Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I would have thought by now, that we had been sent to all the places in the Tri Cities area (Pasco,Kennewick,Richland) of Washington that ship frozen french fries. What a surprise, when we were sent to yet another new place to pick up those carb laden beauties in Richland, WA. This time, right on the dispatch, we knew they would be headed to a Trader Joe's near some of you when we deliver them in Vernon, CA on Wednesday morning. On of the things you get used to in trucking is the dispatch that gives you all the time in the world to get to the shipper, but then makes the delivery time so tight, you barely have time within the legal limits to make it. Such was the case with this dispatch. After making our drop in Spokane, where by the way, I saw my Cousin's truck again making a delivery, we headed to the yard in an attempt to get a service on the truck.

Enroute, we received our next dispatch and saw that we didn't pick up until Monday afternoon at 1pm. Well, certainly enough time for the service, but they were backed up and a service tech was out on a road call, so we had to scrap the service. This dispatch required pallets, so we next hit up the trailer guys for a wash out, and then the yard guy to load 24 pallets into our trailer. With only 140 miles to the shipper, we decided to head out and stage in Pasco, WA where we made ourselves comfortable for the rest of the day and evening. We did enjoy a nice leisurely hot breakfast Monday morning before heading over to the shipper a few hours early. We were given a dock immediately, but then had to wait while another truck, which had been loaded before us, and was over the 80,000 pound gross limit, got his load readjusted. An added bonus to this load was that the shipper had on site free scales to use. With just under 43,000 pounds of french fries, and a few adjustments on the fifth wheel, we were off and headed towards California.

Normally, we don't have much problems with other drivers, but for some reason we had at least two drivers pull out right in front of us making turns in which we just barely missed hitting them. But the worst was another truck driver, near the Pilot in Biggs Junction OR, who decided to stop in the middle of the road and start backing up to pararelle park without ever looking to see what was behind him. No amount of blowing the air horn, or attempting to back up would stop him, and by the grace of God, he missed taking out our front bumper my the thinnest of margins.Fueled with an adrenalin rush that would keep us awake for hours, we powered on knowing we needed to get as far as we could in order to make our delivery. We made it to the little casino in Chiloquin, OR, where we took our mandatory 10 hour break. We are now almost to the California border, with two fuel stops scheduled for the day before we will call it a night in Avenal, CA. That should set us up nicely for just under 200 miles for our delivery in Vernon on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have so many things to be thankful for, but high on my list is the fact that I am back in the passenger seat, next to the love of my life, (Craig of course, for those of you wondering, but my laptop does come in a close second). As has been the case throughout most of our life together, the timing couldn't have been better. I had finished helping my friends move by Friday mid morning, so I took off towards our home in Usk, WA to check on things. Arriving Friday early evening at home, and satisfied that everything was in order, except for a railing on our side deck that the snow pack took out on its nosedive descent to the ground, I spent the night and took off towards Spokane Saturday morning just as the rain was beginning to fall. Craig was bound for Spokane too on Saturday after a delivery in Auburn, WA earlier in the morning. By the time I had completed our grocery shopping for the next few weeks, the rain had turned to snow as I pulled into the Company yard. Craig was there waiting and we made quick work of loading my personal items and the food into the truck. Man, did it feel good to be home, but more importantly, be back with Craig. It had been a long 16 days off the truck, even though we did have a couple of days together in Modesto while he was getting medical attention. We awoke this morning to a cover of whiteness as the snow had continued to fall all during the night. We had a delivery at 7am at Charlie's Produce in Spokane. As I write this, it is now almost 8am, we are still sitting, along with four other trucks that arrived after us, waiting for the one lonely dock available to get our two pallets of produce unloaded. We are on the clock for detention pay, so we are just sitting back enjoying the snow fall from our warm truck and listening to "Click & Clack" on NPR. Oh happy day we are back together and on the road again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


As the British so loved to say......"Huzzah"! Both Craig and I couldn't be happier with the results from his latest doctor's appointment. Although not fully cleared of the nasty infection that decided to take up residency in his body, at least he was allowed to return to work, with a promise to have a recheck of his arm in 7 to 10 days. That shouldn't be a problem as we are always being routed through French Camp sometimes a couple of times a week.

