Saturday, February 28, 2009
See about 3 days ago, a very itty bitty crack in the passenger side window, decided to make its self known and traveled from top to bottom. This made for some interesting maneuvering to try and take photos from the front of the truck. I had to resort to using my side window which always seems to have a nasty glare on it whenever I want to take a photograph through it.We pulled into the yard, unhooked from the trailer, and I loaded up with computers, our dirty laundry, and of course lunch, and headed to the driver's lounge to relax while the repair was getting done. We enjoyed a couple of hours of solitude and then retrieved the truck with the shiny new window. We advised dispatch that we were ready to "rock and roll" and we were given an assignment to hook up to a new trailer.Wouldn't you know it, upon inspection, we found pallets in the trailer and a flat tire. Thankfully, getting rid of the pallets was easy enough, we could drop them off in the yard and still collect a few bucks for a pallet drop. The tire, we had to take to the trailer shop, and in a short amount of time we had a new tire put on. They also decided to replace three others while they were at it.
So, "where are you going"?, I hear you all asking......... We are off to Kennewick, WA to Columbia Cold Storage to pick up frozen french fries and take them to Long Beach. I think that will set us up nicely for another banana load, but then you just never know.
On a total side note, thanks to Rosemary, we finally broke down and bought a bag of Hershey Cherry Cordial Kisses. They taste just like chocolate covered cherries! Do yourself a favor, don't even be tempted to buy a bag unless you want to give into an addiction that Craig and I will most likely be seeking professional help to kick. In the mean time, don't mind me while I sign off, I need my hands to grab a couple of more out of the quickly dwindling bag.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We're always so happy to reunite whether it be after a lengthy abscense or a relatively short one like we had last week. The weather couldn't have cooperated any better for our reunion as the rain and clouds that had hung around the day before where no where to be seen.
After Craig was loaded with the bananas in San Diego Monday afternoon, he made it as far as Frazier Park where he called it a night. Up Tuesday he arrived at the French Camp yard by noon and was happily greeted by me with a hug, kiss and a Starbucks double chocolate chip frappacino! What more could a man ask for? Except for the tin of cookies I had sent for from my blog friend Laura at A Dozen Eggs. I had them shipped to my Mom's house, so that when I returned to the truck, I could surprise Craig with them. These cookies are entirely hand made and the detail work on them is amazing. If you have an opportunity, you should check out her website and treat yourself or someone you love!After giving me time to put away my belongings and then the food I had purchased for the next few weeks, we were off headed north. It was a joy to appreciate the blossoms and wild flowers in bloom along the wayWe pulled into the Flying J in Corning, CA and enjoyed some baked spaghetti that my Mom had prepared for us and watched the President's speech on TV.What a difference a day makes. We awoke to cloudy skies and as we crossed into Oregon the rain began to fall. It continued that way for the majority of our journey today. We took advantage of the extra time we had on this trip and took several breaks along the way. Always makes for easier sandwich making when not being josseled about in the back of the truck!Tonight finds us at the familar TA truck stop in Aurora, OR with a mere 25 miles left to the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR in the morning. From there we haven't a clue where we might be sent, but you can bet I'm secretly wishing for another trip to Tillamook for some ice cream, winter weather or not!
Monday, February 23, 2009
After Craig made his delivery in Vernon, CA Sunday morning, he was given a dispatch to pick up bananas at the Port in San Diego. His appointment is for 9am this morning, so he decided to go to our favorite rest area along Interstate 5, just north of San Diego, right by the ocean. That is one stop I’m sorry I missed! After loading, he will make his way north and be on track to pick me up at the French Camp yard Tuesday afternoon when he stops for fuel. With having our pick up down in California, the transition back into the truck will be so much easier, plus we’ll have access to our vehicle every time we pass through town.
The bananas are scheduled to be delivered Thursday morning at 7am in Clackamas, OR. That will give us a nice, non rushed drive into Oregon . It should be an especially beautiful drive this time of year when Oregon seems to be just that much greener than it normally is. I’ll be sure to have my camera at the ready for anything that catches my eye. Looking at the weather forecast we will most likely be having a wet drive, but trust me, not even a little rain could put a damper on our reunion tomorrow, as we take off driving on what have become the freeways of our life, into our 9th year together.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Talk amongst yourselves and discuss, but while you do that, I'll be happy to explain the answer below.
