Sunday, January 31, 2010


With a bit of team driving, Craig and Eric were at the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA this morning at 5am. The bananas were unloaded shortly there after and their trailer dropped. Craig took advantage of the down time to catch a few hours of sleep while they waited for the trailer they would take into Spokane to be loaded, and around noon they were scaling and on their way east.

The whole reason for the load into Spokane, was for Eric to be able to go home and pick up his CDL that was sent to him in the mail. When they fueled in the company yard, prior to making the delivery at a Fred Meyer store in Spokane, Craig dropped Eric off at his private vehicle in the parking lot. He took the majority of his personal effects, leaving his bedding behind. With the truck needing some service done on it, Craig didn't think they would be leaving until Tuesday morning, which would give Eric a good 34 hours of home time. Here comes the you think Eric will return come Tuesday?

He was a bit homesick, but that is understandable, we have all been there when first starting out, and as I mentioned before, he got a good taste of trucking this past week with Craig. Both Craig and I are a bit gun shy when it comes to trainees coming back from home time, given our past experiences, so I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens come Tuesday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Yep, he's bright alright......With the majority of the shippers and receivers now requiring you to wear reflective vests, and not liking the flimsy vests that we had, we purchased Craig a nice reflective jacket for the winter and a vest for the summer. Notice what's in his hand? They even threw in for free the reflective beanie knit hat as well. I bet he will be seen for a half a mile away wearing this outfit. If anyone is interested in ordering a high quality jacket or vest, or other safety products, I can't recommend highly enough going to Industrial Safety Gear. They are extremely responsive, ship quickly, and they are currently having a sale on most of their products too!

So where do I begin to tell you what has been going on with Craig and Eric? After leaving LaPine, OR on Thursday, they were told to get to LA as quickly as they could as they had a pre plan sent over the QualComm to pick up bananas in San Diego Friday. Nothing like putting the trainee to work right away and they did some team driving and dropped the frozen french fries in the yard in Bloomington, CA and took off for San Diego for the bananas. They had to go to the off harbor site to pick them up, which equates to sitting around waiting for their turn in the dock. But the 7 hours of detention pay took the sting out of sitting around and by 6pm they were headed north.

It seems that there was more to this load of bananas than originally thought, because while waiting to get loaded, they were told to hustle the bananas to Corning, CA as quickly as they could to swap loads with another driver that was going to be taking home time. Since the bananas they were picking up didn't need to be in Puyallup until Wednesday, they would take the bananas from the other driver that needed to be in Puyallup Sunday morning. So once again, some team driving went into action, and after a quick stop in French Camp, Ca for me to replenish some of Craig's supplies, they were off to Corning for the swap.

If all goes well, they should be able to grab a few hours of non moving sleep prior to making the delivery of bananas at 5am Sunday morning at the Fred Meyer DC. Then because Eric is in need of picking up his brand new commercial driver's license, which is sitting at his home in Spokane, they will be routed there with a delivery either Sunday night or Monday morning. In talking to Craig, it seems Eric is getting an eye full of the fast pace and strange hours of trucking driving. Better he learn it now and know what he is in for than later, and keep an eye out for my husband, you won't be able to miss him in that new jacket!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Let me set the scene.......Eric is driving, Craig is talking to me on his new Blueparrot headset.... all of a sudden I hear Craig say he needs to get off the phone and he'll call me back. Like a good wife, I wait patiently for him to call me back, and when he does, I ask what the problem was. Seems while we were talking, there was a beep that emitted from his headset. When Eric heard the beep, he thought it was the PrePass transponder going off and he was frantically looking for a weigh station before he passed it up and was asking Craig for help. I guess their next training session will be distinguishing the difference between the headset beep and the PrePass beep.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Othello.....Nope, not the Shakespeare play, but a tiny little town off Highway 26 in Washington State. This was the first time we have been to this particular Columbia ColStor, but we are finding that they seem to be in every little nook and cranny in this State. The last one we were at in Quincy, WA they were having a "driver appreciation" day. Had we not just stuffed ourselves with lunch prior to arriving there, we would have enjoyed hot dogs, potato salad, potato chips, candy bars and soda. And if that wasn't enough, while in the dock getting loaded, an employee walked out to the truck, personally thanked us for doing what we do, and gave Craig a really fine looking baseball cap. Now that my friends is what I call giving a little love! When Craig and Eric pulled into the facility in Othello, WA it looked like a TWT convention. There were already two other trucks backed into the docks with another one waiting besides themselves. By the time they were loaded, 3 more TWT trucks pulled in to get loaded too. By 3:30pm they were scaled and on their way south. Thankfully, weather would not be an issue for them this run down Highway 97, as the pavement was bare and no snow or rain falling from the sky. Tonight will find them in LaPine, OR where they will shut down to get some sleep, and speaking of sleep, that is where I am headed as well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


