stockton, CA area for Monday morning. It is going to be a tight schedule, especially with this storm , which might slow us down a bit. Yes, Jeff Foxworthy, we may not always be smarter than a 5th grader, but leaving home early was definitely the right answer.

Friday, December 12, 2008


For those of you who are interested in finding their own inner domestic goddess, here is the recipe for the Sour Cream Apple Pie. Bon Appetit !

Sour Cream Apple Pie

1/2 pkg. refrigerated pie crust (1 crust)

For the topping:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the filling:

1 1/3 cups sour cream

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/4 pounds)


Place crust in pie plate; flute edges. Chill the shell while making the topping and the filling.

Make the topping:

In a small bowl blend together the butter, the sugar, the cinnamon, and the flour until the mixture is combined well and chill the topping, covered, while making the filling.

Make the filling:

In a large bowl whisk together the sour cream, the sugar, the salt, the vanilla, the eggs, and the flour until the mixture is smooth, add the apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin, and stir the filling until it is combined well.Spoon the filling into the chilled shell, smoothing the top, and crumble the topping evenly over it.

Bake the pie in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it is golden and the apples are tender, transfer it to a rack, and let it cool completely. Serve the pie with whipped cream.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I have finally proven there is a domestic goddess inside of me somewhere. I had promised Craig, since I was going to be at home a few days before him, that I would bake him something for a treat. Well, time slipped away, and I didn't get around to owning up to my promise until last night. I had found a recipe for a sour cream apple pie and thought that he might enjoy it, more so if someone with a lot more cooking experience baked it then me, but enjoy it none the less. The recipe seemed simple enough so I began the process.

See, I have never made a pie before, cookies are more my style, but with all the ingredients sitting out, I went about peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. Now I'm no dummy, I bought a pre-made pie crust that I could just place onto my pie plate, no need to cause even more stress than what I was feeling as I started this endeavor. The rest of the ingredients were mixed and the apples tossed in, and if I say so myself, it looked pretty good. It went from looking like this:

To this in only one hour and fifteen minutes: But the look on my husbands face as it enjoyed the pie.......................well worth the insecurities I faced as I made it. Look out Martha Stewart, there's a new domestic goddess in town.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm happy to report that I did not jinx us, and we are happily sitting at home enjoying the first snowfall at our new home. I had waited for it all week, and wouldn't you know it, the snow finally came when Craig came home. If we are lucky, we think we have it planned so that we will be leaving town just as a major storm is due to hit the area.

Additionally, since we haven't had a Christmas tree, let alone a home to put one in for several years, we stumbled upon this little guy that was just begging to be taken home by us. We just couldn't resist, and we are now the happy owners of this little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, which seems to put just the right amount of the holiday spirit to fill our little house.
We'll be back on the road on Saturday, and until then, you will find us enjoying our time together at home.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Craig has said that to me so many times over the last couple of days.... "That's trucking", the minute you think you can count on something to go a certain way, any and all plans you made can be thrown out the window.

So Craig makes his delivery in Clackamas, OR on Monday morning, and get a new dispatch to go to Milwaukie, OR, about 10 miles away to pick up some dairy products at Dairy Gold. The appointment time isn't until 12:30pm, and as they told Craig when he called to see if he could get loaded any earlier, "if it was any day other than Monday we could, but we are really busy today". That should have been a clue to us just how the day was going to go.
But, that's trucking, so at the appointed time, Craig makes his way to the Shipper, gets the trailer loaded and makes his way to Troutdale to get scaled. For the first time in three years, he weighs out over the 80,000 allowed gross weight. It is now past 2:30pm, and he has to make his way back to the Shipper to have some of the product off loaded. By 5:30pm, he is legally scaled out and headed out of the Portland, OR area towards Spokane.

Only problem is, he will never make it there before his 14 hour driving clock runs out. He has no option but to find the nearest rest area along Interstate84, use the split shift option on his log book, taking an 8 hour break which he can combine with a 2 hour break earlier in the day to make up his 10 hour mandatory rest for the day and take off again at 2:30am and head to Spokane to make his delivery.

I hesitate to even type this, but I am fairly certain that finally, today, Craig and I will meet up, and get to start our home time together. Let's hope I just didn't jinx us!

