Well we refused that load and also another. They were too low paying and one was a Hazmat load. No thanks, we'll wait.
I forgot to tell you some things about our trip here.
When we traveled in Louisiana before, we kept seeing signs for Boudin. I think I told you about that, anyway as we got closer to the Lake Charles area of Louisiana this past week we started to see the signs for boudin. Well I was driving so I pulled in to one place that was advertising it. I saw a woman and asked her if she worked there. Upon finding out that she did I showed her a piece of paper that I had written the word on. I asked her how to pronounce it. She told me it is pronounced, Bo-dan. She asked me where I was from and I told her Pennsylvania and that I had never heard of boudin until traveling through here. She told me that there are many varieties. So okay, I'm game, I ordered a pound of smoked, a pound of spicy and two jalapeno boudin balls. The smoked and spicy were cooked and wrapped up for me to take. It looked like sausage. The woman explained that it contained sausage, rice and spices, although as I said there are many varieties. The jalapeno balls were loose sausage, rice, cheese, jalapenos, and spices and shaped into balls then battered and deep fried. They smelled good.
Once we got back to the truck I put the smoked and spicy into the freezer to take home to share. But the jalapeno balls smelled too good to put away. They were about the size of a big peach, and they were hot already. I broke one in two and gave Pops half. We each took a bite at the same time and then looked at each other and went, "ummmmm." It was good. I wish that I had space in the freezer to buy one for each of you readers. But you will just have to take my word for it. They were really good.If you ever get to Louisiana make sure to buy a jalapeno cheese boudin ball. You won't regret it, until the next day. lol
Later when we reached Texas it was raining hard. We pulled into a rest area near San Jacinta. When I walked into the door, there "guarding" the door was a reptile. I'm not sure what exactly it was. Maybe a gecko, or little iguana. I don't know what the native reptiles are here. Anybody have any answers? It was small, maybe 6 inches total, brownish in color and bold. He was standing there with his front legs turned slightly inward and straight, and it looked like his little chest was puffed out. It surely looked like he was trying to be fierce. I was wishing I had my camera, but I didn't so then I was wondering how I could catch it and take it back to the truck to take it's picture but then I felt bad and didn't want to do that because I didn't want to relocate him away from his family. So you will just have to imagine what he looked like. hahaha
So we ate the other boudin ball today for lunch. Just in case you're wondering.
Well, of course we survived the fasting. It wasn't so bad really. As a matter of fact, we talked about doing it once a week. We did get a snack just after midnight of leftover turkey and a couple pretzels.
The next morning was Sunday. We got up and went to Reidsville Christian Church. It was a newer built building holding 2 services each Sunday morning with a total of 400 people. We went to the early service because of our noon pickup. As soon as we walked in we were made welcome and taken to the fellowship hall where they had a nice table of donuts, biscuits, ham, bacon, tomatoes, coffee, tea. Wow. Free breakfast, cool. They had just built an addition to the building of new classrooms and a teen room. We were given a tour.
We then went into the auditorium. It was very spacious and decorated for Christmas already, how pretty. They started off their service with a praise and worship team in the front, consisting of about 20 singers, a trombone, keyboard, guitar and a bass guitar and drummer. It was very uplifting. At one point I felt tears in my eyes.
The preacher's name is Shannon Newsome. His message was entitled, "Grab a Bowl." It was about how Jesus humbled himself and became a servant and washed the feet of the apostles. Also how we as christians should be like Him and humble ourselves and be of service to others. It was really good.
We really enjoyed their service and will definately go back if we are in that area.
After church we headed over for our pickup. It was about 7 miles away. That went smoothly and we got moving right away. Off to San Antonio.
Traffic was a nightmare. I guess because of holiday travel. But it was 80 miles of stop and go driving. Pops could not sleep through that at all and kept getting up and coming up front. I was worried because I knew that he would have to drive tonight.
When my driving time was up he took over and he did have trouble because of no sleep so we used up all of allotted time taking rest breaks. We were not late for our delivery. We made it about an hour early. Our delivery place was a little confusing to find because it is a brand new location, but we found it and it was an easy delivery.
After making our delivery we drove up to home depot to wait for our owners. They were coming to meet us and bring us some truck parts and supplies. They are trying to get our water and tv and some other things fixed for us. They are really good people and good to work for. They treat us really well.
We were then sent to Houston for layover. So here we are. We got showers and got our laundry done and ate a good Denny's breakfast. We just got a load opportunity, gotta go. More later.
Last evening we were walking through the parking lot on our way to the rest rooms when a FXCC truck pulled up to us and started to talk. Well, of course, the truck wasn't talking, it was the people inside. They asked us to go inside for a cup of coffee. That coffee lasted for about 4 hours. They were such a nice couple who have been driving this job for 17 years. They really like it. They were a wealth of information. We really learned alot from listening to them. And we really enjoyed their company. The wife was asking how long we would be here yet. We told her until Sunday morning. She told me about a really nice flea market that was to be Saturday right across the road. Cool. After we left the restuarant they moved their truck to right next to ours and stayed there.
This morning while enjoying our morning coffee and trying to figure out how hard it was going to be to keep our commitment to fast, we got a knock on the door. It was our friends. They wanted us to go in for breakfast with them. We told them we were fasting and why. So they went ahead in without us. In about 30 minutes the wife came back out and asked us to come in for coffee and conversation. I thought they had already eaten so okay we'll be in. Well, they had not eaten and proceeded to order breakfast. We ordered our coffee. It was okay, I wasn't even really bothered by the looks and smells of the food.
Again we talked for several hours. Before we parted we exchanged phone numbers and she gave info on getting really great discounts on hotel rooms. I hope that we meet up with them again. I have a feeling we will see more of them.
We did walk over to the flea market this afternoon. It was like a gigantic tent city with just about anything you could imagine. I bought a new Dolce & Gabbana purse (purple.) I got a really good deal on it. And then I picked up something for my dad for Christmas.
It was bright and sunny and 70 degrees but windy and the wind was chilly. It really cut through to the bone. Now I know that sounds whiny to those of you who woke up to snow, but I was cold! So after walking around in the air we came back to the truck, covered up and took a nap.
Later we walked back up to the shopping center (Petro.) There is a man there that engraves things and I wanted to get dog tags with our phone number on for the dogs. After seeing the abandoned cats at the rest areas I want to take precations just in case we would ever have to drive away and leave a lost pet. (I would die.)
I'm not sure how we will pass the remainder of the evening, but I know one thing,......I will be eating something at 12:01. haha
We got a load for Sunday after church. It picks up about 40 miles from where we are and goes to Seguin, Texas. YeeHaw! Grab your cowboy hats. Can you say, Alamo?
So we got caught up with laundry today and took some walks and shopped the giftshop. The tattoo/piercing shop was open but Pops didn't want to go in there. hahaha
After supper we got our oil changed and a lube job. Now we are good to go. We have tomorrow off so I'm not sure what we will do just yet although as mentioned there is a movie theater here, free of charge and they are showing some pretty new movies. But who knows?
Our son, Drew, offered up a challenge to fast and pray tomorrow to show our thank for God's rich blessing of Thursday. So we took him up on the challenge. I was happy to see that my sister, Amy took him up on the challenge too.