What a shock.....another load of frozen french fries. Will the world ever grow tired of this starchy treat? Gosh I hope not, that would take away half of the runs we have. At least this time, Craig and Eric are picking them up at a place we haven't been to before in Othello, WA to yet another Columbia Cold Storage. From there they will head south to make the delivery on Saturday in Oxnard, CA at the Sysco distribution center.

It seems that while the truck was parked in the French Camp yard while Craig was on home time, they did a service on the truck and also on the APU. Wouldn't you know it, after that service, they started having trouble with the APU working properly. As luck would have it, Craig remembered there was a reset button on the unit, pushed it, and just like that it is working again. For Eric's sake, I hope it continues to work. I know how cranky Craig can get when he gets too warm. Yes, you heard that right, even in the dead of Winter, the AC on the APU is put to use. I don't call him my "thermal nuclear man" for nothing.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Craig and his trainee Eric received their assignment on Friday to be in Salinas, CA at Fresh Express on Saturday at 1pm to pick up a load of produce. After supervising Eric's trip plan and pretrip inspection, they took off to Salinas to drop the trailer and stage until their loaded trailer was ready. Around 11am on Saturday the trailer was indeed loaded and they hit the road. Craig had been keeping an eye on the weather, and was planning on trying to get over all the major mountain passes on their route by the time they called it a day. much for that.By the time they hit Weed, CA it was snowing pretty good, and not wanting to put chains on if he doesn't have to, even though he does have a trainee to do the grunt work, they decided to shut down. I had also been monitoring the road conditions and was happy to receive his phone call saying that they would not be going any further, and would wait until after a good nights sleep to tackle the snowy, icy roads.

As is usually the case, things looked better with the start of a new day, and with bare pavement to drive on instead of snow, they took off early this morning with Craig having the morning drive duty. They switched driving duties in Canyonville, OR with Eric having the responsibility of getting them into the company drop yard in Pacific, WA which would set them up nicely with only an 18 mile drive for their first delivery at 2am tomorrow morning in Seattle. They have one more drop in Puyallup, WA at the Fred Meyer DC, which will no doubt put them in line for a run from Puyallup into Spokane.

As far as the trainee situation this time? It is as Craig and I like to say....."so far, so good". Let's hope it continues that way for the duration of the training period. And me? I'm getting real good on the Wii games, after all, I needed a break from all that baking I did yesterday. I know, it's a tough life, but I think I'm suffering through it quite well... ha ha!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Back when Craig was putting himself through driving school, he met one of the recruiters from his current Company who was there of course recruiting. When Craig made the decision to go on board with Trans-System, Inc., this particular recruiter was his "go to" person. I met him soon after Craig was training, and we all hit it off real well, especially over Chinese food. When Craig himself started training, I always told the recruiter that I would send him some goodies for making sure Craig got a good trainee.

