Sunday, August 31, 2008


Okay America, what is up with our love affair with french fries? It seems we can't deliver them fast enough to quell your insatiable appetite for those deep fried potatoes. Not only are we delivering just under 45,000 pounds of frozen french fries back to Long Beach, but we passed and talked to a few other of our Company drivers hauling the same thing. Stop the insanity!

But then, don' keeps us moving, I'm just ready for a little more variety in the food substances we haul. Wth all the starches lately, it's time to counter balance our diet with some green leafy vegetables and those under 15,000 pound loads.

We didn't stay at the casino as we had planned, but instead went about 8 miles down the road from the WalMart Distribution Center in Grandview, to a rest stop in Prosser, WA. We had a couple of hours to wait, and since it had a convenient Starbucks, right across the street, we settled in with our coffee and some people watching. We had sent in a question on the computer, prior to leaving the truck for our coffee, if there was some where we needed to head once we were empty. Upon returning to the truck we had our answer.

As I mentioned earlier, we were assigned a frozen french fry load out of Columbia Cold Storage, in Kennewick, WA and take them to Long Beach, CA. We were to pick up this load at 4am Saturday morning. Since we didn't deliver at the WalMart until 5:30pm, we had some figuring to do, and it all depended on how fast we could get unloaded at WalMart. Without boring you with the details, we were able to unload, drive to Kennewick, put in the mandatory sleeper break, and then load the fries, and all on time.
We made it to Redding last night and are presenting heading towards our Company yard in French Camp, CA, where we hope we will be able to drop the trailer and get another load. You see, the french fries don't deliver until Wednesday, and the prospect of babysitting these fries for almost 3 days doesn't thrill me, but if that is the case, we always have plan B...... my Mom's house and more home cooked meals!

Friday, August 29, 2008


I guess it shouldn't be a surprise, that after days of listening to, and watching the Democratic National Convention, and the speech by Barack Obama, that Craig would have a dream. Now, Craig's dream lasted all night long, and I listened intently as he told it to me this morning. Seems we were at the Flying J in Billings, Montana, enjoying the salad bar, when the Secret Service and Mr. Obama enter the restaurant. All eyes are on Obama as he scans the room, looking for a truck driver to sit down with and have a talk. We of course, are more interested in eating than the activity going on around us, but wouldn't you know it? He picks our table.

Obama is interested in our thoughts, so we pull our attention away from our salads and Craig tells him, he has always been a believer in the notion that if you have a complaint, you should counter with a solution. I guess the list of things Obama said he was going to change, but didn't say how, during his speech last night, prompted this comment He further told him that from listening to talk radio, there are Hosts, that at times, offer solutions to the problems, like Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, and Tom Sullivan. Craig spoke so highly of Tom Sullivan that Obama, even though he is not President yet, instantly made Tom Sullivan, a Republican, a Cabinet member. Go figure...... I can only surmise Craig will be having a sit down visit with John McCain next week to offer his advise as well. Craig Shantz, Truck Driver/Presidential Advisor.

After making our hasty retreat out of the LA area, we decided to call it a night at our Company yard in French Camp, CA. If you didn't know, this week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and at all the yards, they are having activities to celebrate. As yet, we have not made it in time to any of the yards to partake in any of the activities, and with the load we have now, not delivering until 5:30pm tonight, it is likely we will have to wait until next year to have a chance to enjoy any of the activities.

This morning we are in LaPine, OR, after spending the night at Gordy's Truck Stop. With extra time today, we decided to treat ourselves to a hot breakfast. Wouldn't you know it, we no longer get seated, and the electricity goes out. Seems there was an accident down the street that took out a transformer. Hence, no breakfast, and back to the truck we go, to enjoy our breakfast bar and fruit.

We plan on leaving here soon and make our way to Grandview, WA and the Wal Mart for our delivery. We will stage at a small casino a short distance away from the receiver and wait until our appointment time. We are curious to find out what they will have for us once we do go empty. With this being a Holiday weekend, we are hoping for a nice long run somewhere to keep us moving. If not, Craig can always take a nap and go to work changing the world, one dream at a time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We staged at the Petro Truck Stop in Wheeler Ridge, just north of the Grapevine Monday for two reasons. Since we would be there for over 34 hours, we knew we could TV reception there, and a Starbucks was within walking distance for a nice relaxing Tuesday morning coffee break and people watching.

