When we left Knoxville and headed over to North Carolina for our pickup, we got to travel through the Smokey Mountains on a route that I have not been on before. It was so wild and gorgeous. I had always heard how pretty they are and I’ve seen them from other routes, but this way was the bomb. There was a river canyon that followed the road and the pine trees covered the mountain sides and it was an enjoyable drive.
When we got to North Carolina I was happy to see that some people have their gardens plowed and are ready to be planting soon. Our good friend, Nadine, said it was 70 in Pinetown, NC the other day. I am ready for warm weather.
But first we have to go to Rochester, NY for a delivery and it seems to never be warm there. We were going to Eastman Kodak. We have been there before. We haul paper in to them. We got unloaded early in the morning so we headed to the truckstop for rest and warmth. It was 2 degrees and the winds were horrible.
We needed to repair a headlight that had broken in two when we hit a bump the night before. We nearly froze to death while working on that. We kept having to climb into the truck to get warm. I made us each a bowl of oatmeal thinking that would help us be warm while outside, but that didn’t work.
While we were eating our oatmeal we got a load of paper products leaving Rochester and going to a distribution center in South Bend, IN. We got moving right away. We are carrying store flyers. It was a nice drive to South Bend. We did run into a few snow showers around Lake Erie, nothing that lasted very long, thank goodness.
We got there early in the morning as soon as they opened and got the load off. There was a Pilot truckstop 2 blocks away, so we went there. I was hoping to get a load out right away. We both like to keep busy running although it does make it hard to sleep the way we need to. Pops loses sleep because of fueling and helping to load and unload when it’s my turn to drive. He is really good to me. I never have to fuel or secures loads unless he needs help. But on the other hand, I do all the paperwork and cleaning and cooking. He helps with groceries and laundry. We do make a pretty good team.
We were dispatched on a load picking up in Indiana and going back to Rochester. Oh boy, we are going to get into snow yet, aren’t we? And this cold is ridiculous. We picked up a big load, heavy. It was 10 pallets of Mylanta. It was heavy and because of it being liquid it rocked the truck while moving. It was hard to get used to. I prayed for bare roads while carrying this load and we didn’t really have any snow that stuck to the ground.
It was during this delivery that we noticed that Chuck was sick. He was really sick. I was convinced that he was probably going to die. We didn’t know what was wrong. He was unresponsive and not eating, drinking, or moving at all. He would moan from time to time. I was so worried. I looked up stuff on the internet and tried to figure out what it could be. I was sure it probably was the ice melt from the parking lots. It is lethal to animals and some of the liquid ice melting products contain the same chemicals as antifreeze which is toxic to animals. I was so sick that I couldn’t eat either. His stomach was so hard and big. It looked like his stomach was a volleyball. He was sick like that for many hours. During the night he vomited and what came up was polyfil fiber from a pillow. Why had he eaten that? I know that dogs will eat grass to make themselves vomit when sick so did he thing polyfil would work like grass? He still wasn’t moving much. I would not take him to a vet because I thought they would want to keep him and there was no way I was going to leave him somewhere and drive off. No Way! I would have him put down if he was that sick. Well, in the middle of the night while I was driving, I felt something nudge my leg. It was Chucky, he was trying to get my attention. I was happy about that, I looked for a place to stop the truck but until I found somewhere he had already vomited up a huge pile of polyfil. When and how and most of all Why did he eat all of that? I can’t believe that he didn’t strangle while eating it.
But now he was better. That was it, right back to normal, just like that. Needless to say we got rid of that dog pillow. I am so glad he is better and thanks to all of you who wished us well during that hard time.
Our next trip was to Milwaukee, WI to a cocoa factory. We were hauling empty plastic containers from Williamson, NY. Oh boy, did it smell good here. It smelled just like a steaming hot fresh cup of cocoa. Yummy, bring on the toast.
I really enjoyed Wisconsin. I have not been there before so I got to color in another state on my FedEx travels map. We were offered 23 load opportunities, one right after the other. Sometimes we had 3-4 at once to try to choose from. We finally accepted and received a load from Franklin, WI to Allentown, PA, it was a hazmat load.
We went to the shipper and got the load. It was a huge battery. It was 4 feet by 4 feet and about 6 or 7 feet tall, one big battery! Well the shipper did not offer us any placards for our truck, they said they don’t use them. Well, I know we cannot move our truck without the proper placards so I made some. I got out our hazmat booklet and looked up the placard. I drew one on the back of one of the others that we have, then I went in and had the shipper make me several copies. After that, I covered them with shipping tape so that they would be durable for our trip. We fastened them to the truck and drove away. Oh I hope they last and don’t blow off.
I was driving and looking around (as usual) I noticed a place called The Cheese Castle. I’m not sure what it was but thought it was interesting, especially since Wisconsin has so many cheese plants. And that reminds me of something. Several years ago while my husband was hauling into and out of Wisconsin, he came home and was talking about all of the cheese plants (factorys) that he saw. Our youngest son, Drew, said, “I didn’t know cheese grew on plants.” It was hilarious and we still chuckle about that when we remember it. As a matter of fact, when our good friends, Doug and Lettie got married, Pops was telling that story before that wedding to the guys in the wedding and Lettie’s brother, Dan couldn’t stop laughing, he giggled all throughout the wedding.
As I was nearing Chicago we passed someplace like a hotel or something and sitting outside of the building was, guess what? The Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile. Yep, I couldn’t believe it. I had seen it on TV and I love the Oscar Mayer bologna song, but I never dreamed I would see the weiner mobile. There it was, I wish I could’ve gotten a picture.
The Chicago city skyline is amazing. It is a pretty city when seen from a distance, but I just hate driving through there. It is eight lanes (one way) of frustration, no matter the time of day. But we did enjoy the sights and especially when we caught sight of Lake Michigan. It was such an amazing shade of blue, Aqua, I guess. And the lake seemed to go on forever and ever. It was so sparkly and pretty.
We really have a wonderfully beautiful country. I hope I never get tired of seeing it. We are truly blessed. God is so good.