Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We didn't get unloaded at our last stop Tuesday morning until 8:30am, well past Craig's 14 hour clock, so we had to stay parked at the back of the store for 8 hours. Just the place I wanted to try and get sleep after being up all night. But I did manage to make use of that time, besides trying to sleep, and took advantage of the store to restock our supplies. By 4:30pm we were rolling towards the company yard in Spokane, and looking through the details of our next dispatch.

It is a load of Tyson meat, picking up Tuesday night, with three deliveries. The first being in Burly, ID at 8pm Wednesday night. Then two more deliveries in Vernon and Santa Fe Springs, CA on Friday morning. However, doing the math, Craig would not have enough hours to make the deliveries in California. A quick phone call into dispatch, received the usual comment, "get as far as you can and we'll see about a swap". Only problem I see with that is, once we leave Burly,ID there is a whole lot of nothing out there between Burly and Las Vegas. Last time through there last week, I hardly saw another big rig, let alone one of ours anywhere.But, we soldiered on, fueled up in the yard, took showers, and headed to Tyson to pick up our loaded trailer. We were pulled out in front of the complex and completing our loaded call when all of a sudden we hear a loud creak and then..... "K A B O O M"!!! Craig and I look at each other as to say, "What in the hell was that"?, when we both realized it had to be an air bag. We go out with flashlights, and sure enough, an air bag on the trailer exploded, which left us totally stranded not being able to move the trailer. All I can say is thank goodness it happened while we were parked and not moving, and on top of that, not in the middle of the desert on Highway 93!Craig gets on the phone with road service to inform them of the problem, as I get the not so pleasurable duty of just sitting and taking in the putrid smell of this meat plant. Not sure exactly how good that shower will be after sitting here letting that smell penetrate every fiber of my clothing. As with all smells, you eventually get used to it, and as we waited for the service tech, we had to wonder if we would ever get started on this load.

Turns out we may not have to worry about it. The on call repair guy did not have a replacement air bag. He responded to our location, and was able to by pass the line so that we could at least get the trailer moving. We drove into Pasco where we parked it in the company drop yard and went to sleep after sending in a message advising of our circumstances. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the morning brings us.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


After dropping our empty trailer right into the dock, they were patiently waiting for it, we bob tailed a mile down the street to the little truck stop at Exit 72 on Interstate 5. We took some time to wind down by playing on our computers, and when I found myself nodding out while in the middle of a game, I knew it was time to take a nap. We were both soundly sleeping for a couple of hours, when the chirping of the QualComm rudely interrupted out nap time. I really don't know how they expect a driver to complete these loads. With a 3pm appointment to pick up the load, and three stops with the last one ending at 7am. The math doesn't add up, but we were able to delay our load time until 6pm, and as with most loads, the comment was, get to your first appointment on time, and we'll figure out the rest as we go along. So all the hassle of load and delivery appointments are pushed to the side, when we see what our routing is. For only the second time in over two years, we were heading east on Highway 12. This has got to be one of the most scenic routes we have been on since primarily staying on the West Coast. The water ways, the mountains, the pine trees, the quaint little homes and barns, it truly makes for a real treat. Added to that, was the fact that we would be able to complete the section of Highway 12 during daylight hours. Having a light load made the trip even nicer, as it has a pretty steep pass to climb, and curvy turns along this small two lane road. But it was all worth it, and we even managed, with our later load time, to make it to our first appointment with about 5 minutes to spare. It took a little time to track down the manager at 10pm, but by 11:30pm we were done and headed to our next stop. This is where calling ahead can sometimes help you out. On our way into Spokane for our last two drops, which by the way were 6am and 7am, Craig called ahead to the 6am stop to see if by chance they could take us early. Usually it's not a problem when we are delivering food, but this load was all home goods, so most times those employees are not there in the middle of the night. Luckily, we were able to talk to someone who would be there, and said that they would be happy to unload us after their lunch break at 4:30am. Perfect! We arrived at 2:30am, grabbed a two hour power nap, and were being unloaded right when they said. Now, if only our last stop would work out as great as that one. Well, would it tell you anything if I told you I'm sitting in the truck, the rising sun in my eyes, as Craig is catching some sleep in the bunk? We arrived at our last stop 90 minutes early, only to be told that the home goods people wouldn't even be there until 8am. So much for finishing before Craig's 14 hour clock runs out, and getting back to the yard. As I sit here waiting for someone to show up, it looks like we'll be spending the day in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer store in Spokane. Oh well, at least we have the pleasant memories of our drive along Highway 12 to play through our minds as we sleep the day away.