The weather, of course, was excruciatingly hot, and no amount of ice cream consumption could relieve the discomfort of those burning rays of sunshine. We took to being sequestered away, window shades drawn, within our cool, dark, chamber inside the truck, thankful for the care package of home cooked goodness my Mother gave us when we left.

Happy to hit the road this morning, we gave ourselves ample time, during rush hour commute LA traffic, to make it to our receiver by 8:30am, thirty minutes early. By 10:15am, we had dropped and received our next assignment, to drive 20 miles away, to Inland Cold Storage in Vernon, CA and pick up 35,000 pounds of frozen foods for the Wal Mart in Grandview, WA. By 11:30am, we were loaded, found a scale down the street, and making our way out of LA. Not too shabby, in and out of LA by 1pm.

We both got a kick out of these container haulers, who had a sign on them we don't usually see. Normally, you see the "oversize" signs, but these guys were stuck driving around town with a "overweight" sign. Wouldn't that be a big incentive for those of us carrying a few extra pounds, if we had to go around with that sign on us.

Another sign I saw recently was this warning printed on the back of a cattle truck. "Caution.....Flying Poop". Well you don't need to tell us twice, we always stay clear of those trucks, cause you just never know what will come flying out of them next!

Monday, August 25, 2008


In the pre dawn darkness, and from the glow from my laptop, I think I killed the last of the mosquitoes which have been tormenting us this past week. I felt no remorse at what I had done, and casually tossed what remained of the smashed carcass in the paper towel into the trash. That'll teach them to mess with us truck drivers.

An eerie scene played out in front of me as I was sitting in the cab of the truck, waiting for Craig to return from checking in at our receiver in Stockton this morning. It was still dark outside, and I watched as dark figures, illuminated from the street lights, wandered the streets in all directions, all in search of the same thing...... the guard shack. It made me imagine crime ridden big city alley ways and lost souls in search of what ails them, and knew the only substance that would make these roaming figures content would be a dock number.

Happy to see Craig return from his trek, he said he was approached by several of the dark figures wanting to know which way they should go, and like the lone supplier, hidden in the darkness except from the few radiating rays from the street light, he pointed them in the directions they so desperately wanted. Such is life on the industrial streets of America where truck drivers roam.

It wasn't long before we were empty, except for the 22 empty pallets inside the trailer. A short drive away, we would drop them off and be told to head back to the Company yard to drop our empty trailer and pick up a loaded trailer with 45,000 pounds of frozen french fries. These potato icicles will be delivered to Long Beach, CA by Wednesday morning. A mere 379 mile trip, but with the limited amount of driving hours we have left until midnight Tuesday night, it would work perfectly into our schedule, and give us an opportunity to do a 34 hr reset of Craig's driving hours before making the delivery Wednesday, leaving us with a fresh 70 hrs of driving time going into the Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Craig and I just spent the last 20 minutes skeeter hunting. Over the past couple of days/nights, we have acquired a vast amount of itchy bites all over our bodies, most notably, on our feet. Must be from hanging them out from under the covers while sleeping. We knew we had taken some additional occupants on board while at a rest area in Northern California, but thought we had extracted them all.......little did we know how wrong we were. With 30 minutes to go before our 10 hour break was completed, we played Elmer Fudd to the Buggs Bunny rascally skeeters and went a hunting. I think we have finally sent them all to the big swamp in the sky, but time and the appearance of itchy bumps will be the true test. Can you say West Nile Virus?????

Now back to our story...........Our deliveries went very smoothly in Spokane and Coeur d Alene, ID. With having been to these same four stores earlier, we knew exactly what approach to make to the loading docks, and in quick order we were done and back in the Company yard before our 14 hour clock had run out. We really didn't think we would get a dispatch until Saturday morning, so we took a nap and then were happy to now have a vehicle at the yard at our disposal. We jumped in our pick up and took off to downtown for some Japanese/sushi for dinner.

When we returned to the truck we saw the red light lit up on the computer and knew we had a message waiting for us. We were surprise to see that it was a dispatch to pick up a loaded trailer of chilled juice in the yard and deliver first to Redmond, OR at 8am Saturday morning. That meant we would be driving later that evening and we needed to grab a few more hours of sleep.