At approx 4pm on Friday afternoon, unbenownst to either of us, we took off at roughly the same time. From looking at the mapping program, I knew that Craig had about 70 miles less to travel to get to Highway 97 off of Interstate 84 in Biggs, OR. Logic tells me that at some point, I will catch up to him, after all, a passenger vehicle is allowed to travel much faster than an 18 wheeler.
We start our journey with the intention of Craig calling at each major city he passes during the night. We both knew it would be quite late when we finally met up, but it was worth the torture of driving so late, because one, that would be the only way for Craig to make his delivery on time Sunday morning in Vernon, CA, and two, I wanted to get some sleep before making the last leg of the journey to Modesto.
Craig calls from Biggs, and I am about 46 miles behind him. We both had to stop for a bathroom break there, so that was a wash, time wise. He then calls me about 60 miles down the road to warn me of thick heavy fog on the roadway. The timing couldn't have been better, as I thankfully settled in behind a big rig to let him be my beacon in the fog. Sure beat me trying to drive by white lines on the side of the road. By the time we hit clear visibility, there was quite a parade behind us.
Craig calls again from Madras, OR and I am about 36 miles behind him. I know from our previous conversations, that he would be taking a break at 11:45PM to close out his log page for the day and start a new one. I did my best to make up for the distance between us, and ...... ahem...... I think I must have been doing too good of a job as an Oregon State Trooper decided he wanted to stop me and have a little visit with me near Klamath Falls, OR.
Honestly, even after seeing sign after sign of 55MPH along Highway 97, I must have gotten caught up in knowing I was this close to catching up with Craig, or maybe it was the great radio station I found, or just maybe I was a wee bit tired and not paying attention, but I can tell you, those bright blue and red lights caught my attention real well, not to mention waking me from any tiredness I felt at the moment.
I have to say, even having been in law enforcement for 30 years, this had to be the nicest, friendliest Officer I have ever come across on a traffic stop. He walks up and introduces himself, and very nicely told me how fast I was going. Even in my sleep deprived mind I could do the math and I just knew I would get a ticket. So I explained that I was on my way to meet my husband, handed him my license, offered him the registration which he surprisingly didn't want and waited for him to run my name through wants and warrants.
He came back smiling again, reminding me what the speed limit was, (like I will ever forget that now), and even warned me of another officer further up the road who would be more than happy to stop me should I forget. With a smile, he handed me back my license and I was free to go. WHEW......Oh, I should tell you that while I was waiting for the officer to return to the pick up, Craig calls on the cell phone, telling me that he will be at the rest area on the California side taking that break. I had to tell him that I was being detained by the Oregon State Police. Between you and me, I think that kinda woke him up a bit too!
So back to the original question.......Now granted, Craig had to stop, but it took a little over 8 hours, with that aforementioned stop, to catch up to Craig and then follow him to the casino in Corning, CA where we were both happy to crawl into our beds and call it a night, or a day at 3:00am and get some sleep. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have to do that kind of a math problem again, or drive that late again, with or without the excitement of the blue and red lights!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
We figured, with the possibility of Craig having a trainee a few times a year, we might as well get used to random separations, and I always love a reason to visit with my friend Cori. So after bidding a fond farewell to Craig Tuesday morning, I set off for Walla Walla. I have been spoiled and pampered the last couple of days while Craig has had to go back to work. Do I feel guilty?........Well, maybe just a little.
After the class on Tuesday, Craig waited until this morning to receive his dispatch to the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallula, WA. It will be a short run, just to Tacoma, WA and then most likely a run going south. The plan will be for me to head south too in a couple of days and spend a day or two with my Mom and then meet up with Craig at the French Camp yard. With me driving the pick up to California, this transition should be a piece of cake. Now let's hope I don't have to eat my words!