Monday, June 28, 2010


We were up and rolling by 5am Sunday morning. Traffic was light, the temperatures were cool, and from where we looked at it, it was a great day for driving. Probably not so much for this driver though. They had the Interstate closed down to only one lane, as it looked as if they had been dealing with the aftermath of this accident for the better part of the early morning hours. Best we could tell, it looked like the driver may have fallen asleep and ran off and up the side of the hill, which flipped the rig on it's side. We did a short break in Canyonville, OR where we treated ourselves to a 99 cent 44oz fountain drink, then hit the road again. As with Shasta Lake, the people were out and about in the waterways of Portland as we drove through. We had a fuel stop at the Jubitz Truck Stop, and after fueling was rewarded with a certificate for a free steak dinner there anytime within the next 30 days. I definitely see a return visit there for that! Traffic was the usual stop and go getting to the bridge in Portland and crossing the Columbia River into Washington State. Then, just like magic, as soon as you cross, all signs of any type of backup disappears. Being in the one State where Craig can actually drive faster than 55mph, we took advantage of that extra 5mph, as we were at our limit with the fastest speed the truck can go at 60mph. All the trucks in the fleet have speed governors on them, we have never minded them, mainly because we always go the speed limit. We pulled into Gee Cee's Truck Stop in Toledo, WA around 4pm, as we didn't want to take the chance that the drop yard would be full in Pacific, WA. That left us 85 miles to go this morning when we woke up at the awful hour of 2:30am for a departure time of 3am. Sometimes those early morning wake ups are not much fun, but we were docked and being unloaded by 5am in Puyallup. As soon as we went empty, we were given the assignment to dead head to the Fred Meyer DC in Chehalis, WA about 65 miles away.These type of loads we drop the trailer at the distribution center, and then return later in the day to pick up a loaded trailer. From doing the math, it looks like we will probably have to utilize the split sleeper berth option, and do an 8 hour break and then hook up to the loaded trailer and drive into Spokane for the delivery. At least that's what it looks like on paper. Right now we're going to take a nap!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We arrived at the Port of San Diego, and after presenting our TWIC credentials, were informed that the State would finally be enforcing their "CARB" program. No, they didn't confiscate all our good tasting carbs we had on board, they are concerned with the emissions from the trucks at the ports. Goes along with the idling laws that California and some other States love to enforce as well. After having to go to another check point to fill our paperwork, we were given our port pass and off to the Dole docks we went.I loved the weather down there. The ocean breeze coming off the water was exactly what the doctor ordered. I even had to snag Craig's sweatshirt after a while because I got too cold. By 1pm we were loaded and scaled and heading north. Now we both knew it was Friday, and that we would have to do battle with traffic, so we planned an alternate route, which took us 20 miles further, but we were certain it would save us more than a couple of hours had we stayed on Interstate 5.We did run into a few back ups, who knows, maybe it was all due to the big Michael Jackson memorial, but they soon ironed themselves out and we pulled into the TA truck stop in Wheeler Ridge, CA and called it a night. Waking up a bit early this morning, we showered and then headed to Buttonwillow to take advantage of the Denny's $2, $4, $6, $8 menu. Have you tried it lately? What a deal! I highly recommend it.As we drove further into the valley of the shadow of hell, also known as the Central Valley of California, we watched as the temperature continually rose. It peaked at 101 and while we kept cool inside the truck, we did have a bit of envy of the people who were taking advantage of the hot weather, and the cool waters of Shasta Lake, out and about on their boats.
We have called it a day, after driving a little over 500 miles at Pollard Flats, CA. We have the heat shields activated and the APU operating at maximum thrust to keep the inside of the truck as cool as possible. We'll have another almost 500 mile day tomorrow, so we'll be hitting the sack a bit early tonight, but not before we both have some quality time with our laptop computer games!