Leaving the yard at 11:30pm, we made our way towards Redmond. We had an interesting interaction with an Oregon DOT Officer at the weigh station just outside of Madras, OR around 7am. As we approached, and had our steer tires on the scale, the light went from green to red. Craig stopped, and I saw that the Officer was getting up from his chair and coming outside towards the truck. I rolled down my window and he hopped up on the truck and looked at me and asked, "Do you drive"? Without hesitation, I replied, "No", to which he rephrased his question and asked, "You just the passenger"?, and I said, "Yes". With that he stepped down from the truck and went back inside the building.

Now for a few miles, we were perplexed as to what that was all about, and then it dawned on Craig. He surmised that the DOT Officer was checking to see if I was a driver and then would have checked to see if Craig was driving on my log book. We hear it happens with couple team drivers, that one or the other will drive extra hours on the other's time. But, no worries here, and with a plausible answer to our question as to why we were stopped, we continued onto our delivery.

After unloading we decided to drive as far as we could for the day, since once the sun came up, we both got our second burst of energy and we made it to the rest area just south of Klamath Falls, OR. Right now it is almost 11:30pm and we are on the road again. Our last drop is in Stockton, CA, Monday morning at 5am. We decided to drive all night tonight in order to make it to Ripon, CA this morning, where my Mom will come pick us up and we can enjoy a home cooked meal this afternoon. With any luck, we just might be able to take back with us some leftovers, which is way better than a pesky mosquito anyday!

Friday, August 22, 2008


For me, any day that starts with a Starbucks latte, can't be bad. Add some cool temperatures, a little rain, and cloudy skies, and I'm a happy camper. So as we started our day Thursday, leaving the rest area we had spent the night at near Castle Rock, WA, and headed towards the WalMart in Chehalis and the Starbucks right next door, I had high hopes for the day.

The rain let up just as we pulled into the parking lot, and we scurried into the store to fill our shopping cart with our next 10 days worth of food. With that accomplished, it was onto the Starbucks to sit and enjoy our coffee for a little while before it was time to start heading to the Fred Meyer Distribution Center in Puyallup, WA.

We arrived 30 minutes ahead of our appointment time, and after checking in, was directed to an open dock with an easy back in. Two hours later, we pulled away from the dock and parked to put in our empty call and await further instructions. As we were sitting there waiting, well...... how do I put this gently? There was a odor that was starting to fill the air. Craig and I, as I'm sure most couples do, look towards each other and basically said, "Oh no you didn't, did you"? But as if a light bulb went off in Craig's head, he leaps out of the truck and then shouts to me to shut down everything inside. That smell of rotten eggs was the work of one of the four batteries by the driver's door.

With smoke drifting upward, Craig calls into road service to inform them of the problem. Leary of the possibility of a battery exploding, they have him use caution around the offending battery, and then try and start the truck. Lucky for us, it started, and we were told to head about 10 miles away to a Peterbilt shop to have it looked at. We dropped our empty trailer and wasted no time in heading that way.

A few hours later, we were the proud parents of four new batteries, and were headed back to the Fred Meyer DC where we had a load waiting for us. It would be a repeat of a dispatch we had a few weeks ago, with four stops at Fred Meyer stores in Spokane and Coeur d Alene, ID. With time being a precious commodity, we hooked up and scaled the trailer, finding that it was within legal limits and headed out to get as far as we would before our 14 hour clock ran out.
Utilizing the split shift on the log book, we took an 8 hour break at a rest area just East of Ellensburg, WA.

Right now we are making our way towards our first drop of the morning, knowing that it will be a tight delivery to all four places within the hours we have available to use. But at least next time Craig looks at me with that, "oh no you didn't look", I can just tell him he better check those batteries. It's nice to have a scapegoat for those awkward social moments.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


With an appointment time of 8am Tuesday morning at the Tropicana Plant in the City of Industry, CA we thought we might run into the dreaded LA commute traffic. Leaving at 6am for our 50 mile trip to the shipper, we found ourselves, even with some unexpected construction and detours to the plant, arriving an hour early for our appointment. We checked in and were given a dock to report to. As soon as Craig had backed the truck to the dock and started to exit the truck to check in with the dock manager, I started feeling the juice being fork lifted into the trailer.

