Monday, March 31, 2008


It was a relatively quiet drive on Sunday through North Dakota. We stopped in Fargo, ND to get the truck and trailer washed, and then refuel, before heading into Minnesota to get into Little Falls by 6pm local time. Little Falls is located along the Mississippi River, and is everything you would imagine a small mid west town would be. Driving down Main Street, there is a large mural painted on the side of a building, which I'm sure mimicked what the street actually looked like years ago. I got to tell you, except for newer cars, and a paved street, not much has changed in this quaint town.

Ever since Craig and I watched a special on pizza on the Food Channel, we have decided to try and find, out of the way pizza places, much like we did early on in our adventure when we went on the Great North American Taco Salad Tour. We have seen the sign for Charlie's Pizza on our previous trips through town on the way to the boat plant, so since we had arrived at dinner time, we decided to go to Charlies and start our culinary journey. We decided on a thin crust, basil sauce, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, and green olive pizza and were not disappointed. We even had left overs for breakfast!

Speaking of breakfast, we made sure to set the alarm to be up and awake when the employees got to work. The alarm wasn't needed as a car alarm, from one of the employees, who had just parked his car, sounded and woke us up. A light snow was beginning to fall as Craig went into the office to let them know we were there. A short time later, he comes back, only to tell me that the boats are not ready, a problem with the production line, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the load will not be ready until Wednesday. Sound familiar? Since our dispatcher wouldnn't be in until 7am pdt, we at least enjoyed our left over pizza and sat and watched the snow fall.

Then the fun begins, first a message saying our load was cancelled. We sit and wait for the next one. It finally comes, and says to head to New York Mills, MN for a load of boats going to Port Colborne, Ontario. Oh man, just what we didn't want, a load going east into the storm. But off we go. We hadn't gone more than a mile, then another message saying, wait, go back, we have a load for you back at Little Falls. WHEW.....we were happy to hear that, eastbound was not where I wanted to be headed today!

Back at the yard in Little Falls, we drop the trailer and find out we will still be going to California, but to only one of our stops we had before in Lancaster, CA. After an hour or so our trailer comes back out loaded with 3 pontoons, but we also see that with they way they are loaded, the side support bars are out past the 8'6" legal limit, which now means we have an over size load. OH VEY..... if you have been reading this blog long enough, you know the routine, 8 States, 8 different rules and regulations, no driving between sunset and sunrise, etc, etc, etc.

So as we sit and wait for the faxes to come into the truck, our plan is to be in California, no later than Friday, if the weather holds out, but from the looks of it right now, with snow blowing all around us, maybe sitting and waiting awhile just might let the storm pass us by....... only time will tell.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


We left the Company yard in Spokane, WA Friday afternoon with our sights set on getting into Montana before nightfall. We left as the wind was picking up, and the storm which we had thought we had outrun, had caught up with us. With the empty trailer, we were able to make good time going over Fourth of July and Lookout Pass, even with the roads starting to get slushy from the snowfall. Just before sunset we pulled into Missoula, MT at the same truck stop we had been at last weekend for our 34 reset. Watching local TV, we saw the weather advisory scrolling across the screen predicting 1 to 4 inches of snow during the night. Not knowing what we would wake up to, we called it a night and went to sleep.

When we woke up, Craig did his usual curtain peek to survey two things, first, if anyone had, in desperation to find a place to park, boxed us in so that we can't get out, and second, if the dreaded snow had fallen during the night. He was happy to report we had a clear escape path, and what little snow that had come during the night, had not even stuck to the ground. We still had two more passes to get over, Homestake and Bozeman, so off we went. The roads were somewhat icy, and we noticed several cars and one big rig which had slid off the roadway. We had only one moment of loosing traction, but Craig, with his winter driving skills as sharp as ever, quickly recovered and onward we went.

After Bozeman, the roads went from icy to wet, and as the Sun warmed up the pavement, the truck and trailer accumulated the dirt and grim from the roadway. We weren't alone, as every truck and trailer we saw was just as dirty as ours.