Friday, June 25, 2010


We had a very early wake up call, at 3:30am, for our Thursday delivery of meat in Carson, CA. After being able to sleep this past week, until our natural alarm clocks went off, it was a bit rough,, but we managed. The place we delivered to was a small complex at the end of a cul de sac. Nothing but containers and yard goats zooming all around us. We got situated into the dock, and about two hours later, we were handed our paperwork and we went empty. We sat down the street awhile thinking that we would be dispatched on a new assignment right away, but as the clock kept ticking, our confidence level was getting lower that we would hear the chirp of the QualComm. We finally sent in a message asking if there was at least a direction we should head, and we received word to head to the company yard in Bloomington. Well, looks like a nice relaxing day to kick back and play computer games, we thought to ourselves. An hour and a half later, we pulled into the yard, grabbed a nice spot on the front line near the driver's lounge, and pulled out our computers to play, as we watched trucks coming and going from the yard for the better part of the day. Around 4pm we finally heard the chirp, and I disappointed to see that it would not be Santa Maria, CA for strawberries, but that we would be heading south to banana land in San Diego for a load picking up Friday morning. It's been awhile since we have been down there, and surely the weather will no doubt be a bit cooler than is has been in the valley of Los Angeles. This morning we were up and ready to roll by 6am, stopping to fuel up first at the yard before heading south to San Diego. Already we can see the marine layer of fog coming into view as we get closer to the coast. Should make for a great morning at the Port of San Diego, while we wait for our bananas to get loaded. This trip will take us back up north to Puyallup, WA to deliver to the Fred Meyer DC on Monday morning at 5am. Looks like we'll have a very nice weekend of driving ahead of us.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We were bound and determined, that Tuesday was going to be a better day than Monday. After all, how could it not, with that long lonely stretch of freeway mostly behind us? We still had about 75 miles of it to go before we would hit Interstate 15, and boy were we looking forward to that. The strip of Las Vegas, could barely be seen through the murky haze of the early morning heat, as we merged into commute traffic.

We had a fuel stop at the TA truck stop at exit 33, and that was our first goal that morning. After fueling, we both went inside to use the restroom. As I sat in the casino area waiting for Craig, I saw a handful of people playing the various slot machines. As Craig approached me, I inquired as to whether he had taken his wallet with him. His eyes glazed over, and he asked, "you want to try our luck"?. With our truck, pulled up in front of the fuel island, we made our way to the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. I'm not really sure what we were thinking, especially with our truck being where it was, but Craig put in a ten dollar bill and started hitting the play button. On the second push of the button, he landed on a "spin" icon. No more than 5 minutes later, we managed to hit that "spin" icon two more times and walked away $25 dollars richer. With that extra money in our pockets, we talked about stopping at the Mad Greek in Baker. CA for lunch, and well you read about the out come of that yesterday. While in Baker we took notice of what they were proclaiming to be as "The World's Tallest Thermometer" With full stomachs, we drove another 60 or so miles into Barstow, where we stopped to take showers before hitting the company yard in Bloomington and doing laundry. Wednesday we spent a quiet morning in the yard before our 11am delivery of the cheese at CostCo in Mira Loma, CA. I have to say, if our government was run as efficiently as they run the multitude of trucks coming and going out of the CostCo DC, it would be a one well run Country. It took all of about 90 minutes and we were unloaded and headed back to the company yard where we were told there was a loaded trailer waiting for us.

