Thursday, December 31, 2009


In light of this being the last day of 2009, I thought I would share with you some photos I took of an old building while in Fresno, CA on Wednesday. I wasn't really noticing anything out my window, as the truck was jostled around, while all that creamy delicious ice cream was being off loaded from the trailer. Then I finally focused my eyes on the building across the railroad tracks from me and I saw this: I've always had a love of taking pictures of trees and old barns, and now I find myself attracted to these old buildings as well. I'm sure there are some stories to be told from the walls that still hold them up. So as we bring in the new year, I'm going to make it a habit to seek out these old buildings and take their photo to at least keep it's history alive in my archives of pictures.Here's hoping you all have a safe and happy New Year's Eve wherever you might be!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I was so busy telling you all about the new scanner and the Heaven on Earth restaurant, that I almost forgot about the current trip we are on. The dispatch on this trip actually came over the computer as a pre plan on Christmas Eve. Was nice to know that after we dropped the bananas in Clackamas last Saturday, that we would know what we would be doing for the week to come.

This load has seven, yes that's right, seven drops and to top it off, we are hauling my favorite food cream. Yep, a little over 25,000 pounds of the stuff and here I am not even getting as much as a spoonful to eat. That's just not right! Anyway, we picked up the ice cream in Eugene, OR on Sunday morning, and from there our first two deliveries weren't until Monday, with the first being in Medford and the second in Ashland, OR.

Medford went smoothly and then we arrived in Ashland. I'm so happy Craig just happened to call ahead to ask if we could come in earlier than our appointment time, and then asked about the best approach to get to their store. Following their directions we smacked head on into what has got to be the tiniest alley way to turn into and get out of that we have had the displeasure of experiencing. We first had to wait for a small garbage truck to finish his business in order to make our approach. With about six inches to space on each side of the truck and trailer we inched our way towards the store's back door.

There was already another smaller truck making a delivery, so we waited patiently for our turn. We only had 2 pallets of ice cream to drop here, and after inching our way forward, Craig went about helping them off load, while I was able to squeeze out of my door and check to see what loomed around a very tight corner. What I saw was yet another truck making a delivery and several miscellaneous items scattered about that would no doubt be in the way of us making a clean exit.

By the time the items were removed from our path, Craig was ready to make the move to round the corner. Thankfully, we made it and then after waiting for the other truck to leave we were free and clear to make our escape. From there we drove to Dunnigan, CA to stage for the first of our next two deliveries in Rocklin and Oakland, CA.

In Rocklin, there were 3 pallets coming off, but they somehow managed to make it drag out for over two hours to take those pallets off, but detention pay softened that wait and we were off to Oakland for our next delivery of just 1 pallet of ice cream. This receiver was just off Interstate 880, but tucked so tightly into a residential area, with cars lining the street, not to mention, other big trucks trying to make deliveries, it was hard to find an open space to maneuver.

But as luck would have it, after checking in we got a dock right away, and with the nose of our truck blocking half the street, they quickly off loaded that one pallet and we were left to try and figure out how to make a safe exit. Both plan A and B were a no go, so we threw caution to the wind and headed for any street that looked wide enough for us to turn. We got lucky and ended up on a street that would eventually lead us back to the Interstate and happily out of Oakland.

We had a fuel stop at our yard in French Camp, and decided to just call it a day. This morning we are headed to Fresno where we will drop off the bulk of the remaining ice cream, with the last two drops tomorrow in Moreno Valley and Ontario, CA. We are hoping to get a load out of LA tomorrow afternoon which will keep us rolling over the New Year's weekend. We'll just have to wait and see, and I'm still holding out for a wayward tub of ice cream to be left behind......I've got my spoon at the ready!