Now you would think with them starting before we had even checked in, that we would have been done long before our appointment time. Well, think again. As 8am came and went, and the security guard driving up in his little golf cart telling us the paperwork was done, even though we were still feeling them loading our trailer, Craig went inside to check to see what was going on. What he found out, was that when they thought they were done loading our 17 pallets of juice, they found that they had one extra pallet.

Oy Vey...... with scanner in hand, they started checking the pallets and found, thank Murphy's Law, that the very front pallet was the incorrect one. With some finger pointing and blaming going on, a handful of apologies tossed Craig's way, they started off loading all 17 pallets to get to the one rouge pallet that belonged on a trailer three doors down from us. By 10am we were finally loaded and on our way to a scale just around the corner. This scale is the first drive-thru scale I have seen. Right from the comfort of the driver's seat, we pulled up and paid for the scale ticket, happy to find we were legal, and driving off on our merry way, just like driving through a McDonald's, albeit, without the yummy french fries.

On the other side of the Grapevine, we took the off ramp so we could fuel at the Flying J, and we saw a big rig stalled out on the on ramp ahead of us. Every time he tried to get it moving it slipped further back down the ramp. Now of course, another big rig was coming towards him to get onto the freeway, and why he thought he could get his rig around this guy I'll never understand. He starts to make the turn and finds, of course, that he can not possibly make it. Now, we are blocked from making our turn onto the road to get fuel. I had a few choice words I muttered to the eager driver in a hurry, and watched as he finally realized that he had to back up.

With the road clear, we made a hasty turn and stopped for fuel and lunch, hoping that by the time we were done that the mess would be cleaned up. No such luck, as we exited the truck stop, we saw that the trucks were lined up still waiting for the disabled truck to be moved from the ramp. We made a quick decision to backtrack 2 miles southbound to the next exit and then return back northbound. As we passed by, we saw that the commercial tow truck had just arrived and was pulling the truck up off the ramp and onto the side of the roadway.

We drove the rest of the day with nothing more exciting then counting the miles as they passed by and using every minute of drive time that Craig had available. We stopped at a rest area in Willows, CA for the night and took off as soon as our 10 hour break was over.

Today, the skies are clear of smoke in Northern California for the first time in well over a month. With blue skies, and white clouds as our traveling companions, we have the mountains of Shasta and Siskiyou National Forest to enjoy, as we have our sights set on making it just pass the Oregon/Washington border this afternoon. That should set us up for a drive of just under 100 miles to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA and give us time to stop at the Wal Mart in Chehalis for supplies. All that's left to do now, is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Sometimes it's hard to get back into the groove after sitting for a couple of days. Such was the case this morning, especially when the alarm went off at 4am, after a night of staying up and watching the Olympics. But, good thing we gave ourselves an extra hour to get to our delivery location, as per usual, the Los Angeles highways had their share of accidents which slowed down our travel time.

We were surprised upon our arrival at the Receiver, to see not one, but two other TWT trucks sitting waiting to be unloaded. They had staged there since Sunday and had spent the night waiting for their morning deliveries. After checking in, we were told we were 4th in line to unload in their one tiny little dock. As before, we have no trouble sitting, knowing that with each passing quarter hour, we make money.

We enjoyed watching the other drivers get into the dock. As you can see, once situated into the dock, you had to unhook from the trailer, so as not to block the street. Craig and I impressed some of the other drivers with our team work and communication getting him backed up with just one run at it.

After four hours we were finally unloaded and sent in our empty call. Neither one of us were all too enthused to jump right on another assignment, so when we didn't hear anything, and having a nice parking spot along the street, we settled in to take a nap. Yep, you guessed it, just as I pulled my little blanket over me to drift off to slumber land, the beep came across. This time it said they didn't have anything for us yet, and to head back to the Company yard in Bloomington, and along the way, drop off the 22 pallets we had picked up in Idaho, at a local pallet company.