Our new assignment is to deliver 42,000 pounds of boxed frozen meat, which by the way is headed to Japan, to a cold storage place in Carson, CA. We are hoping that when we go empty there, that we are sent to Santa Maria again. We sure would like to be back in some cooler weather.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We love this show, and DVR all the new episodes while out on the road, to watch when we take home time. It is a fantasy of ours, to try and visit as many of the places that Guy Fieri showcases on his show that we possibly can. Having remembered that he once highlighted on his show, the Mad Greek in Baker, CA, how could we pass by the opportunity to stop there ourselves, and with an abundance of trucker friendly parking available, it was a dream come true.We initially had a hard time finding it, oh sure, there are signs everywhere mentioning it's existence, but not pinpointing exactly were it was located. We pulled into one large parking lot, prompted by a sign we saw, only to find out where we needed to be was still further down the street. Never daunted in our efforts to find this little gem in the desert, we pulled back out onto the main drag and pressed on. We glimpsed the building through some trees, and opted to park in another large empty lot about a half block away from our oasis of dining heaven. Finally arriving at it's door step, we saw that there was yet more ample parking in their parking lot for any future return visits. Walking inside, you are assaulted with the smells, and a bit over whelmed with the vast variety of the menu items. But we had only one thing on our minds, the lamb gyro with a side of a fresh strawberry shake. From the reviews I had read online, the shakes were not to be missed, and by golly, as a lover of all things ice cream, I would not let them down. After paying for our meal, we were advised to take a seat and that our meal would be brought to us. Looking around, the building does have a Greek theme to it, with an over abundance of Greek columns and Greek sayings painted on the walls and ceiling. It's just the right amount of kitsch to make it something you will remember long after you have left. Very quickly we were presented with our bounty of goodness. A cool refreshing strawberry shake, and the mouth watering lamb gyro, served with a side of rice and yogurt dressing. It was a battle to finish that meal, but the war between mind and stomach was well fought. It really was delicious, with lamb so tender it practically melted in your mouth. We left extremely full, but happy, knowing that we have at least crossed one location off our bucket list of diners, drive-ins, and dives. We only have about 200 more to go and still counting. At this rate Guy needs to slow down a bit, or we'll never get through all of them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


June 21, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. We should have known what to expect yesterday, but as usual, we took on the day with happy thoughts. The unload and loading at Marathon Cheese in Mountain Home, ID went extremely quickly. Even though we were operating on mountain time, and had to be there an hour earlier than we normally would, we were in and out in under an hour. In fact, some of the employees, who were congregated around the office door, even commented to Craig that it was their fastest time ever. Well gee, wouldn't you think we would at least get a free block of cheese for that? By 9am our time, we were rolling down Interstate 84 towards our fuel stop in Jermone, ID and shortly there after would be on the route, that was the longest day we have had on the road. It was not so much the time involved, as we have put in the same amount of hours many times before. No, it was that change of scenery I talked about in my previous post. We have been this way before, but we must have blanked out the memories, because I almost think I would have enjoyed a poke in my eye with a pencil more than the drive we had yesterday. I truly thought it would never end.Once we left the town of Twin Falls, ID, and were well on our way on Highway 93, it soon came time for us to cross into Nevada. Anyone who thinks we are running out of land should take this trip. It reminded me of our days driving across Canada. Mile after mile of nothing. Now granted, there were moments of finding some things nice to look at. Some snow covered mountains, or a nice green pasture, but the majority of it was flat areas of nothingness. But, don't let me lead you astray, because some of the highlights of this trip were the multitude of stretches of road construction where the two lane highway was restricted to only one lane, with a pilot car to escort us through the construction. Obviously, Nevada does not have a shortage of money to spend on the infrastructure of it roadways. We also came across a herd of cows that had escaped their confinement, and made their way to the side of the highway. Time for a photo opportunity there and a blast of the air horn to scare them away from the road. Can't say as I blame them to want to expand their grazing area in search of something more exciting. We kept pushing ourselves to keep going as there wasn't much civilization around except for what might pass as a town here and there along the highway. For the life of me, I can't figure out why people live in these towns in the middle of no where, or what keeps them from moving away. With Craig's driving hours maxed out, we finally pulled into what was touted as a truck stop in Alamo, NV and let me tell you, we were happy to finally put an end to the longest day of the year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


After staying in the drop yard in Pacific, WA Friday night, we didn't have but 6 miles to go for our delivery in Puyallup at the Fred Meyer DC. I guess it has been awhile since we have been there on a weekend, but boy was it dead around there. Not the usual hubbub of activity we normally see. While we sat watching a light rainfall. oh who am I kidding? We weren't watching the rain, we were both on our laptops playing around as the rocking of the trailer let us know the strawberries were being off loaded from the trailer.

