Monday, August 31, 2009


It is HOT outside, and being on the black asphalt of a truck stop parking lot, doesn't make it any better. I've just spent more than a week with near or at 100 degrees every day, and it hasn't gotten any better out on the road. Although....the APU is set at a cool 55 degrees and we can keep the inside of the truck just as we like it.....COLD. Which makes me very happy, especially in light of what Texas has recently done.

I'm all about saving the environment, going green, saving a tree, and so forth. But the save the planet people in Texas, which seriously, I didn't think Texas thought of anything but football and beef, have decided to outlaw the idling of any semi truck from April to October. I've been to Texas in the summer, and it ain't pretty. I say we gather all the people behind this and make them sleep in a truck, in the middle of the day, with the temperature sitting at 100, and see how long they can last.

So anyhotcrossbuns, I was reunited with Craig last night, and his load of frozen french fries. After a very restful night's sleep, and fortified with a fresh cup of coffee this morning, we headed out, but with a pit stop planned for Selma for a visit with Craig's parents. It has been awhile since we have had a trip where we had extra time and this one fit just the bill.

We had a great visit, a fantastic lunch, and a stop at Wal Mart to refill a prescription, and we were on our way, but not without a couple of plates of Craig's favorite cookies. Didn't I tell you he is one of the most spoiled men out there??? We also were fortified with enough magazines to keep us entertained for quite awhile.

We are presently sitting at the Petro in Wheeler Ridge, staging for our 11am delivery tomorrow in Long Beach, CA. We have the heat shields activated and all the windows blacked out. I'm hoping when we wake in the morning that Summer will be just that much closer to leaving the building. Oh, and don't forget to say your rabbit, rabbit, rabbit first thing in the morning. It certainly couldn't hurt!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Yesterday afternoon, I took my Mom and Niece to go see the movie, "Julie and Julia". For those of you who have not seen this movie, I would highly recommend it for it's entertaining factor, and it was educational to learn of Julia Child's past, but for me, it was so much more.I found it very inspiring. Not only to fuel my recent yearning for cooking, which has been further kindled by my BFF Cori in Walla Walla, (need I remind you of all the goodies we produced there on my last visit), but it was also inspiring to follow your dreams. I've always been a proponent of doing what fills and lifts your spirit, and both of the women in this movie, certainly embraced that philosophy.

Armed with a boost of energy, the three of us took off towards home after the movie, inspired to create, and create we did! First off, we all had quite a chuckle when my Mom started cooking the mancotti in boiling water. (Those of you, who have seen the movie, must certainly remember one of it's funnier lines). But then we started on some little gems called "Lemon Blossoms". I must give credit to Ms. Paula Deen for these little bite size delights, and they are so wrong on so many levels. The first being that I could quite literally eat at least half of these in one sitting!Now you must realize, just how inspired we must have been, to heat up the kitchen and start cooking, as it was 105 degrees yesterday in Modesto, and for the first hour that we were home, none of us realized that the AC was not working, as the temperature climbed to near 90 degrees inside the house. Finding the breaker box and flipping the switch did the trick on the AC, as we went about glazing the little bite size cakes. I probably don't have to tell you that there were some that either didn't make it to the glaze bath or were quickly disposed of when they were dripping wet.Needless to say, I would highly recommend that you try these out for yourself, and get the recipe here. Don't blame me if you become a total lemon blossom addict, I have warned you. Thankfully, I am going back out on the truck today, that is if I can heft my lemon blossom laden body up into the cab. But right now, you'll have to excuse me, it's time for me to saunter into the kitchen, to snatch just one more bite size delight, to calm my new found addiction.
bon appétit

Friday, August 28, 2009


After getting up at 1am and making the drive into Auburn, WA Thursday morning, Craig was out of hours on his 70 hour clock. Not much left for him to do but limp back to the Company drop yard in Pacific, WA and make himself comfortable. Before the day was over, he was at least given his next assignment. This country must be on a real potato faze lately, because it seems that is all we are delivering. The dispatch was to be in Kennewick, WA at Columbia Cold Storage to pick up frozen french fries this morning at 9am.