We pulled into the Flying J in Beach, ND after driving a little over 600 miles. I had only one thing on my mind, LAUNDRY. It had been almost two weeks since we had last done that chore, and I was hoping that the two lone machines they had would be available. I'm happy to report that they were, and I now had one less thing on my "to do" list, however, I must confess, as I think about it, that laundry is the only thing on my list of things to do.

So now comes the reason for the title of this entry. As we were leaving this morning at sunrise from Beach, on the horizon, through the cloud cover, the Sun was streaming through, it's rays of light, like fingers from a hand, pointing down towards the earth. The picture does not do it justice, but I mentioned to Craig, that this is how I imagine it will be like, when the time comes to cross over. A warm welcoming light to envelope me and take me to my next adventure. My husband, how I love him, says to me, " I think I'll take the elevator"

Friday, March 28, 2008


After waiting 43 hours, we were finally beckoned into the loading bay to get our two boats. This over size load consisted of a 28' and 24' boat, and some of the biggest boats we have hauled in awhile. The loading crew had to work a little overtime, as we were the last truck to get loaded for the day and they barely squeaked us in. Fortunately, we only had about 350 miles to go and we could be in Kent, WA by nightfall. Along the way we enjoyed the sights of Oregon with its many lumber mills and lush green landscape.

When I had called the dealer to let them know we would be coming in Thursday night for an unload this morning, he said that would be great, as he was expecting at least 8 more trucks to make deliveries on Friday. Sure enough, when we arrived late last night, there was one other truck waiting, and upon awaking this morning, yet another one had arrived. The trucking Gods must have been looking after us, as the dealer wanted to unload us first this morning before the other two trucks. Must have been a little compensation for waiting so long to get the boats loaded in Roseburg, OR.

By 9:15am we were unloaded and had the steel and straps all put away and a dispatch that will take us 4100 miles to complete. We are going to Little Falls, MN to pick up four boats, which will be going to four different dealers. Not since our two week stint on the flat bed fleet have we had so many stops on one dispatch. All four boats are going to California to the following cities: Loomis, Salinas, Lancaster, and Lakeside. This will work out well as we have asked for a week off of home time in April.

Before we left the dealership in Kent, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice hot breakfast at the Denny's which was a half a block away. It was overcast and cloudy as we walked in, and when we walked out, our stomachs full, the rain had started. We knew we had Snoqualmie Pass to get over, and not knowing how much it would snow, we wanted to make sure we could get ahead of the storm and make it safely across.

We started seeing the advisory signs, and I got on the WADOT web site to check weather conditions. Thankfully, we had just unloaded our oversize load as they had put a restriction on them and were advising traction tires, but no chains yet. Onward we pushed, and we hit the summit and started our descent down, hopefully leaving the snow flurries and rain behind us.

It looked like we had safely gotten ahead of the storm and we made our way to the Company yard to fuel up and take showers. We will try and make it as far as Haugan, Montana tonight and hope to get into Little Falls for a Monday morning load. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with our plans, if not? Well.....that is what makes trucking an adventure!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


As I had talked about in my previous entry, we didn't stay up too late, just until 8pm before we were both ready to call it a night. Good thing is, with our satellite getting both east coast and west coast feeds, by 8pm we had watched all the prime time shows we wanted.

With only 12 miles to the border we breezed through Customs and was at the dealer by 9am. As is usually the case, they weren't quite ready for us, so we sat and waited while they went to work moving boats around to make room for the truck and trailer. It was still a very tight fit, and with the limited room, made it a challenge for Craig to try and back up under the hoist. But with patience and determination, he made it and the boats were off in just under an hour.

Shortly thereafter, we were headed back across the border, a mere three hour trip into Canada. We had requested to be routed through Sumas for our re-entry into the USA, as it is usually much faster to clear Customs than Blaine. Another advantage, is being able to travel on State Route 9, and enjoying the scenery with it's small farms and green pastures.

The rain which had been predicted never really materialized, except for a few sprinkles as we got south of Seattle. We had been given a dispatch to head to Roseburg, Oregon to pick up two boats which would be going to Kent, WA. Only about 800 total miles, but a sweet little trip, as we are familiar with both places and would be able to make it into Roseburg for the night.

With a fuel stop in Aurora, OR, we drove on as the sun set. When we pulled into the Bayliner plant we saw two other drivers already staged for loading in the morning. Off to sleep we went and during the night, the rain gently played it's tune on the roof of the cab.