Shortly after going empty, were were given the word to dead head to Wallula, WA to drop our empty trailer. Nothing like a nice 250 mile dead head assignment, going over Snoqualmie Pass with no snow issues, and having a truck friendly Starbucks to stop at in Prosser, WA along the way. That's a red letter day in our book!
While enjoying our Starbucks and continuing on our way to Wallula, the Qualcomm chirped with our load assignment. Reading the information I was surprised to see that after picking up a loaded trailer in our drop yard in Pasco, WA we would be taking it to Mountain Home, ID.'s been a very long time since we have had an assignment that would take us off our normal Interstate 5 routing.

We dropped the empty at the Tyson Plant and then drove the 12 miles to the drop yard in Pasco. There we took possession of a trailer loaded with over 40,000 pounds of block cheddar cheese. After scaling legal, we headed out to get just a little further down the road before shutting down. We ended up at the Arrowhead travel plaza in Mission, OR. The last time we had been there, we were delivering boats, and I have to say, I love what they have done to the place since we were last there. It looked to us like they totally tore down the old place and erected a brand new store and a McDonald's. Connected to the facility was a large casino which also looked to have some truck parking. We left there this morning, after a peaceful night's sleep, wanting to make a return visit again in the near future to check out the casino. Our plan today is a stop in Boise, ID for fuel and then heading to the very first Fred Meyer store we ever went to many years ago when we were on the boat fleet. It's time to restock our supplies, and then due to time constraints with driving hours, will head directly to Marathon Cheese Factory in Mountain Home, ID, where we have it on good authority, from the directions in the dispatch, that they have overnight truck parking. Sure will make it easy for us in the morning with our 8am delivery, and no early wake up call.

Know what else is nice? We were also given a preplan loading dairy products from Marathon Cheese and making a delivery to the CostCo in Mira Loma, CA on Wednesday. With this dispatch, we will make our way to the LA area driving the majority on Highway 93 through Idaho and Nevada, then connecting to Interstate 15 and going through Las Vegas, where we just may have to stop, if we can squeeze out some extra time. A little change of scenery will suit us just fine!

Friday, June 18, 2010


With our trailer loaded, we left Santa Maria, CA and head north. As before, it was a beautiful drive along Highway 101, with grape vineyards and acres and acres of fields of produce growing in that great coastal weather. We had a stop in Salinas, CA for fuel, where I treated us with buying a Subway sandwich, and we continued on into the Company yard in French Camp.I managed to take a few photos of the yard as we drove in to at least give an idea of what the yard looks like there. It is a much smaller facility than in Spokane, and the driver's lounge consists of just two couches, a TV and a coffee machine. There is a laundry and shower facility, as well as an outdoor vending and picnic table area. We left French Camp a little before 6am on Thursday and drove into Corning, CA where we waited in line to get the truck washed at the Blue Beacon Truck Wash. Onward we drove until Rice Hill, OR. We decided to stay there for the night and take advantage of showers in the morning. Then this morning, leaving Rice Hill and getting no further than 5 miles away, the engine light on the dash goes off. We check the flashing number in our handy dandy book and call into road service to let them know. Unlike the other times this light has gone off, they wanted us into a CAT dealer right away. We were directed to go into Eugene, OR where there was a dealer located right off the exit. They went about testing the engine and finally determined we needed a solenoid replaced. As Craig and I watched from the comfort of our seats in the truck, they put in the new solenoid and we were off and back on the road again to our fuel stop in Aurora, OR. From there we have just 150 miles to go to for our 8am delivery of the strawberries at the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup. We don't know for sure yet if we will go all the way into Pacific, WA or stop at Gee Cee's in Toledo, WA. We'll just have to wait and see how we feel once we get going again after fueling.....some days you just feel like being lazy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


