Busy girl this week……..

Sunday night……………
 Being parked early was just what the doctor ordered as we both needed a little time to veg…….
Tuesday——load—–385 miles
Wed———-567 miles
Thurs.——–557 miles—fuel
Friday——–579 ———-fuel
Saturday——366  miles
Sunday——–234 miles—-today was a day I needed to get to the truck stop I wanted to get to in order to get a place to park  for the night……….and we were here by 2;30PM.  Almost every load that requires a New England destination, like this one does, I carefully estimate whether it would be lucrative to drop down to Indianapolis and go over with no tolls( I65,- I70-I79-I68) or take the Turnpikes in In., Oh., and Pa. All have substantial tolls!  This load began in the Seattle area(northern US) and is going to central Pennsylvania so that makes sense to stay as close to the Chicago area and down and around and into In. and Oh. as far north as possible so I figured out as close as possible, how much it would cost me to run the toll roads and decided, yes, this time I will do it…………. Normally I would drop down from Chicago to Indianapolis and go East from there to West Virginia and into Maryland but since Pa. is north of there, too many extra miles and when you figure how many extra miles divided by the # of miles you get per gallon,  times about$4.10 or so per gallon, you come up with about the same it would cost in tolls…………$184.00 conservatively. Less wear and tear on equipment and not nearly as much braking that happens on I68 in Maryland. It’s up and down and up and down there………
    Coming thru the Midwest, it was a chilly 8 degrees in the morning but no wind to speak of. Clear and cold. the APU ran all night and kept the engine warm and easily ready to go with the RPM bumped up to about 900 for a short time. Then we were off and down the road.
spending $800.00 in a fuel station…….grrrrrrrrrr  not nice!
a beautiful sunrise on  Thurs morning…….
   This load is a no tarp load and is primer painted so it’s not too serious if a scratch or something of that nature happens. They will be painting it their colors.It’s  parts for a Hyster machine. Will get a pic of it tomorrow before unloading . It’s about #35000 and rides nicely.
THE CASH BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Trails!!!!

Looking for a good paying load…….

   I thought that I would be able to get going on Friday but I still have a couple things to get done before I can leave so after this weekend, I’ll get going…. I looked online at our board and there does seem to be freight out there to some extent but not much in the NW so maybe by Monday it will change. I want to go East or Southeast and there is quite abit of weather out there right now so I’ll let that pass by and start in then……..There was one load going to Ca. but I don’t want to go there first thing out!! I did that last time and I don’t want to go thru that again. No way! Texas would be good or something of that nature. I’ll wait a little. In the meantime , we have to change out the tarps to lumber tarps that have 8′ drops on the truck. I have 6′ drop tarps (plywood tarps) on right now(they are lighter and easier to handle) but last time I missed a load because I didn’t have the big ones on (insulation) and you never know when you need them. I just don’t like to handle those big tarps (100 lbs.) each, even on the deck of the trailer when I don’t have to. Forklifts put them up on top of the load if I am required to tarp and I have been lucky lately to get no tarp freight but that doesn’t always happen.and so i just got alittle over confident that that would continue…….I’ll grab a 12 ‘er to go along with the big ones that  way if i get a shorty to tarp , I may be able to use that along with another, you never know………Altogether I have : lunber tarps—1 @ 26′ and 1@24″,  and plywood tarps: 1 @ 25′ (that one was extended out a couple of feet so I could use these on 35-46′ load but short) and 1@22’. Then I also have 2- 12’er’s with 6′ drops  that were used on the pup trailer (20′ trailer) I had in the beginning. So I usually throw those on with either just for versatility. I have black stretchy rope on the eyelets on the flaps so I can grab and tie a knot quickly , then pull the big flap over those two side flaps and bungie ( I have a million) from the sides of those and back. Two tarps for each load, the back tarp goes on first , then the front one goes on because that one goes over the seam in the middle of the load. Keeps out all water , dirt, air, mud , ice (by the way , they are frozen when you take them off at the consignee in the winter, fun……..really fun putting them on in the winter,haha) Straps are frozen too , fun………..
 Happy Trails!!

An excursion to the National Park south of Key West

   A few days down to Key West was clearly something that we didn’t want to miss so we started  out  fairly early on Sat. morning so we could take our time and check out certain things along the way. I was a little  apprehensive about parking down there since most people fly to get there as all the hotels tell you that there is alternate parking here or there. That is a clue……….But when booking this hotel, they mentioned that we probably would have a place  to park so I took their word for it.
    The wind was from the SE on that day and as we walked out of the hotel, it felt like about 65 to 70, so nice to have it breezy and warm instead of rainy and cold. The drive took us  over a couple of toll roads but there was a SunPass sticker on the rental car we had so we flew on by the toll booths…….  
   Getting further South we came into Key West and stopped at the first welcome center and boy, were we glad we did. They had some especially good  offers at some of the clubs and bars downtown for the duration of our stay. Lots of rum in this area and rum barrels al a cart went well with sweet smelling seafood later that evening. Also margarita’s at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
    While checking in at our hotel, the clerk advised bicycles or scooters to rent instead of trying to park downtown. That could get expensive! So we rented bicycles for a couple days and away we went  with a map in hand……..
   My altime want to do while in Florida has always been to go out to the Dry Tortuga’s. This is a National Park about 70 miles from the Keys. I made arrangements while checking in at the hotel and she made the reservations. A little costly but nonetheless, we were going to go! Only thing is , we had to be at the dock by 7am the next morning  so we made a dry run on our bicycles before going downtown the evening before……This should be interesting since it will be dark out yet and we have no lights on the bikes and there was a cold front going by even this far south and we only had a fleece along for warmth. Luckily the day before was the coldest and that day turned out to be about 78 later in the afternoon……….
    We left out room early and hoped to stop for a donut or anything that would work for a snack before getting on the huge motor craft and taking Bonine (sea sickness meds) on an empty stomach…….grrrr. No such luck, this is a night town and not a morning town so?????   But when getting signed in at the boat, they said we would be served breakfast AND lunch so not to worry! Perfect!
   This is Fort Jefferson out in the middle of nowhere that is rich in history and to top it all off, we had an excellent  tour guide along with being able to walk around as we pleased and could go swimming or snorkeling. Lunch served on the boat from 11-1pm. Be back on the boat by 2:30pm and back to the Keys by 5:30pm.
   Here are some of the beautiful views from Historic Fort Jefferson:

This boat brought us, along with about 100 more, very smooth and accommodating!3-1-2013-2

Approaching the fort……..This fort was started in the early 1800’s
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Daddy-o checking out the bottom floor…..
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sparkling water!!!!
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outside our window while having lunch……….
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hauling patooty on the way back……….

A cute cruise ship waiting to board for somewhere……………

Side note: There is one crocodile  in the moat that came with a storm a few years back………………

Happy Trails!!