A couple of months ago, I sent him my best friend Cori's S'more cookies. To say they were a hit in the office is an understatement. I think the office personnel ate more of them then Curtis the recruiter. So when Craig got his latest trainee, I told Curtis to expect a new care package in the mail. I went to work today making a batch of these bars.They are simply called "The Bars" and with good reason. Words can not describe just how incredibly delicious these tasty morsels of goodness are. I wrapped these babies up and will ship them out to Curtis first thing tomorrow morning along with some Lemon Blossoms which I talked about before. You know, come to think of it, I just may be shooting myself in my own foot. With every home cooked batch of goodness I send him, will only inspire him to keep giving Craig a trainee. I just may never see my husband again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


There's no denying it, the first day Craig and I part ways and I leave the truck, are always the hardest. I couldn't have asked for a better way to cheer myself up, then attending the stage performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, CA last night. Not only was it the very first Broadway play I ever saw as a teenager in San Francisco back in the 70's, but none other than Ted Neeley, star of the movie, would headline the show, and a mere 30 feet from the fantastic seat that I occupied for the performance. Granted, Ted Neeley has been performing as Jesus for just shy of 40 years, but the hair on my arms stood straight up as the opening chords rang out through the theatre and the spotlights lit him up. Several times throughout the performance chills ran through me and I was transported back to relive the thrill of my first time seeing this performed live. And the Crucifixion scene? Words can not describe it, it has to be experienced in person. If you ever get the chance to see this while Ted Neeley is still performing it, run don't walk, and treat yourself, it is so worth the cost of admission.

But even the standing ovation performance of Ted Neeley could make me forget about Craig, so let me fill you in on what he is up to. After dropping the empty trailer at the PG&E facility in Emeryville, CA yesterday, they hooked up to a loaded trailer and headed right back to the yard in French Camp where they proceeded to drop the trailer. Just a little over 5 hours of work at $125 richer, they ended up sitting the rest of the day. Craig did however, host two other drivers in his truck, as they participated in a safety meeting via a conference call over Craig's new Bluetooth CB radio.

No news yet this morning on a new assignment, but they were told to check in around 10am. No doubt they will be hitting the road soon and keeping busy, and I'll have to do the same myself, but instead of hitting the road, I think I'll be hitting the Wii game.

Friday, January 22, 2010


While we were enjoying our little trip in Half Moon Bay, CA Craig received a phone call from the recruiting office asking if he would take another trainee. Never one to say "no", and with me being able to stay at my Mom's house, it looks like a new trainee will be occupying my seat for the next 6 weeks or so.

This morning, after doing a very early morning grocery store run, I dropped off Craig at the Company yard in French Camp so that he could get the truck packed up and organized. Then he phoned his new trainee, who was put up in a hotel in town, and made arrangements to pick him up. Evidently, this trainee originally started a week ago on the flatbed side and decided he would be better suited to the reefer division.

It wasn't too long after saying my goodbyes to Craig, that he called saying that they had received their first dispatch. They were headed to Emeryville to the PG&E facility to drop an empty trailer and hook up to a loaded trailer. Craig needed a little refresher on which onramp to take to get there, and I was happy to be able to give him the information he needed. I probably won't learn all the details on his new trainee until later tonight, but I'm hoping all goes well with trainee number 3.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


As soon as I knew when Craig would be taking some home time, I made arrangements for us to take a mini getaway, just the two of us. Now you would think after spending days on end, 24/7 together, doing nothing but driving, the last thing we would want, is to do exactly the same thing on home time. But early Tuesday morning, we loaded up our pickup and took off driving and ended up in Half Moon Bay, CA. I must tell you though, we seemed to have picked one of the worst weeks in weather history to spend in California, with torrential rains, winds, and a system of storms lined up 5 deep in the Pacific Ocean.Once we managed to suffer through the morning commute traffic, which by the way, never thinned out, we arrived at the coast and into the welcome arms of plenty of sunshine and blue skies. Seems for a least a few hours we would be between storm systems and we took advantage of it by spending some time sightseeing and enjoying a lunch looking out over the water.Presently, we are enjoying some R&R inside our hotel room, with a fire roaring in the fireplace, and the rain and wind trying to get back into the act again outside our sliding door. But we have no worries, we are just enjoying our alone time together and watching the latest Harry Potter movie on pay per view. Life for us really doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As long as I'm on a roll, I might as well continue about technology and another item of beneficial use to a truck driver. Along with getting that awesome Blueparrot headset, we also purchased at a great price over the Internet, the Cobra 29 LTD BT CB radio. This CB radio is equipped with Bluetooth technology, and is yet another weapon in our arsenal, to make life out on the road just that much better.We had the opportunity to test this out on Sunday when Craig was making his deliveries. It worked like a charm for those times when he isn't fully prepared by wearing his Blueparrot headset. When a call comes in, he answers by hitting the blue button on the front of the mic and then he can converse via the radio and still remain relatively hands free.