He did have some additional antibiotics prescribed to him, but he can handle that as long as he could get back out on the truck. And back in his truck he is, and he couldn't be happier! He called me from the truck saying that he had caught up his log book, sent in his hours, and notified dispatch that he was ready to return to work, with a request to be sent through Spokane to pick me up.

Only an hour later, he had a dispatch to pick up a loaded trailer at the French Camp yard, loaded with produce, and to be delivered to Auburn, WA Saturday morning and an additional delivery to Spokane, on Sunday morning. That barely gives me enough time to get my butt in gear and get up to our house and get our mail, before heading back down to Spokane to get back into the truck with Craig. Oh happy day.......huzzah, huzzah, huzzah!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


If you can manage to suffer through a few more days, it looks as if Craig will be back on the road, and I can report again about all of our trucking adventures. His checkup at the doctor went so well on Monday, that the infection site did not need to be repacked. The fill in doctor said if all looks as good on Thursday as it did on Monday, he is clear to hit the open road! Can I hear an "amen"?

I am in Walla Walla and enjoying helping with some initial move in furniture and finishing touches on the house of my best friend Cori. By the end of the week I will be headed to our home in Usk, WA to await the details of when Craig will be routed through Spokane to pick me up. That is about all I have for you during this rough trucking down time, but happy to know, unlike our economy, it is about to make a turn for the better!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I wish I could make this as entertaining as Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, but I just don't have the comedy writers at my disposal this week..........he decided to take a week of vacation to take care of a medical problem.....go figure! Speaking of which, as suspected he is totally being spoiled by my Mother! Let's hope he can readjust to reality when it happens upon his return to work.Craig has another doctor's appointment today. We are hoping that the good news on the infection front keeps coming and that by the end of the week he will be allowed to return to work. I do know that he plans on going out to his truck at the company yard after his appointment. Think he just might be missing being on the road?

My get together in San Jose was just wonderful. So many memories revisited with the ones who created them. Lots of laughter and smiles, and just an overall feeling of joy reconnecting with so many old friends. I can only hope that at least someone retires once every 6 months so that we have another reason to meet.

My road trip to Washington is on it's final leg with my friend Cori. We made it to Klamath Falls, OR where we decided after the late night we had the night before, that we needed a little down time to recoup. Seems we just aren't as young as we think we are anymore! By late this afternoon we should arrive in Walla Walla and begin the process of the big move into the new house.

Wish I had real trucking news to tell you all about, but this is the best I can do with what I have to work with. Here's hoping for Craig being back on the road again and headed towards my location so that I can warm up that passenger seat which has been left empty for way too long!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Exhibit A.........this photo:
Notice on the left side of the photo, your regular trucker guy. But on the right side, the stereotypical red neck, white trash, trucker guy. This look was obtained by cutting the arm off his t-shirt to allow easy access to the effected area of his under arm, to be able to change the dressings. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to poke a little fun at Craig's expense. After all, you got to keep your sense of humor during stressful times.

His second visit to the doctor went very well. The doctor was impressed with how good it looked, and Craig was working the doctor to try and get a release after one week of treatment, not two. On a positive note, the doctor was optimistic that Craig just might be able to pull it off, if he continued as well as he has. The next appointment on Monday should tell us if he is indeed on the road to a speedy recovery.

I will be taking off in the morning, for the retirement dinner in San Jose, CA and then onto Washington state to stay with my best friend Cori in Walla Walla, WA for a few days. I will leave Craig in the capable hands of my Mother, for the next week, and all the spoiling that I am sure he will receive while I am gone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


In the good news, bad news department, I have lots to fill you in on, so let's get started. Good news, it was a badly infected boil, which is treatable. Bad news, Craig had to endure a lancing and having an instrument inserted into the mass to break it up. Good news, he felt some relief immediately after the procedure. I'm not sure if it was because the procedure was over, especially since he had no anesthesia or numbing shots, or that some of the infection was finally released from his body. Bad news, he has to go back again tomorrow for additional treatment. Now let's switch it up a bit. Bad news, the Doctor says it will take up to two weeks of every other day visits to the doctor's office to cure the infection. Good news, Craig has two weeks of vacation that he can use to cover him not driving. Bad news, while he is off on his sick leave/vacation, I will not be here with him, as I have other commitments in Washington with my best friend Cori. Good news, if it does in fact take him two full weeks, at least I can drive back down after my time in Walla Walla and spend the remainder of his time off with him.