Back at the yard, we took showers and did laundry, and upon returning to the truck we saw that we had been given a dispatch. We are to head to the City of Industry, CA to the Tropicana Plant first thing Tuesday morning at 8am, to pick up over 42,000 pounds of juice and take it to the Fred Meyer Distribution Center in Puyullap, WA, by Thursday morning at 9am. Looks like we will have to lose the lazies and gear up for a very nice 1150 mile run over two days.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


We decided to put in some miles Friday and take advantage of the non-55mph States of Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and finally Nevada. Starting out just before day break, we made our way from Heyburn, ID into Utah. The further we drove the warmer it got, and it looked like this day was simmering to be a real firecracker.
On Interstate 15, through Utah, you can find a Flying J at just about every exit. It stands to reason, since their corporate offices are in Odgen, UT. Nearing our scheduled break for lunch, we pulled into the Flying J in Springville, UT and took advantage of our free shower coupons. Feeling refreshed and with a full stomach, we continued our travels.
With the temperatures well into the 100's we crossed into Arizona. What made the heat tolerable was the views of the canyons, and the AC being on full blast. All too soon, we were out of the canyons and smack dab in the desert. With some of the hills we had traveled over, we weren't able to get into Las Vegas, NV as we had wanted. Instead, we pulled into a truck stop in Moapa, NV as the mercury hit 109.
Driving into their lot, I saw an open field, which at first I thought had a lot of birds on the ground, but as we got closer, I saw that it looked like trash. Still closer, a sign appeared indicating the open field was an fireworks launching pad, and it had the remains of the fireworks previously set off to prove it. Inside the store, we saw why. A huge warehouse filled with every kind of firework you would want to buy, but the only thing we wanted to buy was some ice cream to cool us down after the walk across the lot to the store.

With Ben & Jerry's cooling our insides, we called it a night, but shortly after the sun set, and the sky was dark, we began to hear the sounds of firecrackers and fireworks being set off. I managed a peek out from our curtains to see the night sky being lit up, as the launching pad was put to good use.

This morning we had a very short drive of just 260 miles into our Company yard, as we don't deliver our frozen french fries until Monday morning in Long Beach, CA. We are hoping maybe to get a relay load so that we don't sit here all weekend, but if we do, at least we will have done a 34 hour reset of Craig's hours and we will have a fresh 70 hours for the week ahead.

Friday, August 15, 2008


First off, we weren't able to put in an empty call until after 11am local time, which left us under 60 minutes to drive 70 miles to our preplan dispatch in Tremonton, UT. But being a good truck driver, Craig had alerted our dispatcher that we were getting close to the drop dead time to make our next assignment. Even so, when we were unloaded we confirmed that we should head towards Tremonton, and so off we went. About 30 miles later, we were told to hold on, plans had changed. Luckily, we were almost to Ogden, UT so we pulled into the Flying J we had stayed the night before, and awaited further instructions.

Now you know, after waiting a couple of hours and not hearing anything, that as soon as I got comfy on my bed to take a nap, the truck computer would start beeping with a new dispatch. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. Tossing the old information and writing down the new dispatch, we found out we were to head to Heyburn, ID to Simplot for an 8pm load. We were only 140 miles away, so off we go hoping that if we arrived early they would be able to get us in before our appointment time.

We arrived around 5pm only to be told we needed to pick up 22 pallets. Now, Heyburn, ID is a tiny little town of under 3,000 people. We found out that our company has a contract with a pallet company near town. Armed with the directions from the nice lady at Simplot, we took off and found ourselves going further and further down a little tiny road looking for the large sign for "Mabey's Pallets", that the nice lady said we couldn't miss. Right there, I was suspicious, but we kept driving until we almost passed by the aforementioned large sign. I submit a photo for proof.

So now here we go down an even tinier country road looking for the pallet place. All we see are farms until, clued in to what type of sign to look for from the one we almost passed up, we saw another one pointing straight ahead and on a dead end street. I'm already thinking of how in the hell are we ever gonna get out of here, but then reason tells me, that other trucks have had to come down here to get their pallets, after all, this wasn't unexplored territory.

Finally, stacks of pallets come into view and we know we have arrived, only to find that there is no one there, but a sign telling us to us the phone by the shed for after hour service. Craig ventures out and finds a list of names to call, and so the dialing begins. Then the excuses..... "I don't feel well, call so and so"........."He isn't home yet" ....... no answer....... "I'm the last name on the list because I live pretty far away, you might want to try so and so again"........... Finally we find someone and 15 minutes later the gate with the pull around is opened and I'm relieved to be facing going back onto the road and the 22 pallets are being loaded into our trailer.