Monday, December 28, 2009


One of the great things about living your life out on the road is finding little gems of places to check out on your travels. I have caught a glimpse of the "Heaven on Earth" restaurant tucked snugly amongst pine trees many time on our travels on Interstate 5, and even noticed that there was a large dirt lot big enough for big rigs. But what really got my attention was the proclamation on their building of being the "home of the famous cinnamon rolls". All Craig and I needed was a trip that had some time built into it for us to stop and check it out, and Sunday was the day.Heaven on Earth restaurant is located off Interstate 5, at exit 86, in Quines Creek, Oregon. They do a brisk business on Sundays and we had to find a table in their overflow area, but not before being shown the multitude of bakery items they had for sale, and the array of free samples they had out to taste. We were not deterred by temptation and decided to partake in a late breakfast, but what we really wanted was one of those famous cinnamon rolls.We had a great breakfast, while enjoying the scenic views out the window, and when it was time to pay the check, we allowed ourselves to drool over all the baked goods. One of the employees had just finished ladling a heaping amount of icing on a cinnamon roll as I said to her that we would take that very one with us to go. Now this is where I will do my best to describe this cinnamon roll. I truly believe it could feed a small family. It measured at least 5 inches tall and about 6 inches square. It was the biggest cinnamon roll I have ever seen in person.Toting it to the truck took some effort, but Craig was able to hoist it into the truck to keep it safe until later in the evening when we would delve into it's gooey goodness. Just in case you don't believe me about just how big this thing was, take a look at the picture I took just before we left.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Who among us hasn't traveled down the information highway? The mere fact that you are reading this blog entry lets me know you are a frequent traveler of one, if not many, of the hi-tech devices that are available to us every day to use. Craig and I were delighted when his company finally decided to save money during these hard economic times, and put payroll information on the Internet, instead of mailing it to our home, which by the way, we never saw until months later when we finally went home to retrieve our mail. Recently, they have gone one step further into cost saving ideas, by cutting out paying postage and FedEx charges, having the TWT drivers start scanning their trip information ie: bills of lading, receipts, seal reports, etc into scanners that they have placed at all the company yards. This caused us to stop and give pause to the thought that there will soon be a time, when they have the System/flatbed drivers, who number upward to 800, also start scanning their packets after the first of the year. Further more, the wait time at the one lone scanner at each yard could add up to quite a delay, especially on those time sensitive loads when you don't have the extra time to stand around and wait for your turn. Since we used to scan and email all the broker information when we were on the boat fleet directly from our truck, we thought it would be worth looking into getting a scanner again.A quick phone call into the department in charge of this new scanner procedure at first had Craig talking to an employee who wasn't sure if Craig was going to be complaining about the scanner and was quite apprehensive when Craig said he had some questions. Her tone immediately changed to excitement when Craig asked if we could use our own scanner and send in the information by email. Evidently, they are hoping that more drivers take on Craig's attitude, and were prepared with a form questionnaire to fill out via email, and then a practice run of scanning and emailing in two test trips and we were officially set up to go online. After sending in our first official trip packet via the scanner, we sent in a message to the person in charge asking if there was a confirmation we would receive that the trip in fact was accepted into the system. We promptly got a reply back that since we were the first ones in the company to actually use their own scanner, that they had not thought of that, and that the computer guy was busy working on it at that very moment. Let's hope being first to drive on this information highway with the company will be free of any major pot holes or road blocks. I guess we'll find out just how well it works next payday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Everyone longs to be home for the holidays, and they say, home is where the heart is. My heart, for the past 9 years has been with Craig, and wherever he is, that is home, no matter it be in the truck, our house in Usk, WA or the many other "homes" we have with family and friends. My Christmas wish, is that we have many more Christmas' to spend together out on the road, for as long as we are together, any place is home. But I do have another Christmas wish to send to the heavens, and that is the thankfulness we feel for our friends and family, who have accepted our way of life, and welcomed us with their warm embrace of love into their homes, letting us know in no uncertain terms, that their home is our home. I wish that they all feel our love and gratitude this Christmas Day, even though we will be absent from their celebrations, for all that they have given to us this past year. We love you all and look forward to sharing our traveling adventures with you in the coming year.And to our fellow trucking and blogger friends, thanks for keeping us company this past year on our travels, along with your prayers for our safe journeys. They obviously have been heard and we do so appreciate your well wishes. We look forward to you too accompanying us again in the new year to come. Now we raise our glasses of egg nog and send our best to all of you this holiday season.........Merry Christmas from our home to yours

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Suffice it to say, our super secret special parking space in Vernon, CA is not so super , secret, or special any more. The Grinch this year, showed up in the middle of the night, wearing a blue uniform, and covertly left a little parking ticket wrapped up nicely in a plastic bag, without so much as a bow, on the driver's side window of the truck. As he drove away, I'm sure I heard Cindy Lou Who and all the folks in Whoville say a collective "tsk tsk" as he drove away. As you probably figured out by now, we made it into LA and then into Long Beach, CA to make our delivery of the frozen french fries. There we met up with four more TWT trucks making deliveries, and then all four of us wound up at the Company yard in Bloomington, CA along with about 6 other trucks waiting to get a new assignment. We thought we wouldn't get any dispatch until today, but long about 5pm last night, it came across the computer. No surprise, head to the Port in San Diego and pick up bananas and then head to Clackamas, OR.

Now this is the exact same load we received last year, and like last year, we have tentatively planned out our holiday travels until delivery on Saturday, the day after Christmas. I say tentatively, because last year, we had visions of a fabulous buffet Christmas dinner in Corning, CA and had it taken away from us when we were told to drop the bananas in the yard in French Camp, head to Salinas and pick up a load of produce, and then head to Montana during a nice big snow storm. I'm hoping that doesn't happen again this year.

With today being my birthday, we will combine both my birthday dinner and Christmas dinner together on the 24th in Weed, CA at the Dos Amigos Resturarant. My mouth is already salivating just thinking about the feast we will partake in..........that is if the Grinch doesn't make an encore appearance and figure out a way to take that away from us as well as the $103 dollars we will have to pay for that darn parking ticket.