Are there other ways we would have liked to have spent our vacation time this year? In the words of Sarah Palin...."Oh you betcha"! But man, am I happy that we at least had that time to fall back on while he mends and gets healthy. Craig's health is much more important to me than spending time on the beach. As I always say, it could have been worse, and we are thankful, that this is a storm we can weather through, and hopefully come out to see the rainbow at it's completion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Here's another dirty little secret of trucking......there is no such thing as a sick day. Nope, no calling in to work stating your illness, crawling back in bed, and collecting your sick leave. As I said before, if the wheels aren't turning, you aren't making any money. Scary really, especially having the past experience of both of us having great sick leave policies at our prior jobs, so when Craig developed a mass under his arm, which to us appears to be maybe a boil or infection of some sort, we knew we would have to take time off to have it checked out.

After picking up his meat load in Wallula, WA, Craig informed his dispatcher that when he arrived at the company yard in French Camp, CA, that he would need to take some time to get to a doctor to have it checked. I went online to check out clinics and doctors that would take a walk in and were located close by the yard. I was fortunate to find such a place no more than a few miles from the yard, and additionally, would allow me to make an appointment for Craig to see a doctor on Thursday morning at 10am.

Craig should be in the yard this evening, and with me still being in town with the pick up, I will be able to meet him at the yard first thing in the morning and take him to the clinic to be checked out tomorrow morning. With any luck, he will check out okay, leave with a prescription, and be back on the road again before the sun sets.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I have the corn beef cooking, working on the bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce, chilling the Guinness, and wishing you all a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Craig made his delivery for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Kennewick, and picked up his loaded trailer of boxed meat at the Tyson Plant in Wallula, WA. He is presently on course to arrive in the company yard in French Camp tomorrow night, where a kiss and some left overs from our dinner tonight will await my part Irish husband!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Last week it was a first to have to find a place to donate food left over from a delivery. So going to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, CA was a new experience. What a surprise today when Craig got a dispatch to go to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Spokane, and pick up food, not drop any off! His assignment is to pick up some boxed meat and take it to Columbia Cold Storage in Kennewick, WA. It just goes to show, you never know what you will get assigned when driving truck! He was sent an additional dispatch on the heels of the food bank run. After dropping that load, he is to head over to Tyson Meats in Wallula, WA and get loaded with boxed meat to take to our friends at King Meat in Vernon, CA. The one thing nice about this run is that I will be able to meet up with Craig for a quick hello and give him a bounty of food care packages. Hopefully the food and treats will keep him from feeling hungry until we can meet up again in another week or so!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Julius Caesar didn't heed those words, and unfortunately, Craig will not be able to either. After dropping the bananas in Puyallup, WA this morning, he was told to drop his trailer there, and await a load going to Spokane. Normally, this would not be a problem, but since Spring is not officially here, and the dreaded Ides of March are, Snoqualmie Pass decided to join in on the festivities with.......SNOW! As much as I hate having to travel on snow covered roads in a big 18 wheeler, I hate it even more when I am not with Craig to help with the chaining, and having an extra set of eyes to watch the roads and the idiots driving around us. Probably much to Craig's relief, I am not with him, so he doesn't have to experience the anxiety vibes that radiate from my whole being during such times. As he waited for his load to be ready, I of course scanned the weather and DOT sites for traffic information. As is normal, as soon as snow starts falling on Snoqualmie pass, they immediately put the chain requirement ups. I checked out the traffic cams along his route and with each passing hour I fretted more. Then right before Craig calls me to tell me he was heading out, DOT closes the Interstate for avalanche control. Craig still heads out, as he is about 60 miles from where they have the roads closed, but not without promising me that he will call as soon as he reaches the other side of the pass.Finally, at 6:30pm, I get the phone call I was waiting for. He made it off the pass, albeit, with wet clothes from having to put on, and then take off chains. He was going to stop and grab himself something to eat in Ellensburg, WA before pushing on to make the delivery in Spokane tonight. What was suppose to be an 8pm delivery. will now most likely be a 10pm or 11pm delivery. Of course I will be waiting for that phone call tonight, no matter how late, that he has made the delivery and is safely at the company yard in Spokane, and only then will I be able to sleep myself!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Prior to the donation of the ice cream at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, CA, we had been given a dispatch to pick up bananas in San Diego. We were a bit disappointed, that we would have to go to the tiny hole in the wall, off site, loading dock in the residential area which we just love, (insert sarcasm here) to go to. Seems all the loads going out from the Port had already been given to others. Oh well, at least it was a good long run of over 1300 miles going to Puyallup, WA.

