Thursday, April 30, 2009


All it took was for a day to have Craig in the passenger seat, and a gentle reminder to take some photos and a whole new world opened up to him. I really had to bite my tongue, when he commented to me how hard it was to sit in the passenger seat, when he knew there was a lane change his trainee needed to make, and he didn't respond quickly enough..........well duh!!!! Welcome to my world!Upon arriving in San Diego, and calling the receiving house to see if they were ready with the load, they had to stage in National City, just a few miles away to wait for their Ecuador organic bananas to be ready. But by noon they had been called into a dock and loaded and moving north towards Pullaylup, WA.

All along the way north out of the LA basin area, Craig was sending me commentary on their route. You can see from the first picture, just how serious he is taking this passenger seat duties. I guess from watching me the last three years, he learned quite quickly just how comfy it is to put your feet up and enjoy the views.
Although they left rather late from San Diego, they didn't run into too much commute traffic, since Don was following his routing, instead of what Craig would have normally done, and cut north to hit Interstate 210 to totally avoid the heart of the City of Los Angeles. It may be a few miles longer, but it saves so much time wise and sanity wise.
Craig continued to send me photos, along with this shot and comment asking, "Why do they call it the Grapevine, when there are no grapes and only weeds"? Which made me comment back to him, "It's amazing what you notice when you're not driving, right"? With so much time on his hands to sit back and just enjoy the lack of scenery in this particular section of California, his mind was working overtime. I about snorted out some water I was drinking through my nose when I read this comment he sent me before shutting down for the night...........

I see so much in this seat. Haven't missed a turn yet. I think I may use the time to be a blog correspondent . First piece. What is new in 2009 trucker fashion. With pictures. A new meaning to the belly shirt.

Now you know why I love this guy so much....never a dull moment!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I knew I wouldn't like it, and I knew it would be hard. No, I'm not talking about being off the truck, although I do miss it and Craig. What I'm talking about is trying to obtain information about what is going on out on the road and receive some photography from Craig. So far, zero photos and limited "detailed" information. So with what little I have to work with, I will get you up to speed on what Craig and his trainee Don have been up to over the last couple of days.

After their backing lessons in Fraizer Park, they left early Monday morning towards L.A. to make their three deliveries. Craig did all of the driving and come to find out, at all three places, he had to do blind side backs, but it must have been a good backing day for him, because he had no problems at any of them. All delivery spots had lumpers, so he was able to go through that process with Don and show him the ropes. By the time they pulled into the Company yard in Bloomington, CA, Craig had but 15 minutes left on his driving hours.

Like good little soldiers, they did their laundry and used the shower facilities and then kicked back for a nice relaxing night. That relaxing night, turned into a relaxing day on Tuesday, as the yard was full of drivers waiting for load assignments. By last Tuesday afternoon the new dispatch arrived for bananas in San Diego to be picked up this morning.

As part of his training, Don was told by Craig, when the assignment was received, that he would have to do the trip planning on his own, using only the tools he has available to him when he has his own truck. Since he doesn't have a laptop or GPS system yet, he was left to use just his map atlas, and any directions he could get from either the Qualcomm or from calling the Shipper or Receiver.

Since he doesn't have a TWIC yet, they will have to go to that tiny little receiving house, tucked tightly into a residential area near the port in San Diego. I remember the first time Craig and I went there, and it wasn't pretty. May the banana and trucking Gods be with them this morning!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I had a great weekend in Walla Walla, WA while Craig and his trainee made their way south. The load was finally ready to be picked up Saturday morning, but not without a bit of confusion. When he called, there was some debate between several people as to whether the load was in fact ready. After a lot of "yes it is" and "no it isn't", it was ruled that it was and Craig and Don were hooked up and ready to scale.

I didn't get all the details, but there was some problems with scaling, and now that I know they are safely past all the weigh stations, how they solved it was by moving the trailer tandems just a bit further back than is legally allowed in California. But as they say, "no harm, no foul" least this run!

