Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The last 24 hours has been a whirl of activity. We arrived for the delivery of the chilled juice in Milwaukie, OR ahead of schedule. Once in the dock, we felt the usual jostling and jerking of the product being off loaded. Craig gave them time to inventory the stock, and after almost 3 hours, went inside to get the paperwork. What he wasn't expecting, was to see 8 cases still in the trailer. Upon further inspection he saw that some of them were wet, and he was then informed that a case of apple juice had leaked onto 7 cases of orange juice. Oh Boy.... here we go again. Visions of the ice cream that were left in our trailer awhile back came rushing back. A quick call into claims, a few photographs to document the damage, and we were headed to the Oregon Food Bank to donate the juice. You can see from the photo, that on the cases of orange juice, the boxes were wet but not damaged, so the food bank was more than happy to take ownership of the juice. What happened next, took us on an adventure we have yet to experience in trucking. We get a cryptic message to call a number to get the details on our next load. Strange....we normally just get a dispatch and off we go, but feeling a bit James Bondish, Craig made the call and the fun began. First he was told to start heading towards the TA truck stop in Aurora, OR and that we would receive a phone call with further directions. Sure enough, a short time later the phone rings. Craig hands it off to me and I start writing down directions to our first stop. Two pages of directions, consisting of turning right at the tree stump, and then left once past the bridge, and then look for some green houses, and we were at a nursery out in the middle of nowhere. Unbeknownst to us, the nursery business is one of the largest industries in Oregon. At the first small nursery, we loaded on 400 small plants, and then tried to figure out how we would get turned around. But first, we had to call our connection to get the directions to our next pick up. Thankfully, this time, it was only one page of directions and right off of Interstate 5 in Brooks, OR. Here we had to wait while they retrieved about 15 pine trees from another location, and brought them to us. With 24 different types of trees on board, it was time to call the connection again to obtain instructions to our third pick up location. After starting our day driving at 5am, we finally pulled into our last pick up at 5pm, and watched as they loaded 275 assorted trees and plants into the trailer. With only one foot of room to spare in the trailer, we made the final call to our connection to confirm that we were fully loaded, and taking our mandatory 10 hour break on the premises of the nursery in Corvallis, OR. Our last instructions where to leave as soon as our 10 hour break was over, and drive 450 miles to Spokane, WA to make the delivery at Gibsons Nursery. Keeping the plants and trees at a cool, comfortable, 45 degrees, we are currently on our way, enjoying the scenic beauty of the drive along Interstate 84 and the Columbia River. Having started this morning at 3am, we should be able to deliver these plants by 1pm and have just enough time after unloading, to make our way back to the company yard for the night. This incognito assignment has turned out to be a lot of fun!