What surprised us most, was upon calling and confirming our bananas were ready for us, we pull up to the dock area and not see one other truck parked anywhere! Of all the times we have been here, we have never seen that, and what a joy it was having all that extra room to maneuver and back in. Although we don't collect as much detention pay here as we do at the Port, at least we were out after an hour and headed out of southern California well ahead of the commute traffic.

This time, we thought through our plan of attack, and took a route, although 20 miles longer, would no doubt save us well over an hour of frustration dealing with traffic. We wanted to get as far as we could so that Craig would have two relatively easy days in which to get to Washington. By sunset, we were at our favorite truck stop in Avenal, CA and calling it a night. Friday morning we took off again, with one detour to the Starbucks in Santa Nella, then to the company yard in French Camp where Craig and I parted ways, and he continued his drive into Weed, CA.

Today, Craig will drive another 450 miles to stage for his 5am delivery of the bananas to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA. I'll be busy with my Mom making up some home cooked meals for him to replenish the cooler with when he makes his way back south later in the week and we can meet up for a few minutes. That's the main thing about truck driving, gotta keep moving to make money!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I love my life....I've mentioned this several times in my blog, but it's worth repeating. I remember as a child, and then as a teen, while wandering to school in that sleepy early morning daze, one day imagining myself getting to do whatever and whenever I wanted to. Little did I know that dream would become a reality. I get the absolute pleasure of coming and going into and out of my friends and family life, while still living what I call a dream with my husband Craig, in the truck with our life on the road. I would have never imagined my life being this way, but now that it is, I can't imagine my life not being this way.

Today, I step off the truck again to spend some time with my Mother and Nieces in Modesto for a week. When the week is over, I have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people that I used to work with, while attending a retirement dinner for one of them in San Jose. I will be able to catch up on their lives and see their smiling faces and drink in the joy of friendship and memories of our times together. I know without a doubt, that the night will end way too quickly, and I will have to say goodbye, but I will guarantee to you, that my soul will be saturated with joy from their company when the evening is over.

The day after the retirement dinner, I get to drive our pick up back to Washington, but with the company of my best friend Cori, who lives in Walla Walla. She took a one way flight to San Jose, to attend the same retirement dinner, so that we could have a mini girl's road trip back to our new home State of Washington. Once in Walla Walla, I get the pleasure of helping her and her husband Mike, settle into their brand new home they had built on their property. How lucky am I to get to share the joy of making a house into a home with them???

I consider myself truly blessed to be able to live this type of lifestyle and love every minute of it. And when my time with my friends and family are done, what greater joy is there than reconnecting with Craig in the truck and taking off on yet another journey together down the roads of the west coast? I'll be sure to update you with both what Craig and I are up to over the next couple of weeks. It's sure to be a wonderful life!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Because my blog entry yesterday was getting way too long, I didn't quite tell you the whole story on our ice cream delivery. Our last stop not only had us worried that they wouldn't unload us because we were delayed getting there, but upon getting our paperwork, and finding nothing out of the ordinary marked on the bill of lading, Craig pulled out to close the doors and found ICE CREAM! Yes, you read that right, we had 15 cases of mint chocolate chip ice cream happily occupying our trailer. Craig tried finding someone in the office, but they wouldn't answer his knock, or answer the phone. Well now what? I was having dreams of a mint chocolate chip feast, but Craig was on the phone calling customer service before I could even think about grabbing me a pint.