They made it into Pollard Flat,CA Saturday night, another first, as we have always commented about staying there, but have never had it work out time wise on any runs. Craig did all of the driving on Saturday and come Sunday morning, Don was in the driver's seat for most of the day. Another first was that the huge weigh station, just before going over the Grapevine in southern California was closed! Come to find out, there was a major accident on the pass and they needed the extra help so they closed the scales.

Craig, ever the task master, upon arriving at the Flying J in Lebec, CA had his trainee practice his backing skills in the parking lot of the truck stop. Craig had intentionally bought some small orange cones just for this purpose and they worked out well.

When he called me, Craig was putting up with some warm weather, while I was telling him that yet again the forecasters were predicting snow. But I'm happy to report that it is just raining this morning, as it is slightly above freezing here. Craig is busy in sunny LA making his three deliveries, including the dreaded Ralph's, where I have asked him to take some photos. Don't hold your breath though, I doubt he will remember!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


So all that talk the other day about what an opportunity it was for me to finally spend some time at our house in Usk, WA and what do I do? At the first sign of day break, after dropping Craig off at the yard to get back to work, I take off south and head to Walla Walla, WA to spend a couple of days at my friend Cori's house. I guess like Mark commented, getting the lifestyle of the road out my blood just might take a while, if ever!Usually when we return to the road after home time, I get in the truck and put things away. Craig made no bones about it, since I wasn't going to be on the truck, that he would put things away the way he wanted! Ahem, I guess he told me, so off down the road I went to tend to my wounded ego at the nearest Starbucks. Pretty hard for my controlling personality to be in charge when I am 50 miles away and my mind has been deterred by a nice latte!Since parting ways, I have been enjoying my time in Walla Walla, marveling at the vast array of flowers that have been in bloom. My friend probably planted over 200 bulbs last fall and has been rewarded with an abundance of flowers to fill not only the guest cottage, but the main house as well.
Craig on the other hand, with not a flower in sight, and probably thankful for that, has met and got acquainted with his trainee Don, who has some previously truck driving experience, but it has been over 12 years since he has driven. They spent most of the day talking about themselves while waiting to receive a load. Wouldn't you know it, right out of the shoot, he gets something we have never had before.......a pick up at two different places.The dispatch was to respond to Americold in Wallula and pick up some boxed meat there at 3pm, then at 6pm, go across the street at get loaded at Tyson. Normally, at Tyson it is a drop and hook, but he was told to drop the trailer there and come back in the morning. Hey, what a deal! He'll take all that detention pay and get a good night's sleep.Today should find them headed to the Los Angeles area, where they will have three different drops to make on Monday, including the dreaded Ralph's, where the parking and dock area are so tight it's a miracle anyone can get in and out without scraping something.As for me, I'm going to enjoy another day in Walla Walla, and the beautiful flowers, and wonderful sunshine, before heading back up to the homestead, where I'm sure I will find lots to keep me occupied until Craig comes home for a visit in 3 or 4 weeks!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


You know when you're reading a book, and you start the next chapter, and a turn of events happens you weren't quite expecting???? Well have we got some new and exciting news to share with you all. While sitting and relaxing Tuesday afternoon, Craig received a phone call asking if he would take a trainee, and he agreed. That means that I will remain at home while Craig takes to the road with another person occupying my passenger seat. You will soon learn another side of truck driving and experience the ins and out of what it is like to train a truck driver.

Of course, I will have to rely on Craig to relay all the down and dirty information to me in order to share it with you. I hope that there will be pictures to share along the way. This will not be a permanante change, but most likely a summer thing, and what better time for me to spend it at home. After all, we have had this house for just under a year, and have spent probably no more than a month here. Who knows, I may hit the streets and see if I can't find me a part time job to occupy my extra time with.