Monday, December 21, 2009


You couldn't help but notice it. Maybe it was the way he held her so protectively, or the way she snuggled close to his chest. You would have to be blind not to see the love in his eyes when he gazed upon her face. Craig and I both stared, with big smiles on our faces, and when he looked up at us, I think his smile was even bigger. It was puppy love, and he had fallen head over heels.He had found her abandoned along the side of the road, in a cardboard box in Plainview, TX. She was probably not much more than 4 weeks old when he rescued her. The past two weeks he has been bottle feeding her every few hours as they learn to share the confines of the truck. We watched as she stood on wobbly legs on the asphalt parking lot of a truck stop, which will be all too familiar to her as she grows old. How appropriate is it, that he has named her "Diesel" and how we all agreed that he would have a traveling companion for life. Maybe one day we will see them again, traveling along this long lonely stretches of highway. And if we do? We will always remember how it all began, a kind and generous soul reaching out to one in need, and creating a bond to last through the ages. Travel safe my safe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


We were up and at 'em very early Friday morning. Leaving George, WA, where we stayed at, (that was an interesting conversation with my Mom when she asked where we were and I kept telling her George Washington), and made our way south with what limited driving hours Craig would have available to him. By 8am we were at Biggs, OR taking a break to stretch our legs and treat ourselves to a Sausage McMuffin with egg, courtesy of the good folks at McDonalds.Fortified for the rest of our journey we continued and ran smack dab into dense fog. As the sun tried vainly to burn through it, we finally climbed a small incline in the landscape to rise above the fog layer and see Mount Hood proudly poking it's head through the clouds and fog. I couldn't get a great photo of the blanket of fog covering the landscape, because as quickly as we were above it, we were just as quickly back under it again.Craig's driving hours would only take us as far as Chemult, OR where we got a prime parking spot in the front row, since we shut down for the day at noon. After the past few days that we have had, getting limited quality of time to sleep or even relax, this was a nice change of pace, having the remainder of the day to rest our tired bodies and minds. Suffice it to say, we were both sound asleep by 6pm and then up and ready to roll at again at 1am. Seems it is going to take another few days to get our body clocks back on track.

So off we went, stopping in Corning to get the truck and trailer washed, and with just enough hours to get us into French Camp. How lucky were we when our pickup was sitting waiting for us in the yard and my Mom was having a Christmas dinner for her friends that we were welcomed to partake in. Didn't have to ask us twice to a great home cooked meal and great company to share it with. Of course, shortly after consuming a large meal, both Craig and I were looking to find a bed to crash in. With our apologies for being party poopers, we bid our good byes and drove back to the yard where we were both sound asleep by 8pm, but not before I made sure to pack the dinner left overs away in our cooler!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Knowing that Snoqualmie Pass, would be the first of many snowy passes we would have to pass over this Winter, made it that much more anxious for me. But if the rest of our snowy journeys go as easy and as safely as this one......well I will be one very happy girl. Our load at Draper Valley in Renton, WA turned out to be a drop/hook. No waiting around for a live load, and we even got it almost two hours ahead of schedule. With plenty of fuel on board, we bypassed our fuel stop in North Bend, WA, after all, no need to torture yourself maneuvering around that truck stop at night if you don't need to.

Thirty miles into our journey we hit Snoqualmie Pass. It seems the tail end of the storm system was just passing by, as I watched the temperature start to rise. It was a slushy mix until right at the top of the summit, where it was still coming down fairly heavy. But a few miles down the other side and it turned to light showers. The only thing we had to deal with after that was heavy fog, which wasn't all that much fun either.

With this particular load, we would be able to drop it at the receiver's well before our appointment time of 5am. Arriving at 1:30am we were directed to where they wanted the trailer dropped, received our paperwork, and went in search of an empty trailer. Not finding any, we headed into the yard to hopefully get some sleep. These past three days have been sporadic with grabbing sleep when we could and running hard.

By 8am, we were awake and decided to take showers and do laundry in case we received another dispatch as soon as our 10 hour break was over. And wouldn't you know it, like clockwork the dispatch appeared on our computer. We were to head to Quincy, WA to Columbia Cold Storage to pick up frozen french fries that would be delivered to Long Beach, CA on Monday morning. Well, at least we have some breathing room on this load. Craig's driving hours were looking a bit thin, and we will have a couple of days of having less than 8 hours available. As it was, after loading we had just 15 minutes to get to a very small gas station with truck parking a few miles away, where we spent the night.Now as to those of you who could only imagine how incredibly delicious those wiener roll ups are, I don't have a recipe, as I purchase them from a tiny little bakery down the street from my Mom's house in Modesto, CA. I can attest too Craig acknowledging that it was sad yesterday when he didn't get a piping hot one handed to him for his lunch. But never fear, there is a chance to make use of our pickup at the company yard in French Camp and sneak away, hopefully tomorrow to restock our cooler. I'll be more than happy to pick you up some, but then delivery to you will be a major problem, so we'll just have to eat them for you. Trust me, I'm doing you a favor.....they can be addicting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


As I was throwing together something for lunch today, I made the proclamation that today was a sad, sad, day. Craig, ever the inquiring mind, asked me why? As calmly as I could, I announced that it was the end of the line for the brownies and wiener roll ups, as of today there would be no more. Craig looked at me and said, "Today we eat, tomorrow we can be sad". Such is life with my husband. But I have to admit, these little wiener roll ups that I purchase whenever I am in Modesto cost just $1 each, and have the softest, most tasty breading around them. You just don't see bargains like that anymore.We got about 6 hours of sleep after stopping at the rest area Monday night, but we still had to sit around until the 10 hour mandatory break was over with before we could leave. By 10:30am we were headed north again with a little over 300 miles to go in order to get in an 8 hour split sleeper berth break before heading out to make our delivery at 3am in Seattle. By 4:30pm we were staged in Toledo, WA at GeeCee's Truck stop, heating up some beans for an early dinner and then trying to grab about 5 more hours of sleep before heading back out at 12:30am.