Now, back to Simplot, who were more than happy to load us early, but informed us that our load of frozen french fries, was one happy meal away from being 45,000 pounds and that most likely we would be overweight, but that they would load us and have us go down to the local Love's Truck Stop 3 miles away and scale out, and then return to have them cut the load so that we would be legal.

With time running out on our 14 hour clock, we took off towards the Love's and hit the scale. We were both surprised to see that even with having three quarters of a tank of fuel, we were only 700 pounds over on the trailer axles. A quick slide of the tandems, a reweigh, and we were legal with a gross weight of just under 80,000 pounds. That weighing of the load also used up all of our available time and we called it a night in time to receive a decent television signal in which to watch the Olympics. With the reefer humming away keeping the french fries at a very cool minus 10 degrees, we had a very restful nights sleep.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Or so the saying goes, but then that doesn't necessarily make for an interesting blog entry. We headed to Tyson Meats around 11am, with a stop at our friendly Starbucks in Ritzville, WA. It works out well, Craig drops me off in front of the Starbucks, then goes to the end of the road where there is a big turn around and waits patiently to see me walking back out, hands full with our yummy drinks, then pulls up to let me back on. Sweet deal, and we have it down to a quick 10 minutes, if it isn't too busy.

We have yet to have to wait on a trailer at the Tyson plant, and this run would prove to be no different. Checked in with the guard shack, told to drop our trailer in the back, and then hook up to our loaded trailer. Now if only I could get used to that awful smell that just hangs in the air around the plant. Silly of me to volunteer to jump out of the truck to pull the release for the trailer tandems, while Craig stayed inside with the better smelling air, unless of course he had beans for dinner.

After hooking up, it was off to the Flying J to scale, and wouldn't you know it, we are on a roll with the scaling too. Checked the weights, legal on all axles, even with a full tank of fuel, and we and our 42,000 pounds of meat, minus the normal beef butt flap, which I still haven't figured out what it is used for, are on our way to Salt Lake City, Utah.

We stopped for the night at Baker City, Oregon, at the Baker Truck Corral. I love their neon sign, which reminds me of Las Vegas. The lights around the wheels move so that it gives the illusion that the truck is moving. With no TV reception, we were left with getting our Olympic fix via the Internet, which face it, just isn't the same as seeing the action live on TV, especially up at the house where we get both east and west coast feeds.

We left Wednesday morning with our sights set on Ogden, UT and a very nice easy drive of a little over 400 miles. Surprisingly, we were again left with only a snowy picture to watch the Olympics, but with a 5am wake up call, we were in bed a little earlier than normal. We had only 33 miles to our delivery this morning with one stop for fuel at the Flying J about 2 miles from the Albertson's Distribution Center.

And there is where we sit now, all of us lined up, like good little soldiers, waiting to get unloaded. We already have a preplan to go to Tremonton, UT, 60 miles away, to pick up and deliver in Yakima, WA. It's 9:30am local time, we still haven't been unloaded from our 8am appointment time, and need to be in Tremonton before 12 noon to get loaded there. We'll just have to wait and see how this all pans out, but when you get paid to sit around, it takes the sting out of waiting.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


While talking to my Mom this morning, she asked if I missed our house when we left this morning. I had to be honest and say, "No". Driving into the yard, and putting our stuff back in the truck seemed like truly going home. It seems weird, but I actually feel more "at home" in the truck than I do at our home in Usk, WA. Maybe with a little more time spent there, and putting some of our personality onto the walls will help with that, but all in all, I couldn't be happier sitting up in the passenger seat again.

We stopped at the WalMart on the way into the yard to pick up about 10 days worth of food. It sure is nice having a vehicle again and pulling right up to the truck, unloading our supplies, and then being able to leave the truck in the yard is a luxury we haven't had, and one we will get quite used to.

With the truck back in order, we were beeped to pick up an empty trailer in the yard and head to Tyson Meats in Wallula, WA. With a pick up time of 3pm, we have plenty of time to drive the 140 miles there, so Craig is back in the bunk with his new flight simulator game, and I of course, am blogging. The load of meat we are picking up is headed to Salt Lake City, Utah for a Thursday morning 8am delivery. This should make for a very nice relaxing drive along one of the most scenic routes on Interstate 84.