Looking over the bill of lading, faintly in pencil we could see where UNFI got 15 cases more of the mint chocolate chip than they ordered, and by golly, I guess they just couldn't find a use for it, so they left it for us. Customer service, after talking to Craig, was calling Oregon Ice Cream Co. in Eugene, OR to see if they wanted to donate the product. While they conferred, we went about dropping off the pallets and headed to the company yard in Bloomington. Since the maid I had wished for wasn't there to do our laundry or fix our dinner, I went about my chores, while we waited to hear what would become of that ice cream that was just taunting me in the trailer. About an hour later we had our answer. We were given a number to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, CA, to which we called, and they would be more than happy to take it from us. Since we were out of driving hours for the day, we told them we would be dropping it off first thing in the morning. I'm always a little apprehensive going into new territory with the truck and trailer, never knowing what tiny little streets would await us, but I was pleasantly surprised, as we made our way to the food bank, that the streets were wide, and we saw no signs indicating trucks were not allowed on the streets. To say they were happy to receive the ice cream was an understatement. Both Craig and I think that maybe a pint or two were sampled shortly after we left just to make sure it was edible, after all, it was rice milk ice cream. And so in honor of Paul Harvey............ now you know the rest of the story!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


As is usually the case, when we need to get some sleep a tab bit earlier than normal, we toss and turn, and manage to get a handful of restless sleep. It wasn't too bad, we only had to get up by 2:30am Tuesday morning to make our 4am delivery in Rocklin. As most truck drivers know, the addresses and directions sometime are never quite the same place, which would seem to be the theme for today's deliveries.

Luckily, we found out beforehand, that the Rocklin delivery was at a different location, so we were able to pull right in, but then wait until 4am for someone to show up. Then we were told to pull out and go around the corner to their "chilled product" docks. Yes, I would say we definitely had a chilled product.....chilled rock solid that ice cream was. Since there was only about 700 pounds of the ice cream being taken off here, it didn't take long and we were on the road headed to our second stop in Fresno.

We believed we knew where we were going, and quite enjoyed the very large round a bout on our way to the address. Little did we know just how many times we would go around that thing. But first, we saw the dreaded yellow low clearance sign which indicated the height to be 13'7". Well, really! What worries are there when you have a whole inch to spare going under it? While holding our breath, we passed slowly underneath the over crossing and found the main entrance to Producer's Dairy. After finding someone to get us into the gate, we found an out of the way spot to park and Craig took off on foot to check in. He returned muttering a mantra of a new address we needed to go to, to actually make the delivery. Back out we went to the main road, under the dreaded low clearance over crossing, and then around the round a bout, not once, but three times before we figured out which of the many roads leading off of it we needed to take. We then ventured down a tiny little road which told us it was a dead end, only to not be able to find the address Craig had been muttering in an attempt to remember it. "Was it north or south"? "Are you sure of the address"? "Maybe we should call someone", these were the rapid fired questions that spewed from my lips, when I happened to look through some of the paperwork and found an address on the street we were on, albeit with a different street address. Then all of a sudden Craig remembers that he was told it was right before the railroad tracks, and that you turned into a driveway and make your way towards the rear of the building. It's times like this I wish he would use the pen and paper method other than the muttering mantra method! This would have been the stop/load for me to have sampled some of that ice cream. They had it off loaded within 15 minutes and never even counted the product. But I think even I would have had a hard time consuming a 3 gallon tub of ice cream in order to hide the evidence!

By now it is 11am and we start our drive into Wheeler Ridge, CA to stage for our early morning deliveries today. Again we try to sleep, but it's really no use. Neither one of us gets any good sleep and we are up at 12:30am and onto our first delivery in Chino. We arrive 30 minutes early, and two hours later we are on our way to our second delivery in Hawthorne 50 miles away. We actually make good time and arrive at a brand new Costco Business Center which is due to open in 9 more days.

90 minutes later we are finally onto our last and final drop in Moreno Valley, CA which is 75 miles away from Hawthorne. Luckily, the commute traffic had diminished from earlier in the morning and we arrived by 10:30am. What I haven't told you is that the appointment times for these deliveries were absolutely unmakeable after the first drop. They had us in Chino at 4am, then Hawthorne, 50 miles away at 5am, and then Moreno Valley 75 miles away from there at 8am. So when we pulled into our last stop, two and a half hours past our appointment, it was with bated breath wondering if they would or would not take us.