I checked our church directory and found a church for Sunday morning. Our pickup is at noon so we will have to go to the early service at 8:30, but that don't bother us at all. I called to make sure there was ample parking for our truck, but had to leave a message. We will find a way to get there.
I am excited to go west again. We will be traveling through SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and TX. We have been through all of those before and we will be traveling the same interstates so I feel like I know where I am going. If you look it up on the map we will be skirting the gulf coast again. And that means, ...bridges! But also the bayou. I am hoping that this time we can try those crawlfish baskets and maybe some boudin.
We are about 15 miles from our boss when we get there so they are planning on meeting up with us. I am looking forward to that.
Also a very good friend of mine has a daughter that lives really close by and she would like to meet up with us if only for a few moments. I sure hope we get to. I watch her on Facebook and I love the pictures of her kids. I would love to see them in person and give her a great big hug.
And what I like best of all about this upcoming trip.... it keeps us out of the snow, for another few days at least.
Don't forget about my Thanksgiving Diabetic Challenge. For each new follower that Pops and I get in the week of Thanksgiving we will donate $5.00 to the National Diabetic Foundation.
Some of you have mentioned that you are having some trouble becoming a follower. You will need a google account. If you don't have one already you will need to create one. It is pretty easy, just follow the directions for creating the account. It is free and easy and you may or may not ever use it again, but you do need one to be a lister follower of our blog.
Rise to the challenge, only 2 days left.
I know you are reading the third one today. It is feast or famine with the blogs, I guess. It is Thanksgiving so feast today.
Oh boy, did we ever feast. I have to admit that our meal was really good for what I have to prepare with. I am learning to do wonderful things with a crockpot and microwave, seriously. I did take a picture of our dinner plates but for some reason I can't get it to blog. They are telling me that this is a copyrighted, licensed picture and won't allow me to use it. haha. Oh well, I'll keep trying.
We got company tonight. We met some new people that also drive for FXCC. They pulled up in front of us and came over and talked for awhile. Their names are Ralph and Lisa. They were really nice. It is always good to meet new friends. I hope to see them around somewhere in our travels. I did get to add them to Facebook so I will at least be able to keep up with them occasionally.
Some guys came around selling leather work gloves for $5.00 a pair. They were pretty nice gloves too, but Pops and I just bought ourselves gloves and didn't get any. Ralph bought several pairs. I was hoping the movie man would come around. I sure like bargain movies, right Kristie? lol But he never showed up.
After we ate and I did the dishes (don't you hate that part on Thanksgiving?) Pops played around on the internet a bit while I decorated our Christmas tree. It turned out really nice. I am proud of it. And it lifted my spirits to sit and stare at the colored lights. (No comments Jeffy and Bill.) I did take a picture of it too but haven't tried to upload it to the blog yet.
Then I took the dogs outside to run a little bit in the grass. And Pops took a nap. I really enjoyed texting with everyone and hearing about everyone's day on the computer. Thanks for sharing part of yourselves with us.
I think I am going to read for a bit and then hit the sack.
Good luck to all of you Black Friday shoppers. Here are a few hints of what I would like for Christmas: a pair of Reebok zig tech sneakers(black with purple bottoms,) Halle perfume the brown one, a cute little pair of opal hoop earrings from piercing pagoda, or whatever else you think I would like. Pretty good hints, huh? Anyway, be safe and when you're done spending your money, go home and sleep.
It is very hard to be away from those you care for on a holiday and especially Thanksgiving. I miss my family and friends even I have heard from many of them.
Starla cooked her first Turkey Dinner completely on her own this morning. She sent me a picture of it on my phone. It looks really good. Way to go, Starla. Her and Bill are taking that meal into my dad's house for him and then they are going to my sister's for a meal. Amy is a good cook too so I am envious.
But I put a small turkey breast and stuffing in the crockpot early this morning and I brought some homemade turkey broth from home so I can have noodles. My good friend, Jenny H. almost brought me some homemade noodles. I told her I'll take some at Christmas time. I miss you, Jenny. I hope your day is good.
Please, someone tell her I mentioned her in the blog.
We are also having some real mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, cranberry sauce and a yummy pumpkin roll, thanks to Kelly G.
It all smells so good right now.
We are still on layover and parked at a Petro travelcenter. They are having a huge all you can eat buffet with turkey, pork chops, ribs, ham and all the fixins for only $11.99, but we could never eat enough for us to be worth it. They are showing some good movies in their theater today too, but I have movies for us to watch.
It isn't busy here at all today so the dogs are getting to go out without their leashes all day. They are liking that. It was up to 67 degrees and sunny for a while but then it started to rain and that cooled things off a little.
We are going to put our Christmas tree up later. That should kill about 5 minutes. hahaha I am just glad to have one. I do really like our little home away from home.
Having the internet on our phones is great. I get facebook and myspace updates as they happen. That helps make me feel like I am still part of things. I can even check my blog with my phone and probably even update with it, but it is so much easier for me to type on a computer than to text my blog. I would have to really keep it short and I don't want to. I am going to get an air card for my computer for sure I just haven't yet. But, Keenan, I promise if not before Christmas I will get one then. haha
If you are a prayer warrior, I have a few requests for you to add to your list. First, my daughter, Starla who has a pacemaker and is having some issues. Pray that God will give her answers for that. Next, my good friend, Lettie, is experiencing some problems but she is being treated and I hope that she will start feeling good real soon. Next, our evangelist and his wife will be moving to North Carolina in about a week. They will be missed so much, but I know that God has a plan for them. They don't know anyone so pray that they make friends quickly.
Okay, time to eat finally. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
It feels good but yet sad to be back on the road again. I am glad to be back doing what I like to do, Drive. But it was sad to leave my family again especially when Starla is not feeling good and so far the Dr. hasn’t come up with what is going on and she cannot go back to see him until she pays a lot of money.That doesn’t seem right to me, but what can you do? She has a pacemaker and needs care, so she will have to go.
We left the house Monday morning and drove to Cumberland, MD to get some new tires on the truck. It took about 5 hours to do that. While we were there we were offered a load picking up about 60 miles from homeand delivering in Savannah, GA on Tuesday evening. That would give us an opportunity to go back home for the evening. So that’s what we did.
I cleaned my bedroom and washed the sheets when I got home and fixed supper for Bill, Starla and us. We had pork chops and applesauce, no we didn’t. We had pork chops, parsley potatoes, and cauliflower. It was nice spending the evening with them one more time. We got ready and left home about 10pm.
We drove to our destination and slept until our load came. It was a truck to truck transfer that was coming in from Canada. He was almost 2 hours late, which started us off late. We were hauling airplane landing gear, cool. Once loaded we set off for Savannah.
It wasn’t long before Pops needed to sleep, so he went to the bunk. In a little while I saw a really pretty river flowing through a gorge. It was amazing. I’ll have to remember this, I thought. Where are we? Route 19 in West Virginia. It is called the New River. Wait a minute! Wait a cotton picking minute. I know this route, I know that name. Oh no!