Nice thing about leaving that early is no traffic on the roads, and with a fuel stop in Tacoma, we grabbed a cup of coffee and made it the last 20 miles into Seattle and our first delivery. By 4am we were headed to our last stop in Auburn, WA at the Safeway Distribution Center. Here is where we were able to fit in our second half of the split sleeper berth break of 2 hours as we waited for our dock and 7am delivery appointment. You gotta love it when it all works out when you only have a small window of opportunity awaiting you.

By 8:30am we were sitting in the company drop yard in Pacific and waiting to hear what our next assignment would be. We were able to get maybe a couple of hours of sleep and expecting to get an overnight load into Spokane, put a pressure on us to try and get more. But sleep alluded us, as we tossed and turned with each train that passed by not more than 75 yards away from us. By 2pm we heard the beep and received our next dispatch information. We are heading to Renton, Wa to Draper Valley to pick up a load of chicken at 8pm tonight, and deliver it into Spokane by 5am in the morning.Our only worries now? What will Snoqualmie Pass throw at us as we try and head over the hill. For our sakes I hope we have an easy go of it, but that doesn't make for a good blog entry now does it? Keep your fingers crossed, I know mine will be.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


When it comes to decorating, I used to hold my own about 10 years ago. I went all out, especially for Halloween, as my niece's can attest to. As for Christmas? I did put up a tree and a wreath, but that was about all. The couple of years before we started our trucking adventure, we didn't even bother with a tree. With this now being our fourth Christmas out on the road, I remember convincing Craig to tie a wreath to the front grill of the truck the first year, and then we did wear our Christmas hats for a picture for the blog, but besides that we haven't put in much effort. I'm sorry to disappoint you this year too. Yes, this is as good as it's going to get this year, but hey, at least it's something, and the two weeks I spent helping my friend decorate her house and cottage should count for something. We got into Salinas, CA on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed a lazy evening and sleeping late in the morning, if 6am is considered late to you. We were hopeful our load would be done early, so we checked in to find the trailer in the dock and the red light flashing. We took that as our opportunity to hit Wal Mart early enough in the morning to buy Craig a new pair of boots. He had literally worn himself right out of the soles of his last pair about a week ago. The shopping experience was a pleasant one, with nary a sole inside the store, so we treated ourselves to a Starbucks, which so conveniently was located right across the parking lot. Then it was back to check on the progress of our load. The dispatch information stated it would be ready by 3pm, and as each hour ticked away, the time constraints on the load got tighter and tighter. We have two deliveries to make, one in Seattle at 3am Wednesday morning, and the second in Auburn, WA at 7am. Craig of course was busy crunching numbers....would we be able to do two breaks or only one break before delivering? What was our drop dead time for getting our loaded trailer before it would be impossible for us to make the deliveries? I swear I could see smoke coming from his ears as he went to work on the computer and doing the math in his head. We finally went loaded at 1:30pm and off we went knowing that we would be doing a full 11 hours of driving.We were keeping a watchful eye on the weather, as we knew we had a couple of passes to get over and there was talk of snow. But as we crossed into Oregon, it was only lightly snowing and we got down off the summit with no problems. The only problem for us would be where we would be able to find a parking spot for the night. The first two truck stops and rest areas were full, but finally, with only minutes to spare before the 14 hour clock expired, we found a spot at the next rest area and we settled in for some well deserved sleep.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


See.....I told you Craig was much better at crunching the numbers and doing the math than I was. He called me a few hours before his mandatory 10 hour break was over, and I of course was quick to ask, "are they swapping your load out with another driver"?. Craig just laughed and said, "no, I got it all worked out in my head, at least in theory", and then he proceeded to tell me just how it would all work out within the federal hours of service rules. There is something to be said for having a large sized head like my husband's, which is obviously filled with a fully functioning big brain that loves numbers and math. I think we are a good match, with my smaller head, and it's own good functioning brain, more inclined for creativity and organization.

You can see how happy I am to be back on the truck. I had the pickup packed up and made my way into French Camp to meet up with Craig around 7pm last night. A quick transfer of the food and my clothes, the pickup parked in the employee lot, and we were off to Merced to stage at our first delivery stop in the morning. We both did some research on Google Earth to see what the parking situation might be for an overnight stay, and we both agreed that there was a high probability that we would find a place to park. Upon arrival, even in the darkness of night, we saw an open parking lot and large dirt lot, good enough for us, and we called it a night.

In the morning, we were up and ready by 6am, too bad we couldn't say the same about the employees here. They finally started showing up a little after 6am, and we were told they would come out and let us know when they were ready for us. Then we waited and waited, and if it wasn't for the detention pay, there might have been a few cuss words, but I was content to be surfing away on the computer while Craig listened to the radio.

Long about 8:30am, we were finally summoned into a dock to off load the 2 pallets of meat we had for this location. You could almost get claustrophobic backing into the dock as there wasn't much room on either side once you got backed in. It took all of 15 minutes for them to take the 2 pallets off and then it was off to do battle with the San Francisco Bay Area for our next two deliveries.