While Craig was on his way there, I was busy having my hair cut in preparation of his projected arrival in French Camp to pick me up on Sunday afternoon. It's nice to have the short hair while on the truck, but along with it comes frequent cuts. I'll have to arrange another quick stop of in Modesto before we take home time in October for yet another cut and color.

As I type this, Craig is waiting patiently for a phone call to let him know what dock he is to go to. This particular load is scheduled to be delivered in Long Beach, CA at San Pedro Forklift on Tuesday morning. The lax time frame on this delivery will allow Craig to accumulate a few more driving hours. All he had to work with today was 7.5 hours, and with the drive from Pacific to Kennewick, coupled with the load time and scaling, he will be left with just an hour by the time he is done. That will set him up for a relaxing afternoon/evening in Pasco, WA before hitting the road first thing in the morning. Something tells me it will be another Adam 12 watching marathon for him today.

His plan is to make Weed, CA on Saturday, and then the Company yard in French Camp on Sunday, where once again, I will rejoin him on the truck. I do enjoy my time visiting, and I know it is never long enough for either my Mom or my Nieces, but even after almost 9 years of marriage, and being together 24/7 in the truck for almost 4 years, I still get butterflies of excitement in my stomach, when I get reunited with Craig........and I think that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Craig was loaded down with juice and was just a few hundred pounds under 80,000 lbs as he made his way over the Grapevine on his way north to Auburn, WA. He had called me to let me know things went smoothly at the Shipper, and after doing the calculations, he said it was going to be a very tight run, hours wise, and that it would require some middle of the night start times the next couple of days. He had decided to come into the Company yard in French Camp for his 10 hour break, and that is where I put my plan into action.I figured two can play at this ransom game with Craig. We all know how motivated he is for food, and although Iwas reasonablly certain he would pick me back up on his next run south, I thought I would just sweeten the deal a bit. When he let me know approximately what time he would be arriving, I planned my departure to stop first at the bakery down the street from my Mom's house and purchased a half dozen fresh baked weenie roll ups and a few brownie cupcakes. But the real Coup d'état was going by his favorite Chinese Restaurant and getting his favorite dinner combination to go.At the yard, I waited as I saw him pull in, fuel up, and then back into a space. After parking next to the truck and getting a few hugs and kisses, I gathered up my goodies and made my attack on his senses. First, I had a couple of new t-shirts that I had purchased for him, which of course I knew wouldn't even raise a glimmer of any excitement from him when he took them from my hands. Then I showed him the weenie roll ups and the gleam in his eye got just a bit brighter. The brownie cupcakes made him smile, but the look on his face when I surprised him with the Chinese food??? PRICELESSYou can see from the photo that he all but licked his container clean of the food, and I was left with his thanks and the comment that I was the "best wife ever". Yes, you may be thinking that he is just about the luckiest and most spoiled truck driver around, when it comes to getting all kinds of goodies from his Mother, my Mother, and myself. I may be biased, but he is totally worth it, and I plan on spoiling him for many years to come.

Monday, August 24, 2009


First off, I had proof that a ransom was paid for my release to my Mother while at the Company yard in French Camp, CA early Sunday morning. That is until I realized that the memory chip was still in my computer and not in the camera. Something tells me there has to be a conspiracy there somewhere. All I know, is that by the time I was about 30 feet from the truck, Craig was already consuming a brownie with a huge smile on his face.

He did manage to pull himself away from his ransom goodies long enough to drive into the Company yard in Bloomington, CA to stage for his morning delivery in San Bernardino. That delivery went well, and after dropping off the pallets he was told to hook up to another trailer in the yard in Bloomington, and deliver the contents near Compton.