I got to admit, the headset and the CB radio with bluetooth technology sure has made having a phone conversation with Craig much more pleasurable than it has been in the past, when dealing with engine and road noise made it darn near impossible to hear each other.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but talking, and I emphasize talking as the ability to actually hear each other's voice on a cell phone, with one party being inside of a semi truck, can be a royal pain in the butt. We have literally spent hundreds of dollars trying to find a bluetooth device for Craig to use while he is driving, and every attempt has been a waste of time and more importantly money.......until now. May I introduce my new best friend.....the Blueparrott, or more officially by his formal name......VXI Roadwarrior B250-XT.OMG.....this thing is amazing. We would have never found out about it, had we not been listening to a trucking channel on our Sirius Satellite radio. A truck driver was calling into the show and during the course of the conversation said he was driving. Both the host and Craig and I were shocked as to the clarity and sound quality of his phone. Thank goodness the host asked what device he was using and hence we were introduced to the Blueparrot.

Of course being skeptical, I went to work online looking it up and checking out reviews, and couldn't find anything significant to sway up from venturing down that long slippery slope of trying yet another bluetooth device. But at this point, with Craig doing more and more training, and with me staying behind, I was desperate to find a solution to the agony which we both endured while trying to have a decent conversation via the cell phone. We started looking for it at truck stops and found the cheapest price to be around $100, so of course I went to the Internet to find me a bargain. Two days later it was delivered to my Mom's house in Modesto and waiting for us.

We couldn't wait to test it out and test it out we did. After fully charging the unit, Craig went outside the truck and stood right next to the reefer unit and then the idling truck engine and proceeded to test it out. I couldn't decipher any background noise as he spoke. The next test would be while he was driving, and it worked like a charm. We both highly recommend it. Sure it isn't as cool as those tiny little over the ear bluetooth devices you see everyone wearing, and it may make you feel and look like an air traffic controller, but wouldn't you rather hear clearly than look cool? I thought so. Trust me....... your friends and family will thank you for it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I haven't quite figured out why the "powers that be" require you to input your home time request via the computer, then proceed to forget you ever asked for it when the day rolls around you should be home. Here we were fat, dumb, and happy on Saturday morning, thinking we would be dropping the load in French Camp and after submitting our morning hours and a quick confirmation of home time, promptly got a reply that we were scheduled to deliver our load in LA on Monday morning. Say what?????

Thankfully, the weekend dispatcher went hunting for us to find someone to swap loads with and the best he could do on short notice was a swap on a load that had two deliveries today. That meant home time would be delayed by one day, but at least the reservations Craig and I made for a mini getaway would not be effected by this change. All's well that ends well right?

Anyway, when we did get into French Camp Saturday, we decided that I would go ahead and take off to my Mom's house so that I could do some errands on Sunday while Craig finished up with the deliveries. As we were loading up our pickup with my bags, I happened to notice a tear in the steer tire on the passenger side of the truck. Craig got the flashlight out to inspect it, and wouldn't you know it, there was a significant rip in the sidewall of the tire, no doubt from the pot hole infested highways of California. A quick phone call into Road Service, and by the time I had made it to my Mom's house, Craig was getting the tire replaced by an on call tire guy.