Second stop in Newark, CA went well. We found it relatively easily, by passing it up, and then having to back down the street until we found one small little address sign that let us know we were at the correct location. There were only 4 pallets coming off here, so within 30 minutes we were in search of our last delivery of the day in Santa Clara, CA. After debating on several ways to get there, especially after earlier taking a "no trucks" allowed street, we rolled into the consignee and promptly told to get in line, it was a "first come/first served" situation. Well we certainly weren't in a hurry since we were 90 minutes ahead of our appointment time anyway.

All three places we went to today were surprisingly easy backs. You gotta love when businesses spell it out and places signs so that everyone is clear on what they need to do to get safely into the docks. Such was the case at our last drop, and being good little soldiers, we followed the directions and except for holding our breath when backing down a rather steep incline into the dock, and hoping that the landing gear wouldn't get messed up, we were in and out in record time. In fact, by 2pm we had put in our empty call and had been given our new assignment. It's off to Fresh Express in Salinas..........It sure feels great to be back on the truck again, this has been a happy day indeed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Craig finally got the dispatch information on his load around 5pm on Friday. Seems the computer system was down at Tyson, and in this day of automated, computerized record keeping, if the computer is down, there aren't too many companies that will do it the old fashion way, that is, if there is even anyone still working that can remember how that is even done. By the time he scaled out and completed the all the pre trip inspections it was near 6pm when he took off headed south.

Of course, much to my dismay, he would be driving through the night to get as far as he could. He was still doing the math when I quickly talked to him, as to whether he would even have enough hours to be able to make the deliveries on this load, as he has three scheduled. They are all on Sunday, starting at 6am in Merced, CA, then Newark, CA and finally ending in Santa Clara, CA.

Craig made it safely into Weed, CA this morning around 4am. Now I'm not as good as Craig on crunching the numbers, but doing some quick math in my head, I'm not really sure he will be able to the deliveries with about 8 more hours of driving to get into Merced. That would not leave enough time to do either a 10 or 8 hour break and make the 6am appointment time. I'll wait to hear from Craig later today to confirm my suspicions. If that does turn out to be the case, let's hope they don't swap him out with another driver before he can make it as far as French Camp and pick me up!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Charles and Craig made their delivery at the Safeway in Spokane this morning, and when they got back to the yard, Charles asked if he could challenge the driver's test a week early. Guess I wasn't the only one wanting him to hurry up. So when they got back to the yard, Charles was sent to the classroom to begin his written portion of the sign off process. This consisted of him planning and routing a trip on log pages from Spokane to Baltimore, Maryland, showing his stops and load checks. After he completed the written portion, it was off for a road test, and by 3pm we heard the good word......he has passed and Craig was a free man again!

Oh sure, Charles will still have a day or so of attending a certification class, and filling out paperwork, having to spend the night in a hotel room, but more importantly, he was clearing his personal items out of the truck! I'm hoping for the best when I see the truck again, in that it isn't too dirty and it won't take me too long to get things back organized the way I like them. But bottom line is, in under 72 hours I will finally be back in the truck after a long 8 week absence.

Craig was given instructions to take an empty trailer to the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallula, WA and drop it there for a load going out Friday. The details of the load are yet to be received, but we figure he will be in French Camp sometime between Saturday late evening, or Sunday afternoon. In either case, I will have my bags packed and the pickup ready to go to meet up with him when he does arrive. I'll also be loaded down with groceries to last us at least until past Christmas when it just might be safe to venture out to a Wal Mart again.

I'm so excited to get back on the truck and enjoy the next 6 weeks or so until Craig takes on one more trainee towards the end of January. Yes, my birthday and Christmas wish has come be reunited with Craig and enjoying life out on the road together again.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


That was what they were told when they rolled into French Camp, CA on Monday afternoon, and they asked if they had time to stay a short time. Nope, expedite it to Salinas, because they needed to get a trailer wash out and then drop the trailer and wait for a load going right back out again. So I had all of a grand total of 3 minutes to hand over the Chinese food and get as many hugs and kisses as I could, while Charles dropped their loaded trailer and hooked up to the empty. Then as I pulled away, they scarfed down their lunch and hit the road.

Upon arriving in Salinas and informing dispatch that they had dropped their trailer, they received this oh so charming message......."Sorry, they shorted us a load today, you'll get a load out tomorrow". Well isn't that just the way it goes sometimes. Well, at least their bellies were full, they had a spot to stay for the night, and they would get caught up on their rest. As for me, I'll just have to wait for the next time he comes through French Camp and hope for just a wee bit longer visit.

Tuesday afternoon, around 2pm, they were hooked up to a trailer loaded down with 6,000 pounds of produce and planning their route to Spokane, WA to the Safeway Distribution Center for Thursday morning. But before they could get too far, while doing the pre trip inspection, they found that one of the drive tires was in need of replacement. After stopping at a local tire shop, and getting the tire fixed, they were finally on their way.

Since they both had available hours to drive, this time Charles got to do the honors and drove during the late evening hours to get them into Weed, CA by around midnight. Craig will get up early and drive his allotted hours and then Charles will take over to get them into the company yard in Spokane tonight, which will set them up nicely for their delivery in the morning. With that the count down will begin for one last week of training. If you ask me.....that is something they could expedite!