Inside the trailer were twenty pallets of freshly dug up Idaho potatoes, all snug in their bags. Their destination was to a produce outfit that according to Craig, was one messed up place to deliver to. At this point in our conversation, I knew it was a good thing I wasn't in the truck. The dock situation was so tight, Craig said he only had about 2 inches to spare on each side of his doors before hitting something. But that would be the least of his worries there. Seems when he checked in, they only wanted half of his potatoes, and he would need to pay a lumper, but that they didn't take a ComCheck. Thankfully, he had the cash on hand to pay the $60, but was quickly dialing into dispatch to see what they wanted done with the rest of the potatoes. After making sure that Craig understood not to move from the dock, they went about making phone calls to see what to do about the remaining potatoes.

A short time later, Craig was told to head to the produce district in downtown LA. Putting his navigation trust into our GPS, who we named "Dot", he was able to roll right to the location of the drop. What surprised Craig, was that the Receiver was a brand new, sparkling clean building, with five open docks, and state of the art flat screen TV's and surveillance cameras. Who would have imagined?

With the potatoes finally unloaded, Craig was given his next assignment to pick up juice in Vernon, CA tomorrow morning at 9am. With that information, Craig headed off to our super secret squirrel parking place in Vernon for the night. The load of juice is destined for Auburn, WA on Thursday. With any luck, I'll get in a quick visit with him when he drives through French Camp tomorrow evening. I have my doubts there are any brownies left from that ransom pay off.

Saturday, August 22, 2009




These words really say it all, after Craig and I finally took the time to stop at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, on Highway 97, just oustide of Weed, CA. We have passed it so many times, always commenting that we would like to stop and check it out. I'm so happy that we did. What an unexpected surprise tucked away at the southwestern base of my favorite mountain, Mt. Shasta, in the Klammath National Forest. This is a place for quiet reflection and a great tribute to those who serve in our armed forces. While walking around, I couldn't help but feel my heart swell. It swelled with sorrow for what has been suffered, it swelled with pride for those who bravely serve, and it especially swelled with appreciation for all the men and women, past and present, who put their lives on the line, so that I can live in the greatest Country in the World.

One of the first scuptures you see is the "Peaceful Warrior"...."There must be those who, loving peace, will fight against aggression to perserve that peace". Another scupture was the "Greatest Generation", which I think says it all as a tribute to those who fought in what is considered the worst of worldwild conflicts.
The last scupture I'll show you is the one that touched me most, "Those Left Behind". "Who can repay those who have lost loved ones in combat? What on earth can compensate for the loss of life?"There are many more sculptures to look at, enjoy, and reflect on at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden. Stop by sometime when you are passing through, you won't regret it.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Won't you be my neighbor???? This is what our neighborhood looked like last night. Just one of the many reasons we love trucking so much. The opportunity to take in the natural beauty all around us, getting plenty of fresh air, and always having some place new to call home.After a few hours at Columbia Cold Storage in Kennewick, we were scaled and headed towards Woodburn, OR. We were hoping we would find a place to stay along the route, and the rest area near Memaloose State Park had a great spot just waiting for us. Heck, we even were able to snag an analog station on the TV and watch "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" Why is it when you are watching from home, you always seem to know all the answers?Up this morning and on the road by 6am, we had a quick fuel stop in Troutdale, OR before arriving at the WinCo Distribution Center about an hour early. Didn't seem to bother them any, as we were immediately given a dock. About two hours later, and after the price gorging lumpers took their $190 dollars for unloading the french fries, we were headed right back along Interstate 84 and the Columbia River Gorge.Presently we are sitting at Americold in Hermiston, OR awaiting a dock to get yet another load of frozen french fries loaded onto our trailer. We'll spend the night here at the Shipper's lot and take off fairly early in the morning with our sights set on making Corning, CA by tomorrow evening. Then Craig will drop me off in French Camp, for a visit with my Mom, after of course, taking his ransom of macaroni salad and brownies, and make the trip down to San Bernandino by himself. I'll be sure to have plenty of goodies waiting for him when he returns to pick me up in a week!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


All day yesterday we sat and watched as there was a lot of the meeting of the minds:A lot of coffee drinking:And a lot of playing games on the computer:What there hasn't been is a lot of, is movement of any of the trucks that are parked in the yard.

