Antisipating some Florida sunshine ………………….

   While working and planning a trip to Florida for Feb., I couldn’t wait for the day to come. We had only thought about it but this last summer I figured it was time to do it. I busily planning airline tickets, times and stop offs, lodging and how many days in each place…….now was the day for it all to take place and I wouldn’t have to be working while being there, which you can really never properly take advantage of  the setting without taxi’s etc. and a place to park the truck and feel somewhat safe leaving all the gear on the truck . Most of the time , when I leave the truck for a day or two, I chain the tarps to the deck and padlock all tool boxes but the headache rack is always vunerable with all the chains and ( about 15—10′ and 20′ ers) just hanging there. you have to trust that no one will help themselves.
   We decided to go up to the airport and stay the night in a hotel as the flight departed at 6am with boarding starting at 5:15am. Since we are 1 1/2 hours from the airport, it just seemed like too much of a hassel to start from home. Besides, this hotel will let you park your car for 14 days along with the hotel rate and it isn’t much more than parking at the airport lot and we wouldn’t have to drive so early and get up so early, A  perfect match….We had dinner out at our favorite German restaurant along with a stein of rich , dark, Collabrator that has all the flavors of a 7.6% bottoms up, smilely ale. ( I have to find a clone receipe for that one!) Liver and onions  for me and Daddy-o had weiny’s (3) and a big , fat pretzel with salt crystals pasted on the outside and a dark brown color, warmed to go with the meal. They also come as a fondu pot,  of melted white cheddar and dipping forks, totaly fattening!
   Back to our hotel room and watched tv for a little while and then a 3:30am wake up call………   nite nite………..
   It was pouring out and being typical Oregon…….Sunshine ahead by tomorrow nite at 5:15pm in Florida! Had been especially icky out with wind AND rain and snow level was down to 2000′.
   Happy Trails!!

luck changed on Wed…………

   Wed.9:15am

   Just getting the truck ready for anything that might come our way, an agent called and asked me if I would be interested in a quicky shorthhaul from the Bay area to a small town just 10 miles up the road to a carbon plant there, waiting for a 1 foot thick door, 17 ‘ long and 9’3″ wide which would be oversize and so I said I would take it. At least something to do for the day and make a little money. Permits were ordered and the OD dept. said Ca. was still slow but hopefully by the end of the day they would be here. When we arrived, 4 guys on 4 fork lifts, each on one end of the door, lifted it up and I backed under it , no problem…….. next waiting for the permits was about all I could take and by 1:30pm , the consignee called to say they go home at 2:30pm  and could I make it over by then? I had 2 of the permits and the third was on its way so we traveled up the freeway and were there in  15 minutes. Unloaded in a jif and in the meantime , someone else called about a container going up to the NW and since we are going on a weeks vacation to Florida soon, I jumped at this one and he said it would load in the morning but was in southern Ca. so we had a pretty big deadhead.  This whole trip , which started out ok, ended up as alot of waste and I was not happy about it……grrrrrrrrr. I will start over when home from vacation around the 1 st of March and NOT go to Ca. I have about had it with that state!

   Thurs. 7am

   Loading at this container company was really easy and fast. We were out of there and tied down in a flash and winding our way out and northbound! Another truck from our company also had one of these containers on and behind us  until the mountains, he then went ahead as I do not have big power and am used to moseying  up the hills. We were supposed to unload on Mon. but after calling for directions etc., he said there would be someone there all day , every day so I wouldn’t have to hurry. 
   the weather was a balmy 65 out and as we traveled North, it got colder but the sun continued to shine as this went to Central Oregon and the sun is prevelant there.
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   Later we found out that these containers are scheduled to be shipped to Panama for 2 bedroom homes……..talk about an echo in your living room!……. On Saturday, after being at some friends home for Fri. nite, we unloaded about noon  and bid all farewell .
  
   We popped over the mountains and were home by 3:30pm and I was so glad to get back . Pretty foggy though and another inversion is here for awhile. Rain is supposed to pick up in a few days and that will mean no fog and warmer temps. Being from the Midwest originally, neither one of us like cold and snow……… Forecast is for sunny and 50″s for the weekend and light snow for the Cascades. I don’t ski but Mt. Hood will have a fresh covering tonite.