These will be exciting times for both of us and I can't wait to share them with you all!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


When you don't get home very often, you feel the need to do something around the house to spruce it up. Such was the case with us. We knew we needed to start doing some type of landscaping, but weren't sure which direction we wanted to go in. With a trip to Home Depot, and wandering the aisles of the garden section, we thought we would buy just enough of what we thought we wanted to do, to see if in fact it was to our liking. So with the truck loaded down with a few stepping stones, and some bark nuggets, we headed to the house and were anxious to see the results. First of course, I had to supervise the placement of the stepping stones. There was some debate between us, but in the end I think they were placed perfectly for stepping from the house deck to the storage shed. Then the spreading of the bark began. As I said before, we only bought the least amount of supplies so that if it wasn't what we liked, it would not be a huge waste of money. As more and more of the bark was spread, we knew we were on the right track to making our lot look ever so much better.
We stepped back and surveyed the results and were quite happy with them. Then we started calculating what we would need for stepping stones to the street behind the house, and then the bark and greenery we wanted to spread and plant to fill in the rest of the open spaces. This was just to the rear of the house and OH VEY! Let's just say that we will have to take baby steps on completing this project, but it does feel good to at least start the process.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The drop in Clackamas, OR at the Safeway DC went very well. We racked up almost 4 hours of detention pay, which delayed us long enough to arrive not too terribly early for our next assignment at Chevron USA in Portland. We have been here twice before, and knew the routine about backing into their lot so as not to have a blind side back into the dock. We were very excited to know that not only would they take us 4 hours early, but that they were ready to load our trailer as soon as we got into the dock!

In short order our trailer was loaded and we were headed back to Troutdale one more time to fuel up and scale the load. Having been loaded as early as we were, we knew we would have no problem getting into the company yard in Spokane for the night. What we didn't expect was that we were unable to receive any decent TV signal, as we were hoping to catch 24, but we'll just catch it on the laptop later this week.
With plenty of time for rest and relaxation, we kicked back and watched the one channel we could get, while playing on our laptops. With an 8am delivery, we could sleep in, but wouldn't you know it, we were both up by 5am. We took showers and then decided to load up our pick up with all the stuff we were taking home with us, in order to make our exit home that much quicker when the time came.We arrived a little early at the receiver, and were told to go ahead and back up to the dock for unloading. In under an hour, we were unloaded and headed back to the yard to drop the trailer and park the truck, but only after cleaning and vacuuming the inside, so that it would be nice and clean when we returned. Now we are finally headed home. It has been almost 10 weeks since we have both been at the house. We should have great weather to enjoy, a few little projects to do around the house, and a whole lot of sitting back and relaxing to do until we go back out on the truck on Friday morning!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I don't think many of us who started blogging realized the distance our words and pictures would travel, or for that matter, what impact they would make on people. No, I think most of us just saw blogging as a way to put our thoughts down or to chronical an adventure, much like I did over the past three years. Imagine then my surprise, when I received a comment on my blog telling me to check out Forever a Jersey Girl, because she had something for me.

Being the trusting soul that I am, I scooted over to her blog and found that I was the recipent of the Friendship Award. The Friendship Award is given to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.

The aware further states that our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to those bloggers who must choose at least 5 more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Jersey Girl must be a silent reader of my blog, like I am to so many other blogs that I too read, but never leave a comment. I feel honored to have received this award and would like to award it to 5 other bloggers:

Scribbles and Scripts of a Reverent Bohemian - I love reading this blog, as Jennie always seems to be having fun, even when she doesn't realize just how great her life is to others looking in from the outside.

Cookie Crumbs - A relatively new blog that I found and enjoy, not only for the beautiful, and very delicious cookies that Laura makes, but for the big heart she has for animals of all kinds.

Justakrusen - A blog from an ex truck driver named Mark, who had to give up driving, not by choice, but by an injury, and trying to find his way back into the work force, but always with a sense of humor.

4 Little Men and Girly Twins - This is a guilty pleasure of mine. A blog that I read and never comment on, but enjoy none the less, because when I think my life may be hectic, all I have to do is read this one!

Tale from the Road, by the Fenian Godfather - This trucking blog is always a good read, and Joe's sarcastic sense of humor is just my cup of tea! (and no Joe......I know your blog is not out seeking to find friends or be charming, just accept this for what it is)

There you have it, enjoy stopping by these blogs if you are so inclined, I think you just might enjoy yourself, I know I always do.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We made it to the Flying J in Ripon, CA and were able to meet up with my Mom and two of my Cousins for a late lunch. Sure was nice visiting with them for a while, and then it sure was nice to finally go to bed later that evening after being up for almost 24 hours straight!