But today is a new day and with it comes some good news. At around 10am we were finally dispatched to pick up frozen french fries in Kennewick, OR at Columbia Cold Storage and deliver them to the WinCo Distribution Center in Woodburn, OR tomorrow morning.

On top of that, we were also sent a pre plan dispatch to dead head to Hermiston, OR Friday after our unload, to pick up yet more frozen french fries, that are destined for San Bernardino, CA Monday morning. Today has turned out to be a good day after all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


They seem to be taking the lazy trucker thing just a bit too far, because we are ready to hit the road again. After getting into the yard Monday night, and deciding that we just didn't feel like running errands, we waited until Tuesday morning for our chores. First on the agenda, showers, then laundry, and then a quick trip into Wal Mart. By the time we were finished, the computer guy was at work and quickly went to task about seeing what was wrong with our QualComm. First he changed out the satellite antenna, and when that didn't work, he swapped out our ancient out dated "black box" for a new one, and that seemed to do the trick. We were now back on the radar screen and fully operational, and done well before our 11am delivery appointment.Our delivery at the Inland Empire Cold Storage facility, was like a throw back to old school deliveries. You can see from the photos that the street wasn't even paved, just gravel with the railroad tracks still running along side the docks. I could certainly imagine how it must have been back in the days delivering to this place. After being unloaded we headed back to the yard, and that is where we still are this morning. Seems quite a few drivers have been routed through the Spokane yard, mainly to get their trucks turned down to the new 62MPH maximum. With that comes the meeting of the minds at the outdoor picnic table. It's been fun watching as they gather, then scatter like cockroaches at any given moment, and then gather once again. If it's one thing I have noticed over the years, truckers love to talk and B.S., and there has been plenty of time to do that. Word on the street this morning is that we should be hearing about a load this afternoon. We are both more than ready to hit the road again. Being lazy only works for us a short while before the lure of the road is calling our names.

Monday, August 17, 2009


As I mentioned yesterday, we did manage to pull ourselves out of bed this morning to enjoy a nice hot breakfast. It was quite filling, and it's now 4pm and we still aren't hungry if that tells you anything. We managed to lie around and just be lazy until around 11am, when we finally pulled over to the truck stop to get a light weight scale ticket for the Shipper. Then it was off to get pallets. This was a new place for us, but so very convenient, as it was just down the street from Columbia Cold Storage. We had to wait our turn, there were a couple of other trucks ahead of us, but within 10 minutes we had our 24 pallets and were headed to check in for our load of frozen french fries. It was definitely a busy Monday, as there were trucks parked everywhere, either checking in, checking out, or getting loaded. Craig got his dock assignment and we had to to wait until it was empty. When I looked at the dock, I noticed that once again, we had managed to find one of my Cousin's trucks, "Van Laar Trucking". I haven't ever been successful in actually talking to my cousin, it has always been one of his drivers in the truck, so I didn't even bother asking this time. I guess I should have, because the driver who got into the truck was a dead ringer for my Mom's side of the family. Oh well, maybe next time.As busy as they were, we were loaded in quick secession and on our way back to the truck stop to scale. Craig had made a guess on where the axles needed to be, and he was right on his estimation, as we scaled out legal and started our trek to the Company yard in Spokane, WA only 130 miles away. It is still undecided if we will drop this load in the morning to deal solely with the QualComm computer problem, or if we will keep the load and deliver tomorrow at 11:15am. In either case, we are hoping to have the computer fixed first thing in the morning. We will take advantage of having our pick up at the yard and make a Wal Mart run to replenish our cupboards and then take time out for showers and laundry. It's days like this you just really can't call it work.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Well it could actually........that is if they would make a Starbucks with a drive thru for semi trucks. But then we wouldn't have had the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy the absolutely beautiful day we have had today. It was fun watching all the RV'ers and motorcycles scurrying about, making use of the great weather, which has neither been too hot, nor too cold. Our drop at the Wal Mart Distribution Center went according to plan in Grandview, WA this morning. Made sure to arrive just 15 minutes ahead of schedule and then sat back and started collecting our detention pay. Our QualComm computer is dead, so when Craig called into the office to let the weekend dispatcher know we were empty, his exact words were..." I know this is a short run that I'm going to be giving you, but we need to get that damn computer fixed"! Think some people don't like getting extra phone calls????