Monday, December 08, 2008


Just to keep you updated, as I mentioned before, we had put in a request for home time for Craig on December 8. As has been the norm in the previous requests, we have always made it back into Spokane to make a delivery the day before home time started. But, this time, when Craig received his dispatch to pick up the load of bananas, there did not seem to be a plan in place to facilitate him getting home.

Craig left the Company yard Friday morning and made it to Corning, CA. Then Saturday made it as far as Aurora, OR. The original plan was for him to drop this trailer in the drop yard in Troutdale, but he was told to keep it and check in with dispatch Sunday morning. Well, come Sunday morning, he was told to keep the load and make the delivery on Monday morning at 7am. One full day left sitting just 23 miles away from the delivery location in Clackamas, OR.

But on the bright side, he was told that he would be receiving a load headed to Spokane, WA sometime today. He will be well over 300 miles away, and with our calculations, he probably will not make it into the yard until late this afternoon or early evening. We will just push back our return to work day until Friday and enjoy our full time off. All that is left to do is for me to time my arrival time to pick him up with his arrival time and our home time together can begin!

Friday, December 05, 2008


It was no surprise, that when Craig went empty in Long Beach, CA, after unloading the 45,000 pounds of frozen french fries, he was given a dispatch to go to San Diego to pick up bananas. But, unlike the last few times we were sent down there, instead of going to the Harbor, where we have the routine down to a science, he was instead instructed to go to RWA Trucking which is about a mile from the harbor. We had gone there the very first time we picked up bananas, on Memorial Day, and were not looking forward to ever going back there

RWA Trucking is an open dock area tucked snugly, and I do use that term loosely, within a residential area. All around are signs posted "NO TRUCKS", which of course you ignore, but the real trick is trying to back into the docks with other trucks already there and safely miss the multitude of passenger cars that are parked up and down the street.

Craig called ahead to let them know, as per instructions, that he was scheduled to be there Thursday morning, to which "the guy" says to Craig....."Come on in tonight and stay and we'll load you first thing in the morning". But, before Craig can even begin to start out of the Company yard in Bloomington, CA, he receives a phone call back saying that his load is not on their list of loads and that it is probably at the harbor. Long story short, after numerous phone calls, it was determined that he should wait and drive into San Diego in the morning and by then they should be able to figure out where his load of bananas will be.

Thursday morning, on his way into San Diego, Craig calls and he is told to stage a few miles away and wait for a phone call. Finally, after four hours, he is told to drive into RWA Trucking instead of the harbor. Fearing the worst, Craig drives into the residential area and finds, to his surprise, that there are no trucks there yet and quickly backs into the dock area. It didn't take long before a constant stream of trucks start to roll in, and Craig, always willing to help out, aids the drivers with the difficult task of backing into the docks.

A short 45 minutes later and he is trying to get out of the San Diego area during early commute traffic. With traffic bumper to bumper in the direction he needed to go to scale out, he decides to chance it and start his way back towards the Company yard in Bloomington. He knows that he has one scale and an agricultural check to get through, and as he approaches, he holds his breath as he crosses the scales and gets the green light. Battling the commute traffic, he finally pulled into the yard at 6pm, about 12 hours after he had left that morning.

This morning, Craig decided to leave right after his 10 hour mandatory break was over and try and miss traffic, but traffic would not be his only foe this day. From the fuzzy picture he took, you can see that as soon as he was starting his way back down the Grapevine, he had a huge fog bank to drive into.So as I snuggle in one of our leather chairs, in front of our fireplace, having a hot mocha espresso and eating a couple of gingerbread cookies, he is slowly making his way North towards home. I only hope that the thoughts of the home baked goodies I will be making for him will help him find his way home. I on the other hand, get the pleasure of having that home baked smell fill our home as I wait for him.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Since Sunday, I have been otherwise occupied by spending some quality "girl time" with my best friend Cori. But even with putting our feet up and enjoying a good bottle of wine with some cheese and crackers, and taking in the breath taking views around our little house in Usk, WA, we managed to transform the kitchen and living area with a big splash of color. Of course, the photos do not show the true color of the walls, but you can get an idea of how things of changed from these before and after photos:



We didn't have time to paint the other wall, before Cori had to fly to California for a family function, but that gives us a reason to escape away for another girls trip in the near future. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out and will be looking forward to transforming some other areas of our home.