Being fully rested and raring to go, we took off towards our next stop which was La Pine, OR. About an hour outside of Corning, CA the QualComm beeps. I immediately say "OH OH, someone needs a load repowered" , and reached down to read the message. (You never get beeped over the weekend unless there is a change in your load) Sure enough, we were to head to the Petro Truck Stop in Corning and swap loads with another driver who needed to get into Spokane for a doctor appointment.

But wait a minute......we were suppose to go to Spokane as well for home time. So Craig placed a phone call into the weekend dispatcher, they put their heads together, and figured out a way to take the new load we would receive and drop it in the Troutdale drop yard. Then we would take a loaded trailer full of boxed meat from that same drop yard and deliver it Monday morning in Clackamas. Then if all the stars and planets are aligned just right, we will head to Portland after our drop in Clackamas and pick up a load headed to Spokane for Tuesday morning. We will only be delayed one day getting into Spokane and head for home, and for our troubles they gave us $104 layover pay to boot!

So far, half of that plan has worked out great. We are presently sitting at the Flying J in Troutdale with a trailer full of boxed meat chilling at 28 degrees while we chill inside the truck. We did manage to take a walk over to the Outlet Stores down the street this morning for a nice little walk. I refrained from buying everything I wanted and only purchased two tops. We do have an early wake up call in the morning for our delivery at the Safeway DC at 5am. All and all, we can't complain.......unlike this poor driver whose day just got that much worse when this happened to his rig on Interstate 5 yesterday.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I know exactly what's up with him and how he feels! The past few days have all melded together and I am constantly looking at our little calendar in the truck to make sure exactly what day it is. I guess I should follow up with that last assignment we were on, because it seemed like that assignment would never end, and we would never get rid of it.

Just when I thought I would be crawling into bed for some good old fashion sleep, Craig walks back to the day shift guard and asks about the possibility of us getting unloaded. For the record, the possibility, let alone probability, was at ZERO %. He informed Craig that our appointment would have to be rescheduled, and oh by the way, they only receive between 3pm and 2am.

With that little tidbit of information, we send in a message to dispatch, who first tell us to head to the yard, then start asking about how much product we have left on the truck. After sending them the information they requested, dispatch informs us that the last drop will work around the product and to head towards Los Angeles. Oh Vey.......this day will will never end!

Thankfully, because of the delay in San Bernardino, as we headed towards Los Angeles, most of the commute traffic had dissipated and a little over an hour later, we were at what was suppose to be our last drop. Good news is that they unloaded us quickly and only charged us $10 in lumper fees. With just about an hour left on Craig's 14 hour driving clock, we headed back to the yard with two pallets of frozen french fries still occupying our trailer at a crisp, cool, minus 20 degrees.

It wasn't until around 4pm when we finally were told to drop the trailer and put the last bit of paperwork in the compartment in front of the trailer, as the new appointment time for those last few fries would be the next day at 7pm. Woo didn't have to tell us twice. We were more than happy to wash our hands of that load.

We did enjoy a very restful night's sleep and lounged around most of the day yesterday waiting to see what we would be assigned next. There were well over 10 other drivers sitting in the yard over the past two days that we saw coming and going, and when the beeps of the QualComm started coming across, I swung into action to see where we would be heading.

The good news was that we would be dead headed to Bakersfield, CA to pick up at the Dreyer's Ice Cream plant, the bad news was that we had to be there at 3:30am this morning. Yes, you guessed it, we would once again be hitting the road at 11pm at night and driving like the night owls we have become lately. Hello middle finger dude, I feel your pain.