Old habits are hard to break, and like clockwork this morning, I awoke at my Mom's at 3am, no doubt subconsciously thinking I was going along with Craig on his deliveries. His first stop is in Stockton at 5am and then onto San Jose for an 11am delivery. When he gets back to the yard this afternoon I'll drive out there and pick him up to finally begin a little well deserved R&R.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Sheez......will y'all get your minds out of the gutter. I know where your minds went with the title of this entry...........ahem......or maybe it's just my dirty little mind! But a little pre trip entertainment we did partake in this morning before heading out to pick up our load of frozen french fries in Quincy, WA but I'll explain what it was a little later on in the post.

Yesterday we finished up delivering to four different Fred Meyer stores in the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area. You want to know what is great about these types of runs? Most of the stores all have a Starbucks inside! We only had to wait until our third delivery, when the store was open for business, before we had a nice hot Starbucks coffee in our hands fueling us on to our last stop in Idaho. Then it was off to the yard to await the dispatch that would send us south for our home time request in French Camp. That dispatch didn't come across the computer until 5pm, and since Craig's 14 hour clock was only an hour away from running out, we stayed put and enjoyed an early night of relaxing and watching TV. This morning, we got up and walked over to the lounge to enjoy our morning coffee and do our laundry. Then it was off to track down the forklift guy to load some pallets into the trailer. With that accomplished, we decided to drive over to the Petro truck stop across the street and take in a movie courtesy of the management, hence the pre trip entertainment. We enjoyed the movie "Knowing", and then grabbed a subway sandwich and hit the road.We are picking up at Columbia Cold Storage in Quincy, WA. This is the third time we have been there and Craig has been already doing the math on the load knowing that we will have only about 20 pounds short of the 80,000 pound limit on the truck and trailer. I swear they shove every last possible frozen french fry that they can into these loads, but as long as his math is correct and we scale out good, it is the load that will get us to time off.

Scaling turned out to be right on the money and we are off. Our plan is to make it at least as far as La Pine, OR tonight, if not further, and then into French Camp Saturday night. Our four days are already jam packed with activities and then it will be all too soon to head out to the truck for another two months out on the road.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Craig is still limping along on limited driving hours, so when we left French Camp on Monday morning, he only had about 6 hours of driving time he could use. That got us as far as Weed, CA where we were shut down and biding our time by noon. It wasn't until we had parked that we noticed just how windy it was. We haven't experienced this type of wind since the days on the boat fleet and driving through Wyoming. We were rocked and jostled to and fro all afternoon and into the night, where it finally decided to start raining. We felt sorry for the flatbed driver parked next to us who was trying in vain to tarp his load with one of those thin blue plastic tarps. It was too painful to watch and I had to take refuge behind our curtain.

Tuesday looked brighter on the driving hours front, so off we went, rather early, which is our style. By 9am we had made it as far as Canyonville, OR where we decided to stop for a hot breakfast. Fully fortified, we continued our travels into Aurora, OR for fuel and then into Lacy, WA to GeeCee's truck stop for the night. It continued to rain off and on, but the wind had decided to take a break from punishing us any further.

While enjoying another episode of Dexter, my phone rang last night and it was a friend of Craig's who is a newly trained driver for TWT. Seems he was lost in the LA area trying to find his way to the company yard in Bloomington. Boy don't we know how that feels. I remember the first couple of times we tried to find it when Craig was new as well, so we were more than happy to talk him out of the neighborhood he was in and get him headed in the right direction. With him safely pulled into the company yard, we called it a night and grabbed some sleep.

This morning, up at 2am, we did our normal morning routine and headed towards Puyallup, WA to deliver the bananas at the Fred Meyer's DC. There were three of us there this morning making deliveries, and two of us remain to pick up loads later today headed to Spokane. That will give us an opportunity to swing by licensing and pick up the 2010 IFTA sticker and new registration for the truck. Then hopefully we'll get a load tomorrow heading us south to French Camp to start that R&R we are looking forward to.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Craig and I have this conversation quite a lot and always come to the same conclusion.........that most people would think we are crazy if they could ever covertly listen to our conversations inside the truck on a daily basis. Truth be known, we crack ourselves up every day, and over stuff that every normal person would say to themselves "HUH"? We often wonder if other couples living this 24/7, confined to a small space relationship, suffer with this same phenomenon.