After finally leaving Ralph's, and not getting an assignment right away, we started heading back towards the yard, because really, there just isn't any place in LA to park and just sit and wait for the QualComm beep. But we would not have to wait long before hearing the chirp, and quickly scanning the information, we did a zig westward off the route we were on to the yard. The assignment was for a load of strawberries out of Santa Maria, CA and braving the LA traffic we heading out onto Highway 101.We were headed to Bonita Packing where we have been once before, and we knew they had a great parking area where we could stay the night until our 8am appointment Wednesday morning. We also knew we would enjoy cooler temperatures than the 96 degrees we saw flashing on a sign as we drove through Calabassas, CA. I watched as we drove further north on Highway 101 away from LA, as the temperature dropped from 96 to 66 within about an hour. Now your talking! That's my kinda weather.Pulling into the staging area at Bonita Packing, we parked, rolled down the windows and let the cool ocean breezes linger through the truck as we enjoyed our dinner and then had a great night's sleep. Craig checked in at 8am and was told that the load would not be ready until at least 10am when the fruit came in from the field. Craig checked out their lounge area, and even found us a bottle of Starbucks to start our day out right. A little after 10am, the shipping office called Craig on the phone with a purchase order number problem.It didn't take long to find out that the wrong shipper had been listed on our dispatch, and we quickly drove the 3 miles to Frontier Cooling, where we found another great facility with a large parking area. After checking in, we were assigned a dock, and 22,000 pounds of the sweetest smelling strawberries were loaded into our trailer. Oh the smell is just so wonderful every time we pulp the load to make sure the product is maintaining the proper temperature.

We will be taking the strawberries to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, WA with a delivery appointment of 8am on Saturday. This gives a nice easy run north for the next couple of days. From the forecast, it looks like we will probably hit some rain once we cross into Washington, but we'll take that any day, because i think dispatch just may have taken pity on us after that Ralph's fiasco.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


On our way back to Ralph's, we were beeped with another message to reroute to downtown LA to drop off the apples with the wrong UPC stickers on them at the broker first. Here is where I earn my keep on the truck, pulling up maps and directions on the fly, and directing Craig to the easiest way there. I would have said fastest, but we are in Los Angeles and it was during commute traffic!

We found the broker's location tucked in behind the Greyhound bus station with little to no area to maneuver around. Fortunately, soon after Craig jumped out and checked in, he snagged the one spot that was easy to get in and out of. In quick order the Golden, erroneously labeled, apples were off loaded and we were headed back to Ralph's and praying for a better outcome than the day/night before.We arrived to find several open spots in their staging line, so we quickly backed in and then checked in at the guard shack. The waiting game began as we watched trucks all around us come in, park and then leave for their dock. Finally, after almost two hours, we were given a dock and made the journey around the complex to our dock and the wall of horrors.I took some pictures so that you can see the variety of scraps against the wall, which is no more than maybe 20 feet from the nose of our truck. We were even given the dock by the fire hydrant this time, but with a little help of the guy next to us unhooking from his trailer, we made it in without so much as leaving any new paint on that wall. I did have to chuckle to myself when even the yard goat who was trying to put a trailer in near us, managed to hit the fire hydrant yellow poles with the trailer he was backing in. Even the Ralph employees are not immune to the parking nightmare.We endured yet another two hours of waiting before the apples were off loaded and we were given our paperwork to leave. We were so happy, we were almost giddy pulling away from the dock and doing one last checkout with the guard. I found it somewhat ironic, as we were pulling back onto the freeway, that I noticed a Ralph's billboard proclaiming the love of their produce. The Devil made me do it, but I had to do a little editing of that billboard. At least it made me feel better!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I'd love to embrace that whole positive thinking stuff when it comes to Ralph's in Compton, CA but I can pretty much guarantee that no amount of positive vibes would have made this load any more desirable, and may I add that we are still on it? Let me begin my little saga from the beginning so we can are get caught up on our little drama.