I was with Pops once when he hauled potato chips and we crossed this BIG, AND I MEAN REALLY BIG!!! Bridge. The water below looked like a thread that’s how high up we were. He explained to me that people parachute off this bridge. It is the highest, arched suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
And I was going to have to drive across it, or was I? I could wake him up and make him do it, right? Why didn’t he warn me? He knew how I felt about this bridge. Oh boy. I still had 12 miles to go until I got there. Trust me, I was in a sweat. What was I going to do? I kept on going until 1 mile to go. There is a pull off, a place for people to take pictures of the bridge. He is sleeping so good. Well, I could close my eyes and hope for the best. No, I didn’t do that. I sucked it up and drove. I did not look away from right in front of me. I just drove. Whew, I was finally across. I did it. Whew, I did it. I hate bridges. Did you know that I hate bridges?
Anyway, I kept on passing pickup trucks with trophy bucks on the back. It must be good hunting here in West Virginia. I saw one with brown antlers. I never saw brown antlers before. Once Pops woke up he told me they are called “chocolate” and they get that way from the deer rubbing their antlers on nut trees, like walnut or chestnut trees. Hmm, I learned something.
Traffic was starting to really pick up around 3:00 in the afternoon. I guess everyone is going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. When we pulled into rest areas they were filled with people and pets. Twice at two different rest areas we saw cats in the grass. I wonder if they got away from their owners and had to be left there. What a shame. How heart breaking would that be to love your animal so much to bring it along only to lose it at a rest area? Oh my. I couldn’t stand it.
As we got further down south it stopped raining and got warmer. By the time we got to Savannah it was 8:30pm and still 70 degrees. I could live here, at least this time of year.
We had to be escorted through the airport to the garage type building that we needed. They had us unloaded and on our way in under 15 minutes. We put our unloaded call into FedEx and were told to go to Fayetteville, NC for layover. So here we are, waiting for a load. I think with this being a holiday week, we may have some trouble getting a load, who knows?
Oh well, I have some stuff to do. I just made us breakfast of blueberry pancakes with real PA maple syrup, Yummy. I got the truck clean, and the dishes washed. So if I am going to be stuck somewhere I am glad to be here where there are palm trees and the warm weather.
November is one of my favorite months in the year for many reasons. First of all it is my birthday month which makes it special. Also it is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday because we celebrate all that we have without spending money and causing ourselves stress like with some other holidays. Thanksgiving is also a time when most families get to be together.
Even though Pops and I will not be home for Thanksgiving this year we got to spend some time with our family this month. I appreciate our family and realize that family is the most important thing that you can have.
November is also National Diabetes Month.
Diabetes is a disease that has touched both mine and Pops' side of the family. It is ultimately the major factor in my mothers death at the age of 56.
I am offering up this challenge: We now have 20 followers to our blog. I am willing to contribute $5.00 to the National Diabetes Foundation for each new follower that we pick up during this Thanksgiving week.
Please help Pops and I fight this dreaded disease and at the same time be an encouragement to he and I as we spend our time on the road away from our family.
Challenge begins now and ends Saturday, November 27th at midnight.
Boy, is my belly full! We just had a great meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, pumpkin pie and apple pie. yum yum. There were six of us, Bill, Starla, Bill's mother Mary, Tom, our friend Nate and myself. We had enough food for at least 12 more. I enjoyed cooking the meal and having people over. I miss entertaining. I always liked that.
Mary, we need to get together more. It is nice getting to know you.
Nate, I always enjoy your visits. Have you been going to church?
Tommy, I love you bunches.
Bill and Starla, love you bunches too.
Earlier in the day I went to visit my friend Lettie of Colleta's Kitchen Sink. She wasn't at home and I was hoping for a nice chat and a cup of tea, but that's okay. I ended up going to LaVale and got some more Christmas shopping done.
I found some really nice coffee cups for our truck at the Kichen Collection Store. They are tall and do not have a handle. They are ceramic with a rubber grip around the middle. They have a stretchy rubber sip through lid. I think they will work good for Pops and me. They don't have to wait for Christmas. lol
So I am done shopping for Drew, Starla and Bill, Grandkids and some odd and end gifts I needed. I feel pretty good about what I've done so far. I am looking for a small (very small) tree for our truck. Then I'll have to figure out how to keep it upright. I need lights too. It won't feel right if I don't have a tree and lights.
We got our first Christmas card in the mail today. It was from Uncle Carl and Aunt Chris. They live in the state of Idaho. I wonder if I'll ever get there and if I'll be able to visit with them. I also have an aunt that lives in Oklahoma. They are my mom's brother and sister in law. If you notice on my map, I've not been to either of those states yet.
I talked to Pops today. He finally told me that when he fell in the woods yesterday while hunting in Ohio that he broke his glasses. He told Starla yesterday and she told me. I was wondering if he was going to tell me or not. He said he thought I would yell at him. Who me? What is he talking about? I miss that man. I can't wait to see him on Saturday.
Bill, Allison and Hunter are going out there to hunt with him on Saturday. Hunter is so so so excited. He about can't stand himself. I feel bad for his teacher tomorrow. Bill talked to him on the phone last night and everything he said he repeated twice. He really is a hunter and he cannot wait to go to Ohio.
Starla is off again tomorrow. She got the heart monitor off today. She has to wait until Monday to find out the results of wearing that all week. I hope that all is okay.
I think that her and I will try to have a nice quiet day tomorrow. Well, I can hope can't I?
Today was a quiet, restful day. I woke up this morning around 5:30 and had some trouble falling back to sleep because it was so very windy outside. I could not believe the sound of the wind. I have heard it said before that a tornado coming sounds like a train and I did hear that, but it turns out it was a train. haha
I did fall back to sleep after a while and when I did get up Starla and Bill were just getting ready to leave the house. Starla had to go to the hospital to have her monitor checked and the batteries changed. Bill was going to work. I guess I had the place to myself.
I got caught up on some of my paperwork for FedEx that I have been procrastinating on. And then I worked on some church stuff too. Then I got most of my Christmas cards ready.
Starla came home then and she helped me make some pies for our dinner tomorrow. Bill, Starla and I are having a turkey dinner tomorrow, thanks to Mary, Bill's mom. She gave them a turkey. It is huge! So we decided to go ahead and make it. I am excited. I can't wait to eat turkey, noodles, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pie. Oh yeah, and cranberry sauce. I am trying really hard not to be depressed about not having Thanksgiving dinner with my whole family. I won't think about that now.
We watched some junk on tv for awhile and then I read for awhile. It was a peaceful day. I needed that.
I went to Biblestudy this evening. Jeff taught us a good lesson on the beginning of the church. After the lesson I showed some of the people there my pictures from our trips.
Now we are watching Forest Gump on TV. You know, Life really is like a box of chocolates. You don't ever know what you're going to get.
When I get a box of chocolates I always break them in half to see what they are before I eat them. I want to know what I am getting. And that's all I have to say about that.
I woke up this morning and didn't have any coffee!!! Oh no!!! I went out to my truck, there's tons of coffee out there. While out there I figured I better start it for awhile and let the batteries charge. So I made a pot of coffee while the truck was running. When I came back into the house I realized that Starla had not gone to work.