Presently, we are about one hour out from our final destination for the day at the Flying J in Ripon, CA, and it's only 7am! We plan on getting our sleep clocks reset to normal on the rest of this trip into Spokane, WA, where we will make our delivery on Monday. Then after almost 10 weeks of being away from home, we plan on taking a couple of days and pay our little house a visit. With any luck, we'll fix that deck problem that the snow pack caused, and be able to enter the house through the front door. I'm getting too old to hurdle that front porch railing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Lest you all think we always have good karma while out on the road, sit back and let me tell you a tale. This trip had three strikes against it from the beginning. First, Craig didn't have a slew of driving hours available, but certainly enough, when we saw the initial dispatch, to get us where we needed to go. Secondly, we had to wait over two hours for the loaded trailer to show up at the drop yard, which of course, put us that much behind. And lastly, when given the dispatch, none of the drops had any appointment times yet, they were still to be determined.

Doing the math, we knew there would be night driving involved. I'll go on the record here as not being such a fan of driving at night. Sure, an argument can be made for there being less traffic, but it messes way too much with my body clock these days. The fact that the laws for truck drivers, and regulating their driving time to 11 hours, and having to stop when your not tired, and driving when you are tired, because of those laws, doesn't help either. Let's just say, sleep has been at a premium that last couple of days.So with that said, imagine if you will, Craig has crunched the numbers, and even with the limited driving hours he had left on his 70 hour clock, knew we could make the delivery dates listed on the dispatch, and even went as far as to advise dispatch to make the first drop in the late afternoon. Around 1pm on Monday we start receiving the appointment times.......Excellent! First drop is in Needles, CA at 10am on Tuesday. Not a problem, we can make that, and then comes San Bernardino, CA at 7pm that same day. What the what?!?! The original dispatch had that delivering on Wednesday along with Los Angeles, which now had an appointment of 7am.

We immediately send a message letting dispatch know we would not make the last two drops with the appointment times given, and we got back, "We will try and repower load". Okay, on we go with our plans to drive all night to get to Needles, and we make it there an hour early, and while unloading send in another reminder. "We will not be able to make 2nd/3rd appointment, out of hours until midnight tonight" We get back, "Will call them and figure something out".

By 2pm, we were tired and still hadn't heard anything. We ask again and are told when we know something we will send you a message. My Type A personality is going berserk. How long does it take to pick up a phone and call these businesses and change appointments? In the mean time, we sit and wait until almost close of business and send in one more question. "Do you want us to drive to company yard (which is very near our 2nd drop ) or sit here in Needles until new appointment times are made? We get back this rather ominous reply....."Present yourself at your 2nd drop when you can legally do so" Wow...... almost sounds like we are being sent to the principals office doesn't it?With that tidbit of information, we try and grab a few hours a sleep before hitting the road again at 11pm to drive into San Bernardino. We had positive thoughts, that when we arrived at 3am, we would be unloaded and still be able to make the last drop. But sadly, it is 8am and we are still sitting on the street looking at a closed gate, leading to the dock area, that we had hoped to have already occupied. Upon arriving, the night guard said to check back in at 9am. We once again let dispatch know the circumstances and and got the "Will try and repower the load" message again. I amused myself while watching the birds pick at the gummy worms that someone had thrown onto the ground. It didn't take long for them to figure out those worms weren't meant for eating!So there you have my sad little tale, but I wanted to be fair, and let those who are thinking about going into the business know that life out in the truck can be a bit frustrating at times. Things will go amiss, appointment times will be missed, equipment does fail, but our experience is that it doesn't happen very often, and when it does...........we just roll with the punches........'cause that's what we do!

PS- After reading this entry to Craig, he says I nit pick too much. He further says that trucking is adapt and overcome. We only know our side, and we don't always know what the other side of the story is. It always works out in the end..........and as he always tells me and my Type A personality......." JUST RELAX".........and with that, I think I'll go back to bed!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I couldn't let the day go by with out posting a great big happy birthday wish to Craig. I could go on and on about how much this guy means to me and the love I have for him. He has changed my life in so many positive ways and I hope to be able to share many more birthdays with him in the years to come. I'm so glad we took the time to do the pre celebration the other night, as we have been going non stop ever since. We even get to start driving tonight at midnight in order to make our first delivery appointment in Needles on Tuesday morning. How's that for a nice birthday present?