    Happy Trails!!!
 

    

Stuck in Ca……….

   Thurs. afternoon:
       Arrived  at the consignee address around noon and they were somewhat waiting for this freight…..so we quickly unchained and threw everything on the back deck to put away after the crane had jerked the units off and swung around to a trailer waiting to be loaded for a further trip to another address somewhere off when all were delivered in a row. I  had #G and #H. Another truck had #C and #D and so on………

   When all was done and paperwork signed, I called the agent who gave me a load the day before that was going back to the NW for Friday and that I should call him when unloaded on thurs. for directions, now backslid and told me he didn’t know if it was ready etc, etc……. later to find out , it was to be put on another truck in the morning (Fri.) and I was out! Every once in awhile that happens……… but now I can’t trust that agent and I really thought I could…………………. That means almost inevitably I will get stuck in this area where there is not much freight and freight  especially not exactly where I need to get back too. So here I am on Sunday and it’s $12.00 a nite to park orless you spend $50.00 a day in the cafe’ or buy 75 gal. of fuel a day, blah blah blah……..and  costly to eat and not a thing around except the local cafe’ and a large parking lot…………….. need I say more……
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     Cold last nite and was glad we had that wool blanket to throw over us  and glad to have the APU for some extra heat toward morning….. Tomorrow I will start back digging out something going NW……..Luckily our office is aware and is looking also… In the meantime, the sun is out and we are going for a walk and get some fresh air…….

   Happy Trails!!! 

   ( Pic was supposed to be on the bottom, oh, well! Beautiful Mt. Shasta)

Headed for California

   Wed, 3:45am

   My phone went off early and of course, it was pitch dark out but I needed  to get going early as we thought that we were going to start out last night but we had a problem getting the APU started after an oil change and it sitting for awhile  without being started . Daddy-o was sure that it must be the fuel pump and we called all over to see if one could be located. None right here…….But after a couple of hours, it started and was just fine. So we decided to have supper at the house and get after it early in the morning………..

   I stopped for fuel about an hour out and filled up knowing the oversize load(air handlers) that I would be taking was to be 11′ 4″ wide and 15′ 3″ tall, legal length and only about #22,000. No permits were sent to me as of yet but I could have them sent to the shipper.( I had ordered them yesterday from the OD dept.at our office in  Montana). I wanted to be the 1st to load so I assumed 7am should make that happen since they get there at 7:30am. Really nice , helpful people at this shipper and they load these with  huge forklift along with another guy on one on the other side of trailer to adjust. When checking in at the shipping office, I was informed that the 2 pieces  matching this load # , were not done yet but after a couple  of phone calls, I could take 2 others that were goiing to the same location and were finished yesterday. NO problem. Permits  took extra time because of the Holiday on Monday but finally about noon, we were  on our way……..This is a tall piece, 15’3″, and an excort witha pole in front of the escort car is required for part of the trip, Ca. does not require  escorts for that height. So watching for height on bridges is essential!
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    After  crossing over the Siskiyou Mountains just about sunset, there was heavy fog going over the top. One car had mistakenly  gone off the road and into the ditch , luckely , it was on the side that did not go over the side and down an embankment. Down and around and into the valley below, rain had began and fog still came in patches and we wanted to stop but just where we thought we could settle in for the night, the sign on the exit stated , 15′ 2″ for the underpass……………………no way, have to keep going…………..so another hour and a half went by and finally we got off on an exit that is an overpass…..   and into the truck stop and a late dinner after paperwork and some planning for the next day………………Good night ………

   Happy Trails!!