Her and Bill were in the kitchen. She told me that she had to call her heart doctor and was seeing him in about an hour for appointment. She was having trouble with her pacemaker. She didn't really want me to go along with her, so I waited around the house. I did some laundry, emptied the dishwasher, washed some other dishes, and swept the kitchen floor.
Tom called me and asked if I wanted to meet him and Drew for lunch. I agreed and called Starla. She is okay. She has to wear a heart monitor for the next 2 days and go each day to the hospital to have it checked. She agreed to meet us at the restuarant. We were going to Wasabi.
I met up with all of them at the mall. We chose a hibachi table at the restuarant and they cooked our food in front of us. We had a good time. I love my kids so much. They make me so proud.
After we ate we walked around the mall for awhile. I showed them some items that I would like to have for Christmas. hahaha Size 7, Tom. Don't forget the brown one, Drew. Opal, Starla.
I finished all of my shopping for Drew yesterday and Starla was showing me some things that her and Bill like while we were at the mall.
After leaving the mall I came home and just lazed around watching tv.
Starla took it easy and rested.
Bill will be home shortly and we'll have supper and then watch some more tv.
Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive to me. I do love all of you so very much. I thank you for your encouragement, prayers, comments, hugs, and invitations for lunch, time together or just a shoulder.
I had a really nice day on Monday. I had to go into the bank to open another account so that I can keep our work and taxes seperate from our other funds. Then Starla and I went into Somerset. We went to AT & T again. That's the 3rd time this week. Trying to get the whole family's phones updated and taken care of. For some reason they say that Starla was not eligible for an upgrade. So apparently we got that straightened up.
Then we stopped at McDonalds before going to my Dad's. We picked up some food to take there.
When we got to Dad's he was sleeping. But he woke up right away. He really like his cowboy hat that I brought him from Nevada. He had me take a picture of him to send to his sister. Not long after we got there my nephew, Jake, came over to visit and then my sister, Amy and sister in law, Barb. It was such a nice visit. It was so good to see my family again.
We used to have family supper every Monday night and all of us would get together to eat. I always liked when we did that.
I didn't get to see my brother this time, but I did see my niece, Beth not too long ago when Pops and I stopped at the Somerset Walmart with our truck. She works there.
After leaving Dad's house we drove up to Domino's Pizza. My niece, Kacey was there visiting her boyfriend, Kevin. So we visited with them for a short time and then Starla and I came home.
We were only home for a little while and then we left again to go up to Rest Assured for a visit. It was great to see the residents. There are a few new ones since I stopped working there. One of the new men that is there used to work for me driving school bus when I worked at the bus garage. Most of the residents remembered me but some of the ones with memory problems did not. I really liked getting hugs and kisses from the ones that remembered me.
We visited with the workers for a little while too, but didn't want to keep them from their work so we didn't stay very long. I will stop back up there whenever I get the chance. I do often think of the workers and residents. And I will forever be grateful to God for giving me that job on the exact day that I needed it.
Once we left Rest Assured we traveled over to Frostburg where Starla was meeting with a family that needs someone to watch their children 1-2 days per week.
Then we came home and fixed supper.
Wow, was I sleepy. It was a long fulfilling day. And most importantly, an enjoyable one. And I felt good about all of it.
I talked to Pops on the phone for a little while then went to bed around 10:00.
I need love and encouragement my dear readers. I am feeling really down in the dumps and depressed. It started a little bit on Friday and each day has gotten a little worse. I can't really describe how I feel except like after the birth of a baby or after the Christmas holidays. It feels kind of like a let down or something.
Don't get me wrong I am enjoying my visit with my family and friends but at the same time I feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
I feel like I don't fit anywhere.
I don't like feeling this way because I am afraid that if I can't shake this feeling than I won't want to come home anymore. And I can't feel that way, can I?
Please pray for me.
Yesterday was such a good day. I met up with Carol Werner and Ruth Yoder, two very good friends from my old job at Rest Assured. We had lunch at Hobo's Restuarant in Ellerslie, MD, a 3 hour lunch! We had so much catching up to do. It was so very nice to see them. I loved catching up and hearing about what is going on their lives now. I have missed them and think of them often. And I do think of Rest Assured and the residents there a lot too. I plan on visiting there on Monday. I am anxious to see them again.
After that I picked up some groceries and snackie kinds of foods for the weekend. The kids are coming and I can't wait to see them. They have been asking about me too.
When I got home, I remade the bed in our truck with a new quilt that I picked up at Walmart. The blankets that I had on our bed were a little narrow and when we did sleep together in the bed we had a "tug of war" with the blankets the whole time. The new quilt should take care of that.
Starla and Hunter showed up around 6:20 and Bill, Allison and Kailey came about 5 minutes later. I was so glad to see them.
In the evening we were getting ready to watch a movie so we decided to pop some corn. We couldn't find any microwave so we decided to pop some the old fashioned way. We put some oil in a pot with a glass lid and added some kernels. Well, you would think I invented the most amazing thing. We all had such a great time watching the corn pop. Then we slathered it with butter and salt and Hunter and Bill sprinkled on some Old Bay Seasoning. Then we settled in to watch a movie, "Grown Ups."
This morning when we got up Starla made us a good breakfast of bacon, eggs and homefries. It was good. Then we had to take Allison to Cumberland to meet up with her mother for an appointment. The rest of us went up to the mall to look around. I ended up getting all of their Christmas presents at Aeropostle.
After shopping we came home to fix supper. We also made a jello cake for later.
Hunter and Bill went to the woods for awhile before supper. They got all dressed up in their camoflauge.
We had meatloaf and stuffing for supper. Then we had some cake.
After supper the kids watched Marmaduke. I watched some of it and then came up to my room to study my First Place lesson. It wasn't long before I was invaded by 3 dogs and two kids. All laying around on my bed watching me type my blog. "say hi, kids." They say hi.
Pops should soon be home and tomorrow we will be going to church. I cannot wait to go to First Place again. I miss my friends there so much.
Kailey has basketball practice tomorrow so she will be leaving us in the afternoon. I don't know when I will see her again. Probably not for a month or so. :(
In the words of Dorothy, "There's no place like home." And better yet, there is no bed like your own. I forgot how wonderful my bed is.
We got home around 7:00pm on Tuesday.
Starla and Bill had to work on Wednesday, but we were up before either of them left the house. Drew was sleeping on the couch. He had been to a concert and came here afterwards. He got up early and we went to Somerset to get our new phones. Once there Drew informed us that the phone that I wanted was $78 cheaper in LaVale. So we packed up and drove down there. Well actually, we didn't have anything to pack up, I don't know why I said that.
On the way to LaVale we texted Tom to see if he wanted to meet us for lunch. He said he would so we planned to meet him at the chinese restuarant. We stopped at the house that Drew is buying so that he could show it to us. It is a nice little starter home. I am so proud of him.
We did go to Chinese and of course ate too much, but it sure was good.
After that we went up to Walmart to shop for our phones. Drew decided to get the same phone that I liked. Pops wanted something different. Tom is not yet eligible for an upgrade. And Starla had given me 3 choices for her new phone.