Yesterday, around 12:30pm, we head off bright eyed and cleanly showered to Ralph's from the Flying J in Lebec. Arriving in Compton at 2:30 we pull into the entrance and take our place in line. The set up is crazy if you ask me. You wait in a line until you get close to the guard shack, then take your paperwork and stand in line behind other drivers at the shack. When you finally get to the front of the line, they tell you to park and then come back and wait in line again.

Parking there is a joke. If there is an empty space on the staging line, which only has about 10 spaces, you have to do a blind side back, all the while avoiding the small van type trucks that are parked along the fence in front of you. If there is no parking available, you wait in the line until one opens up and then you take the empty space. It doesn't take much of an imagination to picture the total chaos this can create during peak delivery times.

Once we got into the staging area, it was back in line for Craig to be told to go back to the truck and await being told which dock to report to. An hour or so later, we were handed our paperwork with our dock number. Good news was the dock number we had was well beyond the fire hydrant issue, and even better news, we had double the space due to an entrance door next to our dock. With a sigh of relief, we are in the dock with no issues and then the waiting begins.

Because of the tight quarters, it's not uncommon, to have to unhook from your trailer to make room for other trucks to back into a space, which we had to do. As we watched truck after truck back in and then leave shortly after, we began wondering about our load. We still had a green light which meant they hadn't even begun to unload our apples. Finally, two hours after being in the dock, they begin unloading. Would you believe it would be over four more hours before we would leave?

They rejected 162 cases of apples because they ordered Pink Lady apples and got Pink Crisp, and they rejected 90 other cases of apples because they had the wrong UPC sticker on them. It's always something at Ralph's, so after being at their facility for over 8 hours, we leave and head to the company yard in Bloomington to get some sleep.

This morning finds us heading back to Ralph's, (insert positive thinking here), to redeliver the Pink Lady apples, because they are also known as Pink Crisp apples, so the rejection of those apples was unnecessary. The other rejected apples will wind up downtown in the Produce District to be sold by a broker. I hope to survive our second trip to Ralphs and live to write about it later.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I'm no business genius, never studied marketing, and would probably fail coming up with a good ad campaign, but I would have thought twice if someone suggested this name for my bakery: Of course I had to do a bit of research, and was quite surprised to find out that Bimbo is the biggest Mexican food corporation and the largest bakery in the world with brands in Latin America, Europe, China, United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Go figure, I guess being a Bimbo isn't that bad after all!

We enjoyed our dinner at the Dos Amigos Restaurant in Weed, CA, but were saddened to see that the new owners of the truck stop have decided to charge hourly for staying in their lot. After eating, we gladly left their truck stop and headed down the road to Corning where we stayed for the night. I have a feeling if they continue to charge for parking, their truck stop may turn into a ghost town. I know we won't be staying there anymore.While enjoying our Sunday drive we thought we had it good, until we saw this sweet looking car zip by us enjoying their Sunday drive as well. By the time I got my camera aimed they were pretty far ahead of us and all I could get was the happy couple as they drove off into the horizon.The other noticeable thing about our drive Sunday was the drastic change in the landscape as we headed towards Los Angeles. Last time I was through this area, I was enjoying the green hills and wild flowers scattered up and down the hillsides. Now??? Well let's just say I'll have to get used to seeing lots and lots of beige hills. That's okay if your a beige kinda person, but me? I love my colors, so I'll just have to wait a good six months for them to turn green again and enjoy the green landscape or Washington and Oregon instead.Today we deliver at the dreaded Ralph's on the produce side where we may have to do battle with the fire hydrant which makes it near impossible to back into a dock. With our delivery not being until 3:30pm this afternoon, there is a good chance we just might get lucky and have no one parked on either side of the dock we get assigned to. Either way, we look at it as a challenge and for me to get out of the truck and hone my skills at assisting Craig to back up in tight spaces. Gotta earn my keep somehow!


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