This morning, waking up to yet another truck staged for loading, Craig took off for the loading bay to let them know we were there. What he learned was that they were way behind schedule, the two boats we are to pick up are not even ready yet, and they weren't sure if they would even be ready by tomorrow. With a phone call into dispatch to let them know our status, we headed 10 miles down the road to the nearest truck stop to sit and wait, and here is where we'll be when and if the boats are ever ready.

Monday, March 24, 2008


We started out very early this morning at 2am after hitting the store for a nice hot large cup of coffee. Fortified with caffeine, we made our way through the rest of Montana and into Idaho, with a stop at the Wal Mart in Smelterville, ID. This particular Wal Mart is never crowded, but at 5am we literally had the store and parking lot all to ourselves. What a treat it was going up and down the aisles with only the empty boxes strewn around the floor to maneuver around.

With our cupboards full with another two weeks worth of food, we headed toward the Company yard to fuel up and get some supplies. Craig was able to get another month's worth of log pages, a new fancy log book, trip envelopes, and receipt book. Then it was off to the wash bay to try and rinse off the salt and dirt that had accumulated on the truck and trailer. With a quick stop to say hello to our dispatcher Katie, we were headed toward the border.

We couldn't have asked for nicer weather. I'm beginning to think The Weather Channel exaggerates a bit as the weather systems they said we would have the last couple of days have never developed as far as we could tell and we basked in the sunlight as it streamed in through our windows. There was still plenty of snow on Snoqualmie Pass, but the roads were dry and the traffic light.

We called it a night in Ferndale, about 25 miles from our delivery destination in the morning. Being back on Pacific time we find ourselves with plenty of time on our hands and an opportunity to stay up late tonight and watch some TV, that is if we can stay awake. But thankfully, right across the parking lot from the truck stop is a McDonald's which serves their new coffee drinks. With my large iced latte within hands reach, I betting I just may be able to stay awake to watch a show or two.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


As we headed west away from the storm, we started seeing better road and weather conditions, so much so, that the snow was only in patches again. In Beach, ND we called it a day and were happy to see the little coffee shack open for business. With our java treats in hand we set up the satellite to watch some TV and see what The Weather Channel was predicting for our future. Seeing nothing but some rain showers for the day ahead we decided to sleep in and be on the road by 3am.

Leaving as early as we do, we are afforded the opportunity to see sunrises we would never had been able to see in our previous life. Just one of the many bonuses of having a lifestyle on the road with an ever changing scenery. Stopping in Rosebud, Montana for a short break, we walked to the bluff overlooking the river and marveled at the beauty before us.

Inhaling the cool crisp morning air, and our spirits renewed, we got back into the truck to put as many miles as we could before Craig's driving hours ran out. We got as far as Missoula, Montana, which will be our home for the next 34 hours. We plan on leaving very early Monday morning to stop by our favorite Wal Mart in Idaho before staging on this side of the border for a Tuesday morning deliver.

Both Craig and I wish our family and friends a Happy and Blessed Easter Sunday!

Friday, March 21, 2008


"Fooled You"....... I am certain that is what Mother Nature was saying yesterday, the first day of Spring. We were enjoying a sunny day, blue skies, and the dwindling mounds of snow melting, leaving patchy portions of soil anticipating the day when it would be tilled for planting season. So as we went to sleep last night, we had nothing on our minds but a good nights sleep. Sure, we watched The Weather Channel, as we do most nights, but didn't listen closely enough, because upon arising this morning, we were once again thrust into a Winter Wonderland. This, after last night informing my Mother to let my Niece know that she won't be needing all those jackets, scarfs, and mittens she was packing for when she visits Minneapolis, MN on Sunday for two weeks.

But with over 600 miles slated for us to travel this day, we had an early start, and in the predawn darkness we took off. I checked the weather radar maps on the computer and saw that the further west we go, we should be driving out of the storm cell. With the snow plows going the opposite direction than us, we tried to find the lane markings and reflector signs to guide us on our way. I say "we", but actually it was Craig doing all the work. I stayed busy typing this blog entry, with an occasional glance up to see what the roads looked like. Sometimes it's just better to be like a turtle and pulls one's head into the shell until it's safe to stick it back out again.