Turns out they didn't have the phone that Pops wanted. It will be in next week sometime and it too is cheaper than Somerset. They didn't have Starla's first choice either and choices 2 and 3 required a data plan which she wasn't interested in. So just Drew and I got new phones. My new phone is what they call a "smart phone." Well, it sure makes me feel dumb. Maybe someday I'll learn how to do something with it. I can turn it on and off so far. And I'm not even kidding about that.
I bought a few groceries and then we went home.
It sure was nice to spend some time with my sons. I love them so much.
Pops and I went to Bible study in the evening. As soon as we walked in our church family surrounded us with hugs. Oh, how I have missed them. It was so very good to be here with such dear friends. we were studying different creeds that people have and how and when they came about. It was a good study.
After Bible study we drove up to pick up Levi Shaffer. He was going hunting in Ohio with Pops in the morning. We loaded up all of his equipment and drove home.
Thursday morning Pops and Levi got up kind of early to go to Ohio. They will be home Saturday evening. Their friend Shane went along too. Starla was up getting ready for work and Bill was awake too.
After everyone left but Bill and myself we were talking and he asked me if I enjoyed driving my car yesterday. I told him that I did although it felt like riding in a go cart and I felt like I needed a helmet. He told me that Hunter had one here if I wanted to borrow it. Can you imagine seeing me driving my car down the road wearing a helmet? hahaha
Once Bill left for work I got busy, .......watching tv. I have not done that in 38 days. Starla had taped 2 of my favorite shows for me so I have about 10 hours of catching up to do. I watched 4 shows, fast forwarding through the commercials so I watched for about 2 1/2 hours. Then I went out to clean the truck. That didn't take too long. And it sure looks good again. I did keep it pretty clean while on the road, but the rugs needed washed and everything needed wiped down real good.
I needed to leave the house at 2:50 because I had an appointment with the chiropractor at 3:30. Tom was meeting me there. We both got a big long informative "lecture" from Dr. Rob and then he adjusted our backs and necks. I felt a lot better immediately, Tom did too, although Doc told him that he would be sore in the morning.
Afterwards we went across the street for pie and coffee. I do love spending time with my kids. It was nice. He went home after that and I drove to get some gas in my car. When I got back to the house Starla was already home. It was pretty late. We made supper and now we are just sitting here watching the Ravens game. Well, they are, I am playing on the computer.
Tomorrow I am meeting some of my friends from Rest Assured for lunch. I am excited, I miss them.
1. Spent 24/7 with Pops for 37 days
2. Crossed the Mississippi River
3. Crossed the Missouri River
4. Crossed the Rocky Mts.
5. Entered New Hampshire
6. Entered Arkansas
7. Entered Louisiana
8. Entered Mississippi
9. Entered Alabama
10. Entered Texas
11. Entered Kansas
12. Entered Colorado
13. Entered Arizona
14. Entered Nevada
15. Entered Utah
16. Entered California
17. Entered Wyoming
18. Entered Nebraska
19. Entered Iowa
20. Saw the St. Louis Arch
21. Been to O'Hare Airport
22. Ate Buttered Popcorn Taffy, yum
23. Saw Tumbleweeds
24. Saw muledeer in the wild
25. Saw Elk in the wild
26. Saw antelope in the wild
27. Saw a rattlesnake in the wild
28. Saw a jack rabbit in the wild
29. Saw badgers in the wild
30. Went to Las Vegas
31. Saw the Hollywood sign
32. Drove truck
33. Showered in a truckstop
34. Slept in a vehicle on the street
35. Celebrated my birthday at a truckstop
36. Went through a Bayou
37. Went through the plains
38. Went through the prairie
39. Wore purple nail polish
40. Visited an accapella church
41. Drove through 26 straight miles of construction
42. Traveled through a desert
43. Saw a mirage
44. Drove in New York City
45. Been in a restuarant over the highway
46. Been to 6 Walmarts in one day
47. Encountered cockleburs in Kansas, Yeow!
48. Saw mountains and palm trees at the same time
49. Drove into LA twice in one day
50. Slept at Walmart
We came back through Las Vegas in the daylight and Pops was driving so I did snap several pictures of casinos. That will make my son, Frankie, happy. He wanted to see pictures of them for some reason. Enjoy, Frankie. While we were driving in to Vegas there must have been some sort of traffic sweep going on because all along the highway the highway patrol had cars pulled over. I did get some pictures of that too. Lol
It didn’t seem very long before we were back in Utah. I decided that since I had already seen most of this state and that I would be driving later that I better take a nap. I woke up in late afternoon and got to see a pretty sunset over Provo Lake. Utah is a very beautiful state. It definitely has something for everyone. We saw a good many hunters and several herds of mule deer and 1 big bull elk with about 6 cow elk. That is so neat to see.
Utah turned into Wyoming some time after dark and I was a little fearful that it would be steep and canyon-like and scary for me while I was driving but it wasn’t. It was slow gradual descents with grassy sides. Pops fell asleep and I turned the radio up and sang along as I drove. I saw some really big rabbits. I mean big! I also saw several coyotes. They were probably looking for and eating the rabbits. Those big rabbits made me think of my friend, Doug Miller. He loves rabbits, probably a little too much, haha. Anyway, he would’ve liked those great big ones from Wyoming.
We pulled in to a truckstop for fuel and decided to shower and rest for awhile. We slept for about 2 ½ hours and then got moving again. Pops was driving this time. After about an hour it started to break daylight. It was the most spectacular sunrise. I took a picture with my cell phone and sent it to a couple of people. Everyone agreed how pretty it was.
We really enjoyed Wyoming. I think we agree that it was probably now our favorite state. Then it was onto Nebraska. It is a lot like Pennsylvania in looks. It has gentle rolling hills and mountains, trees and fields. Although some of it resembled Wyoming and parts was like Utah. We saw a badger there. For real, a badger. Then we saw more of them. I was texting with my son, Drew and asked him if Nebraska was the badger state. He said no, that Wisconsin was.
We stopped at a rest stop and climbed a rock mountain with the dogs. That was nice, except for the second time we found the jagger burrs. They stuck all through my crocs. At least the dogs didn’t get into them this time.
Drew told me that he has now lost 100 pounds. Good for you, Drew.
Nebraska has a lot of deer just like Pennsylvania. It was warmer than I expected it to be.
Iowa was a farming state. We came through it in the dark so it’s not easy to explain how it was. One thing I do know for sure about the part of Iowawhere we passed through is they have so many windmills. Fields and fields of windmills.
Then we were in Illinois. It also is a lot of farm lands. When we came to the city of Chicago I was driving of course. I drove right in. We got there early in the morning and traffic was light. There was a lot of traffic on the way out. We sat still in traffic for a long time. We took our layover at the O’Hare Airport. Wow, big. The rest area there was called an oasis. It was on both side of the highway but had a connecting see through courtyard over the highway. You could sit at the tables and eat while the traffic flowed underneath you.
We were offered a load that picked up in Indianapolis, IN and delivered to Newark, DE. It was a truck to truck transfer. We met the other driver at the FedEx Freight Dock Yard and he unloaded at a dock and then we backed in and his load was loaded onto us. We stopped at a Walmart there to take a nap. We went inside to use this restroom. While in there we saw a very interesting fellow. He was very tall and thin. He had high chunky heeled shoes, a navy tight shirt and khaki pants. He had long straight black hair. He had plucked, arched eyebrows and eyeliner and lipstick. He had long fingernails painted yellow. Oh boy. Let’s get out of here!