Monday, when we went into Newport, WA to register the pick up, we walked the streets to see what stores lines the main street through town. We have the one screen movie theater, The Roxy, with one showing a night, and hey, in case I get really spunky in my old age, a Tattoo shop, with after hour appointments available. We spotted an old '34 Ford pickup, and the town clock on the street corner, and we had to twist each others arms to try the local pizza parlor.

But what we can't get used to, is everyone being so nice and friendly, and that there are no lines to wait in, especially at the Auditor's Office to register the pick up. Not only were there no lines, but we received our Washington State license plates right there! That would have never happened in California. More like long lines, once you get to the front you have to fill out more forms, go back to the end of the line, and then when you finally get done, have to wait 2 weeks for your plates in the mail. I think I can get used to this small town living.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Our little place has turned out to be all that we had wanted it to be. We are both so relaxed and rested. The weather has been nice, and this morning, with the temperature cool and the wind softly blowing, we took a walk around part of the resort, and then ate our breakfast out on our porch looking out over the river. Yes, this is living.

Yesterday, we took a drive into town to check out the Farmer's Market. What it should have been called is A Farmer and his Market. From the picture, I am sure you can see why they had to block off the street to keep the hoards of people safe from passing vehicles. We wondered if at any point from May to October, if there was any more than 3 booths being operated, and if they had any more than the small amount of produce and sunflowers that was being offered on Saturday.

We then found the Auditor's Office, where we will need to go first thing Monday morning to get the truck registered, and then decided to take a drive into Priest River and Sandpoint, ID. We found that the Wal Mart there was just a wee bit closer than going into Spokane. After picking up a few supplies, we made our way back home for more rest and relaxation. As the sun set last night, we knew we had a couple more days to enjoy at home and then it is back to the truck for the fun and adventure that only the road can give.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Well, it's done, as far as painting goes. I did have to go back and do some additional painting to get an even coat. I learned a lot......most of all, I learned that it goes much easier with someone helping. But with the size of the bathroom, there wouldn't have been any room for more than one person anyway. I'm glad I did it and it does give me confidence to try it again, but with a couple of more helping hands, and the painting experience of my Mom would be most beneficial.
There are still a few things I need to add, decorating wise, before I will consider it done, especially a little roman shade for the window. The final pictures, of course, do not show the true color, which is Northern Pear Tree. It is really a very soft mossy green, from the botanical colors from Home Depots new eco-friendly paints, hence no awful paint smell inside the house, clean up does not harm the environment, and I do my part for planet Earth. And now.......drum roll please


In other news, Craig is on his last leg, headed towards Prosser, WA to drop off the dairy goods he picked up in Los Angeles. He has had an uneventful drive, albeit, for the hay truck he saw on fire on Interstate 5 near Corning, CA, which thankfully, had the southbound lanes completely closed and not the northbound lanes, which he was on. He said that he knew something was going on, when it dawned on him that he wasn't seeing any traffic going the opposite direction on the Interstate. I guess he is more observant when I am not in the truck!

We are still on track to meet up Friday evening at the Company yard in Spokane, and then start our home time. We are both looking forward to exploring our new hometown and its surrounding areas. I'll be sure to bring my camera and capture some of the sights to share with you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


First of all, I can not believe it is only Wednesday. It feels like I have been up at our house by myself for at least a week, if not more, not the mere three days it has been. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, as I can easily entertain myself by playing computer games, watching TV, cleaning the house, and watching nature out all my big windows. BUT.... it would be so much nicer if Craig was here with me. There are so many areas we want to explore, and especially the quaint little downtown area of Newport, WA, the closest thing to civilization we have to our house.

As I was talking to Craig last night, I told him of the Farmer's Market that will be occurring on Saturday morning, a must for us to check out, along with thoroughly walking the streets, (no, not in that way), but to check out all the businesses in town. I'd like to see where the local Dentist is, the one movie theater, and the little shops that only a small town would have.

Did you notice? I have been avoiding talking about my painting escapade. Right now, I am hiding away in the living room, the closest thing to putting my head in the sand, and hoping that the paint dries evenly. My confidence is not high, and I figure, the longer I can hide out in here and not go near the bathroom, the better. Of course, that will only last as long as my bladder can hold the large quantities of ice tea I am drinking! I'll be back later to post pictures.

