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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It wasn't a surprise to us to retain our load until Tuesday morning when we were scheduled to make the delivery. We had rolled into the Company yard in Bloomington, CA, late Monday morning. Fixed ourselves some lunch and then did our laundry and filled up our water jugs. The rest of the day/evening was pretty much just relaxing and watching the comings and goings of the trucks into and out of the yard.

Tuesday morning we were only 13 miles from our delivery location, just a straight shot up Interstate 10, and one right hand turn to the receiver. It was in a brand new industrial area which hadn't made it to Google Earth yet, but it was easy enough to find. The facilities were small, but clean, and two hours later we were dropping off the 22 pallets at a drop yard and then heading back to the yard.There were hardly any trucks there, as we imagined most where headed towards where ever they were wanting to spend Thanksgiving. We waited, and waited some more, watching as a few drivers headed out, but still our computer remained silent. Then, at 4pm we got the information we were waiting for. The banana boat was going to set sail again, and luckily for us, all we had to do was wait for the load to come to us. Another driver had gone to San Diego, and about 4 hours later, we saw him driving in with our trailer into the yard.
We debated, since we were so wide awake, whether to take off and get out of town, but opted instead to start very early in the morning. Of course, with that being said, neither one of us slept all that well, but by 2am, we were headed to the nearby truck stop to scale out the load and start the trek to get out of LA before the rest of the world did.

The rain they were predicting, actually did arrive, and we counted no less than 10 accidents, with most of them being overturned vehicles, or vehicles off the side of the road. When we stopped at the Flying J in Lebec to stretch our legs and take a short break, we saw that their fuel islands were closed. It didn't take long, once inside the store, to hear the multitude of unhappy drivers grumbling about it. Seems the massive amount of water they had received from the rains, flooded their turbine pump, and they were waiting for a new pump to arrive. We were just happy to leave that mess behind us.

We will be driving approximately 500 miles today, which unfortunately, will put us about 180 miles too far to spend Thanksgiving with any of our family in Modesto or Selma, or for that matter, getting any left overs to enjoy. I have no doubt that we will be able to find some place that will be welcoming and serving a hot meal tomorrow that we can add to our list of where we have spent a Thanksgiving on the roads of America.

Monday, November 24, 2008


We stayed in Ellensburg, WA, Friday evening, after getting the trailer loaded with the frozen peas and carrots. Leaving Saturday morning, we headed south towards Oregon. The bridge at Biggs Junction, OR is out of commission again until the first of the year, so we had a nice little detour which took us west along the Columbia River where I was able to get this photo of Mt. Hood. (Don't confuse this with Mt Shasta, I know how mountains can look alike.) We crossed the Columbia River and then headed east to back track back to Highway 97. We debated on how far we wanted to drive, and since we were on an easy time frame for delivery, we decided to stay at a rest area just outside of Klamath Falls, OR. This would set us up very nicely to hit Corning, CA in the morning for fuel and showers, and then end up for the day in Fowler, CA for a visit with Craig's Mom and Dad.

We enjoyed a nice Chinese dinner with them, and then hit the local grocery store for supplies, and with home made goodies tucked under Craig's arm, we headed back to the truck. I have got to say, Craig gets totally spoiled when he gets near his Mom or my Mom with his favorite treats. I'll have to do my best to ration his goodies so they last. *(Here is your shout out Mom, since you are reading this, that we are alive and well and made it through the fog)* Speaking of the fog........ The particular area we stayed at is notorious for major, multi-vehicle, pile up accidents, due to the dense fog. Although this morning, when we left, the fog was bad, but it was by no means as bad as I have seen it growing up in the Central Valley, where we deal with this tulle fog every winter. We kept it well below the speed limit and we were thankful for big trucks with lots of lights that were beacons to us in the gray haze.

Needing a break, after concentrating so hard on seeing the road, we stopped at Wheeler Ridge, CA and walked over to the Starbucks for some coffee and people watching. Having our fill of caffeine and entertainment, we headed back to the truck for the last leg of our journey today. With only 130 miles to drive, we will make the Company yard our home for the rest of the day and do some laundry. Since we don't deliver until tomorrow morning at 7:30am we are hoping we might just get to drop the load we have in the yard for the local driver to deliver.