Checking for freight going South

 

   January 17th
    I was the birthday girl yesterday and had a nice day not really having to do anything special so both of us peered at our Christmas puzzle still not completely finished , about 2/3 ‘s done. It’s an antique style picture of St. Nick among a giant tree and clever toys from the past. When I saw the box, I was immediately drawn to the colors and message and since we were out on the road at the time , buying it was something i had to do right then and try to find one more little space to haul it around until we arrived back in the Northwest. I guess it can go in the  cracker sack and shoved up with the small fan that gets used for too warm of air while sleeping in the South sometimes, I thought. Anyway I’ll have it and not wish I’d bought it when the time comes to put it out. I’d been warned by the kids: “Mom, don’t buy those 1000 piece puzzles next time, ok? They’re just too hard.”  ” Oh, I won’t” I said. But I couldn’t resist this one so, now at  3 pieces a day, we are finally getting to see the end result some. The teenagers that work on it , are a wiz………. It’s all for fun so who cares how long it takes
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    We have an inversion of weather that is staying foggy and cold right now, although not nearly as cold as the midwest where we both grew up, but still it’s wintery  about 35 out and so chilly. Talking to a friend back there today , below zero is in the works for the coming days, no thank you………
 
   Happy Trails!!

   

off duty in Wyoming ………..

Tonite in Wyoming , we are just about to get some supper    but will give a few details of our last couple of loads………

   
   The pipe loads out of Houston Area did not materialize so I felt I had to commit to something else so I would be traveling over the weekend. An agent called and offered me some backhoes and 1 pallet to Az. and the other dropped off at Southern Ca. We had great weather all the way  and enjoyed the mountains and scenery on the way. 

   After that, another load of misc. pumping equipment etc. needed to be hauled right out of the town in So., Ca.  that we were in and was going up to NE Utah. This one payed quite well but going up to that area is chancy  for getting out but no deadhead so I took it… This area is another oil patch that is busy with gas and oil wells but not much going out……all coming in . One good thing was that we would be in Vegas that night by 8pm if all worked out the way I wanted it to…….so we worked right along and up over the mountains we went, stopped for a quick shower and high tailed it for the des.ert………It was pitch dark soon after that and just kept going, arrived in Vegas about 8:30pm. Calculated my bookwork out and slipped into one of our favorite casinos for a an off duty night out…..certainly does a person good and are ready to go the next day…………….I was out the gate by 6:30am and we managed to get up the NE corner by mid evening and found a place to park. Both were pooped out……………………

    After unloading, which took only about 15 minutes we went back to the place we had parked the night before and waited………but nothing………damn…………nothing…………so we started to go down to the Salt Lake area and I called everyone I could think of ……..all cheap freight so I waited some more and finally an agent from Wyoming called and asked if I would be interested in a fairly short haul from Nevada to Wyoming and at first I scoffed…….but then realized that the rate was very good so , I committed again. This one would be only 640 miles but good revenue. In the meantime , we had a wheel seal that was leaking pretty bad and  that had to be fixed NOW. I keep a directory in the truck that tells me where all the Pete and Kenworth dealers are plus Cat dealers. I called a Peterbilt dealer in Wyoming that was close to us and got an appointment for 8 am today. Of course , the brake pads were so saturated with oil that they had to be changed out also………..safety issue! ($463.00) So we got out of there aaround  noon and I had secured another oversize load that will be going out of where we just unloaded (wy.)and about 109 miles away to the SE. that will load  tomorrow. That load will take me to my  home  area but about 270 miles of deadhead to get all the way home after unloading………grrrrrrrrr…and we will be home for Thanksgiving. I will try to get something out of that area for a short haul back to the Portland  area but I doubt it…… 
  
   Supper is calling…………pictures will follow but not for a few days,  when I get home.
Weather is cooperating, no snow tonite….. but is in the 20’s. Bright stars area out and  I have a place to park.  hungry and tired………

   Happy Trails!!

letting my log book cool off………..