I really think Craig smiles real nice at the receiving clerks, because he was able to get them to take us, even though they didn't want to. After going by the local pallet place to drop off the pallets that were left in our trailer at one of our stops, we finally pulled into the company yard in Bloomington, CA a mere 12 hours after we started. We are both exhausted from lack of sleep and are looking forward to crawling in our beds and relaxing. Now if only I can get someone to do our laundry and fix us dinner!

Monday, March 09, 2009


Yep, that's all we did today......100 miles. Pretty rough day if I do say so myself. We are shut down and staged in Sacramento for our 4:15am delivery in Rocklin, CA tomorrow, and it's not even 11am yet! And that's after getting up this morning in Corning, taking showers, enjoying a nice hot breakfast, and driving the aforementioned 100 miles. We've had a pretty good run of lazy trucker days, but that will come to an end when we start the first of our 5 deliveries on this load. We arrived at the Oregon Ice Cream Company in Eugene, OR on Sunday morning. We did have a very slight detour, when we took the wrong road, but it was easily fixed at the next off ramp, and we pulled up to the business 30 minutes early. The place looked deserted, as Craig took off on foot to see if he could find any sign of humans. He returned without making any contact with anyone, but then we saw someone walk through the gate into the office. Craig, ever aware of how fragile early morning arriving workers can be, allowed the person to at least grab a cup of coffee and have a few minutes of peace and quite, before he made his approach to the office to inquire about our load. We were directed through a couple of turns through their complex to their one loading dock. After confirming the order in which the product should be loaded, we settled into the truck to enjoy our breakfast of fresh oranges and banana bread. After less than an hour, we were loaded and ready to head out, as we saw another TWT driver make his way towards the dock we were vacating. We had heard that there might be snow, but were happy to see going over the passes into California, that the snow was barely there, and the roads were clear. As is my routine now, and especially since the skies were so clear, I had to take a few pictures of my Mt. Shasta as we went by. The rest of the trip into Corning was uneventful as we enjoyed the beautiful weather and 60 degree temperatures. Which leads us back to where we are now. The sun is shinning, the temperature is rising, and before long we will need to run the A/C. I guess if it gets too hot, a quick product check in our minus 20 degree trailer just might do the trick to cool us off!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


We had a really nice drive from Corning, CA to Aurora, Or on Friday. Just before we got to Weed, CA, we received a QualComm message to go to the truck stop in Weed and see if we could scale a load for another driver. The remainder of the 20 miles we had left to go before getting to Weed, both Craig and I tried to figure out just what might be the problem. When we arrived and found the driver, we found out that he had taken a load from another driver and used that driver's scale ticket instead of scaling out the load with his truck. Upon hitting the scales in Madras, OR, he soon found out how costly that error was.When he got pulled into the scale house, he was told he was 1600 pounds over 80,000. He had the scale ticket from the other driver, but of course that was not with his truck. He did receive a ticket, a reasonable $80 one, unlike the one he would receive in California had he gone much further than Weed and hit the scales in Dunsmuir. Both Craig and I couldn't figure out how there was a 1700 pound difference from the previous truck to his truck, so we hooked up to his trailer and scaled with our truck. It was still 1400 pounds over, but we had a full tank of fuel and an APU and he only had half a tank and no APU. That still didn't answer the mystery, but we called in our findings, were thanked for our help, and we continued on our way. We guessed that they would have to have another truck that was going the same way maybe off load some product in order to get the load down to where they needed to be legally. We rarely go without scaling a load, even when another driver gives us a copy of his scale weights. We always like to play it safe and not have the worry of getting pulled into a weigh station. Our drop in Clackamas, OR went smoothly, as always, and with the pre plan we had received the night before, knew we would be going to Eugene, OR to the Oregon Ice Cream Co. Now you know the reason for the title "Cruel and Unusual Punishment". That just isn't fair to have over 24,000 pounds of ice cream and not get even a little tiny taste of my favorite dessert! We will have 5 different stops on this load, Rocklin, CA - Fresno, CA - Chino, CA - Hawthorne, CA & Moreno Valley, CA. The delivery times are extremely tight and we will be doing some night driving to make the early 4am delivery times for the first drops on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both Craig and I love a challenge of making things work, and I'll have to take on the challenge of having all that ice cream within my grasp and not being able to have any of it!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Along Highway 99, near Chowchilla, CA, we came upon a vision of color. I don't know who is responsible for such a vibrant show, but I liken it to Johnny Appleseed, as seeds of wild flowers and poppies had to have been sprinkled along an almost 3 mile patch of medians and off ramps. If only the ones responsible for such beauty would have sowed these seeds the entire length of California, maybe we would have not moved away.......Oh who am I trying to kid?......we would have moved anyway, but it truly was beautiful! Our super secret special parking area was just waiting for us by the time we pulled into Vernon, CA Tuesday night. In the pre dawn darkness the next morning, Craig made the walk down the street to check in. By 6am we were unloaded and had entered our empty call and by 6:05am we had our next dispatch. We were correct in thinking that we would be heading south to San Diego and picking up bananas. It seems since we have had our TWIC card, every time we are anywhere near southern California we will be sent to pick up bananas. We don't mind, as we actually enjoy going to the dock and watching the going ons. Wednesday it was the gigantic wind mill parts that were being loaded onto trucks for transportation. As we were waiting to turn into the port area, a pilot car was blocking our access to allow for one very long load, with part of the windmill base on it, to maneuver a corner and head towards the freeway. Those drivers must have nerves of steel to haul those thing. We came face to face with another oversize load, this one about a third the size of the previous one, waiting for his pilot car to lead him away from the dock. We were loaded and scaled and on our way out of San Diego by 1:30pm. I don't know what we were thinking......or more to the point, what we weren't thinking, when we decided to stay on Interstate 5 instead of veering off and trying to avoid the 5pm commute traffic. But before we knew it, we were stuck and crawling along at about 5 miles an hour. It took us an extra two hours to get out of LA and onto the Grapevine. We stayed in Lebec, CA at the Flying J, arose a bit early this morning to take showers and then detoured onto Highway 99 to swing by Selma, CA to visit with Craig's parents and enjoy a hot breakfast with them. After a couple of hours, and loaded down with cookies and banana bread (Thanks Mom), we were back on the road with a stop at the company yard in French Camp to drop off a trip packet and refill our water jugs.