No matter what happens, we know that for the third time since driving truck, we will be spending Thanksgiving Day somewhere different. Our first year we were in Las Vegas, NV our second year we were at Beach, ND, so we anxiously await to find out what our fate will be for this year. But as always, we will find a way to make it fun and enjoy the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It didn't take as long as we thought for the "lumpers", (people who are paid outrageous amounts of money to off load and inventory the product), to come a knockin' on our door to tell us they were done. Only two and a half hours of detention on this run and we entered our empty call into the computer. We headed to the company drop yard, 4 miles away, and finished up the log, and closed out the run with all the needed paperwork placed in the trip packet. We were quickly beeped with a new dispatch, and while Craig laid back and relaxed, I went about writing down all the information and programming addresses into my mapping program.
It's funny how things seem to run in patterns. We were dispatched to go to Twin City Foods again, but this time instead of in Arlington, WA we were headed to another one of their plants in Ellensburg, WA. Our appointment time was for 3pm, but that gave us plenty of time to drive the 110 miles there, and pick up pallets. We arrived a couple of hours early, but they happily informed us that their previous appointment hadn't shown up yet, and for us to back into dock #3 and they would get started on loading our trailer with frozen peas and carrots.
Now if we hadn't been delayed, waiting for paperwork after our trailer was loaded, because the computer system was down, we wouldn't have been sitting there when I saw this truck pull up:
I know this truck means nothing to most of you, but Van Laar is my Mother's maiden name. She comes from a very large, farming family in the Central Valley of California. I have a cousin Steve that drives a hay truck, and a cousin Christie, who along with her husband drive truck for Sprinter, but any other family in the trucking business I was unaware of. But, reasoning told me, the name is not a common one,, so I had to be related to whomever owned this truck.

So when the driver came back to his truck, I walked up to him and asked him if he was a Van Laar. He shook his head "no", so I asked who might the owner of the trucking company be. He said, Brian and Gary Van Laar. That didn't ring a bell with me, so I asked if he knew what their father's name was. He called into the office, first to see if Brian or Gary might be available, but they were not, so he inquired of the person he was talking to if they knew what their Father's name was. It was Norman, and that would be my cousin from my Uncle Herman.

What a very unexpected surprise, and I was so excited, I forgot to tell the driver what my name or my Mother's name was, so that he could have relayed that information onto my cousins. But after thanking the driver and walking away, I was thinking. Who would have thought, that in Ellensburg, WA, I would find out that I have second cousins who are in the trucking business, out of Marysville, WA? Further more, had it not been for a glitch in the computer system at the shipper, I would have not been around to see their truck pull up. Talk about fate and being pointed out again, that this really is a very small world after all.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I would have liked to have told you that our load was ready early in Salinas on Wednesday, but I can not tell a lie. We decided to go over to Fresh Express at 10am and see what the status was of the load. Good news was that the trailer was in a dock, so we backed up in front of it and started the wait. Hour by hour went by and finally, at 3pm we had a green light. Now we really can't complain, as the load was not slated to be ready until 4pm, but with being on such a tight schedule for the delivery on Friday, we were hoping to get a good head start. All we could do now was to power on and drive as far as we could.

We managed to get almost to the Oregon border before we decided to call it a night. The rest area was completely full, but we found a open area before the on ramp back onto the Interstate. This is what we awoke to in the morning:
We had to sit and wait until our mandatory 10 hour break was over and shortly after 10am we were on the road again. The further we went into Oregon, the cloudier it got, and then we hit patches of rain. It never seemed to last very long, and for a short time, just before we hit the greater Portland, OR area, the sun burst through the clouds and we were blessed with a rainbow. In front of us we saw the one end:

and to the right of us we saw the other end:

No sightings of a pot of gold or small green leprechauns could be seen.

We called it a night at a rest area just 90 miles from our delivery location. This time, we were the first ones there and had our choice of any parking space we wanted. After a hot meal, home cooked in the microwave, we went to bed with a 3am wake up call waiting for us. The ride into Auburn, WA was uneventful, and we prefer it that way, and we arrived at the Safeway DC 30 minutes early.

