You can all breathe a sigh of relief and sleep soundly from here on out........both Craig and I now have our TWIC (transportation worker identification card) and can now go back to the Port of San Diego, present our cards, and pass through three different check points, to be able to transport terrorist free bananas to a store near you.
It proved to be more difficult to pick the card up than it was to apply for it back in October. We were notified around the first of December that the cards were ready to be picked up in Pasco, WA, but it has taken us this long to get a load out of the area on a week day where we had enough time to go into the TSA office to pick them up and activate them.
So Thursday night, with me happily back in the truck, from my fiasco attempt to go home, we received our assignment to go into Kennewick, WA Friday morning to pick up a load of frozen french fries. With plenty of time to deliver, we knew that after we loaded we could drop the trailer in our drop yard in Pasco, and bob tail over to the local TSA office to pick our cards up. Little did we know just how busy it would be there.
The set up is typical "government thinking", with only one work station/computer to work off of. We walked into a small waiting area with 7 drivers already waiting either to activate their card or to apply for one. It was humorous sitting there listening to them do the normal truck driver BS talk with each other. Several of them were there by force, as they just weren't going to apply for this $134 ID card, but I think they liked the idea of keeping their job, so they were there, but complaining about it.
Luckily, the one woman who could do the applications was on lunch, and the other woman there was only authorized to do activations. After three other drivers were called in, we got to go in and activate our cards and leave, and it only took a little over an hour. We can now enter a port and not have to have an escort. Don't you feel better buying those terrorist free, Homeland Security screened bananas now????
Feeling like we had accomplished something, we decided to just stay in Pasco, WA for the night. Leaving this morning around 5am we headed south where we encountered a winter wonderland on Highway 97 between Moro and Madras, OR. Before the sun rose, we could see that everything was covered in a very white sheet of frost or ice. I was hoping to be able to take some pictures once the sun came up, but by the time I had enough light, we were into warmer areas and the frost covered scenery was just a distant memory.
The rest of our drive today was very peaceful and relaxing. No major traffic problems and we pulled into the TA truck stop inn Redding, CA around 4pm. We plan on taking showers in the morning, fueling up the truck at the company yard in French Camp, CA and then getting the truck a well deserved wash in Lathrop, CA. Then we will meet up with Craig's Mom and Dad in Selma, CA tomorrow night for a visit with them and a meal out..........Trucking doesn't get much better than this!