We had a bit of a surprise too this morning when we woke up to SNOW! It was only lightly snowing when we left the rest area, but boy did it pick up as we neared the summit. The snow was blowing right at us too, which made for visibility to be a bit limited. Sure was glad to get down off the mountain where it turned into rain and we had clear pavement to drive on.

What has been really nice is to finally getting to drive in a State that does not have a 55MPH limit for trucks. I had forgotten how fast the miles can fly by when you can go as fast as everyone else on the roads. Of course we do have governor on our truck that will not allow us to go faster than 65mph, but we will enjoy our time in Idaho and Nevada while it lasts!

Our plan is to use all available driving hours to make it into Wells, NV this afternoon. Then the trick will be to trick our minds into thinking it is evening and try to get some sleep before taking off again around midnight. We haven't had any caffeine today, so we are hoping that might help, but you can bet on massive dosages of caffeine when we wake up and hit the road!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes.............not one single weigh station in the State of Oregon was open yesterday or today. For those of you who frequent the Pacific Northwest as truck drivers, you know how rare that is. Oregon is famous for having every one of their weigh stations open. It is not uncommon for us to have to stop and drive through at least 3 or 4 of them every time we go through this State.

Surprisingly, we were both up well before the alarm went off at 2:30am this morning. Can't say we were bright eyed, but we managed to get to the Safeway DC in Clackamas a bit before our 4am appointment, and then wait until the employees arrived before Craig could even go inside and check in. Two hours and $185 later, they had unloaded and inventoried almost 3000 items of fresh produce. We were expecting to be there at least 4 hours.Immediately after going empty, we were directed to deadhead (drive empty) 233 miles to the Tyson Meat plant in Wallula, WA and drop our trailer there. Then we were to bob tail to the company drop yard in Pasco and wait for a loaded trailer of frozen french fries to be delivered there. It was a drizzly, overcast, foggy drive into Wallula, a perfect day for some great Northwest pictures, if I wasn't in a fast moving vehicle. The waterfalls coming off the rocks were awesome!After dropping the trailer we waited for our loaded trailer to arrive at the drop yard. By 2pm we were hooked up and heading to the truck stop to fuel and scale. We didn't have much more time left on Craig's 14 hour clock, but we wanted to get as far as we could because, as usual, we will be working on a tight time schedule to deliver to three different locations on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will be going to Needles, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles with these frozen french fries and it will consist of a lot of very early morning, if not night driving, to make those deliveries.Tonight we are staying at Deadman Pass Rest Area, after climbing Cabbage Hill in Oregon on Interstate 84, so named, because if you look up at the side of it, it looks like a head of cabbage. I'm just happy to pass over it in daylight, and with clear, dry pavement. But you got to love the views from up top, as you can look out over the valley below.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


We got the beep from the QualComm around 1pm with our new assignment. The information said the load would be ready at 8pm. We were feeling lucky, and headed over to Fresh Express to check things out. Upon arriving, we saw two other TWT truck waiting and two of our trailers in the loading docks. If we only knew how lucky we were, we would have bought a lottery ticket. Not only was our trailer done, but it was already pulled out of the dock and waiting for us no more than 20 feet away from where we had parked. After hooking up, doing an inspection, having the guard come and seal the trailer, fuel up back at the Pilot, we were ready to hit the road a full 5 hours ahead of schedule. This would allow us not to have to drive at night since this load delivers at 4am in Clackamas on Sunday morning. We made it to Corning by 9pm and called it a night, knowing we would have to hit the road as soon as our 10 hour mandatory break was over.I had calculated our miles and knew that we would be able to get to Brooks, OR where there was a Pilot Truck Stop we could stop at and take showers. On top of that, with Craig's birthday only two days away, I wanted to make sure we had an opportunity for him to have a nice meal out and enjoy a date night. Cleaned up and hungry, we made our way across the parking lot to a nice little restaurant that we have enjoyed before. I made sure to insist that he have a nice dessert after dinner, which I didn't have to twist his arm too much for him to agree to my suggestion.After a nice quiet dinner and with full tummies, we waddled back to our truck, knowing that 2:30am would come much too quickly for us to have to get up. Our plan is to be on the road by 3am to drive the last 38 miles to the Safeway Distribution Center in Clackamas, OR. I won't even venture to guess where we will be sent next!