Presently we are sitting in the dock waiting for them to unload the trailer and take inventory. We, as always, are interested to see where we might be headed next and with what. But as Dorothy sang:

Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

We're living proof that dreams, do in deed, come true.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


You read from one of my earlier posts about one of the dirty little secrets of trucking......... that being the days that might go by before you are able to take a shower. Now here is the other dirty little secret......bathrooms. Each and every day, you plan when and where you might be able to use facilities. And if you are so lucky to have complete control over such functions, and to be honest with you.......sometimes you aren't, you can get creative real fast when nature calls. For fear of crossing that fine line of TMI, (too much information), I'll leave you to your own imagination to figure out what those creative measures might be.

So imagine my delight, (insert sarcasm here), when after our unload yesterday morning in Lathrop, CA, Craig pulls around to the receiving clerk door and parks right next to these: You can see in the bottom left hand corner the green color of the truck, and see just how close he was parked. While he was inside getting the paperwork signed, I had the "joy" of watching a non stop parade of truck drivers making the walk to these lovely outhouses. You can imagine how bad they must have been, when I watched several of the drivers open the door and then take a double look at what was before them, and then have that inner debate of whether to actually use it or not. Let's just say, I was very happy when we finally pulled away and went back to the yard, where I was able to use the facilities and not find out just how bad those outhouses were.

We were given the assignment to dead head to Salinas to Fresh Express, but not before fueling up the reefer unit, and washing out the trailer, and then dropping the trailer in their drop yard. Since we had not received a dispatch yet on a load, we found a great parking spot at the Pilot Truck Stop down the street and sat back to people watch for awhile. We quickly determined, as the minutes/hours went by, that a dispatch would not be forthcoming until Wednesday, so we settled in and made ourselves comfortable.

You guessed it! That was when the computer beeped and we were given the information on our load. But not to worry, the load was slated to be ready for pickup on Wednesday at 4pm, but it would be a tight delivery, as it needed to be in Auburn, WA, at the Safeway DC by 6am Friday morning. We accepted the load and settled back down for the rest of the evening.

This morning we are both happily on our laptops and will make the mile journey down to Fresh Express later this morning in hopes that the load will be ready early and that we can get a head start headed to Washington. Oh, and enjoy the fact that when nature calls, we have decent facilities to use inside the Pilot and not those "outhouses" I saw yesterday.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I never grow tired of taking pictures of mountains, trees, and old barns. And I guess it is a good thing, since I get to see this mountain every 3-4 days. I love how just a couple of weeks ago it was bare, and now it's covered in snow.
After leaving Arlington, we did manage to stop in Chehalis, WA at the Wal Mart to restock our pantry. If we weren't low on a few things, I would have passed. Nothing like venturing into a Wal Mart on a weekend. For the next two months, until after Christmas, we are going to have to plan very carefully when we make these stops. I'm thinking about 3am on a weeknight just might work out well.
We stayed the night in Halsey, OR and awoke to thick, heavy fog all around us. We made our way out to the freeway just before dawn, and hoped that the daylight would make it easier to see. It did, but just minimally. In fact it stayed overcast and foggy for most of the day, except for pockets of sunshine that forced it's way through the cloud/fog cover.
We called it a night in Corning, CA at our favorite Casino, where there is ample parking, and of course, those free soda and coffees. We once again avoided any gambling, but couldn't resist partaking in a great buffet. I am not one to eat at a buffet, but this is one place I would gladly return to time and time again.
We awoke and drove back a couple of miles to the truck stops in Corning to take showers and fuel up and then it was a short 3 plus hour drive into the Company yard where we have been since late this morning. We at least got our laundry done and have been continuing with our easy lifestyle for yet another day. We deliver at 7:30am tomorrow morning, just 5 miles away, so it looks like we will be able to sleep in again. Yeah, I know, it's a rough life!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We knew it was coming, and at the appropriate moment, Craig made the announcement, and I took the picture. We watched, as the odometer flashed 300,000 miles, and then the excitement ended as quickly as it came. The most miles I have ever seen on a vehicle was the 249,000 plus miles, I had on my Acura Integra, which faithfully made the round trip from Modesto to San Jose four days a week, for too many years to remember. But 300,000 on a semi truck is small change, no big deal, just another day in the life, but still, it was fun to watch. Get the idea we are easily entertained?