Trouble is, the way the roads were and at the rate the snow was falling, my head would have been buried for most of the day. We did have one " oh crap" moment, and decided to take a break in Fargo, ND to change underwear and send in a message to dispatch, that any hopes of delivering on Monday were now out of the question, our new delivery date would be Tuesday, if we didn't run into any more storms. Peeking again at the weather radar on my computer, and knowing of the three big passes, Lookout, Fourth of July, and Snoqualmie, left yet to get over, I wouldn't bet the farm that Tuesday would work either. After all, I'd rather be there in one piece and a day or two late, than, well, I don't even want to think about it, I'm putting my head back into my shell.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


After leaving Lake George, we spent the night at a gas station with room to park about 5 trucks in Bethel, PA. This left us about 160 miles to get to Cumberland to pick up the boats headed to Canada. Stopping for fuel in Harrisburg, PA, we rolled into the Trophy boat plant at 9am and were loaded, with Customs paperwork in hand by 10am. With everything going so smoothly, we were aiming for a Monday afternoon delivery in Surrey.

The storm which we had been keeping an eye on was crossing our path, as a light rain had started falling during the night, and as we drove northwest into Pennsylvania the rain continued along with the gray overcast misty skies....... call me crazy, but that is my kind of weather!

Most of the day Wednesday was spent on turnpikes, with the mandatory stop at one of the service plazas for a Starbucks. I imagined the plazas would have been busier during this spring break time, but was pleasantly surprised to obtain my prized latte before the big tour bus rolled in!

With most of Craig's available driving hours used, we managed to put Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio behind us as we pulled into the first service plaza in Indiana. With our sights set on Chicago and Minneapolis to get through today, we decided to start as early as was legally possible, and set the alarm for 12am. With Chicago safely behind us, we were in our comfort zone back in Central time and on our familiar Interstate 90/94.

We stopped for the night at a Petro in Clearwater, MN. If you are ever driving through on I94 you have got to stop by. This is not your normal Petro. Inside is the Nelson Bros. Baking Company with baked goods, sweets, a coffee bar and deli to satisfy any craving you might have. You will not find the normal truck stop food at this place. We had to buy some cinnamon fritter bread to take with us in the truck for breakfast the next couple of mornings. Yes, not only are we back in our comfort zone, but we found some comfort food as well!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


At the appointed hour, an employee drove to where we were parked and escorted us to where we were to pick up the boat, and I am glad he did. We would have never attempted the little more than a single lane dirt road tucked in behind the mall, if we hadn't had reassurances that we would be able to get back out again. The business itself, was basically a one man operation. He does warranty work on Sea Ray and Baja boats and was happy to have us pick up this boat which had been there ready for over three weeks. This was an easy load, a 25 foot boat on a trailer, which could be placed directly on our trailer, and 6 straps later, we were headed to Lake George, NY.

With only 200 miles to our delivery destination, we were routed on a few remote state highways to get us through New Hampshire, Vermont, and upstate New York through the Adirondack Park. It was a beautiful drive, one which I am sure is even more beautiful in the Fall, passing small quaint little towns, churches, and even a couple of covered bridges.

The marina in Lake George was a bit tricky to get to. I know, how boring would our adventures be if all the places we delivered to were a piece of cake to get into. The first entrance comes at you too quickly to turn into, and we were told to go to the second entrance, pass it up, and then back into the driveway. Trying to get backed to where they wanted us to unload the trailer, we ended up blocking the roadway a short time, which it seemed, the locals didn't mind.

It was comical to stand by and watch as the three employees tried to figure out how best to take the boat off the trailer. After a few attempts, they finally figured out their mode of attack, and the boat was safely taken off. As they finished up, I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the lake, and watch as the geese flew by making their presence known.

With an eye on the radar maps of the approaching storm, we put in our empty call and were told to head to Cumberland, Maryland to pick up two boats which will, in deed, be headed west, extremely west, all the way to Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. It's a great trip with lots of miles, and we are both looking forward to going back through very familiar territory and away from the congested, big east coast cities, however, Craig and I both agreed, that in the future, we would love to come back to the New England area in the Fall, and on something much smaller than an 18 wheeler!