Monday, December 07, 2009


After their last drop at Charlie's Produce in Spokane, WA on Sunday morning, it took all of about two nano seconds for them to receive their next assignment. There will definitely be no rest for the weary this holiday season for these two. They were told to head to Wallula, WA to the Tyson Meat Plant, and pick up a loaded trailer with four in Vernon, CA and the other three in Phoenix, AZ. With the timeline, it was a dispatch that could only have been accomplished by a team and not a solo driver. Might as well squeeze out as many miles out of training Charles as we can until it's time to set him free to fly on his own.

I don't know why it almost always seems like Craig is stuck with the night driving. Let's face it, whether I am with him or not, when I know he is driving late, and on top of that, through inclimate weather, I don't get much sleep either. But it is what it is, and Craig was the lucky one that would take over the driving duties around 5pm after Charles got them as far as Biggs, OR.

We all have been hearing about the winter storm warnings, not only in Oregon, but get this, also in Modesto, CA where they were predicting the possibility of SNOW ! I thought I had packed up and left that behind me, at least until I get back on the truck, but there it was, plastered all over the news, that for the first time in 32 years, snow would fall. But I had my thoughts and concern more on my husband pulling an all nighter in the middle of a storm, where I knew he would get more than a trace of snowfall.

As is usually the case, the biggest concern while driving on snow and icy roads, are the four wheelers, who think that just because they have 4 wheel drive, they can drive as they normally do. This usually results in many of them sliding off the roadway, and constantly hitting their brakes, causing everyone behind them to swerve and slide. Once Craig got through the populated areas, and had most of the four wheelers behind him, he had clear sailing into Corning about 4am this morning. I was ever so thankful for a quick email update knowing that he had arrived safely.

As it turns out, this run will be short lived. Seems since they got such a great jump on this load, and drove through the night, they were promptly sent a message about 30 minutes ago to drop the trailer in French Camp. With any luck, I'll be able to drive there in a few hours and meet up with Craig for a long overdue hug and kiss, and to bring him his favorite Chinese food combination plate. As long as I'm at it, I'll get Charles one as well. Might as well keep both these busy guys happy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Lest I forget what this blog is truly about, I guess I should update you on the going ons of Craig and Charles as they travel the highways. After arriving at Fresh Express in Salinas, CA Thursday morning, they were told to just drop the trailer of apples and not wait around for a live unload. They headed over to the Pilot truck stop down the street and set up shop and await their next assignment.

That assignment came in around 2pm for a load out of Fresh Express, which was to be ready at 4pm, headed to Charlie's Produce in both Seattle and Spokane. They headed on over to see if the trailer was loaded yet, but found it still sitting in the dock with the red light flashing. Not much to do other than park in front of the trailer and wait, and finally by 6pm they had the trailer and were headed north.

Craig had the honors of driving, since Charles had driven them there that morning, so off he went to put in a full nights work and made it to Weed, CA where he finally shut down and crawled into bed. Shortly there after, Charles took over the driving duties and got them into Aurora, OR where they took a short break. It was then time for Craig to drive again, and as it turned out, do battle with Friday afternoon traffic through Portland, OR which is never any fun. They finally stopped to stage for their 1am delivery time about 100 miles from Seattle.

Around 9:30pm, Charles got the pleasure of driving at night and getting them through the maze of construction and very small streets in the section of Seattle where Charlie's is tucked away in. Thankfully, every time we have had a delivery here it is in the very early morning hours, with nary another soul on the road. Makes delivering there so much easier.

By 2am they were unloaded and headed towards Spokane. They decided to stop in North Bend, at the TA truck stop to grab a few hours of non moving sleep before finishing up the trip into Spokane. By 7am Craig once again took the driving duties and was on track to get into the company yard in Spokane by noon. There they will have ample time to do laundry, and take showers and rest up for their 7am delivery Sunday morning at the Charlie's in Spokane.

With it being the weekend, the odds are not great that they will get anything tomorrow. Most likely they will get a load sometime on Monday, and according to Craig, that is just fine with them. As hard as they have been running lately, they both could use a little rest.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Everyone loves a good surprise, and I have been masterminding this one for over two weeks now. It all started a day before Craig went back out on the truck and I left to visit my friend in Walla Walla. I decided that instead of coming back home for two weeks and wait for Craig to finish training Charles, that I would instead surprise my Mom by driving down to California weeks earlier than planned, and be her early Christmas present. So when we left the house on the 20th of November, we closed it up by turning off the water, cleaning out and unplugging the refrigerator, and turning the heater down. All that was left to do, was pretend on my blog that I was in fact returning home after my visit in Walla Walla. I made a phone call to my Mom on Wednesday, saying that I would be headed home the next day, and that I would call her over the weekend after I settled in. Then I left Walla Walla Thursday morning with a stop over in Klamath Falls, OR to break the drive up. This afternoon, I rolled into Modesto, CA and made the following phone call when I was two blocks from my Mom's house.

Mom: Hello?

Me: Hey, it me, just checking the way, has my mail been arriving there since I forwarded it?

Mom: Yes, I have quite a bit here

Me: Has a package arrived? I have been waiting for it and it's pretty important.

Mom: Yes, one arrived today for you

Me: Could you bring it to me?

Mom: What???????