Another bit of turning over we do is at night when we sleep. Both Craig and I are side sleepers, and we seem to suffer from the same shoulder pain. The night is a ritual of laying on one side, until the pain awakes us to turn and lay on the other side. This process is repeated continuously throughout the night, but luckily not so much, that we are still able to get a good night's sleep. Maybe one day we will have them checked and do something about it. Yeah...... one day.
But I think the most precious of the turning overs that we are involved with, is the daily turning of day into night. For the past week, we have been blessed to see the most magnificent of sunsets. I vow to never take them for granted, and I continue to marvel at the beauty that I am privileged to witness everyday. I know how fortunate I am to be able to live this lifestyle and recognize the gifts we are given on a daily basis and enjoy them until it is time to turn over the page and start another chapter in our journey together.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Ever since we got out of the night time driving routine, we have had a sweet run of assignments that have given us the miles, but were not on a tight time schedule. It affords us the opportunity to drive as much or as little as we want in order to meet the deadline. We had stayed in Tumwater, WA Thursday night, and arose to a hot shower and a hot mocha from the McDonald's at the truck stop. Then it was off to Puyallup to drop the organic celery at the Fred Meyer DC.

Shortly after going empty on the computer, we received our next assignment. But before we could start on our way, we needed to stop and get pallets. Not only were we going to pick up 24 pallets for our load, but for two other TWT trucks that were heading to the same place we were. I have to tell you, some of these pallet places are a true test for a truck driver trying to maneuver through a maze of stacked pallets. It awed me that Craig was able to make the turns, albeit, coming within inches of hitting these mile high stacked pallets, and visions of them coming crashing down on us was always in my thoughts. With the 72 pallets on board, we headed just 60 miles north to Arlington, WA for our next load.

We stayed at a very small service station which had truck parking and wouldn't you know it? It had a little coffee shack right in the parking lot. We went to sleep knowing that we would be enjoying a fresh hot coffee in the morning to get our day started right. This job doesn't get any better than this!

We had only 4 miles to go to arrive at Twin City Foods in Arlington. By the time we checked in, there were 5 trucks waiting to get loaded, but because we had the pallets for three of the loads, we were directed into the dock, much to the chagrin of the driver that had spent the night there thinking he would be loaded first.

We have about 42,000 pounds of frozen food that we will be delivering to Lathrop, Ca, just down the street from the Company yard in French Camp. The load does not deliver until Tuesday morning, so we aren't sure if we will indeed deliver or if we might get another load on Monday and leave the frozen food for the local driver to deliver. In any case, we continue our easy, relaxed, life on the road, as we head South once again and see if our luck continues at the Wal Mart in Chehalis, WA. If there is easy parking there, we just may have to buy a lottery ticket!

Thursday, November 13, 2008



Late yesterday afternoon, as we neared the 550 mile mark for the day, I asked Craig if he would like to have breakfast out this morning at a little roadside cafe in Brooks, OR. The look on my husband's face was priceless, like a kid on Christmas Eve, the smile saying all that needed to be said. So this morning, he was more than excited to hit the road and drive the 60 miles to the Chalet Restaurant and partake in a hot, hearty, breakfast. He was still smiling as we left headed towards our staging location for tomorrow's delivery in Puyallup, WA. I think this quote from A.A. Milne, from the "House at Pooh Corner", says it all about the two of us.................
"'When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,' said Piglet at last, 'what's the first thing you say to yourself?' 'What's for breakfast?' said Pooh. 'What do you say, Piglet?' 'I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?' said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. 'It's the same thing,' he said."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We delivered to the CostCo Distribution Center in Tracy Tuesday morning. You gotta love this place. Just like at the Outback Resturarant, upon arrival and checking in, you are handed a pager that lights up, beeps, and vibrates to let you know when your dock is ready for you. When you see/hear your pager again, your trailer is unloaded and you are clear to leave. They have a very organized system of getting the trucks in and out in an orderly fashion, and anyone who knows me, knows how I love organization!