Our next assignment, after of course our deter at the Starbucks, is to get a load of frozen french fries from Columbia Cold Storage in Kennewick, WA and transport them to another cold storage facility in Spokane. That will set us up to get the truck into the shop to see if maybe "this" time, they will actually fix it. Something tells me they just might do it this time, or suffer the wrath of the dispatchers, who would rather deal with us via the computer, than tie up their time on the phone.We don't load until 1pm tomorrow, so as I type this we are headed to Pasco, WA to the truck stops just outside of Kennewick. We will enjoy excellent TV reception, (will give me a well deserved break from playing bingo), and we have decided since we have so much time in the morning, we will treat ourselves to a nice healthy breakfast at the local restaurant nearby. I think I read somewhere that bacon, biscuits, and gravy do absolutely no harm to arteries.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I have to say the last couple of days have been quite relaxing as far as trucking goes. After we were loaded down with 44,000 pounds of Purex Laundry Detergent in Ontario, CA, we decided not to try and fight commute traffic in LA and headed the 13 miles back to the yard for the night. Keeping that commute traffic in mind though, we did get up and on the road by 4:30am Friday morning to get as far away from LA as we could before everyone woke up.We had a stop in Lebec at the Flying J for fuel, and then powered our way north until we got to Corning, CA. Along the way we noticed the lush green rice fields near Arbuckle, CA. The landscape is covered with these green fields, and I am waiting for the day I get to see them actually harvest the rice from the fields. This morning we once again wanted to get an early start, but Craig had other ideas when the alarm went off at 4am. He promptly turned it off and went back to sleep for another hour. We then hit the showers, grabbed a little breakfast out of the truck and was on the road by a little after 6am. The only thing that caught my eye today was the golden hues of the fields along Highway 97 in Oregon. We had thoughts of driving all the way into Grandview, WA, but then thought "why"? We don't deliver until 9:30am and made the decision to stay in Biggs, OR right on the Columbia River where the cool breezes off the water are making it very comfortable inside the truck. We even saw one of the river boats out of Portland going down the river from the front seat of the truck. With just 85 miles to go in the morning for our delivery, we'll be in no hurry to get up early. But alas, there is no TV reception here, so that will leave Craig to continue watching his Adam 12 marathon on his computer, and I guess I'll be forced yet again to play bingo or some other computer game. You'll hear no complaints from me, Craig has promised to buy me ice cream later tonight! What a guy!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Suffice it to say, over the past three years of being on this adventure in trucking, that I have had to travel outside of my comfort zone. These areas include, but are not limited to, places I conduct my personal hygiene, parts of cities that would have never been on my places to see, and then there are the taco trucks that I have eaten off of.

It was our first year of trucking that we happened upon one near our yard in Bloomington, CA. We were looking for a quick snack at the time, and when Craig saw the taco truck pull up, he rushed into action and soon returned to our truck with some tasty nuggets of meat and spices tucked into a soft tortilla. From that moment on, I was willing to go where I had never gone search of reliving that delectable moment.

We have had the pleasure of sampling some of the Taco Truck's other staples while at the yard. So yesterday, when we found ourselves with some time on our hands around lunch time, waiting until our appointment time for our next load., we decided to treat ourselves when the taco truck showed up.