    We have been on the go and no time to do anything else but get to the next destination for the last week and a half or so but finally have a day or two to just relax and let my hours expire and start anew. 
   After leaving  the Williston area, crane parts needed to go to Billings, Mt. which was really going to be a quicky but it turned into a longer destination , up into the Shelby Mt.( about 650 miles) area out to a wind farm. But as we were heading into that area, we parked and that night received about 7 ” of wind driven snow and that ended in the morning with about 12 degrees above zero and not being able to even get out of the parking lot. The crane with 2 pilot cars and another flatbed truck couldn’t get out onto the hiway because they were an oversize load so about 2pm they finally arrived and we all followed out to the site and we figured it wouldn’t take but an hour and we would be done.  No such luck, at 7pm we  headed out for Whitefish, Mt. to pick up railroad pumps,pipes and various equipment to go to Seattle , Wa. for in the morning.(ABout 600 miles) That includes going around the bottom of Glacier National Park which I was seriously hopeing for no snow at that time of the night. Very cold out and pitch dark.
   In the morning , we loaded and started for Seattle area while the thaw made everything sloppy and wet but that was fine with me. At least it was warming up! Daddy-o spied an Urgent Care facility and he asked if they could take off his stinky cast.  They  had time  so that made him feel better and didn’t have to sleep with that piece of fire wood on his arm anymore……Yes!
   While making way to Washington, an agent called and asked if I had anything yet for after unloading and if I would like to take military  (humvee’s) to Texarkana, Tx. Three of these were just alittle bigger than  the regular ones so he warned me that  we might have to work a little  to get these to fit on the deck. Two load levelers (bridges) were all the way to the front  and those had to be taken down and put behind the tires of the 1st vehicle after it was loaded all the way up and over the front end of the trailer. that worked out and the other two went right on……. That haul was 2200 miles  and it was Friday about noon already. they wanted them to be delivered on Mon. or Tues. I chose Tues.  We delivered 10am on Tues. Busy Busy…….
   While looking on the computer Tues. afternoon , I noticed a bunch of loads of drill pipe was going to be starting up at the end of the week so I committed to one for Thurs. Now I find out they have been postponed until Fri. and I hope  it won’t get postponed until Mon……… In the mean time, I’lll let my log book rest and we found  a decent place to park for the 2 nights………… I will call tomorrow to see if  everything is going along as scheduled. These loads pay well so I really don’t mind waiting awhile but not too long………….. In the meantime I’m off work!
Happy Trails!!
 

Delivery day in North Dakota

Wed. —4:30am

   My phone alarm quietly prompts me and  I really didn’t want to get up this morning……as I argue with myself slightly, I grab the coffee pot and plug it in , pour the water  and lay back down. Not a good idea and 10 minutes go by.” Get going here”, I scold myself and then begin…… Daddy-o is snoring so nicely, hopefully I can get going and he can sleep awhile.(he never does though) so I slip in the saddle and push the brake valves in to charge the tractor and trailer. It’s 5:10 now and I sip on Daddy-o’s caffeinated coffee for a little lift to wake me up ( i don’t drink caffeinated  anything anymore EXCEPT when I feel sleepy or drowsey and not with it). It takes ahold right away! Even 2 sips have an effect on me now, not to mention chocolate in the evening—awake at 2:30 am–wide awake– have to remember, be careful at the Dairy Queen after supper, lol………!! if I even have caffeine 2 days in a row and only a couple sips or a bite of something with it in, I wake up tired. Without that in my system, I open my eyes and I’m fully awake—–wonderful—-
   As I start out of the parking lot, 2 trucks are on their way out too. There must be 75 to a hundred trucks here for the night and I was lucky to find a hole that I didn’t have to maneuver much to get in. I was weary…….The engine wasn’t even up to operating temperature yet but it was time to skoot and I noticed Daddy-o was up and around back in the sleeper. He thinks he will miss out on something but  thats ok, he’s good company……. By the time I get up the ramp and run through the gears, which takes a couple of miles to get in the high hole, all the gauges except the rear ends and tranny etc. will be up to operating temp. and we’re good to go. I am totally in my element this morning. Coast to Coast is on the XM radio and George has a guest on talking about remote viewing.   The wind is still to my back,–good, I figure 160 miles yet and I’d remembered I will  loose an hour at the North Dakota border also so I”d better keep going. So that means no ham steak breakfast at Glendive like I thought maybe  might take place if we were early , before taking  #16 northeast into ND. That sounded damn good!
   10am CST— 1 mile of rough road to this consignee at about 2 miles per hour and we were unloaded and gone……. I now find out that the load I am supposed to take has been put off because of the wind and the crane can’t load in this wind so…………..ok, find a place to wait it out……….grrrrrrrrr
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Happy Trails!!             177  miles

Early morning and windy!