Monday, March 17, 2008


We pulled into the dealer's lot in Quakertown, PA this morning at 9am, and an hour later we were unloaded and had received a dispatch to go to Belmont, New Hampshire. We are picking up a boat that was sent to New England Fiberglass for repairs and delivering it to Lake George New York. Seems we are in an east coast delivery pattern lately!

With fresh hours we take off headed to the New Jersey Turnpike and into New York City by way of the George Washington Bridge. The two previous times we have been routed this way, we have made the journey in darkness in the wee morning hours. This time we will make our journey in daylight and the traffic that comes with it. Surprisingly, what I thought the traffic would be and what it actually was, wasn't all that bad. Sure there were slow downs, but for the most part, traffic kept moving, albeit for all the toll plazas we had to go through. Thank goodness the Company has a transponder in the truck, or we would have to carry a safe full of cash to pay for the tolls and then get reimbursed for.

We thought we would be able to get to the shipper before he went home for the day, but we pulled into Belmont, NH right at 6pm. He told us of a little shopping mall that we could stay in for the night and we found us a out of the way spot to park, happy to see there were no signs indicating "no parking". The shipper will even come get us in the morning and have us follow him about a half mile away to where we will load the boat.
We are keeping an eye out on the storm system that is heading east and keeping our fingers crossed that we can make it to the dealer in Lake George without running into any trouble. The dealer is located in a pretty remote area, which I'm sure we will have our usual fun trying to maneuver the tiny little roads and make the turns to get to where we need to be to unload the boat. About this time we are both looking forward to one day soon heading back west and the wide open spaces and roads!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


How's this for a reality check, $4.25 per gallon. I don't think the $5.00 per gallon fuel prices are too far away! We left New York State, after resetting Craig's driving hours, making use of our shower coupons and the laundry facilities at the Flying J. We were both surprised at how empty the lot stayed while we were there. We caught a few light snow showers as we headed east and then south into Pennsylvania. Stopped for fuel in Gibson, PA and that was where we saw for the first time that fuel had hit over $4.00 a gallon, either that or we just haven't been paying too close attention lately. I know now why the Company only wanted us to get 50 gallons at this stop!
With only another 120 miles after fueling to our delivery location, we found the small truck stop 2 miles from the dealer and called it a day. We have gotten back to our old sleeping patterns the last couple of nights and will get to continue it for at least another day, as the dealer will not be open until 9am tomorrow morning, and that is a reality I can live with for the moment.

Friday, March 14, 2008


After leaving the boat plant, we made it to a rest area at Blue Earth, Minnesota, and called it a day. We decided to stay on our night driving routine until after we deliver the two boats in Grand Island. So up, at 12am, do the pretrip inspection, eat our breakfast, and head off towards our first fuel stop for the day in Albert Lea, MN where we fill our coffee mugs and head towards Chicago. We again were fortunate to hit the tollway with little or no traffic and breezed through and onto our second fuel stop in Gary, IN. We then entered the Indiana toll road and rolled into one of their service plazas, where we stayed to get some sleep. We really like the service plazas on these toll roads as they have ample truck parking, nice restrooms, and gift shops, where I of course, picked up the latest issue of People Magazine.

This morning, or should I say tonight, we were on the road by 1am, but with the enticement of knowing that on the Ohio turnpike, we would find my dear friend Starbucks, which is open 24 hours. Besides the maintenance workers, we were the only ones inside the service plaza. Walking up to the Barista at Starbucks, I happily gave our order and was asked for my name for the cups. Hmmmmm? That was a bit odd, since there was no one else around, but hey, I'll go with the flow. As Craig and I are standing by the counter waiting for our drinks, the Barista, in a very loud voice announces, "Grande Mocha & Iced Venti Latte for Diane at the counter". As this announcement is still echoing through the empty service plaza, Craig, ever the joker, wanted to ask again who those drinks were for, but I managed to grab him and walk around the corner before we both started laughing.