How sad for us and our stomachs, when the time came for us to leave, and the taco truck had not shown up. With growling stomachs we headed off to the Shipper with our dreams shattered of having a delicious morsel of hand made goodness to satisfy our appetites. We continued to think about it, and Craig was even hoping that it would be there for dinner, but I scoffed at his wishes, saying that I had only seen it at the yard around breakfast and lunch time.

But wouldn't you know it, as Craig patiently sat in the front sit of the truck, longingly looking out the window for the taco truck, I was in the back of the truck on the computer, smugly thinking to myself, that he was wasting his time. And then the taco truck showed up . We felt as if we had won the lottery, and I was silently thanking myself for not ridiculing Craig for his unfailing faith in the taco truck showing up.. That darn burrito was so much better tasting than my words would have been, hot sauce or not.......

Thursday, August 13, 2009


**Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker

Guess where we were from 11:30pm Tuesday night to 8:30pm Wednesday night??? Still looking at the entry gate to the previously talked about Receiver. Does this look familiar?

I was beginning to feel, no strike that, I did feel like I had been taken hostage, and believe me now, when I tell you this, unlike my compadres in Stockholm, I felt absolutely no loyalty to my captors. I know a lot of it had to do with lack of sleep, and I must confess my compulsive disorder that made me play bingo for 14 hours straight on the computer, certainly didn't help the situation. If felt as though we would never leave and when we finally did, I was too tired to even care.

But we did manage to get an 8 hour break in before we had to make our second delivery on this ill fated load. As I have mentioned before, I am a bit of a control freak, and when things are not going as I would like them to go, let's just say my intestines like to join in on the fun. So this morning, heading to our second drop and a location we have not been before, it causes me a bit of anxiety, so think to yourself just how smart Craig was to wait until we safely arrived at the Receiver, before telling me the reefer had showed an error message about 15 minutes earlier and was not working.

A frozen load, a warm California morning, reefer not working, and no signs of anyone in any big hurry to unload us. Cue the intestines to start doing the somersaults and you have an idea of how this load continued to be a pain in my, well........, I think you get the idea. Craig made the mandatory call into the Service Department, and reported the problem, and let them know we were at the Receiver, but that the reefer wasn't working. They were happy to just have us take it to the yard when finished, but Craig, ever the resourceful sort, took matters into his own hands.

First Craig checked all the controls on the panel, and then did as one highly paid computer tech told me when I asked him about computer problems......."Unplug the thing, plug it back it and reboot it. It'll work every time". And wouldn't you know it, the reefer started right up!

I'm happy to report that we are finally done with that load and are the proud recipients of a new assignment. We are picking up Dial Soap at a distribution center in Ontario, CA and will have a nice drive up to Grandview, WA with it for a Sunday morning delivery. Let's hope we have clear sailing for this one, my insides could use a break.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Or should I say nights? Yesterday, we tried, as we so often have, to force ourselves to get some sleep in anticipation of a midnight delivery. Try as we might, I doubt either one of us got more than an hour or two at best. At 10pm we trudged into the driver's lounge to take showers, and then fueled the truck and reefer. At 11:45pm we were parked in front of the Receiver and that is where it all started to go so wrong. Flash back quite a few months ago, and we were at this same Receiver, in the very early morning hours, sitting in exactly the same spot we are right now. And when I say right now????? I'm talking it's 7:30am and we haven't moved, and the reefer is still happily humming away, but back to our previous experience here.

We had been given a tight schedule, and dispatch had been informed that the delivery time would not be able to be met, but we were told to just go into the Receiver and that they would unload us when they could. Famous last words. This Receiver, come to find out, only receives from 7pm to 3am, and with us pulling up in front of their lot at 4am, we knew any unloading was not going to happen. We ended up dropping that load in the yard for another driver to deliver at a later time.