Tues. 4:30am
   My alarm went off and after just about 10 minutes I was awake fully with enough rest to feel superb. I made coffee quickly with the generator on and put a little heat on  before flicking the key and pushing that chrome button , watching the oil pressure gauge slowly rising until over to 80 lbs or so . Oil is soooo thick til its hot which won’t be too long from now……then she rests at about 60 lbs.It’s pitch dark out and the stars shone brightly while we parked facing the West and into the wind although it was fairly mild still for the season otherwise I would not have parked that way. Easy out for the morning getaway…..Daddy-o flags me back close to the next truck behind me as they were double parked to my right and I needed every little bit to squeeze past the second one on the right ahead of me. We are out and down the superslab by 5:15am. I must get fuel in Post Falls, It’s only about 40 miles ahead. I wonder what the price will be in Id. ?? Wa. has a $.39 fuel tax on every gallon, one the highest in the nation so I usually try to buy elsewhere. Post Falls is exit 2…….It is not much cheaper .$4.35….. Wa. was $4.43!!! I really can’t handle spending $860.00 for a tank of fuel this early this morning so I opt for 171 gal. and it doesn’t fill all the way. About $750.00……… This load is light and I am only about #67,000 gross weight and have the wind to my back…….yea!
   The wind is strong! 20 to 50 miles per hour. I am so thankful it’s from the West!!!!! and I am going East. I’ll get my turn later going the other way. The landscape in Mt. is on the brown side but down and around the mountain roadways,  the foliage  is bright yellow peaking out from skyscraper forest green pines and every part of the branches swaying toward the East with the gusty winds. Spectacular!!
  On I90 there is one Port of Entry that is always open near Billings, Mt. At least 15 trucks are in line and it’s nearing 5:30pm. As I proceed  ahead, I get the green light and we are on our way once again. I really need to get to Miles City yet tonite  and that’s 130 more miles. It’ll be close as I need to get there before the 14 hour rule goes into effect and I started at 5:15am . I know of at least one scale out there in the boonies that could be open and you don’t want to be over if they ask to see your book! It’s a huge fine! Mash on it!!
   By now, it’s pitch dark out again and this is deer country. I do not have a catcher on the front and I really like my straight fenders! We see at least 4 big ones along side the freeway in knarled knots so I’m really awhere of the road ditches and any quick movement but coming down the hills in overdrive there’s not much chance of stopping for jumpers…….
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   8pm-I see the lights of Miles City in the distance and finally will be done for this long day. Supper and a quick walk to Walmart down the street which we both really need for some exercise,  Sweet dreams…….early yet tomorrow, I tell myself , I can always take a snooze later in the day.
Daddy-0 makes himself a leather glove that fits his cast “somewhat” and duct tape comes in handy….. he’s begging to get rid of that cast……. not yet 1 1/2 more weeks…….
10-17-2012-3.
Happy Trails!!    681 miles…………171 gallons fuel……….truck ok , trailer ok………

East bound and down………….

Monday morning 4:30am

   Up and scurrying around getting everything  out to the door for easy loading to the pickup to go down to the truck. Starting the truck left me time to load the rest into the sleeper while Daddy-o put the pickup into the shop and a quick inspection of lights etc. and out the gate we went and down the road to pick up at the shipper. Snow shoes the agent had mentioned would be the load going East.?? So when we arrived, we were curious as to what they were. Luckily, since Daddy-o’s broken wrist is still healing, it was just a short load and easy to haul because just 6 straps and he didn’t have to do much using his arm. Actually , walking feet for drill rig or something of that nature. Low and go!!!
Around 5 pm, we were both  ready to call it a day even though I really needed to go further, I just decided to park, do paperwork, check load, have some supper, and crawl in for the night. I knew I would feel a 100% better tomorrow and not have to fight being tired at the wheel, not good. I thought about the next 2 days and what it would take to get this load delivered by Wed. morning and actually knew that I’d have to get a good day in on Tues. and then still have at least 160 miles to do on Wed. morn with a 9:30am or so delivery time,…… yes, I’ll go for it tomorrow and make it happen on Wed. The agent that gave me this load thought he would have a tank to get out of that area and so I really need to be available by noon on Wed. This haul is 1150 paid miles.
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Happy Trails!!   350 miles