We got to the truck to rest. I was not feeling good at all. I have had such problems with my ears and sinuses ever since we crossed the Rockies. I had a headache and was in bad pain. Pops left me rest. He did more of the driving. I felt a little better when I woke up. Thanks, dear. I love you.
This morning while driving I started to pass areas that were familiar. We were in Pennsylvania. I so wanted to go home. Hopefully, we can go home tonight. I made it to within 15 miles of our destination and then ran out of driving time. Pops took over and drove us right in. We got unloaded and called our owner. She said “check out and take your truck out of service and go home. “ Yippee, I love you, Shirley. See you in 10 days. I’m going home.
Don’t you just love what is happening to us? Honestly I am not making any of it up! I promise.
Our load cancelled, now what? Seriously, I want to go home! We just sat in stunned silence in Campers Row for a while trying to collect our thoughts and work through our individual frustrations. I think we were each in such a state of mind that had we spoke we might have been unreasonably grouchy with each other.
I looked in my mirror and saw the sheriff’s car coming up and stopping at each of the trucks and campers. I guess we are being run out of here. Now what? We need a plan. I have a book that has all of the Walmarts in the US. So we searched for one we thought wasn’t too far from us. There is one in Long Beach about 11 miles away. Okay let’s go. It turns out that the city is called Long Beach because it is right at the Pacific Ocean. It is really pretty but there isn’t anywhere to park a truck and stay. There was a Walmart for sure but smack in the center of the city and no where to even get off the road. So on to plan B. Pops wanted me to try to go in behind Long Beach Walmart to the docks. “They’ve got to have docks.” Well my nerves were on edge and this wasn’t turning out the way I expected and traffic was wanting to move behind me so I went right and then right again and we aren’t staying here! “What are you doing? You could’ve went back there. They have to get deliveries. There’s got to be docks.” Pops said, loudly. Well, that was it, I started to cry. Between the load getting cancelled and no where to go and realizing that I was not getting home in time for the tea, I was so upset, I just wanted to go off somewhere and blubber like a baby.
“Let’s get ourselves together.” Pops said. I know what that means, “Get hold of yourself.” So we pulled along the highway and searched for another Walmart. There is one about 13 miles away. We like to park at Walmart because it seems safe, and they leave youalone and you have clean bathrooms. So back into the traffic and through the city to another Walmart except it wasn’t a Walmart, it was a Sam’s Club. No way! And they were under construction. Well we pulled in behind and parked at their docks for about an hour. This wasn’t gonna work either. We can’t sit in the middle of their construction. So we looked for another Walmart. (There are only 2 truckstops in the LA area, they each have parking for about 550 trucks and they are about 40 miles from where we are and busy and not so clean.) There is another Walmart about 8 miles from where we were. It is in Rosemead. Okay, we’ll go there.
Turns out Rosemead Walmart was a great choice. It was close to LA and it was upscale. The Walmart was all stone cased with big brown gables in the front and brown tile roof. There were tall palm trees all around it and instead of the metal cart returns. It had cemented, landscaped cart returns. And the carts had locks on their wheels so that if someone tried to take them out of the parking lot, the wheels would lock. It was so pretty. So we parked at the upper end and went in to get some food.
They had security there too. He kept driving around the parking lot and several times I saw him run some young people out. I went to bed around 8:00, 11pm eastern. I don’t know what time Pops came to bed but about 1:30am eastern someone was pounding on our door. It was security. He told us we could not stay here overnight and the store would soon be closing. He was pretty nice about it though and gave us directions to an all night Walmart not far away. So we drove to that one and it was nice too. There were a few other trucks so we knew it would be okay to stay.
I took the dogs for a walk beforegoing back to bed. While walking through the parking lot, Lucy grabbed something and was eating it. I hate when they do that. It was a hot dog. Someone had bought a pack of hot dogs and the whole pack was laying there except for maybe 2 or 3. Well now there was one less.
The next morning we thought we should drive up to the truckstop and shower. So we did. I find it interesting how a good shower can improve your mood. It’s true. After our shower we decided to eat in the restaurant. I ordered fish and French fries. Pops ordered Soft chicken tacos. It was good. I was starting to feel much better. After we ate we went back out to the truck. We were out there about an hour when a load opportunity came through. It was for Chicago for Monday. We had been turning down load after load because most of them delivered right in California and we wanted to go east. So Chicago seemed like the right opportunity. Good, we got the load. Now we could relax and settle down. It picked up tomorrow afternoon right in downtown LA.
The next day we got up and went into the restaurant for breakfast. We got up around 8:00 pacific time. But I did get a phone text at 5:30am pacific time from my wonderful son in law, wishing me a Happy Birthday. It was my birthday. But 5:30am? I love you, Bill. I ordered steak and eggs, yummy. Pops got what they called a Farmer’s omelet. It was an omelet with all kinds of vegetables and cheese inside and topped with sausage gravy. It said it was fantastic. I know mine was good.
After breakfast we went out and cleaned the truck. I cleaned the inside and he cleaned the box in back. By that time it was time to head for our pickup.
When we were leaving the truckstop there were motorcycle cops that had a car pulled over. We were waiting at a red light and they were right beside us. It dawned on me that they were “chips” California Highway Patrol. I wanted to take a picture but Pops said no, He said I would get in trouble. I think he just didn’t want me taking a picture of the men in uniform. Haha
I was driving because Pops thinks it works better when I drive and he watches the navigation. I think he just likes making me drive in the cities. Lol. It’s ok, though I don’t mind and he is a good navigator. The city looked pretty, although not as many skyscrapers as I had though there would be. We passed the LA Times building. We saw the Hollywood sign. I liked seeing that. It wasn’t as far away as the picture makes it seem. We saw every make of fancy car. We saw so many amazingly beautiful homes, oh my, what kind of job would you have to have to afford this? Wow! And the city was already decorated with Christmas decorations. And we saw a lot that was selling “live Christmas trees.”
We got to our destination but it was 3 different buildings and we weren’t sure which one so Pops went to find out while I parked on a side street and sat and admired the homes. I took some pictures but I didn’t want to appear like a peeping Tom or something so I tried to be inconspicuous. Haha. I think I saw the house that Kevin from Home Alone lived in. Lucy wanted out here. See, she likes upscale too.
When Pops came out he directed me around the block and into a dock. It wasn’t long before we were loaded and ready to go. Pops said that the guy there was strange. He was really worried about this load. He wondered what we would do with it over the weekend. Well, we will be driving it, duh.
Oh it felt good to get away. My mood was better just knowing we were leaving California. We drove out of LA a different way then when we went in. We drove through San Dimas and San Bernadino. I drove and drove. Traffic coming out of LA on a Friday afternoon was pretty bad. It seemed to take a long time. Finally we were out into the desert and moving. And it was starting to get dark. We passed Barstow and not long after that we got a message from FedEx to stop, Load needed to go back to LA. What! Are you kidding me? I just wanted to burst into tears. I cannot believe this stuff. Pops’ phone rang and it was FedEx. The shipper wanted us to bring the load back. We were at a place called Zzyzx. How do you say that? I am so mad. They were not cancelling our load we just needed to return and he wanted to take off two packages. We were 183 miles out!!!! So, we turned around. And went back to LA. We were kind of quiet the whole way.
