Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Since being back out on the truck, and traveling Highway 97 near the town of Shaniko, I always think about the "Shoe Tree".  I wrote about it previously here and here.  It was a sad day indeed when I saw that it had been intentionally burned down, but much to my delight, a new "Shoe Tree" has been found. 
It is located in the same general area as the original tree, but on the other side of the highway and by a large turnout area, so it is easy to stop to take a closer look at it and take some pictures.  I wasn't quite ready to part with my summer flip flops yet, or they would have found themselves joining the other foot attire that was dangling from the branches.
I really hope that this new tree catches on and that it will soon have as many shoes, boots, sneakers, and flip flops as the original tree had.  I'll be happy to check out it's growth each and every time we travel near Shaniko, OR.
And to those party poopers who burned down the original shoe tree?  Well, let's just hope they stay away from this one.  I'd love to see it grow and get fat with shoes for many years to come.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It's not often we get routed off our usual Interstate 5 / Highway 97 corridor, but that is exactly what happened yesterday.  We had picked up a load of Tyson Meat in Wallula, WA after we dropped the bananas in Auburn at the Safeway DC.  Looking at what hours Craig had available on is 70 hour clock, we knew we would not be able to make the delivery in Riverside at 0300 on Monday morning.  After advising dispatch of the situation, we took off south to await to hear what the plan for a swap would be.
A few hours into our drive and we were beeped with a message to swap trailers in Chemult, OR and take a load of bananas to Puyallup, WA.  With a delivery at 0500 Monday morning, and only 355 miles to drive, it fit in perfectly with the driving hours Craig had, leaving 90 minutes left to spare.  It also gave us the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful drive along the scenic Williamette Highway, also known as State Route 58.
It had been quite awhile since we have been on on this highway, and it didn't take long to start enjoying it's beauty.  The fall foliage was on display, along with many rivers, streams, waterfalls, and lakes.  Of course there is never an opportunity to pull a big rig over for a photo shoot when inspiration hits, so I did the best that I could from the front seat of the truck.
All too soon, the 87 mile connecting highway between Hwy 97 and Interstate 5 was traveled, and we drove onto the Interstate and left one of the most beautiful drives  in Oregon behind us.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving......I fear this holiday has lost it's true meaning to far too many people these days.  Instead of taking a day to enjoy family and be thankful for our many blessings, it has become the day to start camping out to get "Black Friday" specials for Christmas.  I couldn't believe I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV before Halloween!

This year, as has been the case since 2006, Craig and I will be enjoying a nice relaxing day together in the truck, traveling up Interstate 5 to stage for our delivery in Auburn, WA Friday morning.  We will take time out during the day to stop and enjoy a hot meal, along with so many other people working and/or traveling today. 

We will also be counting our blessings and giving thanks, for being able to live in the greatest Country in the world, have the freedom to choose the lifestyle we want to live, and having the opportunity to be together and create memories that are far more valuable than any "Black Friday" special that is being offered.

Where ever you find yourselves today, both Craig and I hope you are enjoy this day for what it truly is, with family and/or friends, with a hot meal, with giving thanks for all you do have, and that you leave room for that second piece of pie!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I've been noticing the fall colors a lot recently, since we headed back north after receiving a load of bananas in San Diego on Wednesday.  The Interstate 5 drive is one of the most scenic once you hit Redding and continue north.  We've had great weather so far, and I finally pulled out a sweatshirt the other day while in Aurora when the temperature dropped down enough for me to see my breath when walking.
We delivered the bananas to the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, and were immediately sent when empty to Boardman, OR to pick up a load of frozen veggies.  Can only imagine that they are needed for all of those Thankgsgiving feasts that will be consumed on Thursday.  Craig and I are trying to figure out where we might be on Thursday to have a nice meal and count our many blessings and give thanks.
We deliver the frozen veggie in Ontario, CA Monday morning.  With Craig's diminishing driving hours, we ended up with only 5 hours we could drive today.  We all know what that means for the next couple of days, when he starts regenerating hours........the dreaded night driving........but thankfully, it will only be two days starting out at 2am Sunday, and then 1am Monday in order to make the delivery on time.
With starting so early Monday morning, we are pretty confident we will be relaxing in the Company yard in Bloomington, CA the rest of the day after our delivery.  That will give us an opportunity to do some laundry and catch up on some rest.  Can't wait to know what our next assignment will be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


As we suspected, when we were first given our dispatch, we knew the Ralph's load was going to be interesting.  What we didn't know was that when we arrived at Tyson, the powers that be added an additional stop in San Diego.  By the time the load was ready, at 5am Saturday morning, we were already behind the eight ball to even be able to complete this load.  We had 1300 miles to our first drop in San Diego at 7am Monday, and 3 more stops that day ending at Ralph's at 7pm.  The math did not compute and we advised dispatch of the situation.

But, the mantra has always been, make your first stop on time and the rest will have to be worked out.  By doing two full eleven driving days, by getting up at 2am, we made our first delivery in San Diego, but by not getting unloaded until almost 9am, that put us behind for our second drop in Los Angeles. Thankfully, it was a holiday, and traffic was much lighter than normal, and we were only an hour late. 

Problem was, it was a holiday,  and they wanted to close by 11am and not pay their employees more overtime more necessary.  Enter Tyson customer service, who convinced them to take our delivery, which was only 2 pallets, that they off loaded right off the end of the truck without so much as backing into a dock.  Sweet......and we were now an hour to the good for our third appointment which went off without any glitches what so ever.

So now we sit at 2pm, with 2 hours left on Craig's 14 hour clock, and the dreaded Ralph's load still in the back of our trailer with a 7pm appointment.  A call into Dispatch was made to see what plans they had in mind, to which we were told they were calling Ralph's to see if they would take the load early.  Both Craig and I knew that was a waste of time, but we waited for the phone call back and were happy to hear the news that we could go to the Company yard in Bloomington and drop the trailer.  They would have one of the local guys make the final delivery on our load and we could finally get a full nights sleep!

Friday, November 09, 2012


On the road again -
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way
is on the road again.
It has been a while since I've been on the truck full time.  A lot has happened over the past year beginning with the passing of my Mother, and now the beginning of Craig and I once again traveling together in the big green tractor.  I've enjoyed actually living in our home we've had for almost five years, but know that my "home" truly is wherever Craig is, so the passenger seat beside him will once again be occupied by me, my computer and my camera.
I'm looking forward to reacquainting myself with the usual shippers and receivers, and enjoying the ever changing scenery and experiences we will no doubt be sharing being out on the road again.  We packed our bags and headed out to the company yard last night, but not before stopping for a nice celebratory dinner and a shopping trip at WalMart.  Then we went about organizing the truck to accommodate both of our personal stuff, making beds, and putting away groceries.
Talk about perfect timing.  We left home just in time to miss the first snow of the season, and awoke in the company yard to a winter wonderland of whiteness.  I'm sure this will be the first of many, many days of enjoying snow while on our travels.
Our dispatch this morning was to pick up a load of meat at Tyson in Wallula, WA.  Wouldn't you know it, one of the three deliveries we will be making will be to the dreaded Ralph's in Compton, CA.  What a way to start out, but together we can do anything, even Ralph's!


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