We made it into the dealer in Grand Island, again going down roads stating no trucks over 5 tons. Fortunately, the property was just a bit more truck friendly and we were able to get in and get out without any problems. We high tailed it about 35 miles, to Pembroke, NY where we will make our home for the next day and a half. Sunday we plan on staging at a small truck stop about 3 miles from the dealer in Quakertown.

Finally, before I end this entry, I have been tagged by a fellow blogger Rosemary with a meme. This particular meme states that I :

1. Write my own six word memoir
2. Post it on my blog and include photo if I like
3. Link to the person who tagged me
4. Tag five more blogs with links
5. Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

Since most of the blogs I read have already been tagged, I'll just do my part and list my memoir.


Thursday, March 13, 2008


After leaving Rockport, ON, we made it as far as London, ON before shutting down for the night. We decided to get a very early start, as in 12am Pacific time, to beat the truck traffic that would be at the border. So blurry eyed, we got up, filled our coffee mugs, and off we went. Very early morning driving does make for less traffic filled highways, but is lousy for picture taking. We made it to the border, and had our shortest wait ever at the Port Huron crossing.

Our newest dispatch has us going to our favorite boat plant in Pipestone, MN, and delivering two boats to Grand Island, NY and one to Quakertown, PA. As we made our way west, our sights were set on our next fuel stop in Gary, IN and a truck and trailer wash. Along with all the dirt and grim, we were hoping that the wash would take care of most of the snow that was still tagging along with us on our truck and trailer. Another good thing about Gary, IN is that a company yard is located there, and after fueling and the wash, we were headed there to get some work done on the truck. With a minor service, and 8 new drive tires put on, we were ready to take on Chicago.

We have found that if we drive through Chicago between 10am and 3pm, there doesn't seem to be the back up of traffic, and the drive goes much smoother. We just managed to get through before the commute traffic started and settled into the TA truck stop in Hampshire, IL, for the night. Getting up again at 12am, we started towards the boat plant to get there in time to have the trailer loaded and still have time to get a hundred miles or so under our belt before we called it a day. We are wanting to deliver the boats in NY on Friday instead of Monday, and then stage near Quakertown, PA over the weekend and reset Craig's driving hours. If we can accomplish that, we just may be able to go back to our normal sleep pattern and I might get a chance to put my camera to use again!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Paul Simon couldn't have written a better lyric than the one above to describe what we did Monday in Rockport, Ontario at Ed Huck's Marine. Just like in New Hampshire, I doubt anyone put any thought, when making the streets, that one day, in the future, a very large truck with a 53 foot trailer, would make its way on those said streets. Most people can not comprehend just how much room is needed to make a turn, and with snow banks and signs making the turn even harder, well, let's just say, it makes for a fun morning.

We followed the dealer's instructions, including to disregard the signs saying no trucks over 5 tons, and found what we believed to be the entrance to the business. With both of us looking down a steep hill, covered in ice, I made the decision to walk down, find someone, and make sure that was the entry they wanted us down. After my short hike, I find two employees who inform me that yes indeed, that is the one and only way to get into their property. I walk back and wave at Craig up high on the hill and motion for him, in my best Price is Right imitation to "Come on down". I hold my breath as he slowly backs up, and takes as wide of an approach as possible to make the turn. He moves forward, and then slowly down the hill, to where they will take the boat off the trailer.
I'll tell you right now, that was the easiest part of this little adventure. After they hoisted the boat off the trailer with the forklift, we had to try and figure out just how we were going to get out. Craig first tried backing up the hill, but could not get any traction. Then he did some snow plowing of his own, flattening out a few snow banks in the process, and got the truck and trailer turned around. Now it was time to take on the ice covered hill again. He backs up, gets a good running start, and almost makes it, but loses traction and needs to try again. This time, he backs up as far as he can get, takes a run at the hill again, makes it to the top, and the trailer gets high centered and wedged in the snow. Unable to get any traction on the icy road to back up, the forklift is dispatched into action.