Monday, February 16, 2009
I actually found my inner domestic diva again and cooked up a couple of really nice dinners. I saved the best for Saturday night, marinated steak, sauteed mushrooms, and baked potatoes. We topped it off by sharing a small box of chocolates, some wine, and enjoying the ambiance of the fireplace. Yes, we had a very relaxing time, even with getting almost 5 inches of snow the last couple of days, and this morning I finally had to face the music and start cleaning up the house and doing the laundry that had piled up. With the house all put in order and the pick up packed, we started our trek back to the Company yard with our usual stop at the Wal Mart for food and a quick run through Jiffy Lube for an oil change in the pickup. Back at the yard, I went about for the second time today, putting our second home back in order by putting the clothes and food away. As much as we love being able to go home for a couple of days and relax, we also love being able to return to the truck and our life out on the road.<
Friday, February 13, 2009
So after our drop in Auburn, WA Thursday morning, we went to the drop yard in Pacific to await our next dispatch. We received it shortly after getting comfortable, and it was for a load of chicken out of Renton, WA headed to Spokane. The kicker was that it didn't pick up until 8pm Thursday night, and it delivered at 5am Friday morning.
You all know the rules.....when you need to go to sleep, you can't, and when you need to stay awake, you want to sleep. We tossed and turned for almost 2 hours before finally giving up. We did rest, but we didn't sleep. When our 10 hour mandatory break was up at 7pm, we headed out to pick up our load and make the drive into Spokane.
This was a drop and hook, and we were hoping we would be out of there by 8pm, which would allow us to stop somewhere on our way into Spokane for a 3 hour power nap, but it was not to be. We had to wait until 9:30pm before the paperwork was done and we were finally on our way, which meant we would have to settle for a 90 min nap. Believe me when I tell you, that was the fastest 90 minutes in history.
We pulled into the URM Store DC 15 minutes early and were directed to a nice open dock area. Always a good thing when tired and backing up is not high on your favorite "to do" list. A short time later, we were unloaded and headed into the yard to start our home time. With a quick stop at the local Wal Mart we made our way home to try and figure out a way to get into our house.
Craig tried taking the metal weatherstrip off the bottom of the door, but that still would not provide the clearance needed to open the door. We think the reason is the weight of the snow on the roof, which made the house settle a little lower than the deck. Thank goodness I had left the office window unlocked. We took the screen off and was able to get the window to slide open. Craig crawled through the window like a good burglar and viola, opened the french doors onto the front porch. Only draw back is hoisting ourselves over the railing to get onto the porch, but at least we found a way in and we are HOME.<
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
By the time we hit Corning for a fuel stop, we took an extra few moments to have lunch. While Craig was fixing a trailer light, I happened to look across the way from where we were parked and I noticed a tire swing. It was nestled within a grove of tress with a new growth of grass springing up from below it. All it lacked was a kid, or someone young at heart to give it a whirl. I had fleeting thoughts of trying it, being young at heart and all, but then remembered just how big my butt was, and those youthful thoughts went right out of my head. All along our route today you could see the blossoms starting to show their colors on the trees in the orchards and along side the Interstate. This has always been a sure sign, growing up in the Central Valley of California, that the bees would be doing their pollinating and that Spring was knocking on the door. Maybe not a good sign for allergy sufferers, but for those who have survived the doldrums of the cold winter months, they could certainly see hope with each blossoming tree. We made the long journey on Interstate 5 towards Medford, OR which was our stopping point for the day. Wouldn’t you know it, about 75 miles from that final stop, it started to snow as the temperature dipped into the low 30’s and the wind started to gust. And just like that, there went those thoughts of Spring being right around the corner!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
For those of you not in the business, at some of the places we deliver to
Earlier in the evening, while we were waiting for the bewitching hour of our appointment, we got beeped with a preplan for 9am Monday morning. If the preplan holds true and we are not redirected to another dispatch, we will be picking up over 41,000 pounds of dairy products in the City of Industry, CA and delivering to Fife and Auburn, WA on Thursday morning. But right now, all Craig and I can think about is driving one last time down Tippecanoe and getting back to the Company yard for some good old fashion shut eye!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Around 3pm he was given his next assignment to head to Prosser, WA to pick up frozen french fries. I can't believe all the different locations we have picked up these starchy little buggers over the past 9 months. This is a new shipper that we have not gone to before,, but I will surely miss not being with him and stopping at the Starbucks at Exit 82 right across from the rest area in Prosser, when he picks up those spuds.