Once there it didn’t take long for him to get his 2 boxes off and for us to get moving again but honestly can you believe we had to do that? We did get compensated for it though, but still.
We really did a lot of speculation as to what could possible be so valuable that he would turn us around for 2 boxes. I will not even go into what we imagined. But hey, it could have been anything.
We lost about 7-8 hours during that whole ordeal and we didn’t even make it back to where we turned around before we had to stop to sleep. We were both so tired and it was about 3:30am eastern. We decided to sleep for about 3 hours, which turned into about 5 or so. It felt like 5 minutes. I can’t believe how tired my body gets from driving. My arms actually ache after 11 hours and I won’t even talk about my back pain.
Pops bought me a really nice Bluetooth headset for my birthday. So now I can talk while driving and it isn’t noisy. That will make my driving time easier especially when Pops is sleeping.
Well, we just entered Nevada. It won’t be long before we see Las Vegas. Whoppie!
I am going to take a nap now. Pops is driving. He has 5 and a half more hours than it’s my turn.
Hopefully, it will be a nice, enjoyable ride.
I heard the Ladies Tea at Wills Mountain was really nice today. I am so glad to hear that. I hate it that I missed it. I love you, ladies.
Oh people, I can't wait to tell you about California. You will not believe it! I don't hardly believe it and I lived it. I have pictures too.
But it will have to wait for just a little while longer.
Thanks to all who called or texted me happy birthday. I appreciate you all.
Southern Utah looks like what I might imagine the moon looks like. It is a desert. There is some vegetation, but not much. It’s sandy and dirty and hilly and there are craters. Then we entered a gorge, Virgin River Gorge. It was like a small canyon. The river wound around the road and it was so pretty.
I took a lot of pictures, but most are through the windshield and you can see the bug guts. Haha When we came out of the gorge, we back into the desert. There were a lot of scrub plants and cacti. It looks a lot like the deserts you see on TV in the old westerns.
We stopped at a truckstop in the desert about an hour outside of Vegas. I took the dogs for a walk through the sand. I found a desert flower and took a picture. I bought my dad a cowboy hat there.
We saw Las Vegas rise out of the desert. It looked like 3 miles ahead, Pops said. Turns out it was 12 miles ahead. There really isn’t too much to it. A bunch of buildings, casinos, standing in the middle of the desert. What is the fascination? Of course I don’t gamble, so it didn’t interest me.
We found our Walmart and made our delivery. There is a big casino right next door and a bunch of shady characters everywhere you look.
We are on layover now. We will be heading to a truckstop soon. I am waiting on the Lord to show me what He can do. I want to be home by Saturday, does He want us home by then? If He does then something is going to happen soon.
When we left the parking lot of Walmart and begin to move toward Ontario, California for our layover we drove parallel to the Las Vegas Strip on highway 10 South. We could see all of the big name Casinos, The Trump, Caesar’sPalace, The Wynn, The Encore, Mandelay Bay, And so many more that I can’t remember. It was eye catching and hard to stay in my lane as I gawked around. Lol
It didn’t take to long to get away from there though. As I said there really isn’t much to it. Pops was talking to our son, Frankie via text. Frankie wanted us to take pictures. Pops said he wasn’t taking pictures because we were in a hurry to get out of there because it reminded him of Sodom and Gomorrah .Frankie told Pops to tell me not to look back or I would turn into a pillar of salt. Very funny, Frankie.
It didn’t take us long before we entered into Arizona. We were cutting through the corner of Arizona to get into California. We only drove 26 miles through there.We were in California before we knew it. We saw signs stating that we were now in the Mojave National Preservation Area. The Mojave Desert. It was interesting. The sun was beginning to set and the mountains were red and pretty. We entered the San Bernadino Mts. And when we started down the other side San Bernadino City stretched out like stars on the ground. It was amazing. The mountains were lesser now but still pretty substantial, 3000-4000 feet. In the valleys in between them were lighted up cities that glowed so pretty.
We started to enter more populated areas as we got closer to LA. Ontario is a fairly large city just to the east of Los Angeles. I passed a lot of places that I had heard of on TV: Pomona, West Covina, Loma Linda, Riverside, Paramount and into Long Beach. Look up Long Beach on the map. We are so close the Pacific Ocean!
We wanted to find our shippers so we drove to the address. And we got really upset with Gypsy because once again where she brought us was not right. But this time it wasn’t her fault. I noticed that our dispatch address did not match our GPS address which means that one of the dispatchers typed a wrong address into our navigation. So we did find the place.
There were trucks and many campers parked along side the road. So we did too, rather than have to go find somewhere else to sleep. It was ok. I didn’t mind, but Lucy did. She was nervous and wouldn’t even pee there.
When we got up in the morning almost all of the trucks and campers were gone. I don’t quite understand what the campers were doing there. Pops thinks maybe migrant workers waiting to see if one of these businesses could use their help this morning. Maybe.
So we came through the gate and into our shipper. We are sitting here now because they have more for us than what we can haul so we are waiting while they decide what to do. It doesn’t seem to ever be easy. And,…. While we were here a man came by and asked us if we came down route 605 last night. We told him that we did and asked if he saw us. He said he did and wondered if we got our headlight fixed yet. You have got to be kidding me right? After all we just went through with our headlights. Well, sure enough it wasn’t working so Pops and I changed that while we are waiting.
If and when we get loaded we are supposed to be headed for El Paso, TX for a delivery tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is Thursday. Will we get a load right away? Is there any chance that we can home by Saturday morning? God knows! And He isn’t telling me. He is teaching me patience. Why am I such a slow learner?
Keep praying for us. Love you all.
Oh, I cannot believe this!!! Our load was just cancelled. It is a dry run. So now we have no load, we are not moving east and we made no money. It seems that God is trying very hard to teach me the lesson that I was going to teach on Saturday. Maybe I have more to learn before I can teach.
It really now seems impossible that I will be home. I don’t know what to do. I really want to be there and I don’t have anyone lined up to teach it. Lord, what are you teaching me? Help me to learn easily.
I want to take some time right now to thank some of my friends who have been calling or leaving messages for us. It sure is a pick up to hear from people you care about.
Wayne and Nadine , you are such good friends and I thank you for being who you are. You were so good to Wills Mountain and we will be sad to see you go. I love you and wish you well. God has you in His hand and you will be blessed.
Hi to my friends at Rest Assured. Some of you have called or sent email messages and I appreciate that so much. I can’t to visit with you when I am home.I will be up for sure. Tell the residents that I said hi.
Hey, Frances, we are glad when you call us. You always make us laugh. Take care of your family and tell J.T. that Billy says he better be good and get good grades.
My brother Jeffy, I like when you call or we get to talk to you, even if you make fun of us. I miss you a lot. You better get to Farmville. When I was there last there was still a lot of cotton to be picked.
Also, Lettie, Amy and Starla your emails and conversations are invaluable to me. I love all of you so much.