First they poured a bag of snow salt under the tires of the truck, a chain is attached to the bumper of the trailer, and in tandem, Craig backs up as the forklift pulls the trailer and it comes free from the asphalt and snow. Backing up further, the trailer runs out of room, and has to be pulled by the forklift to straighten it out, and continue down the hill to make one more try. I stand at the top of the hill as Craig makes one more attempt. He goes as wide as he can on his approach, makes a sweeping turn, crests the hill, and drags the trailer safely across and onto the roadway. He did take out one snow bank in the process, but missed the signs, as we went about kicking as much snow as we could from the trailer. With a sign of relief, and yet another story to tell, off we went, no longer slipping or sliding, and with our sights set on getting to the border and our next adventure.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Like most of the Midwest, we have had our share of snow the last 24 hours. I know is is part luck, but also partly Craig planning so well, that we arrived in Montreal just as the snow started to fall, and fall it did. Hour after hour we would peek out of our truck and see the snow increasingly grow inch by inch, and when you thought it would stop, the wind hit. Talk about rocking and rolling, it was as if someone was on the outside of our truck pushing it from side to side. Ice crystals were forming on the inside of the window as we tucked ourselves into our beds for the night and hoped for the best when we awoke.

What we awoke to was a stark whiteness of snow everywhere. As we trudged through knee deep snow to go inside and take showers and do laundry, we wondered how anyone was going to get out of the parking lot, let alone onto the roadways. But while we were inside, they brought out their army of equipment to deal with all this snow.

First there were the front loaders

Then the pickups with a plow attachment
Then the snow blower
And finally when all else fails, the man powered snow shovel

And by the time we had put away laundry, and cleaned up the truck, the parking lot was once again drivable. There were still gusts of wind blowing snow, and clouds still covered the skies, but the sun was making an effort to be seen. We are thankful to have another day to sit it out and wait for the roads to be cleared before we make our way west to make our delivery in Ontario on Monday. So with the Sun shining, we sit and wonder where we will be sent next, but wherever it might be, we hope our luck will continue to be with us, along with the Sun!

Saturday, March 08, 2008


We did our 500 miles and rolled into Elton, Maryland, right on the Maryland/Delaware border around noon Thursday. We had to force ourselves to try and get some sleep, as we were going to be back on the road again in 10 short hours, so that we could take advantage of doing some night driving going through New Jersey and New York, when the traffic would be lighter. It was a great plan, and it also ensured that we would make our first delivery in Meredith, NH three days earlier than expected.

What we didn't expect were the roads leading to the dealership and how remote it was from the Interstate. Thankfully the boats were strapped down good, but Craig and I took a beating inside the cab of the truck, going over the rough, pot hole, bumpy roads. I had to hang on for dear life to my laptop to keep it from flying out of my hands, as I tried to give Craig the correct directions to the dealer. But with anything that take a little work, it is usually worth the effort, and this area of New Hampshire is beautiful even in the middle of winter.

The houses along the small country road looked like they came out of a Norman Rockwell painting, some small, some large, but each one looking like a picture post card with a snowy landscape. We slowed down to allow the locals to get by us and be on their way, as we bounced our way into the driveway of the dealership and was flagged into an unloading area. The two small boats were quickly taken off our trailer, as we went about making sure the big boat was secured down for our return trip back out of town.

We could have stayed on their property for the night, but with a storm headed our way, we wanted to be out a remote area and back near the Interstate where they would keep the roads clear. We found a small rest area at the New Hampshire/Vermont border and shut down for the day as it was only noon. We were both tired, but managed to stay awake long enough to eat something and watch a snowy television screen telling us about the snow headed our way. But none of it worried us too much as we were in need of some sleep and that's exactly what we did.

We awoke this morning refreshed, looked out the window to see a fresh coating of snow, and the skies clear. We figured this was our opportunity to take advantage of a break in the weather, and we headed toward the Canadian border, where we received our stamps of approval on our paperwork and we were on our way towards Montreal. We are currently staying at the Flying J, just outside of Montreal and about 130 miles from our delivery Monday morning in Rockport, Ontario. We will be here long enough to do a reset of Craig's driving hours and some down time to rest, relax, and watch some old movies. We are still close enough to the USA to receive our satellite TV signal and Craig is enjoying a John Wayne marathon on AMC.............thankfully I have the Internet!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


It didn't take Craig or I long to figure out, while traveling on Interstate 95 in Florida, near Daytona Beach, that it was Bike Week. Every where you looked, or on any road you traveled, there were people out on their motorcycles enjoying the sunshine, and dare I say, nice weather. It was 70 degrees, a cool breeze blowing, and I felt no humidity. Seems like something to celebrate to me, but since Craig and I sold our motorcycles when we took off on our trucking adventure, we'll have to postpone joining the festivities of Daytona Beach Bike Week for another time.