I wish I could give you examples, but I know they would fall short of even giving you a glimpse into our world, but I'll try just to say I told you so. Driving down the road, each lost in a made up little world in our minds, one of us will suddenly shout out "hey" eliciting one of two responses from the other, either another "hey" in return, or the "what"?, but in reality the original "hey", was just an acknowledgement of a "hay truck" passing us by. It never fails to crack us up and now I rest my case that probably don't understand it, and #2.........we were just meant to be together.....crazy or not.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We didn't have to wait long to hear about a load swap. Arriving at the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallua, WA Friday night, we went arrived at shipper and then dropped our trailer. We found out our load wouldn't be ready until morning and that suited us just fine, as we were going to just park in their bob tail lot and get some sleep. We were beeped shortly thereafter with information to swap our loaded trailer with another driver in French Camp on Sunday. Works for us, as Craig had just enough hours to get us there.

Saturday morning we get up and hook up to our loaded trailer. I send in our daily hours and then give the weekend dispatcher our eta to French Camp, as long as the roads are traffic are clear, not even thinking that there might be a problem. I always like to throw in that disclaimer because you just never know what you might come up against out on the road. We get a message back saying that he has heard the roads are bad on Highway 97 in Oregon.

Well that got me into action checking the road conditions, and wouldn't you know it, since 2am they were requiring chains due to ice on the roads. We knew we had a couple of hours before we would be on Highway 97 so I kept checking and finding the same information listed on the website. At Biggs Junction, where Highway 97 intersects at Interstate 84, we decided to park and check if anyone was saying anything about the road conditions.

Our first clue that things must not be too bad was that the parking lot was relatively empty, so it seemed to us that no one was staging there until the chains restriction was lifted. We also didn't hear any info from any of the drivers and saw that trucks were leaving the Pilot truck stop and heading south, the direction we would be going.

Fortified with a sausage mcmuffin with egg, we took off to find the roads seemingly okay. We could definitely see ice along side the roadways, but in our opinion the roads looked passable. We started seeing trucks parked off to the side of the road from time to time, and then came upon another one of our TWT drivers pulled over and standing by his truck. We pulled in behind him to see if there was any assistance that we could offer. Seems when they called for chains earlier in the evening/morning hours, a lot of trucks pulled off to the side to wait it out. This particular driver was sitting on a sheet of ice and couldn't get any traction to pull away from the side of the road. Craig tried to offer him suggestions on how to get himself unstuck, but he wanted to wait for a tow truck. Who are we to judge and off we went. We did encounter a couple of trucks that had chains on still that pretty much held up the flow of traffic until we could get around them. We couldn't understand the need since about 80 percent of the road was down to pavement, but as soon as we could safely pass them we were off and ended up staying at a rest stop in Grass Lake, CA for the night. This morning we completed our run into French Camp, CA and handed off our trailer and took possession of a trailer loaded with bananas that we will take into Puyallup, WA on Wednesday morning. That should leave us with one more trip south into French Camp to start our requested home time by Sunday the 17th. You think someone just might be ready for a little R&R?

Friday, January 08, 2010


I find the longer Craig and I are married, the more we seem to take on each other's traits. I find him to be much more organized and methodical, and me?? Well I seemed to have embraced his philosophy of " Why do what you can today, when you can put it off until tomorrow ". Such was the case in the yard in French Camp when I knew I should do laundry, but I so easily talked myself into putting off. In hindsight, it was a great move, because we ended up not sitting long at all before our next assignment came over the computer.

We were dispatched to Fresh Express in Salinas, CA to pick up a produce load with two deliveries in Clackamas and Milwaukie, OR. This was one of the few times we have been dispatched to Fresh Express and picked up the load the same day. Usually it requires you to drop the trailer the day or night before, then sit around the next day waiting for the dispatch information. Down side to the not sitting around thing was that Craig's driving hours were looking a bit on the slim side.