On another note, Craig has made his way down into the Los Angeles area to make his delivery of frozen french fries this morning. We then will be doing the count down for him to make the journey back North for his home time which is scheduled to begin on Monday. I can't wait for him to see the changes!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


We were ready to pick up the pace a bit, after all, over the past couple of days we have barely gone 500 miles. That all changed this morning when we made our delivery to the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR. As soon as we put in the empty call, we were instructed to drop our trailer and pick up a team load that needed to be in Phoenix, AX by noon on Sunday. We found the loaded trailer and took off to Rice Hill, OR to meet up with the team drivers who would be waiting for us.
Along the way we were besieged by Oregon State Beaver fans who were in the mood to enjoy some football today. They were proudly displaying their flags and team colors as they made their way to the stadium in Corvallis, OR.
Arriving in Rice Hill, we quickly traded trailers and were now the owners of a trailer loaded with boxed meat to be delivered in the Portland, OR area on Tuesday. But we were not to deliver that load, just take it to one of our drop yards in Troutdale, OR. So off we went, retracing our previous route, and thankful that we were going the opposite direction of the bumper to bumper traffic that was now headed towards that football game.
Upon getting to the drop yard, we had to do some fancy driving around the numerous dropped trailers that were helter skelter all over the yard, to finally find an open slot to drop our trailer. We were then instructed to bob tail back to the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR and pick up an empty trailer. Back to retracing our route once again, we arrived at the DC we were at early this morning, and found one of our newer trailers parked next to the one we dropped this morning.

We are currently on a misty and lightly foggy covered Interstate 84, making our way East. Our plan is to stay at Biggs Junction, OR tonight and make the final leg of our journey to the Shipper in Kennewick by 10am in the morning. We are picking up 45,000 pounds of frozen french fries. Yes...... our good friend Mr. French Fry is back and he will be going to a familiar place, San Pedro Forklift in Long Beach, CA for a delivery on Wednesday morning.
Craig will be making a solo delivery, as he is leaving me in Kennewick, where my best friend Cori and her husband, Mike, will be picking me up and then driving to Spokane, where Cori and I will then take our truck and drive up to our house in Usk for a girl's trip. We are looking forward to having a great time and maybe even doing a bit more painting. By the time our girl trip is over with, it will be time for me to pick up Craig at the Company yard in Spokane for his home time on December 8th. We are both looking forward to that!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Well, the location isn't as exotic as our two previous Thanksgivings on the road, but I can almost guarantee that the food will be exceptional. Thanksgiving 2008 finds us in Corning, CA at the Rolling Hills Casino where we are anxiously awaiting our afternoon feast. And after all the warm Thanksgiving greetings we have received today, this was going to be a great day no matter what!

We pulled into the Petro Truck stop yesterday afternoon, after almost 12 hours of being on the road, with just one very timely stop in Santa Nella for a Starbucks break. Let me tell you, that was one busy Starbucks with all the holiday travelers that were on the road. We intentionally started at 2am so that we could get out of the LA area well ahead of the rush, and we are glad we did. By daybreak, the roads were clogged with vehicles headed out on their holiday weekend.

This morning, after waking up, we ventured inside to take showers and get the festive holiday started. As has been a tradition, Craig has allowed me the joy of listening to Christmas music on Thanksgiving day. Well, I got the short end of the stick this time, because as we pulled out of the Petro, and made our way to the Casino 2 miles away, I didn't even get a full song in before we were parked, and Craig was laughing, saying he had fulfilled his obligations for Christmas music for the day. Hmmmmm, we'll just see about that now won't we!

We made a walk into the Casino to check out what time the lunch buffet would be starting and made note of the 11am start time. Then of course, feeling festive, we had to try our luck at the slots. It makes those free soft drinks and coffee so much more guilt free, especially when filling up my big travel mug. Twenty dollars was all they got from us, before we headed back out the door so that I could take care of some dirty laundry.

We were happy to see 11am roll around and we made our way back into the Casino for the feast we knew awaited us. We enjoyed a fabulous meal and talked about the blessings in our lives, as we watched the line that had formed get longer and longer. With full stomachs, we made our way back to truck and decided to drive a couple of hundred miles to make our Friday drive that much easier. AH HAH........ who has the last laugh now???? I say this, as I now have my Christmas music playing as we drive down the Interstate, as Craig is muttering under his breath. Fa La La La La


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