While sitting there watching the endless procession of trucks coming and going, I just couldn't get my head wrapped around the enormity of the trucking business, after all, this was only one distribution center, in one state. What must the number of trucks and distribution centers across the country be? The general public really has no concept of just how important those trucks going up and down the Interstate are. If all trucks shut down, even for a couple of days, the impact would be felt far and wide, and by everyone! It would be nice to educate those who cuss and flip us off, because we are slower going up a hill, and may delay their trip by a few minutes. I think it is a small price to pay for the convenience of having whatever you want, at your fingertips, at a store nearby.

After putting in our empty call, we were instructed to head to Salinas, CA to Dandy Cooling to pick up 42,000 pounds of organic celery. That's a lot of celery my friends! Every bit of it will be going to our second home these days, the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA. As I sat in the truck, I felt every one of those 23 pallets of celery, as the forklift jerked and shook the truck as it rolled in and out of the trailer. Fully loaded, and with paperwork in hand, we made our way down the street to scale out and make our way back to the Company yard in French Camp, CA for the night. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a beautiful sunset as another day in the life of a truck driver came to an end.

With a fresh cup of hot coffee, we are off this morning with our sights set on making it to Coburg, OR. Along the way we will pass a business I call "Trucks of Many Colors". This particular business along Interstate 5, near Dunsmuir, CA, sells water trucks. But what makes it so special, is that they paint them every color of the rainbow. It is always fun to see the trucks of many colors, and wonder just who would want to buy a purple water truck?

Monday, November 10, 2008


We were being so optimistic when we drove into the Tyson Plant in Wallula, WA Saturday while finishing up the last of our Starbucks. First, we were hoping that the awful stench that is normally in the air would not be there or at least be at a tolerable level, and second, that our load would be ready 28 hours ahead of time. Well, let's just post a great big strike out on both accounts. The all too familiar stench was in full force, and although reassured that they would be loading our trailer sometime today, alas, it was not ready. We dropped our empty trailer and drove down to the Flying J in Pasco to bide our time, besides that left over pizza was calling our names.

A check at 3pm on our trailer gave us the same results as earlier in the day, but then at the 7pm mark, when we called, it was ready and waiting for us. Well we too can play at this waiting game. With plenty of time to deliver this load on Tuesday morning, we decided to stay put, get a good night's sleep and then take off early in the morning and make a day of it. Little did we know just how much of a day it would be.

We awoke at 4am and made our way to the Tyson Plant. The trailer was in the last spot we looked for it, and it had a couple of broken trailer lights. Then as Craig was hooking up the truck to the trailer, he noticed that one of the air lines had a crack in it. As long as it was hanging a certain way it maintained the air pressure, so as soon as we were checked out, and given our paperwork, we high tailed it back to the Flying J to scale and purchase trailer lights, glad hands, seals, and a new air line. Thankfully, Craig is good at making these type of repairs and we are on our way, and legally scaled, a little over an hour later.

Now we had options on how we could handle this run. It was only 750 miles to Tracy and we had two full days to drive it. We could make two relatively short days, or dive hard the first and have extra time on our hands at the Company yard in French Camp, CA. We opted for the latter, with the option if we felt like it, we could stop whenever we wanted. Almost 13 hours after we had first awoken, we pulled into the truck stop in Redding, CA and called it a night. We had thoughts of staying up and watching our favorite FOX shows on Sunday night, but we both were tired and we rolled over and went to sleep after watching just one show.

This morning we stopped in Corning, CA for showers and will be in the Company yard in a couple of hours. We are hoping to have the defroster on the truck fixed, and since our laundry bag is overflowing, I will need to take care of that. When both of those chores are finished we will bob tail over to the grocery store down the street and pick up a few supplies and then make the decision of whether to treat ourselves to Starbucks or a Mexican dinner. Here we go with options again. Oh what the heck, let's live life dangerously and do both!