Having a couple of hours to sit and wait on the load once we arrived in Salinas, Craig crunched the numbers and worked it out on the computer with his driving log program, and with fitting in a split sleeper berth option, we would have just enough time available Wednesday night and then all day Thursday to make it to our deliveries this morning. With his hours still not looking too healthy, we were shocked when we put in our empty call, expecting to be able to sit the rest of the day in order to accumulate some hours on the book.

But as they say, if you're using all your hours, you're keeping busy, and with the beep of the computer we were headed to Wallua, WA to the Tyson meat plant to pick up a load of meat headed to Vernon and Oxnard, CA. It didn't take too long, especially with the short turnaround this load had on it, to figure out that we would in deed not be able to make it to the LA area by Monday morning. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what kind of swap or drop we end up doing on this load. Right now we're going to both procrastinate and put off checking to see if the trailer is ready early and grab us a good night's sleep first.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


We dragged our tired butts into the Petro in Corning, CA right on schedule at 6am and managed to fuel up the truck and reefer before finding a parking spot and crashing into bed. As is usually the case after pulling an all nighter, we only managed about 5 hours of sleep before we were both awake. With several hours on our hands before being able to leave, we decided to take showers and then use some Flying J coupons to get us something to eat.

Now this may surprise you, but if you haven't yet tried the fish tacos at the Flying J, you are really short changing yourself. I know, I doesn't seem quite right, but trust me, if you can find one that is still offering their southwestern menu items which include the fish tacos and carnitas plate, treat yourself and enjoy. You can thank me for it later. With bellys full, Craig took a little nap while I continued my Dexter marathon watching on my laptop. At the appointed hour of 4:30pm, we took off for our delivery with a stop in Ripon, CA for fuel. Arriving a hour early in Livingston, CA for our appointment, we met up with the security guard at the gate who checked us in, and when asked if we could stay on their property after unloading, gave us two thumbs up to park wherever we could that was out of the way of the yard goat. What a change from most places where they can't wait to get you off their premises and on your way. Sure saved us the trouble of trying to find a place to park so late in the evening/morning hours when parking is at a premium at the truck stops.

We were unloaded by midnight and sleeping like babies soon after. Upon awaking this morning we advised dispatch of the 24 empty pallets in the back of the trailer and were directed to take them to Stockton to drop them off. We currently sit at the Company yard awaiting our next assignment. Guess I can't put off doing a load of laundry any longer. Might as well take advantage of a little down time while I can.

Monday, January 04, 2010


I've been a bit lazy the last couple of days when it came to posting a blog entry. Probably has something to do with the last couple of runs we have been on. Plenty of time, no rush, and just kicking back and enjoying the ride. Not that much activity to talk about, but I can at least keep you up to date on what we have been doing.

We left French Camp, CA rather early on Saturday morning, like 3am early, just like the night before. It wasn't because we needed to, but wanted to. We had our sights set on hitting the Wal Mart in Anderson, CA and wanted to get there as early as we could to avoid the crowds and having a easy go of parking the rig. It's also nice to have the store mainly to yourself to wander around and then have no lines at checkout.

After shopping, it took me awhile to figure out where to put everything, but I think we have enough provisions on board to last until Craig takes some well deserved home time around the 17th of January. We then continued our trek across the border into Oregon and called it a day in Medford. Sunday, we only had a little over 250 miles to go to our staging destination in Aurora, OR. We made it there by around noon, and watched the rest of the day and into evening as every imaginable parking spot was taken.

This morning we delivered the bananas in Clackamas to the Fred Meyer DC and then immediately was dispatched about 40 miles away to Woodland, WA to the Columbia Cold Storage to pick up some frozen food. This load will be delivered in Livingston, CA tomorrow night at 10pm. Our appointment time in Woodland was at 12pm, but we called ahead to see if we could show up early. No problem, they said, but as it turned out we weren't fully loaded until 2pm.