Everyone, keep us in your prayers. We love you all.
It was a mountain. Amazing! How great is our God. This country is magnificent. We have seen deer and antelope, the plains, and now the majestic mountains. There is no way all of this could have happened by some cosmic accident.
I realized I would need to drive in about an hour and a half so I decided to take a nap. I hated to because I was afraid I would miss something. But I did sleep. I woke up when Pops pulled into a truckstop. His driving time was up. We were in Denver. Okay where are the mountains? Isn’t Denver the “mile high city?” Pops told me that as soon as we go around the building I would see mountains. Well, I did and I was excited but also a little nervous about having to drive now.
We started going up and up and up some more. I could not believe what I was seeing. They were so incredibly big. And houses were built right on the sides of them. The sun was starting to set so we were trying to get some pictures through the windshield. I hope we get something good. They are on Pops’ camera and I haven’t gotten to see them yet.
We drove for I don’t know how long, a long time. We kept passing “chain stations” those are places for the trucks to stop and put on their tire chains. And then there were red and white gates, like railroad gates that we saw that they put down when they close the highway due to snow. We came to a place where all trucks had to get over to do a brake check. I know what that means. We are going downhill. The sign said 8 miles of 6% grade. Trucks were to use low gears. No duh! I was a little scared. Yeah, like almost peemy pants scared. I geared down to 9th, still too fast. I geared down to 8th then to 7th. That did it. 7th gear was holding me back without having to use my brakes. And I watched the cars zoom by and I watched the runaway truck ramps go by. Was I still scared? You betcha.
Finally we were to the bottom. Whew! I was over the Rockies. HahahaI’ll say that again. Hahahaha
We were going up again. Up, and up and up some more. We got up near the top and saw snow along the roads, at least a foot of snow. It wasn’t on the roads though, thank goodness.
Pops was on the phone with our good friend, Jeff. We were going down again only this time it was high jagged stone walls on both sides, a canyon. There was a river and a railroad going down through the canyon. It looked and felt like we were riding on the sides of cliffs. It reminded me of an episode of the Flintstones when Fred was driving on the mountains and the road got so narrow that he picked up his car and tiptoed around the corners. That’s what I felt like I needed to do. No kidding!
It went on for hours and hours. I was wishing that it wasn’t dark, but at the same time was glad that it was so I couldn’t see all the scary stuff I knew was right beside us. The speed limit is 75 mph whether you were going up a mountain, down a mountain, or through a canyon, or along a Cliffside, and there are no guardrails. I cannot believe we didn’t see hundreds of wooden crosses all over the place. I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to end up a wooden cross on the side of the road.
Pops went to lay down and go to sleep. Oh my, can I get away with driving 40mph? In some of the valleys I passed by some nice looking places. Vail was one of them. I know that according to the national enquirer that a lot of celebrities go there to ski.It really looked like a nice place. I thought Jennifer Aniston was probably there somewhere. Well, she might be.
I was exhilarated. I wanted to see what I was missing. I cannot wait until daylight. I am so excited.
So much to say since I last wrote, so I am going to break it down by state. I can never successfully describe the beauty of these places. I wish all of you have the chance to see the West someday.
Louisville KY is so pretty. The Ohio River flows all around it and the big iron bridges surrounding the city are awesome. You probably saw some of those pictures already. It is hard to get good pictures while driving or riding but we try.
I was getting anxious to see the Gateway to the West in St. Louis. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought maybe the road went through it. It doesn’t. It is in the middle of apark right beside the river and you drive around it. There really isn’t much else to see in St. Louis. We were through it in no time. Pops did his best to take these pictures while I was driving.
Later that afternoon it was my turn to drive. It was getting dark, figures. I don’t really care for night driving when I don’t know the roads. I was doing okay and the miles were passing by and then suddenly I was going down a steep hill. I thought to myself, “This is pretty steep. I don’t like it.” I no sooner thought that when I noticed iron trusses on both sides of me. I was going down a mountain and across a bridge at the same time! Oh my. Eyes on the road and keep in your lane, Noni.
You cannot really enjoy much when you are driving at night but every once in a while something will catch your eye. I was coming through Blue Springs, MO. I saw a sign that said, home of David Cook, American Idol. Cool.
Kansas City was next. It was huge. It’s lights stretched out for miles. I had to drive right through the middle of the city. I was in awe. The road system was impressive. It had so many cloverleafs right downtown. But what was even more impressive was that some of the city was built over top of the roadways. And the roads weren’t underground. There were tunnels going across overhead, from one building to the next. The tunnels looked white, but kind of see through. I was thinking that it was a covered walkway, but then I saw a blue flash go through it. It must have been a train or something. The city smelled like a mixture of burning plastic and sharpie markers.
Not long after that we started to have some mechanical issues. Our drop axle on our truck that we put down when we are carrying a heavy load seemed to be hanging up like a brake dragging or something. Geesh, that could cause us a fine. Then one of our headlights went out. We stopped to buy a headlight but each of the screws were different and all of them were stripped out. And once again our water pump quit working. Grrrrrrr!
Pops got grumpy and whacked the light and it came on. Okay, good. We’ll deal with the drop axle later and I can jugs of hot water from the truckstops. No big deal.
When I woke up next we were crossing the Prairies of Kansas, miles and miles and miles of cut fields, nothing to see. Every once in awhile you would see off in the distance what looked like a city with skyscrapers; but as you got closer you could see that it was silos, large silos. There were hundreds of silo cities through Kansas. I kept hoping to see a prairie dog. Pops saw one, but I didn’t. I did see a rattlesnake though along the road. There were signs everywhere stating, watch out for rattlesnakes.
The deer in Kansas were as big as cows. Pops and I both thought so. We also saw many coyotes. They were everywhere. Probably eating the prairie dogs. We also saw a herd of antelope.
It was so flat. So nothing. At one point I told Pops that I have never seen so far in all my life. You can literally look for miles into the distance. He told me that while he was driving at night he would drive for 25-30 miles and not see a light of any kind. Wow, that’s vast.
On Sunday morning we stopped at a truckstop in Oak Grove, Kansas. We got our headlight fixed and all the screws changed so we can do it ourselves from now on. We also got new wiper blades put on. And our drop axle fixed. We got all of our laundry done including the sheets and blankets. I cleaned the truck really good and we got showers. I felt amazing now. Everything was clean!
I took the dogs for a walk while at the truckstop. Suddenly they started yipping and “walking on their tiptoes?” What the world? I thought maybe the pavement was hot but it wasn’t really that hot out. Something was jagging my foot. I looked down and had a bunch of some kind of tiny little burrs sticking to my pants and shoes. I reached down to pull them off and wow, it was like tiny, miniature cactus thorns or something. I got them in my fingers. Ouch! And the poor dogs had them in their paws. We got them picked out though, except I still have one in my finger somewhere. I feel it, but can’t see it.
Pops and I both spotted a tumbleweed blowing across a field at the same time. We were like little kids, laughing about that. My sister wanted me to bring her one home. Where would I put that? And honestly I think they are grown up burr grass. I’m not touching them.
Okay, here comes Colorado. One mile away. What is that? Do I see a mountain? Can that thing off in the distance be a mountain? I am excited.