Me: Could you bring it to me, it's kinda important

Mom: I wish I could

Me: Well you can, just step outside the front door and give it to me....and by the way Merry Christmas

Mom: (very long pause, trying to figure out exactly what was going on, until she sees my pickup in her drive way and finally realizes that I am really at her house)
It sure was fun to pull off a great surprise like that and to see the happy looks not only my Mom's face, but my niece's as well. I did enjoy my drive to California, especially in our pickup, where I could stop and take pictures whenever something caught my eye. It was also great to be able to pull into any Starbucks that called my name as well. I have no doubt that my Mom will enjoy by visit, and I will be looking forward to finally getting back onto the truck with Craig as soon as he is done training Charles and can get back down here to pick me up. If all goes well, he will be here to pick me up by my birthday. I couldn't think of a better present to receive than that!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I know it's the season, and Santa's little elves are busy, but I think Craig and Charles are giving them a run for their money. They have been running non stop now for the past two weeks, and no more so than the past 36 hours.

Monday, after leaving Puyallup for the delivery in Coeur d'Alene, ID they received a message saying as soon as they made the delivery at 11pm to head back to the yard and pick up a loaded trailer for the World Market store in Spokane. Getting back to the yard around 2am, they dropped their empty, and found the loaded trailer and hooked up. Then it was off to make the 5am delivery on Division Street. No sooner had they put in their empty call and they received yet another dispatch.

After dropping their empty dry van trailer, they hooked up to a reefer. After doing a quick load of laundry, they made their way to Moxie City to pick up apples. Their appointment was at 1pm, and by 3pm they were loaded, scaled, and headed south. This load of apples delivers in Salinas, CA at Fresh Express on Thursday morning. With both of them doing driving duties today, they finally called it a night in La Pine, OR.

They have a full day of driving on Wednesday, where they plan to make it to the company yard in French Camp, CA to set them up for their delivery on Thursday. No doubt they will get a load out of Salinas and start the cycle back up again. Doesn't look like any rest for these busy little elves any time soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009


There has been a lot of "decking the halls" at my friend's house in Walla Walla, WA over the past couple of days. Four Christmas trees done, with two more to go, Department 56 Christmas villages on display, wreaths hung, and decorations to catch your eye no matter where you might look. Yes, we have been busy, and when you don't have the opportunity to decorate your own house, what greater pleasure than to be able to decorate someone else's. It's kinda like enjoying the party, without having to stay and clean up afterwards. Since I have been visiting, we have baked, and cooked, and cleaned, and shopped, and well.....if I do say so myself, I haven't been this busy in such a long time, I think I just might be feeling my age. One thing is for sure, it has been so much fun, and I have so enjoyed being able to spend this time with my best friend Cori. I couldn't have asked for a better place to call home for a couple of weeks. But all good things must come to an end. Come Thursday, it will be time to pack up and take my vagabond bones back home for a few weeks, until Craig comes home again and we close up the house for the winter. Speaking of Craig, on Saturday they drove from Lebec, CA to Medford, OR which set them up with a relatively easy drive on Sunday into Pacific, WA to stage for their delivery this morning. Charles took the opportunity to make use of his personal vehicle which was parked in the company yard, and spent the evening at home and got to sleep in his own bed, albeit for just a short time. He was back at the truck this morning at 4am in order to make their delivery appointment at 5am in Puyallup at the Fred Meyer distribution center. It came as no surprise, when they were told to drop the trailer there and await a load heading out again later today. With so many of the drivers wanting to be home for the holiday weekend, I'm sure it was difficult to find drivers for all the loads that needed to be delivered. Craig's assignment was to deliver in Coeur d'Alene, ID tonight at 11pm. When completed, they will head to the company yard in Spokane and take advantage of the laundry facilities in the morning while they wait for their next dispatch. If all goes as planned, and we all know how easily those plans can go awry, Craig and I should be back together again in the truck in three weeks. We're both looking forward to getting back into our normal routine again, but until then, I still have a couple of days to get all my Christmas decorating out of my system. Do I hear a Fa La La La La?

Friday, November 27, 2009


Raise your hand if your belly feels as full as mine has over the past 48 hours. They really should enact a law that this whole Thanksgiving celebration last about a week. That's how long I'm sure it's gonna take me to even think about trying to fit into my pants again. If only they could make the left overs not taste so darn good. That is one of the benefits of being out on the road, and only stopping long enough to eat at one of the truck left overs to haunt you in the middle of the night to come back out and eat. Craig and Charles made it to their delivery this morning and got quite a nice collection of detention pay as it took about 5 hours to unload the frozen french fries and to figure out if indeed they needed to pay the extortion fee for the lumpers to unload the trailer or not. After several phone calls it was determined that in fact this time they would not have to pay. Put one in the win column for the good guys. While waiting, they did receive their next assignment, to head to San Diego and the little hole in the wall warehouse, tucked into the residential neighborhood, to pick up a load of bananas. As I type this now, Craig is yet again collecting 5 hours of detention pay as it was rather busy since the Port of San Diego was not operating due to the holiday weekend. They were putting the last pallet of bananas on as I was talking to Craig, and then he was taking off and driving until he feels like stopping. My guess is that he will be stopping in Lebec, CA. This load of bananas is scheduled to be delivered at 5am Monday morning in Puyallup, WA. Will make for a nice easy run for them. Word on the street is that Charles is doing quite nicely perfecting his backing skills, and it looks like he is on target to get released from training in just under three weeks. Looks like that is just about how much time I will need to fit back into my clothes and get back out on the truck with Craig. All I got to say about that's about time!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


On this day of Thanksgiving, I am blessed to be able to spend it with the best of friends, and if you can't be with family, who better to spend it with. This is the first Thanksgiving that Craig and I haven't spent together since we were married in 2001. I'm not sure if Craig's trainee Charles will be able to fill my shoes in my absence, but the thought of Craig at least not being alone today is some comfort.