Flash forward now to us sitting in our truck, knowing that we are here during "normal" unloading times, and get the notification from the security guard that they will not accept our load. What the #&!%.......... Craig kindly inquires as to what is the problem, since we had an appointment time scheduled, and he was told, "we do not accept frozen loads after 9pm". You would think someone would have told our customer service that when the appointment was made, right???

Anyway, (deep sigh inserted here), long story short, we called our people, who took all the information down, informed us to stay where we were, that customer service would work on it in the morning, and to call our dispatcher at 6am. Check, check, and check. All done and still waiting to hear something back. Oh, and need I mention that we had a second delivery we were suppose to make at 6:30am?????

All I got to say is thank goodness there is a cookie factory right next door to our Company yard in Bloomington, and that said cookie factory was visited yesterday by two people who shall remain nameless to protect their identity, but that while there, they purchased some cookies at their outlet store at the special price of 10 cents a piece. This is exhibit A........the aforementioned 6 inch big iced sugar cookie:
And this is what is left of it.......and it's only 7:45am. Sometimes cookies do make life just that much sweeter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


You know your life is great when you hit the trifecta, find your Holy Grail, and locate the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! That is exactly the way I feel most days, but especially today, when I am back on the truck, have a Starbucks iced latte in my hand, and have been able to take photographs to my heart's content. If I'm dreaming, don't pinch me, 'cause I don't want to wake up! Sunday our load at Columbia Cold Storage in Kennewick, WA went as it normally does. Check in, get assigned a dock, and then wait to get loaded. Craig was able to watch a few more Adam 12's on the computer, while I perused my favorite blogs. A few hours later we were loaded and headed back to Pasco to scale the load. Scaling out perfectly, we started our trek South. We made it as far as LaPine, OR before shutting down for the night. What a pleasant relief it was to experience cooler temperatures while there. Craig even had to don his sweatshirt in the morning when he did is pre trip inspection. Sure can't wait to turn the corner and run full steam ahead into Fall weather! Yesterday we made a day of making our way through the rest of Oregon and into California where the temperature read 102 degrees. We rolled into the Company yard in French Camp CA, grabbed a quick dinner and then hit the sack for an early wake up call this morning. Being able to grab that first cup of coffee in the driver's lounge at 3:30am, makes the day just that much better. With a stop in Buttonwillow, CA for the Starbucks break, along with calling into the office to let them know Craig's hours and that we were on time for our delivery, (the QualComm computer is still not working), we headed out towards the Grapevine and the slow crawl up the hill.

We will get into the Company yard in Bloomington, CA around noon, which will give us time for a mandatory 10 hour break before our first delivery at midnight tonight in San Bernadino, CA. We then have a final delivery at 6:30am tomorrow in Commerce, CA to finish up this load. No telling what we'll get load wise when we go empty in the morning. I'm not the least bit worried about it, after all, I'm enjoying my changing views, inside our air conditioned truck, sipping on a latte. Cheers!

Monday, August 10, 2009


A few weeks ago, before Craig had home time, there was a fleet message sent about an important conference call, that they wanted all drivers to call in for if possible. As luck would have it, Craig was in a spot where one, our sporadic working QualComm actually received the message, and two, that he was sitting idle at the time of the conference call. With the call being at the end of the work day, on a Friday, at the end of the Month and the end of the fiscal year, one could only be led to think it would be bad news.

When Craig was telling me about this phone call later, he had told me all the things he thought would be said and implemented. None of them sounded too good to me, and with the fact that all the office personnel had taken a 7% cut earlier in the year, so that the drivers would not be effected by the bad economy, I was braced for the worse.

As the conference call started, the Company drivers, such as Craig, were the only ones calling in. They would be addressing the owner operators and team drivers separately. As expected, the economy was blamed for the changes that were happening, and to be honest with you, we have been extremely fortunate, in that we really haven’t felt the crunch like so many others. Craig works for a family owned business, no doubt they have felt the effect as much as anyone else, and if we had to tighten our belts to weather through this storm, so be it, hit us with your best shot, and so they fired away.