Friday, April 10, 2009


It's amazing what eleven hours of solid sleep will do for you. I couldn't believe it when I woke up this morning and saw what time it was, and that we had slept so long and uninterrupted. With all that rest, we were energized to do some spring cleaning in the truck. We cleaned and organized from top to bottom and front to rear. Even bought a new CB antenna and a log book binder for Craig, and by 10am we were done!So here we sit at the Pilot truck stop in Salinas waiting to receive our next dispatch. If history tells us anything, it will be well into this afternoon before we hear the cheerful beep of the QualComm. I really can't complain, the last two loads with 8 drops, kept us hopping pretty good the last week. Having the opportunity to sit and just be is fine with me.The pictures were taken yesterday on our way through the Monterey/Salinas valley area. The green of the landscape was just breathtaking and beautiful. How could you not be happy just being able to witness it. Reminds me of this saying I saw :

"Isn't it odd that we constantly seek to find happiness when all along it is a choice?"

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Both Craig and I had a very restful, solid, almost 8 hours of sleep, before we heard the beep of the QualComm with our next dispatch. We were going to Toppenish, WA to AB Foods to pick up about 40,000 pounds of meat. We needed to get there by 1pm and prior to arriving we had to get the trailer washed out. How convenient, a mile from the company drop yard in Pasco was such a place and we zoomed over there to do our part for the local economy.With a cleaned out trailer, we headed towards Toppenish, but with one very quick pit stop at the rest area in Prosser, where conveniently we made use of the Starbucks and grabbed us a nice frothy drink and a chocolate chip cookie. AHHHHH that made the drive into Toppenish just that much better!

Upon checking in, we were told to drop our trailer and that we were number 8 on the list to be loaded. We bob tailed down the street to a very large parking lot and settled in with our laptops while waiting to hear them call us on the CB that our trailer was ready. A little over 3 hours later and $40 dollars richer in detention pay, we received the call and headed over to pick up the loaded trailer. With a scale on site, we were scaled and legal and on our way south.This particular dispatch has us delivering to 4 different locations in the San Francisco Bay area and one additional stop in Castroville, CA. With the delivery times, we knew we had to make the most of the time we had left, in order to make them on time, and with that in mind, we pushed on and made it to LaPine, OR around 9pm. Wednesday morning at 7am found us back on the road with the company yard in French Camp, CA as our destination for staging for the deliveries Thursday morning.

Knowing that Bay Area traffic can be a royal pain, we opted to leave well ahead of schedule in hopes that (A) traffic would be lighter and (B) the first receiver would take us early. We got lucky on both counts and breezed into San Leandro a good hour ahead of time, and we were unloaded and headed to Fremont for our next two deliveries.The two deliveries in Fremont went smooth as silk, and off we headed to Livermore to U.S. Foods. Well, so much for things running like clock work. Although an hour ahead of schedule, once again the planners scheduled our last appointment giving us only one hour to get unloaded in Livermore and then drive 100 miles to Castroville.......and we were on such a good roll too! On top of that, we had to wait well over two hours to get unloaded, and deal with the screwed up dock area that was cluttered with tractors, which made it almost impossible to get into our assigned dock. By the way, we only unloaded one lousy pallet of meat here too and being charged $45 by the lumpers to unload it!

Finally at 12:30pm we were on our way to Castroville. By 2:30 we had arrived and grabbed an open dock. In less than 15 minutes we had our last 4 pallets of meat unloaded and we went empty. WHEW.......what a long day and it wasn't over yet. While heading to Salinas, because it was the only truck stop anywhere in the area, we received a message to get our trailer washed out again and drop it at Fresh Express. Looks like we will be getting a load out of there tomorrow. One thing is for sure, after a very long day, we will be happy to get another good nights sleep again..........and might I add, a well deserved one!

