Oh my what a week! I have so much to tell you, I don’t know where to begin and I hope I don’t forget anything.
We had a very nice layover in Houston and enjoyed watching the Ravens/Pittsburgh football game at the TA truckstop. Believe me, we had the best commentators, hahaha.
We got a dispatch around 10:30 Monday morning for a pickup near Houston at a chemical plant and delivering in Mass. On Wednesday. It was a hazmat load, but we accepted and got the load.
We headed out to pick up the load. I was excited for the long trip and good pay but I hated the thoughts of going back up North. Oh well, suck it up.
We arrived at the chemical plant and had to go through a “training process.” We had to watch 2 videos and then take a test. No Pets Allowed in through the gates so I had to wait outside while Pops went in for the delivery. At least it was warm and sunny and I kept my book and my phone.
Pops left and had to go through a total vehicle inspection. They looked through my cupboards, all our compartments and under the hood and everywhere. Whew! I guess security is a good thing.
While I waited I talked to Starla on the phone for awhile. And I read for awhile. And I watched the field of longhorn cattle for awhile. I waited for 1 hour and 5 minutes before he got back and away we went.
I was starting the drive so back through Houston past the lake. We saw an area on the lake where pelicans were feeding. There were a good many there. Flying and landing, catching a fish and taking flight again. Interesting.
All along the rural roads are ditches. Some are empty some are not. But what I found intriguing was “mudstacks.” All along these ditches were mudstacks about 6-8 inches high with a hole in the top. I have no idea what they are or what makes them. Research anyone?
We were not very far from Houston when I got pulled over for a DOT inspection. These happen rather frequently, I’m told, but this was only my second one so I was nervous. I couldn’t get the windshield washers to work when he asked me to, so I got wrote up for that. And one of our hazmat placards had blown off so we got wrote up for that and for not having an extra one. We needed to replace the placard right away or risk a ticket if stopped again so we stopped at every truckstop along the way looking for one. But because it was a rare “spontaneous combustible” we couldn’t find one. So I asked a cashier to make us a colored copy of the one we had on the other side and we covered the copy with clear duct tape and voila, good as new.
Somewhere in Virginia I got behind a Batesville Casket Truck. The motto on the back said, Drive safely, Heaven can Wait. Okay, I will.
Later on, still in Virginia I got behind another Batesville Casket Truck. His truck said, The best choice your family will make. Wow. Then when I stopped to pee at a rest stop there was a sticker on the mirror that asked, “Are you Virginia’s next traffic fatality?” And then…..in Pennsylvania I saw a billboard that asked if I was ready to meet God. Is someone telling me something, or what?
The rest of the trip up was pretty uneventful. We arrived a little early to our delivery and they got us out of there pretty quickly, no security here.
We were already dispatched for a trip to Maine for pickup for the same day and then it delivers in El Paso, TX on Friday. We are gonna have to hustle. So Pops drove us up to Maine. The whole way up to there it poured down rain. I guess that was better than snow. I looked everywhere for a moose but never saw one, which everyone said was a wonder. They are plentiful up there. Maine is 90% forest or wetlands. I learned that while there.
Pops got us back through New Hampshire and Massachusetts and then it was my turn to drive. Somehow we had gotten out of rotation and I was doing a lot of night driving now, but Pops is sleeping better than he has since we started this job. We made a quick Walmart stop and then on our way.
We had pretty good weather for the longest time. I drove through New York, New Jersey, PA, Maryland, WV, and part of Virginia, then Pops drove us through the rest of Virginia and Tennessee until about 60 miles from Memphis. We stopped to do laundry and shower. Guess who showed up there? Our good friend and brother from church, Ralph. What a joy to see someone we knew. He is doing so good as a new truck owner, but I can see how much he misses his wife, Kelly. When he talks about her you can see his love for her.
Well we have to get going a storm is coming and I have to drive, oh boy.