As I mentioned, we spent the night in the dealership parking lot, and watched this morning as the employees shuffled into work wearing the Florida uniform of the day, a work shirt with dark blue shorts, and let me tell you, the knobbly knees were out in force. When summoned by the unloader, we had quite a little maze to drive into to get back to the hoist, that when completely backed up to it, our truck was sticking into the showroom floor.

With a now empty trailer, Craig did some impressive backward maneuvering to make his way back out of the lot, so much so, that the unloader even commented on his driving abilities. I was all to happy to agree with his assessment, as the next boat driver nervously made his way into where we just exited. An empty call was entered into the computer and with that we were on our way, just 60 miles away, to Edgewater, Florida, to the Boston Whaler Plant. The loaders went about putting on a big 24 footer that is headed to Rockport, Ontario, Canada, and two tiny 13 footers that will find a new home in Meredith, New Hampshire.
I know, I know.......a little good, a little bad. We are heading north and to much, much cooler weather, but we will also have to cross into Canada and deal with the paperwork of a border crossings. I am hoping soon to get out of the east coast run we seem to be stuck in and head west as we would like to get into Washington state to order our cabin and change our residency.

We stopped for the night in Florence, South Carolina and took off this morning to get in 500 miles as quickly as we can so that we can get in our 10 hour rest period and take on New Jersey and New York City in the predawn hours tomorrow. Our hope is to deliver the two little boats in New Hampshire by Friday afternoon. Then it's just the border crossing and a delivery on Monday morning in Ontario, Canada. Should be a piece of cake......or not. I'll let you know either way!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


We headed south from Bucyrus, Ohio towards Kentucky, then Tennessee, and just into Georgia before we called it a night at the Welcome Center/Rest Area. After leaving the plant, and on one of our load checks, we noticed that the cover on the last boat had come apart at the seams. We had been experiencing high winds due to a storm that was headed our way. At our fuel stop, Craig climbed up in the boat and went about securing the cover as best he could, so that the loose ends would not beat against the gel coating on the boat as we traveled down the road. He did a darn good job and it remained in place the rest of the way.

As I mentioned, we stayed at the rest area, seeing the signs regarding no overnight parking, but we parked there anyway, along with the other 40 truck and trailers that were there. In the middle of the night we heard the rain start falling, and the rain and wind stayed with us all the way into Forest Park, Georgia. Along the way we saw a vast array of accidents, most minor, but one major, where they were still trying to extricate the victim from the car, which had been pushed up against the concrete barrier.

We pulled into the dealership in Forest Park and went about off loading three of the four boats we had on our trailer. As the rain continued to fall, and the wind blow, you would think it would be at least a little bit chilly, but both Craig and I were sweating inside our rain gear as the temperature was in the 70's. With the paperwork signed and just about ready to put in the departed stop in the computer, the phone rings, and this is where we were able to dodge a bullet, but not without sweating a few bullets.

It seems Brunswick had made a error in the paperwork and wanted one of the boats that were taken off our trailer, put back on and delivered to a dealership about 60 miles away. We had just spent about 30 minutes putting all the equipment away and now we had to redo what we had just done? Well, with some emails between the dealer and Brunswick, and some phone calls between us and our company, thankfully it was decided that the dealer in Buford, GA would come into Forest Park and pick up the boat themselves. WHEW! Expressing our gratitude to all concerned, we continued on our way to Florida.

With the knowledge there was parking for the night by the dealership, we powered on, and arrived in Orlando around 8pm, but not without stopping at the service plaza on the Florida Turnpike for a well deserved Starbucks! The rain had finally stopped during the night and we awoke this morning to blue skies, a gentle breeze, waterfront property, and the local wildlife enjoying the amenities. As we wait for them to beckon us onto the property, to off load the one boat left on our trailer, we were thankful to have dodged several bullets during the past 24 hours, and looking forward to heading north.


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