Saturday, November 08, 2008


We feel like a million bucks this morning. It's the dirty little secret of trucking..... that sometimes, no matter how well you plan, there might be a few days where you have to go without a shower. You have to look at it like camping. No....not the camping I see these days, with your half million dollar motor home, with more amenities than most houses on your street, but camping like in the good old days. When you pitched a tent and you became one with the ground. Where after only a few short minutes, your ankles were as brown around your tennis shoes as the dirt you were walking on. Yes, sometimes you have to rough it while out on the road, but I can still say that any day out in the truck, no matter the hygiene, is still better than thinking about going back to my old job!

I am happy to say that we are finally out of the cycle of night driving! Can I hear an "AMEN"? After making our first drops, one in the bowels of inner Seattle, and the other thankfully 5 miles south of Seattle, we made our way to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA, where around 11am we finally put in our empty call after starting the day at midnight. We were instructed once again to go to the drop yard in Pacific, WA since we only had a few hours left on our 14 hour clock. Upon our arrival at the yard, we saw two other drivers patiently sitting and we knew it might be awhile before we heard what our next assignment would be.

So, as any truck driver knows, a watched QualComm computer will not beep while you wait, you must find a way to disappear, and our method was to bob tail a mile down the road to a Round Table Pizza for a bite to eat, and wouldn't you know it? It worked! When we climbed back into the truck, the red light was waiting for us, along with the details of our next assignment. More importantly, we both smiled at each other, tummies full, knowing that we would indeed get a great night's sleep as we didn't need to arrive at our next shipper until the next day.

Which leads us back to the shower again. We awoke, fully rested, had our breakfast bars, and headed to our first fuel stop in Elllensburg, WA for fuel and the much needed shower. Presently, we are pulling into the Starbucks in Prosser, WA for our usual fixes and then will be going to Tyson Fresh Meats in Wallula, WA to pick up a load of boxed meat. As it stands now, our destination will be Tracy, CA on Tuesday morning.

Right now I can say this has been the perfect day, a trifecta of great things...... a shower, a Starbucks, and left over pizza for lunch! Life doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Long as I remember the rain been comin' down
Clouds of myst'ry pourin' confusion on the ground
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love rainy, overcast days, especially when you can stay inside and enjoy the warmth of home. Now that my second home is a bit more mobile, and that we have been working in the rain in the middle of the night, I may have to readjust my thinking. Especially when I see Craig getting thoroughly soaked, checking into the Receiver's office and opening the trailer doors. Since we have been rolling again together, we have had non stop rain, day and night, and we would know, as we have been awake during most of it.

As I have mentioned before, I spent most of my law enforcement career on the midnight shift. Having been out of it now for over two years, and sleeping like "normal" people, as we used to say, has been nice, but it is proving to be difficult to readjust to trying to sleep during the day lately. We have made sure to take naps whenever we can, but that sleep from 7am to 3pm I used to do, is no longer within my ability.
This night owl status started at 12am Thursday morning, after we had tried to force ourselves to sleep earlier in the evening. We made a delivery in Puyallup, WA at 2am, then moved up the way 8 miles to a Safeway Distribution Center. We were able to park there a few hours prior to our appointment which was nice for one of those aforementioned naps. They took awhile getting us into a dock, and then unloading us, and before we knew it, it was 8:30am and we took a chance getting to our last destination a good hour early.

Putting in our empty call at 10am, we informed dispatch we only had 4 hours left on our 14 hour clock and that we would be staging at the Pacific, WA yard awaiting further assignment. We were told immediately that at 10pm a load would be delivered to the yard for us to take over and make the deliveries. Reading the dispatch further we soon realized that we would be "night crawlers" again, as our first drop would be Charlie's Produce in Seattle, WA at 1:30am.
We tried to get some sleep, but instead watched the rain continue to come down and the trucks entering and exiting the yard. Finally, about 7pm, we tried again and managed to get a few hours sleep before it was time to get up and find the trailer that was dropped in the yard. And just like that we were off in the cover of darkness and headed to Seattle for our first drop, then 5 miles away for our second drop at 5am, and finally, the circle coming complete, back to Fred Meyer in Puyallup for our last drop at 9am.