Monday, April 06, 2009


Well, I didn't get to go to Tillamook after our drop in Clackamas, OR. We were instead directed to head north to Chehalis, WA to the Fred Meyer DC there to drop our trailer and await a load that would be ready Monday afternoon. We weren't given much more information than that, so we had no idea where we would be headed. It was nice just bob tailing around without a trailer, and we found a nice spot at a small truck stop only about 2 miles away. We really needed the extra time to sit as Craig was getting low on driving hours, but what made matters worse was that all we could find with our TV was PBS. We both puttered around on our computers and then a funny thing happened. Most other nights we are both ready for sleep come around 8am, even with TV shows on that we really want to see. Not last night. We were both wide awake and watching PBS until after 11pm, which actually had some great musical shows on, but we did have to put up with their pledge drive intermissions! By 1pm Monday, we were back at the Fred Meyer DC and picking up our loaded trailer. This particular run will have three drops, Yakima, Wenatchee, and Richland, WA. Another interesting thing is that we will travel on some secondary roads which we have never been on before. But leaving out of Chehalis we got a return trip on Highway 12 which we had the pleasure of driving on once before. It proved to be just as beautiful as the first time we traveled it. Our drop in Yakima went smoothly and we were headed to Wenatchee which is the apple capitol of the world or so the sign said, but I was too slow on the draw to get the picture of the sign. Everywhere you looked in the rural areas you saw nothing but apple trees. Must be a sight during the height of apple season! Craig never one to sit idle, helped with the unloading of the 18 pallets of goods, and for his hard work, the manager awarded him a gold star pin for his hat. He said he awards his employees one when they go out of their way to be helpful and wanted Craig to have one as well.With our drop in Wenatchee completed, off we headed south towards Richland. I was a bit disappointed since nightfall had come, and any new sights to be seen on the uncharted roads would have to wait for another time. I just knew I was probably missing some great photo opportunities since we followed the Columbia River for quite awhile.Arriving in Richland at 10:30pm for a 4am delivery, we were happy to have them unload us early. Don't know what the planners were thinking when they have us picking up at 1pm and not delivering our last drop until well after the 14 hour clock has expired. But no worries, we were in and out within an hour and headed to our company drop yard in Pasco, WA a mere 11 miles away. Now it's time for some well deserved sleep!

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Thursday morning we drove into San Diego and arrived at the port around 9am. We were surprised that only 5 of the 6 docks were occupied, and happy to be assigned dock #6 to await our load of bananas. Usually it can take up to 4 hours to get the trailer loaded, but today they moved especially fast and we were loaded and ready to scale in just two hours. This put us well ahead of the commute traffic while we headed out of the LA basin area.

We stopped at the Petro in Wheeler Ridge, CA and enjoyed a nice relaxing evening knowing that we had two easy days of driving ahead of us. While we were there, we heard this buzzing sound and looked out to see a guy playing with his remote control car in the parking lot and the dirt lot across from us. He must have really enjoyed it, because he stayed out for well over an hour driving and crashing that car into the dirt. By 6am on Friday morning we were headed north with our sights set on the Starbucks in Santa Nella, CA as a spot to stop and treat ourselves to a nice cold refreshing frappacino. While walking back to the truck, Craig noticed a trailer tire that needed to be replaced so we headed to the company yard in French Camp to have it replaced. About 90 minutes after arriving at the yard, we had a new trailer tire and were headed to the casino in Corning as our place to stop for the night.

This morning we again left at 6am but stopped two miles up the road at the Petro for our fuel stop before continuing on our way. It has been a gorgeous day of clear blue cloudless skies and cool temperatures. There were an abundance of RV's and motorcycles out, no doubt taking advantage of spring break. We have made our final stop for the day in Aurora, OR tonight, with only 23 miles left to go in the morning to Clackamas, OR to deliver the bananas. We never quite know what to expect whenever we go empty in Clackamas, but if I have my choice, it would be a return trip to Tillamook, OR., but I'll just have to wait and see where the weekend dispatcher ends up sending us.


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