By the time today is over, they will have earned themselves a nice Thanksgiving dinner, even if it will be at a truck stop away from home. But let's face it, if it wasn't for quite a few professions that must work on holidays, life as we know it wouldn't exist. So I give my thanks today for all of those who work those 24/7, 365 day a year jobs, where a holiday really is just another day, and who work to make America still the greatest Country in the world to live in.

Speaking of working, Wednesday Craig had the honors of driving from Spokane, WA to Quincy, WA to pick up the load of frozen french fries. Arriving a bit early for their appointment, they were loaded and ready to roll by 10:30am, after much discussion and debate on how best to load the trailer, which when scaled was at 79,990 pounds, just 10 pounds shy of the 80,000 maximum. Craig continued the driving duties, crossing over the Columbia River into Oregon, and finally changing drivers at a rest area 70 miles later. Charles then powered through the rest of Oregon, and made it into California and to the Flying J Truck Stop in Corning, CA by 2am. I'd say they earned their sleep after a full day of loading, fueling, and driving almost 800 miles, all within 21 hours.......a full day indeed.

My hope is that around the time that I will be sitting down to enjoy my own Thanksgiving feast in Walla Walla, WA, Craig will have found his own hot meal to enjoy, albeit no doubt at the Petro Truck Stop in Wheeler Ridge, CA, before heading into LA to stage for their delivery Friday morning. No matter where he will be, my glass will be raised in a toast to him and to all those who can not be with the ones they love on this day. To friends, family, and food......the trinity of any good holiday celebration. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Wow...... I'm not sure I can remember everything that has gone on over the past few days and that is just on my end of things, not to mention what Craig and Charles have been up to. But since most people tune into this blog for the trucking side of it, I'll start with Craig first.

Monday morning it took about 2 hours to get loaded at Johanna Beverage Co. in Spokane, WA. From there they drove to Marysville, WA to meet up with a heavy haul driver who was coming back from Canada. They swapped trailers, the heavy haul taking the loaded one right back into Canada again, and Craig and Charles had his empty trailer. It is now about 4pm, and they are dispatched to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA to drop the empty and hook up to a loaded trailer with a 10pm ready time. Upon arriving in Puyallup at 8pm, they find the trailer loaded and ready to go well ahead of schedule.

With the Thanksgiving holiday, it seems there is a major rush to get food items out to the stores, and there were quite a few of our other TWT drivers also there to pick up loads as well. Craig's assignment was for two drops, one in Wenatchee and the other in Spokane. That meant that he would be doing some major night driving, while Charles got the pleasure of getting some sleep after doing all the driving during the day.

By 9am this morning, they were unloaded and headed back to the company yard. It wasn't until while talking to Craig this afternoon that he received his next assignment. They are headed to Quincy, WA to pick up frozen french fries and heading down to the LA area to Walnut, to make the delivery on Friday morning. Looks like plenty of driving in their future to make the appointment time, and it will at least keep them busy and not sitting over the holiday.

As for me, I am constantly reminded how busy a household is with two children, and just how much work goes into keeping it running. I am more than happy to lend a hand as often as I can, but also looking forward to getting back on the truck with Craig and getting back into our nice little routine. What a blessing it is for me to get to have the opportunity to experience it all through the friends and family I get to stay with through out the year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It never fails, when you think you have the perfect plan, and then it crumbles around you. This was the case with this last home time. Craig and I thought it through and knew if he could get home on Sunday night/Monday morning he would be back on the board for a run by Wednesday. But with them not getting him back until Wednesday, he did go back on the board until Saturday morning, and when he called Friday afternoon to let them know, we knew it wasn't good news. With the holiday this week, all the drivers that can, were staying out over the weekend. I know, call us weird, but we work all the holidays by choice. Anyway, it looked like slim pickens for getting a load out Saturday. He did get an assignment, of a heavy haul trailer loaded with beer, for a delivery in Idaho and Montana, but when he went to scale out, he was 3,000 pounds overs on his drive axle with no way to adjust it, so just as quickly it was taken away. Charles did find his way back to the yard Yesterday afternoon, after getting a ride in Seattle from another trainer. Then later in the day, Craig was told that his next assignment would be Monday morning, at 5am at Johanna Beverage in Spokane, (again with a heavy haul trailer), and take it to the company drop yard in Pacific, WA. From there we don't know what he will get to get them through the holiday week and back on track running hard again. As for me, I made it into Walla Walla, WA Friday night and am already helping to plan the Thanksgiving festivities at my friend Cori's house. I heard from Craig this morning and there is already 3 inches of snow on the ground in Spokane. Should be a lot of fun later today when he gets Charles out in the yard and has him practice his backing skills. The pictures posted are from when we left our home on Friday and made our trek into Spokane.


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