Tonight finds us at our favorite Casino in Corning where we will enjoy their free soda and coffee without donating any cash, except to pay the washer and dryer machine to do a load of laundry. Then it will be time to sit back and relax the rest of the evening for our final leg of the journey into Aurora, OR tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


How many of you out there thought the same as I did and just knew we would continue the battle of the purchase order number this morning in Stockton. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves, then give me a show of hands. I'll patiently wait. Okay, let's count...1,2,3... a little higher there in the back......4,5,6.......... AHA you guys are smart!

After enjoying the rest of the afternoon watching the sun set, and taking a stroll around the neighborhood, we settled in for an exciting night of Jack Bauer and "24". We woke to the sounds of many trucks and their air brakes, and at the "ding dong time" of 6am, Craig made his walk of doom back to the guard shack armed with the purchase order number they assured us was the correct one. Of course, it wasn't. This called for action, and I knew just what to do. Grab the Starbucks card and walk down the street and get us some coffee before we tackled this problem. After all, a good cup of caffeine induced coffee always makes me feel much better in the morning. With coffee and a fresh pastry in hand we walked back to the truck to make a phone call.

Back on the phone again to customer service, Craig is now armed with yet another number, as he walks back to check to see if it might be the lucky one. Nope, not on their list. Then Craig gets the bright idea to have them check the list from yesterday and "Eureka", there it is. We are told to wait for a phone call to let us know when our dock would be ready.Moments later we receive the phone call and are finally backed into a dock and getting half of our ground beef unloaded. Thirty minutes later we are done and at last on our way out of Stockton and headed south to Vernon. We gave dispatch an update on our best estimate on when we could be there, (around 5pm tonight), and inquired what our updated appointment time might be.

We enjoyed the drive south, with gorgeous weather and sunny skies, and shortly after I had prepared lunch we got the beep on the computer. Our updated appointment time will be tomorrow morning at 5am. Works for us perfectly! We plan on camping out at our super special secret parking area in Vernon, and with a 5am delivery, we would have plenty of time to receive a new assignment when we go empty.We can't really complain about this load, as we really didn't lose all that much time with the purchase order number problem. Plus we got a bucket load of detention pay sitting there waiting to get unloaded, and we enjoyed a Starbucks. Now that's what I call turning lemons into lemonade!