First, they would cut the detention pay by 7%. Okay, I can live with that. After all, I don’t know of all that many companies that even pay detention from your appointment time, to the time you get loaded or unloaded. Then they said that the trucks would be governed (a computer on the truck with sets how fast it can go) from 65 mph to 62 mph. Okay, let’s analyze this. We drive 99% of the time in California, Oregon and Washington. Two of those states are 55mph and the other is 60mph. Now granted , that will make it a bit more difficult on the hills, but again, I think we can live with that.

Craig, patiently listening on the phone, was prepared for the other shoe to drop, and was surprised that there were no more cut backs presented. Really???? That was all?? WHEW ……talk about dodging a bullet. It could have been so much worse. So you might be asking yourself, okay we heard the bad news, what is the good news? Craig is still employed ………enough said.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


We had expected to be on the road Saturday, but when we called Friday afternoon to let them know we were back on the board, they didn't have anything for us, and told us to call back on Saturday at 9am. We didn't expect that.

So on Saturday morning, before we even had a chance to call in, Craig received a phone call letting him know of his assignment, only it wasn't until Sunday with a pick up in Kennewick, WA at 11am. Knowing that we now had an extra day off, we settled back into our chairs, and then the power went out in the neighborhood. We didn't expect that either.

After waiting an hour to see if the power would come back on, it didn't, we went about packing up our stuff and loading the truck for our eventual return to the road. With no power, that meant no water pressure, so we knew we would be taking showers at the yard when we got there. It seems that just the day before, the brand spanking new driver's lounge was open for use, with three state of the art shower rooms, and a new laundry facility. We really didn't expect that.

After cleaning up and organizing the truck, we went to the local Wal Mart to buy some groceries for the next few weeks. While I went about trying to find a place for everything we bought, Craig went over the check list of the things he had put in a request to get fixed on the truck. Everything was completed, except the QualComm computer, which still doesn't work. We didn't want to expect that, but what can you do?

This morning we got up, grabbed a fresh cup of coffee out of that new driver's lounge, enjoyed our breakfast in the truck, and then did the pre trip inspection of the truck and trailer. All looked well, and so Craig pulled up to the fuel island to fill up. While I walked around the trailer to empty the garbage can, I noticed a rather large bald spot on the right rear tire which had been hidden on Craig's initial inspection. Time for a tire change at the trailer shop, and we didn't expect that delay.

We are now finally back out on the road, albeit with a handful of unexpected set backs and delays. I can only hope that that will be the last of them for a while to come, but to be honest with you, that's what makes life just that much more interesting. We like to roll with the punches.....that's just what we do, and would you expect anything else?

Friday, August 07, 2009


Okay, so allow me one more non trucking post before we head out to the truck tomorrow morning to hit the road again. As you know, last week I was in Walla Walla visiting my friend Cori. A mandatory must for both of us when we are there, is to visit an establishment named "Real Deals". If you know of this store, I have no doubt you have experienced the joys of it's offerings. If you aren't familiar with it, check online, and pray you have one close to you. You will never be the same again! At my last visit, I found a leather framed mirror and an adorable lamp which finally completes my mantle area of the living room. Would you believe the mirror was $75 and the lamp only $20 including the shade? See what I mean? This store is a designer's dream come true. I still need to have a few of my photographs framed and they will be added to the wall, but for now, I couldn't be happier with the mirror. From my chair, I can look into it and see the reflection of the river, pine trees, and mountains just outside our window. While I was busy inside, Craig, ever the MacGyver, went about constructing a device in which to knock down the yellow jacket nest that was growing under our front porch. From the safety of our living room, I watched as he was not only successful in knocking down the nest, but in not getting stung as well. After that little escapade, we celebrated with a cold beer.We have enjoyed our home time, but the road is calling our names. I'm looking forward to getting out and documenting our travels and taking photographs of what catches my eye. Life out on the road is never boring, and we are both excited to start our next trip.


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