At least we know that after our drop at Fred Meyer, that we can stay there and get some sleep, as most likely we will get a load out of there. But as I've said before, you can never plan on anything in trucking, and it looks like the only thing I can be certain of, is that the rain is still coming down, and even from my mobile second home, I still enjoy watching it, even with no sleep!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Neener Neener..... the plan worked perfectly this time. Craig was loaded, scaled, and headed North by 10am Monday morning. By 6pm that evening the transfer of the groceries, clean laundry, and more importantly, ME, was complete. As much as I hate saying goodbye to my Mom and Niece, it sure was nice to be in my second home again with my husband. Off we happily went, holding hands and smiling, as we headed for the Company yard for the night.

We decided to get an early start this morning, and with a fresh cup of coffee and our breakfast bar we journeyed North. We had planned it so that we would miss the crush of the Sacramento morning commute traffic and we took a break at the Casino in Corning to take advantage of their free coffee and sodas. This time, no matter how loud that slot machine was screaming at Craig to put in some money, we managed to ignore it and head back to the truck.

As soon as we crossed into Oregon the gray clouds covered the sky, and as Craig said to me, "I think there are snow flakes out there", I looked up from my laptop, and we enjoyed seeing the first snowfall of the season. It was much more scenic in Oregon, than in the flat prairie lands of North Dakota last year. As we reached the summit of the pass the snow was much more evident along side the roadway, but this snowfall was heavy with moisture and immediately melted when it hit the ground. Coming down off the pass, the snow quickly turned to a light rain and we soldiered onward to our final destination for the day.

Tonight finds us in Coburg, OR, with only 250 miles to drive tomorrow to set us up to stage for three deliveries, the first being at 2am Thursday morning. We are looking forward to watching the election returns, and knowing that at least for awhile, the barrage of political ads will finally come to an end! No matter the outcome of the election, we are hopeful for a positive change in this great Country of ours and that we will be witnessing history taking place. As far as that knock on the door? I'll be happy to open the door to Winter, at least we know what we can expect there!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Everything was going as planned, and right there I should have suspected something was up, because we all know we can't really plan on anything in trucking, but I digress. Craig drove into Walnut, CA Thursday afternoon, an hour early for his appointment, and got checked in and loaded just as planned. So far, so good, I hear yourself saying, please continue. He is able to get down the street to the local scale, making sure he was legal, and hit the road ahead of the 5pm commute traffic. I really don't see the point to your story yet Diane, as I hear you yet again interjecting into my little saga.

Craig drives out of the LA basin and makes it all the way into Corning, CA for the night. Not being able to leave until noon, he bides his time and at the allotted time he takes off only to hear his phone ring about 30 miles down the road. Ah Hah, you say, finally the reason for this stupid tale. Yes, sad but true, Craig will not see Washington State this trip. He is turned around to go back to the truck stop in Corning, and await not one, but two other trucks for a three way switch.

While waiting for the trailer that he is to receive the first driver pulls up and takes Craig's trailer headed to Puyallup, WA and leaves his trailer, which will go to the second driver. Around 7:30pm the second driver shows up, takes the trailer dropped by the first driver and hands his trailer over to Craig, who now has yet again a trailer intended for a team to be delivered in Phoenix, AZ. But, the best he can do is drive his full 11 hours and get it into the Company yard by 7:30am Saturday morning, which is exactly what he did.

Waiting for him at the yard was yet another driver who would take it the rest of the way into Phoenix and make the deliveries, while Craig crawled into bed for some well deserved sleep. Little did he know just how much rest he will get. When he awoke, he counted 6 other TWT drivers sitting in the yard.

Early last night, he finally received a dispatch that will take him to the City of Industry, to pick up some juice on Monday morning. We will receive two days of layover pay and Craig will get a restart on his driving hours and get plenty of rest to start the week. The plan, and I am leery to even use that word, is for him to pick me up Monday evening in Modesto on his way north. Time will tell if this will come to a realization or not, but I've learned not to plan on it!


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