Monday, March 02, 2009


The day started with such promise and then quickly took a turn that we didn't expect. But let me start at the beginning. On Sunday, we were enjoying our nice relaxing drive south, looking forward to our showers in Corning, when the beep of the QualComm interrupted our thoughts. "oh oh".... on a weekend that can mean only one thing........somebody needs a load re powered. The message was a quick "call me".

Upon calling into dispatch, we were told to go into the yard in French Camp and drop our trailer of frozen french fries destined for Long Beach on 3/3/09 at 10am and pick up another trailer loaded with boxed meat which had a drop in Stockton on 3/2/09 at 8am and then Vernon, CA on 3/3/09 at 10am. Hmmmmm, not much of a difference in the dispatches, but who are we to question.

We high tail it into French Camp and on the way I realize that our pickup is there. On top of that, we should arrive by 3pm and wouldn't it be nice to go to my Mom's house for showers and hopefully a nice home cooked meal? A quick phone call to Mom confirms that my assumption that she would be willing to cook for us was correct, and we now have a plan for a nice evening. We had also made plans to meet up with Craig's parents on Monday on our way down to the LA area, so everything was working out good.

Then comes Monday morning. We arrive at the receiver in Stockton, CA well ahead of schedule and check in. They tell us they will call us when our dock is available. Two hours pass and we now know that meeting Craig's parents will be out of the question time wise. With much regret we call and have to reschedule a visit with them. A call into customer service tells us there is some discrepancy with the purchase order numbers, but that they are working on it. Three hours, four hours, five hours pass and still no word. We can't really complain, since 8am we are getting paid to just sit and enjoy the cold, rainy weather, not to mention watching not one, but two big trucks get stuck in the mud along side the road way. They both made the day of the tow truck driver who responded to both calls for help. Craig made the journey up to the guard shack to check on any progress, but it seems no one was communicating with the other. Finally at 3pm, seven hours after our appointment, we get a message that our new appointment time will be 8am again on Tuesday morning and that they now have a purchase order number that everyone is satisfied with. Of course the appointment time for our drop in Vernon, CA will have to be changed as well, but as our dispatcher said, "We'll deal with that issue tomorrow after we see how things go in the morning". I'm not holding my breath. I think the odds of this thing still working out are about as good as me finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we were fortunate enough to enjoy late in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Blame it on having way too much time to scrounge around the corners of my brain for long lost bits of information, but this morning, upon waking and hearing the "good morning" from Craig, I uttered these words......"rabbit, rabbit, rabbit". It all goes back to many years ago, when Craig and I used to listen to the afternoon radio program "Don & Mike" on our daily commutes to work. It was a custom, that Don's wife Freida, would utter to him on the morning of the first day of each month, and it had to be the very first words you said. Try as he might, Don just couldn't remember to do it himself.

I had never heard of this little superstition before listening to that radio station, and Craig and I had often joked about it and remembered to say it long after the first words of the day had already been spoken. The superstition says that if these words are the first words said on the morning of the first day of each month, that you will have good luck the rest of the month. I can't imagine my life getting any better than what it is already, but hey, it's worth a try!

We had a very lazy morning yesterday. We had driven to the Flying J in Pasco, WA Friday afternoon, and found a great parking space. We actually stayed up until 10pm, a real rarity for us on the road, but was rudely awoken by the alarm at 5am, which we had forgotten to turn off. I couldn't go back to sleep, but Craig burrowed deep under his covers as I went about reorganizing my bed area and the food pantry. Craig finally peeked his head out around 8am and got up.

By 9am, we were headed to the scale to get a light load weight, as the Shipper we were headed to in Kennewick, WA loves to load you with every available pound of product they legally can. With one potato shy of 45,000 pounds, we headed back to the scale to make sure we were not over gross. With two adjustments on the trailer tandems, we were satisfied with the weights on the axles, and we headed south. Along Highway 14 on the Washington State side of the Columbia River, our eyes caught something up in the sky. Upon driving closer, we saw several people enjoying the sights high off the cliffs of the gorge, by what we think was para sailing, although they were not attached to a vehicle or boat. It certainly looked like fun, until I thought about where and how they would eventually land. In that case, let's just hope they had said their "rabbit, rabbit, rabbits".


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