Monday, August 04, 2008


This afternoon, while on the phone with Craig, I hear him roll down the window and start yelling at someone saying, "Look behind you". Me, being the curious one, wanted to know what he was yelling about. He tells me that he is at the dreaded TA in Ontario, CA. Across from where he is parked is a large stack of pallets, and behind that is a grass fire, getting dangerously close to setting the pallets on fire. He was yelling at the guy in the booth, to alert him of the fire, and to call for help. My husband, Mr. Johnny on the Spot.

He dropped his french fries in Long Beach, along with 7 other drivers from our company. Seems this is a new account that TWT has acquired, and we can expect to see many more deliveries at this location. Craig is staying at the aforementioned TA in Ontario, waiting until 9am Tuesday morning to load up with dairy products which will be delivered to Prosser, WA. Yes, it does get Craig north into Washington, and here is the proverbial "but", he does not deliver until 3:30pm on Friday. It does give him a nice leisurely drive, since he had just enough hours to get into Washington by Thursday, but, by the time he does deliver, and then get into Spokane, it will be late Friday evening.

With that in mind, he has requested home time for three days so that we can get our new truck registered in Washington state on Monday. Craig was also happy to hear that there is going to be a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning that we can attend. I am left to occupy my time at our house, to which I will make good use of by testing my painting abilities by painting the bathroom. I'll make the trek into Spokane tomorrow and buy my supplies. I thought I would start with the smallest room and move onward from there. I'll be sure to post a before and after photo. If all goes as planned, we will be back together and on the road again by Tuesday, August 12th, and none too soon for me!

Saturday, August 02, 2008


CRAIG - He made his deliveries in the LA area Friday afternoon, and managed to get his next assignment to the Miller Brewing Company, in Irwindale, and make the drive to their facility in Friday rush hour traffic, before his driving hours for the day were used up. He didn't complete getting the trailer loaded until 5am Saturday morning, which included a nice 6 hours of detention pay. After finding the little gas station with the CAT scale, and scaling out legal, he started his trek northward with the final destination being Coeur D' Alene, ID.

Somewhere between LA and French Camp, CA, it was determined that he would be 4 hours short on his driving hours to make it into Idaho for his delivery appointment. He was instructed to go to the yard and swap trailers with another driver. Craig was more than happy to have the downtime in French Camp waiting for the other driver to arrive. They swapped trailers, and he now has frozen french fries to take to Long Beach, CA, for a Monday delivery. That should give him time to let his driving hours catch up and he will be in good shape for a load going into Washington.

ME - I left Modesto Friday morning, with a fuel stop at the Starbucks before hitting the freeway. I made it as far as Woodland, CA before finding a Pilot Travel Plaza for a pit stop. I think everyone else traveling that day had the same idea, as the line for the woman's rest room was growing fast and long, and it didn't help that there were only 3 stalls. But, mission accomplished and back on the road I went crossing the border into Oregon and a fuel stop in Redmond.

I had decided to stop at the Safeway in Madras for some bottled water and a bite to eat before stopping at a rest area about 2o miles further down the road for the night. With my blanket and pillow, I found the most comfortable position and got some sleep before heading back out in the morning for my final destination of Walla Walla, WA. I have to say, that we have noticed quite a bit more passenger cars making use of the rest areas for sleeping than in the past, and this rest area was no exception. When I left in the morning I counted about 15 cars in the lot.

After a stop to stretch my legs on Interstate 84, by the Columbia River, and a phone call from Craig, I made it to my friend's house by 9:30. We didn't waste much time catching up and took advantage of the below normal cool temperature to take in the local Farmer's Market and sights around town. Then it was back to the cottage they had built to live in, while their main house is being constructed on 10 acres of land, with magnificent views of the Walla Walla valley.

This evening I will continue my trek north to our home and try to sort through all the belongings that have been my travel companions the last few days, as I wait to hear from Craig and find out when he will arrive in Spokane. If I have enough time, and after being inspired by my BFF Cori, I just may try to add some color to my stark white walls, and infuse a little bit of personality into our house. What a surprise that will be for Craig!


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