For those of you wondering, yes, he is headed south, to San Bernadino, CA for a Sunday late evening delivery of said potatoes. That will facilitate a quick pick up of me in Modesto sometime on Saturday afternoon. I'll be sure to run by the local Wal Mart to pick up on some food to restock the truck, but as most of you know, I'll also have a nice little care package, courtesy of my Mom, to make life on the road that much more enjoyable.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
To catch you up, Craig successfully delivered to all 5 Fred Meyer stores on Tuesday and was done well ahead of schedule, and back in the company yard in Spokane by noon. He spent a frustrating afternoon trying to track down the guys who wash the trucks and trailers, but they proved to be too elusive and that endeavor failed.
It wasn’t until first thing in the morning when he was given the task to head into Wallula, WA, to the cold storage facility across from Tyson, to pick up frozen meat and regretfully head not south, but to Seattle for a Thursday morning delivery. This particular frozen meat is headed to Japan, and as Craig and I joked with each other, surmised that it would be sold as Kobe beef at four times the cost. Ha ha
After getting fuel and the trailer washed out, driving the 140 miles to Wallula, and then scaling, Craig was headed northwest towards Seattle by 2pm. With darkness settling in, and plenty of time for the 8:30am delivery, he first tried to find a parking spot for the night in Ellensburg, WA. Both truck stops there were packed so he was forced to push on. Knowing that the only other truck stop between him and his delivery was the one in North Bend, WA, and that one rarely has any available parking, especially late in the afternoon/evening, he kept a watchful eye out for a spot as he continued on his route.
A little more than 20 more miles down the road and he saw his oasis waiting for him, a State of Washington rest area with only 3 trucks already parked there. After trying to describe the layout of where he is to deliver the frozen meat, which is right on the water near where we have delivered before, he made himself some dinner and called it a night. I’ll be waiting for his phone call hopefully telling me he is heading south to come pick me up. Can you tell from this picture that I just might be ready and waiting at the curb ???????
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
When I did start writing this blog, it was more
or less a way to document what we were doing and where we were going, like an online scrapbook. It provided a way for our friends and family to track where we were across North America. We also wanted to share our experiences about the trucking life and lifestyle out on the road, and if along the way, we could help others who were getting started, all the better. But little did I know, just how far reaching this blog would become, and even more unexpected, the new friends I would make along the way.
Like MOM, in Maryland, who always has a positive comment, or ROSEMARY, in Idaho who lives near us and reminds me of what I am missing while I am away from home. There is JENNIE, in Philadelphia, who shares her trials and triumphs about her family, and a new friend LAURA, in Vermont who makes my mouth water with her spectacular cooking skills and the sweet cookies she produces at her cookie company.
How could I not mention JOHN, in Ohio, and MARK in New York, fellow truckers, who are always there to acknowledge what we were experiencing on the road is normal, and sometimes not so normal, and LYNETTE & TRAPPER in North Carolina, who are just starting out living the "trucker lifestyle" together, with Lynette, leaving her job just like me, to join the man she loves. I must also mention JIM, in Missouri who's blog has sent many new people to our blog, and then DOUG, in California, just graduating from trucking school and about to start his own amazing journey.
There are so many more of you that read this blog , who do so in private and never leave a message, (and that is quite okay), and of course my friends and family which would be too numerous to mention, but you know who you are. Please know how very much your interest in what we are doing means to us. We are well over 53,000 page hits strong, and God willing, we will be able to do this for a few more years before we hang up our truck driving hat and try our hand at something else. But until that time happens, stick around, drop us a note every once in awhile so we know you are out there, and fasten your seat belt, we are happy to have you along for the journey!