That left us with a decision on how to handle driving the remaining 700 plus miles and still get in a mandatory break. We decided to stay at the shipper until we had an eight hour break and then take off for some good old night driving. With a two hour break factored in during the night for a power nap, we figure to make Corning, CA by 6am Tuesday morning. Then it will be off to Livingston to make the delivery at 10pm. Looks like our days of having easy daytime runs has come to a screeching halt.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Telling you we spent New Years Eve in San Diego most likely congers up images which I can guarantee you will not even remotely resemble what our evening was like. First off, we were up at 2am on Thursday morning having to tackle the last two of our seven drops on this ice cream load. And on an unrelated rant while I'm at it, I ask you this.......of all the places we went, why is it the two places where there were only one and two pallets coming off the trailer, it took them nearly 3 hours each to unload and complete the paperwork?? But I digress....where was I? Oh yes, New Years Eve.

Wednesday night we were beeped with a pre plan to pick up bananas at the Port of San Diego. No big surprise there, except that they were only loading trailers from 8am to 12pm. With our last of the seven drops being at 8am, and with a 120 mile drive to the port, we knew if anything went askew, we would most likely be without a load over New Years Day.

Arriving at our last drop an hour early, we checked in and waited for their 4 pallets to be unloaded. Little did we know when we retrieved the paperwork, that they had left the 4 empty pallets inside the trailer. That facilitated going about 3 miles down the road to drop the pallets off before we could head to San Diego. But really, no worries, as we were empty, had the pallets dropped off, and headed south by 8:45am......plenty of time to get to the Port before noon.

Unlike when we drove into the LA area on Wednesday afternoon, where it was bumper to bumper traffic, the drive into San Diego was relatively traffic clear and we sailed into the harbor by 11am, and that is where we stayed as we watched Craig's 14 hour clock start ticking down. The later it got, the more it was clear that we would have to find a spot to stay for his mandatory 10 hr break and that we would not be leaving San Diego until the new year had fully rang itself in.

By 4pm we were finally loaded and rolling down by the harbor to find a parking space which would be free from any possibilities of getting another autograph from the local police. We found such a place amongst the many other trucks lining the street and settled in for the night, which basically meant we were both asleep by 7pm with nary any celebrations to be had or heard except for Craig's watch to unexpectedly start chirping at midnight. We both muttered a "Happy New Year" and rolled over to get a few more hours of sleep.

By 3am we felt the highways just might be safe to travel and were happy to see that the cabs and limousines far outnumbered the cars and trucks that were out on the roads. I guess people are finally getting smart about partying and not driving. We decided to stop in Wheeler Ridge for showers and a hot breakfast and then continued into the yard in French Camp where we called it a night. Here's hoping your New Years celebration was a bit more exiting than ours!

Friday, January 01, 2010


January 1, 2010......This year will start our 5th year of trucking. Wow, time sure does fly by when you're having fun doesn't it? It's really hard to phantom all the places we have been and the sights we have seen over the previous 4 years. But all it takes is some time to sit down and peruse through the blog to have it all come back to me like it was yesterday.

This past year, once again Craig managed to have to take some time off from work due to an injury. Thankfully, this time it was only a boil and he healed after just one week off. Craig also managed to take on the responsibility of training and is holding steady at 50% success rate, but then when you have only had two trainees so far I guess that isn't saying too much.

Over the past year I published my 500th post and reached over 81,000 hits on the blog, and had a few new followers who have joined us on our journeys. We found out just how much snow can accumulate at our home, especially when no one is there to keep on top of it, and how to break into our own home when the doors wouldn't clear the decking after they swelled.

We hauled our fair share of potatoes, bananas, and apples up and down Interstate 5, had way too many trips into the San Francisco Bay area for my comfort level. Any time we are able to look back on the past year and say "we haven't been hit or hit anything" is a good thing.

Nothing especially stands out in our minds this past year, other than having what we think is the best job and lifestyle around. We remain happy in what we do and even more so with our relationship and our plans for the future. I guess what I'm really saying is that if 2010 is as great as 2009 was, we will count ourselves to be very blessed in deed. We both wish all of you the very best that 2010 has to offer!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin