Come along for the Ride!

I am so glad you are here. Stay with us as we travel everywhere. I hope you will enjoy the ride.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Teen age Birds


This morning as I was sitting and watching outside my window I noticed that an awful lot of garbage had blown down to our corner of the parking lot. We actually have a real nice spot and I didn't like all the litter, so while the dogs were tied out, I put on a pair of rubber gloves (yes, I keep packs of them in the truck) and grabbed some garbage bags and decided to clean up the area around us.
Well, the very first thing that I picked up was a HUGE garbage bag. It must have blown out of the garbage can further up the lot.
So I began to fill it up. A man cleaning up the yard across the street asked me if I wanted him to come over and clean up "my" garbage. I told him "No, I will do it. I don't mind."
I only cleaned up the garbage that had blown into what I determined was "our area," at least ours until the weekend is over. But I almost filled up the garbage bag. I then carried the bag over to the garbage cans that are behind our truck. They were full and running over. Anything loose was blowing. I wondered if it is always this breezy here.
So now that that was done I gathered the dogs and got back into the truck. It was already too hot to sit outside.
Pops was still laying down so I grabbed my book and thought I would read for a bit. That is until I looked out the window and saw a few birds under "our" tree. There were four of them. One of them was picking stuff off the ground and eating it. The other three were chasing that one around with their beaks open and pecking at the one with the food. I couldn't understand why they were being so mean and not getting their own food. Then I noticed that those three looked young. They were full size but appeared to have different feathers and just looked young.
So I figured that they must be "teen age" birds and the one gathering food must be the mom. They kept on pecking at her and chasing her trying to always take her food. And when she flew up to the wires, they flew up right behind her and continued their assault on poor mom.
I threw some cereal out of the window. I assumed that if there were plenty of food they would leave her alone. But I was wrong. She came and got a beakful of cereal and then turned around and put cereal into the mouths of her full grown children.
I could not believe I was seeing this. Just like humans, these teens were incapable or unwilling to help themselves. Why did this mama bird let them get away with this behavior? Why do mama humans let their kids get away with certain behaviors?
Mama bird got no rest. All day whenever I watched them she got the same treatment. At one point, a bigger, darker bird came into the yard. I had thrown some popcorn out by then and a rice cake. They were feasting. But when the bigger, darker bird (daddy?) came over, the teens tried to peck at him and get him to feed them. Well, he turned toward them, pecked them back, HARD! And ran them away from the food. haha
They stood off to the side watching him eat; full size birds standing there with their beaks wide open just waiting for food.
It was interesting watching them all interact. But I must say, I found the treatment of the mama disgusting. I was hoping and rooting for her all day to practice a little tough love herself. It was time these kids helped themselves, or better yet, brought some food to poor, tired mama.
Pops and I had church by ourselves again today. Well, we listened to the Zugg Family singers as they sang at Hanging Rock Christian Camp. Kevin Zeigler is uploading it to a live stream via the internet. Then we listened to a sermon by Bruce Goosman, that we had gotten from his son, our friend, Keenan.
It was a very good sermon. He told us a story that Danny Kaye told from a LP album called, Stories from far away places. It was a story about animals in the jungle. They had a tree that would drop food for them after they repeated the word, Uwangelema.
The story goes on to tell what happened when the animals forgot the word that would make the food fall from the tree.
I won't give the story away, just in case you want to google it yourself.
But Bruce tied the story really nicely with how we sometimes forget the Word of God. It was a very interesting sermon. Good job, Bruce.
We have such good Christian friends and technology is so amazing that I almost feel like we can still fellowship even when we can't.
I did go out and sit in the sun for a little while today. But it is just too hot to stay out for very long. I am reading a very good book that a good friend, Jane Duncan, loaned to me. I am enjoying The Centurion's Wife very much.
You can also get very good entertainment just watching out the window. At one point Pops and I watched 3 people on horses gallop right through the city.
We worked around a little on the truck today too. Just tinkering around fixing odd and end things that we have left go until we had more time. Well, today was the time.
I am not bored, but I rarely get bored. I think Pops was a little bored today although I didn't see him play any cards like he usually does when he's bored.
So I figure we will be here one more day since tomorrow is Memorial Day. I am anxious to cook out on the grill. I hope it's not so windy tomorrow. And I hope Mama bird doesn't try to take our food to feed her brats. haha

Saturday, May 28, 2011

End of the Week Travels

We didn't have to wait for a load. We were dispatched immediately. We were going to Indianapolis to receive a transfer from another truck and then taking that to Hanover, PA.
We got to the Fedex terminal early and then waited for the other truck to show up. He was a really nice guy, but not a team so he couldn't make the long run on time. We had to be there by the next day.
He had just picked up in Joplin, MO and was telling us all about the devastation that he saw. He said that the bearings plant was bearly touched while everything else is all gone. Pops and I had been to that plant before so we knew the layout of the area.

These are some pictures of the truckstop area in Joplin, Mo.

Anyway, we got the load transfered and got moving.
Pops drove all that night and then I started to drive as soon as I woke up in the morning. We found our delivery place without any difficulty, but they were busy and we had to wait. That is unusual for us because most places are waiting desperately for our loads. Even still we were out and away from there in less than an hour.
Now we needed some water and groceries. We had passed a grocery store and Walmart on the way into town so we tried to get back there.
Walmart parking lot was not made for our size truck so we had a hard time getting around. We finally found enough space to park near the garden center and Pops waited with the truck in case he needed to move it. I went into the store and bought what we needed.
I hardly even had time to put our groceries away before we were on our next load. We had a pickup in Philadelphia and going to Dallas.
We had an early morning pickup in downtown Philly, so we had the rest of this day free. We drove to a truckstop within 2 hours of Philly and shut down for the night.
As soon as we got parked I took the dogs outside for a walk. The grass was high behind the truck so I didn't let them go far. When we were walking back to the truck I saw something on Lucy and sure enough it was a tick. I got it off quickly before it had time to attach itself to her and then checked her thoroughly. I also checked Chuck and he had two on him. Ugh! Now I'm creeped out. I could hardly stand it. I just determined that we weren't going to leave the inside of the truck.
Huh, that thought didn't last long though, because I realized that since we were going to Dallas I had better get some laundry done. So I gathered all the dirty clothes and went inside to do laundry while Pops took a nap in the truck. I took a book along to occupy myself while in there.
We woke up in the morning around 5:30am, made some coffee and got moving.
Traffic into Philly wasn't too bad considering it was nearer to 8:00am by the time we got close to the city. We had to go right downtown. And drive into an underground parking garage. There were docks in there, but not very much room to manuever. And of course I was driving. I did get us wiggled into a dock and Pops helped to load our truck. We had 4 tall computers. Each one was on a pallet, 4'x4' and 72" tall.
It was much easier getting out of that city than going in, I guess everyone was to work by then.
However we were sent down through Deleware, and Maryland on I95 so traffic was heavy again going through Baltimore and on down to DC. And then again near Manassas, VA.
After that it thinned out and got more rural and open. So I made up some time. I drove out my 10 hours and then Pops started to drive around 7:30pm.
I stayed awake and talked to him to help pass the time until about 12:30am and then I went to the bunk. We had just come into Tennessee.
When I woke up we were in Arkansas and it was close to 8am. We pulled over at a parking area and I got some coffee going and then walked the dogs. Then I started driving.
I finished driving through Arkansas. I could not believe how flooded many areas still were.
Farmers everywhere were trying to get their fields ready or in some cases harvesting wheat already, but the standing water was causing a lot of problems.
I always like driving through Little Rock. It is a pretty city with quite a few tall buildings. But you are through it before you know it.
Then Texarkana. This town is on the border of Arkansas and Texas, similar to how Memphis is in both Tennessee and Arkansas. And finally we drove into Texas.
I have always said I understand Texas being the Lonestar State. Texas is big! It is like a nation unto itself. It really is. You can drive and drive and hardly get started into Texas.
We have been all over it and it has it all; mountains, deserts, prairies. It is hard to not like Texas. You can find a location that would suit just about anybody. But it is hot everywhere.
It was close 100 degrees today and very humid. It almost felt like you were trying to breathe under water.
We didn't get out any more than we had to that is for sure.
We stopped once for fuel this morning and found a litter of kittens living there behind the building. They were cute and I tried to make friends until Pops said, "leave them alone or they'll follow us back to the parking lot." I saw his wisdom because with over 100 trucks back there, it wouldn't be a good place for them. Besides you could tell someone was feeding them well and taking care of them.
Moving again, we rolled into Dallas around 3:30. Our delivery was scheduled  for 7:30, but the guy was very glad to see us early. He was going to go home and then have to come back later, but now he could get us unloaded and leave to go home and be off for the whole long weekend. I love making people happy.
Then we headed to Walmart. It is Friday. Monday is Memorial Day so I am thinking there is a possibility of sitting for a few days.
I wanted to have picnic food if that was the case, so I bought some hot dogs and other stuff so Pops and I could cook on the grill and have a picnic just the two of us.
We also got our truck serviced and our tires balanced. I threw off a wheel weight this morning and then we had a horrible shimmy. That took up most of our evening.
We found a great parking place on an end spot of the Flying J. We have a BIG grassy area next to us with a shade tree! And behind us is a sidewalk. It seems like a good place to set up our grill and our chairs and settle in for the holiday.
How much do you want to bet that we get a load and won't be able to stay? Oh well, we'll see.
I miss you all so much. You would be surprized if you knew how often I think about you.
PS: We got a wonderful email from Will R. from the Redwings. It was good to hear from him again. Although, I seriously think he missed his calling. He should be a blogger too. It is so good to meet good people and get to know them and to know the places they call home. Thanks, Will.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to PA

Pops and I made our delivery early this morning. Of course it was not uneventful. We found our address. It was a Health Center. And our instructions said to go to "receiving" which we did, but no one there seemed to know anything about this delivery. We were sent around to another building and the person there said that the person waiting for this delivery might not show up today. So while everyone sat around scratching their heads as to what we were supposed to do we just sat in the truck wondering too. Our company didn't seem much help either.
Finally a man showed up that knew exactly what we were hauling and knew where it should go so we were sent around to another side of a building. Pops helped the man unload and finally we were out of there.
We decided to wait for a load at a rest area that wasn't too far away, so we drove there. It was a pretty, sunny day and Pops got out and walked around for a bit and then sat at a picnic table nearby. I wanted to do the dishes and clean the truck so I put the dogs out into the grass. There weren't many trucks and there was a big grassy area and Pops was right there so I didn't put them on their leashes, I just left them out.
From time to time while cleaning I looked out to see what they were up to and they were just exploring and enjoying freedom. Pops was talking on the phone.
When I was all done and just about to step out of the truck to get the dogs I noticed that Lucy had scared up a little animal and was going after it. I thought it was a rat or mouse and then I saw another one. I yelled at her to stop and she did immediately but when I got closer I realized that it was too late. She had found a nest of baby bunnies and had injured two of them really bad. I saw 2 others hop into the high grass under a tree and I think I saw a third already under there but wasn't sure.
I put the dogs into the truck and went to get Pops. He had just finished up a phone call and was coming my direction wondering what the commotion was about. I told him what Lucy had done and that there were 2 babies that needed "to be put out of misery." So while I peeked at the little ones that hopped under the tree, Pops took care of the nasty stuff.
Oh, I hated that. I had baby bunny blood all over my hands. I had picked the one up earlier to see how badly it was hurt.
I wished that we had never stopped here. I was so mad at Lucy.
But then I remembered that she is a dog, any dog probably would've done the same thing, but I just can't stop thinking about how small they were and now there were 2 less than before. Where was their mother?
We sat at that rest area for another 2 hours or so and I never did see a mama bunny.
I did see movement under the tree and hoped the best for the remaining little ones.
We got a  load offer that will take us back to Pennsylvania. It picks up tonight in Indianapolis, so we drove a little closer to our pick up spot.
We are now sitting another rest area just 7 miles away from our pickup. I have had the dogs out twice today since we got here, both times on their leashes.
I am not mad at Lucy anymore, but she isn't getting any doggy treats today either.

Monday, May 23, 2011


After all of the fun and excitement of the last couple of days we are now on a somber mission. We just picked up medical supplies in Rochester and are headed West toward the tornado victims.
Please remember them in your prayers and pray for our safe travels.
More later. Love you/

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What a great weekend!

Pops and I had another great time today.
The Redwings had an afternoon game at 1:00pm. We went into the stadium at 12. We found our seats which were even better than last nights seats.
Included with our tickets was a voucher for Pops and I to each have a "homeplate" meal for today. Last night while talking with Will, the GM, he was telling us about a plate of food that Rochester is famous for. It was first started at a local bar and became famous and then every restuarant in town started their own version. What it is, is: Fried Potato chunks, and Macaroni salad on the bottom, Then it is covered with either hamburger, hot dogs, or sausage, then it has chili beans, onions, peppers, chili sauce and then a local hot sauce that is manufactured in this area. The Garbage Bowl.
Well, the Redwings have their version called, "The Homeplate."
So Pops and I went to get ours.
Oh my, what a ton of food and what a sight. Incredible that anyone would think to mix all that together. I told Pops that what I think happened was that somewhere at some picnic, a mom scrapped all her kids food together and dad ate it, and it was good! Thus inventing the garbage plate, just my theory.
Anyway, Pops and I both got the one with cheeseburgers.
It really was good. As a matter of fact while we were eating it some man came over and told us that he isn't from this area but saw our food and wanted to know what it was, so I explained and before long he and his wife came back to the table area with one of their own. Huh.
Then we went into the game. It was cloudy and a little rain was falling but not enough to worry about. At one point I sneaked away and bought Pops a warm up jacket with the logo on it.
The Redwings did not win again, but it didn't matter. We still had a great time. I will never forget this time.
I am so thankful for a job that allows us time to be together and have fun.
Thanks again to Will and the Redwings for a great weekend.
We'll be back.

Thanks, Will.

This is Will R. He is the Assistant General Manager for the Rochester Redwings. He was so good to us. Thank you so much, Will.

Some more pix from our Rochester experience

Baseball action

Horse made out of baseball gloves

good seats, Sat. evening

Kodak bldg.

Big screen

Redwings sculpture

My garbage plate, the homeplate. This is the macaroni salad under the burgers and stuff.

My homeplate, Potato side

Good Lord's Day

Good morning and I hope you enjoy a beautiful day in the Lord.
Once again Pops and I woke up on a Sunday morning behind bars. This time it was due to the hospitality of the Rochester Redwings. They allowed us to sleep in the fenced in parking lot at their stadium.
So Pops and I had a wonderful "little" service in the truck. We had communion and prayer and then listened to a sermon by Harvey Hacker entitled, "Whatever happened to sin?" It is a sermon that he preached last year at Delmarva Family Camp.
Harvey wonders in the sermon why people seem immune to sin anymore. Or they want to cover or justify their sins or the sins of family members.
Harvey preached that we need to do three things: We need to Acknowledge our sin, We need to Abhor sin, and We need to Abstain from sin.
Of course Harvey, in only a way that he can, brought all of these points into light. He is a truth speaker but at the same time, he cracks me up with his humor.
We heard a wonderful, much needed to hear sermon.
People need to wake up! Sin is Sin and God stills HATES it!
He talked about how people "report" their sin when instead they need to "repent" of their sin. How many times have you been guilty of confessing your sin before others and then going back and doing it all over again?
Wake up, people, Acknowledge, Abhor and Abstain from sin.
Rejoice in this day that the Lord has made. Let your light shine before men. Let others see the love of Christ in you. And most of all; don't give in, don't be weak, persevere in your faith so that when the true judgement day comes you will hear God say, "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter in to the Kingdom of God."
Wow, the Kingdom of God! Of all of the awesome places and beauty that we have seen, Nothing will compare to that place. I can't wait to get there. I hope you are there too.
Love you,
Pray for us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some pix

At the Redwings game

This is that dreaded New River Gorge Bridge in WV. Foggy this morning.

Kodak headquarters just outside the ball stadium. We do a lot of Kodak loads to Rochester.

New River Gorge Bridge, Photo from internet

Another view, also from internet

The bridge is even on the WV quarter.

Job Perks

Well, I was wrong about the Rochester Redwings starting a 3 game series on Sunday. Actually they started a 4 game series on Saturday.
Anyway, when we got to the baseball stadium last night we were directed where to park. We sat in the truck and watched the people come and go. We could smell the ballpark food and the air was warm and balmy. It was a gorgeous evening.
After the game they put off fireworks. I leaned my head out of the truck window to watch. Lucy went to hide on the bed. Chucky just cowered in the back.
When they were over, we were met by a man named Chad. He told us that our load would coming out shortly. We went back and put the lift gate down and prepared to load. We had several large trunks and many bat bags and equipment bags. It didn't take long at all to load into the truck.
And Chad gave us each a Rochester Redwings baseball hat and told us that tickets would be waiting for us. How cool is that? I am so excited.
We made the drive in short order, changing back and forth on our driving logs as often as was legal.
We were scheduled to arrive here at 6:45pm but we made it here by 4:00pm. We were directed to where we were going to unload and immediately were met by a group of young men to unload. It only took about 10 minutes.
While Pops was helping to unload the truck, I was talking to our contact: Will Rumbold. I wasn't sure who he was but he was very nice and told us where to pick up our tickets and told me that there would be a food voucher included and he even offered to pay for a hotel for us for the night. What? Wasn't that awesome? We declined on the hotel because of the dogs. But I could not believe how incredibly hospitable they were.
And we also have tickets for tomorrow's game and more food vouchers.
We parked the truck and got cleaned up and ready and then walked over for our tickets. Sure enough there were food vouchers for the Black Angus Stand and a $20 bill for whatever else we might want. That Will R. he is great.
We had good seats, right behind home plate. We went to get our food, Pops chose the angus burger. It came with fries and macaroni salad and a drink. I chose the Philly Cheesesteak, it also came with fries, mac salad and a drink.
We proudly wore our new hats throughout the game and enjoyed the  atmosphere and the game even though the Redwings lost we had a great time.
After the game they had a fireworks display. It was amazing!
When we were leaving the park we happened to run into Will. We told him how much we enjoyed being here and talked to him for quite a while. He sure is a nice guy and has a great personality for this job, which turns out that he is the Assistant General Manager here.
What a good time and we get to do it all again tomorrow.
I love my job!
The Rochester Red Wings are a minor league baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The oldest and longest running minor league franchise in the history of professional sports, the team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins major-league club. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.
The Red Wings were an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals for 32 years (1929–1960), then spent 42 years (1961–2002) as a farm club of the Baltimore Orioles before moving on to the Twins in 2003. The franchise played from 1929 through 1996 at Silver Stadium before moving to Frontier Field in 1997. Beginning on on April 18, 1981, the Red Wings, along with the Pawtucket Red Sox, set the record for the longest professional baseball game ever played (33 innings).
Baseball in Rochester dates back to 1877 with the "Rochesters" of the International Association, and Rochester has had a franchise in the league now known as the International League as early as 1885. The current franchise has been playing in Rochester since 1899, when the team was known as the Rochester Broncos and won the league championship in its inaugural season.
According to Rochester sports historian Douglas Brei, only six franchises in the history of North American professional sports have been playing in the same city and same league continuously and uninterrupted since the 19th century: the Rochester Red Wings, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals. He also reports that, along with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, the Red Wings are one of only two franchises in North American professional sports to have captured a league championship[1] in every decade of the 20th century.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Back out on the Road

We left the house Thursday around 11:30 to go and pick up our truck from the garage, finally. We had wanted to be gone at least a whole day ago, but that doesn't seem to ever work out.
This time it was because our mechanic was waiting for a part to arrive and it seems that UPS had sent it to the wrong address! Huh, imagine, our competition holding us up. Could that really be a coincidence? Anyway, Starla drove us over and waited while we loaded everything up and then we watched her drive away.
I finished putting away our belongings and groceries and then Pops and I waited for a load. We sure didn't have to wait long either. We got two load opportunities right away, one going to Maine and one to Kentucky. One the rate was too low and the other didn't really have enough miles to pay good. So we waited longer. By 3:00 we were on a load picking up in Bedford, PA and going to Atlanta, GA. The pay was pretty good too.
We thought we were going to be about an hour early for our pickup but Gypsy took us to a road that had a locked gate across it. We were 1/4 mile from our destination, we could see it but couldn't get there from here, lol.
A man came up to us from across the street and explained to us how to go to get up there. We had to drive about 8 miles just to get into the place that we were so close to. Gypsy strikes again.
But we made it and while Pops was inside getting our load he talked to some people in there who knew his brother, Juan. It is such a small world. But of course, Bedford is pretty close to our home area.
So we got our load on then hit the highway. I was driving
When we got onto the Pennsylvania turnpike and was leaving the Bedford area, it began to rain. We rounded a curve and right in front us was the most awesome double rainbow. I wish that I had been expecting it or had my camera ready. It was so pretty. It seemed like we were going to drive right under it. And then it was gone, just like that. I am so glad that God allowed us to be in that place at that time.
Pops went to the bunk and tried to sleep. I drove through MD, WV into VA. I listened to the radio, talked on the phone to my sister and said a prayer. Time seemed to pass pretty quickly. There was a lot of road construction.
We stopped for fuel just before crossing the line into North Carolina and Pops decided to drive at that point. The truckstop was pretty busy and full so we elected to stop shortly at a rest area to let the dogs out.
Right after we crossed the stateline we stopped at the NC Welcome Center. I made some coffee for Pops and got us a bite to eat and took the dogs for a walk. When I got back inside I put my pjs on and got ready for bed. It was 1:30 when I climbed into bed and Pops pulled out.
10 seconds later we were pulling right back in and I was getting out of bed.
We blew a headlight and had a DOT checkpoint less than 2 miles ahead. So we gathered tools, a new light and and our flashlight and me, in my pjs, helped Pops change the headlight. Of course it wasn't bright enough and none of the screws matched so we needed 2 wrenches and 3 screwdrivers to do the job. But we did it and when we put it back in, we made sure it had all new bolts and nuts that matched. And it worked! So at 2:15 I was climbing back into bed.
I woke up when we were stopping and starting (and jerking) in a heavy traffic jam near Atlanta. We were 16 miles from our destination.
I helped navigate until we got there. We saw about 6 tractor trailers already lined up and waiting to get in. But because of us being expeditors we were rushed to the front of the line. Hahaha, I love it.
We got unloaded and were driving away in no time. Now to find a Walmart.
We are already dispatched on another load. They hit us up before we even got out of Bedford last night, as a matter of fact, before we even picked up this load.
We didn't know anything about the next load except that it picked up in Atlanta and went to Rochester, NY.
Once we finished up the first dispatch then we details for this load. We are going to the Gwinnett Braves stadium tonight after their game with the Rochester Redwings and picking up all their baseball equipment and taking to Rochester by tomorrow night, because Sunday they start a 3 game series there. How cool is that? Maybe we can score some free tickets. They are both minor league teams.
So while here at the Walmart Plaza I picked up a few things like a spare headlight, and a few other things. Then I noticed an AT & T store here too. I had been wanting a usb air card for my computer so I could have internet without having to be at a truckstop. So I walked over and found a "mifi." It is a mobile hotspot for computers. It will give internet for up to 5 devices at once anywhere there is cell phone coverage. I asked the young man how hard it was to get started and he asked if I by chance had my computer with me. So I came out to the truck and grabbed my computer and within 1/2 hour I am connected and set to go. Well after I charge it for 5 hours. But I am excited. Now there shouldn't be any excuse for not having regular blogs.
Then I got my bagchair out and was sitting in the sun. I tied the dogs out with me so Pops could sleep with no noise or movement in the truck. I had just set up my chair and dialed the house to talk to Starla; she answered and we started a conversation when a man walked around the side of our truck and walked up to me and was looking around as if looking for something. "Are you looking for something?" I asked him.
"Are these dogs for sale?" he wanted to know.
"No, they are mine." and away he went. How weird!
He couldn't possibly have enough money to buy my dogs. Forget about it. I put my chair away and me and the dogs got back into the truck. We'll just sit in here.
So Pops is resting and we wait.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Home time

Once I left the dogs out of the truck Kailey, our granddaughter, realized that I was awake and came over to the truck to say hi. I just love these kids. I quickly gathered up everything I needed to take into the house and tried unsuccessfully to carry it all at once. So I carried in the food items and computers first and then made a second trip for the dirty bed linens and dirty clothes and garbage.
Starla our daughter was at the stove making fudge when I came in. She was selling it to make money to aid the family of the boy who was badly burned. She had orders for over  60 pounds of fudge. So I sat in the kitchen chatting with her and the girls while she proceeded to make several batches of fudge.
A little after noon Pops, Bill and Hunter returned with no turkey and no turkey tales. They hadn't had any luck although Hunter shared a story of Pops falling asleep in the woods and also of Pops falling onto a log. Bill told us how Hunter, too, had fallen asleep for a little while in the woods. There wasn't anyone else who could tell us if Bill fell asleep. I'm guessing he probably did.
Everyone got a little bit of something to eat and then the guys settled down for a quick nap before heading back out to the woods. Us girls, we were going to the store for some groceries. I wanted to make a pot of spaghetti for dinner at the church tomorrow and we wanted steak subs and french fries for supper. Allison just wanted ice cream.
We had a nice time going to the store. The girls filled me in on what's been going on with school, their friends, their boyfriends and anything else they could think of. We picked up everything we needed and headed back to the house.
We had a fairly quiet evening in, but it was good. I was so tired and so was Pops.
The next morning Pops and I got up earlier than the rest so that we could be at the church building by 8am. I wanted to be there for the First Place Meeting and Pops would be there for the leadership meeting.
Our First Place lesson was led by Ginny Logsdon. We had a very nice discussion and wonderful bonding time with the ladies. These women lift me up so much. I love their dedication and strength. They are so faithful and they really love the Lord.
After that we had Sunday school. We had a discussion on baptism. Using the original greek words that the our Bible had been translated from we learned that baptism means to immerse completely. Also Ephesians chapter four tells us that there is only one baptism, so why do some follow the practice of sprinkling or pouring. Do they not understand what immerse means? Or maybe they don't understand what "one baptism" means.
We then went into our morning worship service. Dan brought us a message from Revelation chapter 2: 8-11. It was about perseverance and testing. He was on fire. He is such a truth speaking, down to earth, straight from the word of God, preacher. I love watching him and listening to him. He is so sincere in his love of the Lord.
I was really inspired by the message.
I love Wills Mountain. We have been to so many churches and have seen things done nearly the same way as here, or we have seen things done differently, but I don't know what it is about here, but it is the best. I really miss Wills Mountain when we are away. But I am encouraged by what I see when we are home.
More people are getting involved in the service and I love that. Shouldn't we all be so happy to be in the service of the King?
Our dinner was really good too. We had at least 6 varieties of soup and sandwiches and desserts and meatballs too. Everything was tasty, too bad I got full so quickly. I really enjoy the fellowship dinners that we have every Sunday after services. It really is a good time to sit with other members and chat and catch up with each other. There is always plenty of good food and then you don't have to worry about what you're going to eat when you get home. This has been a marvelous idea and about 75% of our people stay to eat.
Pops and I hung around for a long time just talking to friends. I do believe we were some of the last to leave the building. Of course it is always like that when we go to church at Wills Mountain.
When we did get home I helped Starla finish up her fudge orders that had to be delivered that evening and then a long time friend stopped by to visit. Then our son, Drew showed up for a visit too.
We had such a nice day. Drew stayed until long into the evening and went with us when Pops drove our truck over to the garage so that it would be there for the mechanic in the morning.
As his mother it was my duty to question him about if he is seeing any girls. He told me that he "hangs out with one." When I asked what her name was he told me he didn't know. Translated that means, "change the subject, Mom, I'm not telling you anything else."
Okay so then we talked about his job at the state prison and some of what he goes through as a guard there. I honestly don't know how they can put up with a job like that.
I loved our visit with Drew. I love my kids so much.
The next morning Pops and Hunter were going hunting again. Hunter play hooky from school so that he could hunt with Pops. His mother okayed that only because Hunter promised us that he would study harder and read more during the remainder of the school year.
So after Bill left for work Starla and I just watched some TV and I did some laundry. Around noon we got ready to go visit with my dad. My sister couldn't go and I hadn't heard back from my brother so it was just Starla and I.
We drove the many miles it takes to go see him but first we stopped by his house to get some of his summer clothes to take to the personal care home.
It was so good to see him. He was laying down, resting when we got there but got right up and we went to the kitchen table for our visit. It was a little too chilly and damp to go out to the porch.
We had a nice visit. We reviewed all of the postcards that I had sent to him and we talked about all the places that I had been since I had seen him last.We stayed about an hour and a half and then we left to come back home.
We did make a few errand stops for Starla on the way home.
I had put a beef roast in the crockpot that morning so when we got home things were smelling pretty good. I peeled some potatoes and cooked some noodles. I also made a bowl of cole slaw.
Hunter could hardly wait for supper. Pops said he talked about roast beef and potatoes all afternoon in the woods.
They did get to see and hear some turkeys this time in the woods so they were happy about that and also they saw a white deer. I wish they could've gotten some pictures of that. They are so pretty.
Supper was good and everyone had a full belly. It was time for Hunter to go home. We all told him goodbye and I reminded him of his promise to read and study. I hope he keeps it.
Then the rest of us settled in for a little TV.
Tuesday morning was a slow start to the morning. Pops was hunting and Bill went to work. Starla and I hung out mostly in the kitchen. I wanted to make some homemade coconut cream pies for supper tonight. We were having fried chicken, mashed potatoes, noodles, and peas and carrots. Our son, Tom, was coming up for supper tonight.
Tom came up around 3:00. He came out to the kitchen and chatted with me while I cooked. We talked about all the normal stuff, like his job (he is a prison guard also) and what he has been up to and girls, was he seeing any? No, he isn't right now. Of course as his mother it is my duty to offer up some suggestions concerning these matters and also recommend a girl or two that I think might make a suitable partner for him. I usually get some resistance when we get to this subject but he seemed a little more receptive this time. Hmmmm.
My boys are so handsome and they are good, respectful, hard working men. They have standards and qualities that are hard to match these days. I want so much for them both to be happy, but I don't want them to "settle" for someone just so they don't have to be alone either. It seems very hard to be in the dating world now. I will pray that when they are ready that God will bring them the right person. And I will begin to pray for that person now. That God will also work in their lives to instill good qualities and values in them too.
I loved our visit with Tom. I love my kids so much.
The next morning Pops decided to stay in from hunting. We have gotten so much hard rain in the past two weeks here that streams are flooding and everything is so wet. I actually had to get up during the night and go out to move my car. I was afraid with the little creek getting so high.
Pops and I woke up very early, 4:30am. We sat and drank a pot of coffee while we talked about what we were going to do. After about 3 hours we both got sleepy so we went back to bed.
I woke back up around 11am and Pops was already out of bed.
Starla, Pops and I sat and watched TV for a little while and then Starla and I went to run some errands and stop at the store. I wanted to get the groceries that Pops and I would need to take back on the truck with us.
When we got home from there I found out that we wouldn't be leaving until at least tomorrow sometime. Oh boy, as much as I love being at home, I hadn't intended to be home in the first place and I sure hadn't intended to be home this long!
We made an early supper of Lasagna. Starla also tried out a new fudge recipe: Birthday Cake Fudge.
Pops and I went to Wednesday evening Bible study and stayed late afterwards to visit and talk before returning home.
When we did get home we sampled the new fudge. Umm Umm. It was good.
I hope we get to leave out tomorrow around lunch time. But who knows? Maybe we'll still be here this weekend. I trust that God knows what we are doing and I trust that He is in control of all that.
And I am really enjoying my visit with Starla and Bill. I love my kids.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Looking Back

Sometimes looking back can be a good thing.

Trying to get home

Oh my, we are tired. We have been going and going with little regular sleep, not the right kinds of food, we needed a good hot, long shower and clean clothes. But that wasn't going to happen just yet.
We drove over the Smokey Mountains into TN. That is always a beautiful drive. Then through the corner of KY, IN and Illinois. We made through Chicago with a fairly easy pace. Rush hour was at the tailend. Then into Wisconsin easily enough too until we got to Milwaukee. But it wasn't the traffic that gave us problems there, it was construction. It is construction season in most places now though. But we did get to Oshkosh on time.
We made our delivery. The workers there were admiring our truck. They had never seen an expeditor truck before and were impressed with the size of our sleeper. Of course once Pops explained that we actually live in there and how we travel, they understood why we would need a truck like that.
We got hit with another load immediately when we left there. I had had hopes of getting to a restuarant for a "real" meal. And I have to admit that once I realized that we didn't have time enough to do that I got a liitle pouty. No, I was bordering on being a real cry baby.
We had a trip picking up a load near O'Hare airport that was going to North Central PA. Well, that would be somewhat close to home.
While we were getting unloaded I hurriedly cleaned our truck inside and washed up some dishes and scrounged around for something to eat. At this point we were down to a few protein bars, a couple of over ripe bananas and 1/2 a leftover Big Az hamburger from the truckstop. But we shared knowing surely we would soon get a break to buy some groceries.
And that break came right away.
We did get another load offer and accepted it, but we had a little time to spare so when we drove through a small town we pulled in and I ran into the store for groceries.
I quickly mixed together a meatloaf and put the in the crockpot and heated us up a "pocket sandwich" to hold us over. Well let me tell you, I was in no mood for a pocket sandwich so I pitched mine into the sink and grabbed a bag of chips. They weren't what I wanted either. I wanted meat, potatoes, salad and pie. And I wanted it right now! I was past pouty now. I was getting downright hateful. Poor Pops. Poor dogs. I couldn't even stand myself.
Our pick up was in New Jersey. We had been to this place several times before and it isn't always a pleasant experience, but this time wasn't so bad. There were about 10 trucks like us there so we waited our turn to be loaded. And then we left there to head to a place in Ohio.
I drove us down the NJ turnpike, into Deleware, into Maryland, watching the sights change all along the way. I saw many deer and a few turkeys along the NJ turnpike. We always do. And that surprizes me that they would inhabit an area that is so much city.
We had to stop in Hagerstown, MD for fuel. Because of having a little spare time and my foul mood Pops suggested we get a shower and go into the restuarant to eat. That was music to my ears. I was tired, so tired, but a shower felt great.
I ordered steak, mashed potatoes and the vegetable was broccoli. The meal was supposed to come with soup and salad bar but they had it all torn down (it was 1:00am.) So we talked and waited for our food to arrive. I could hardly stand it, I had waited so long for a good meal.
I ordered my steak to be cooked medium, but when it finally arrived it was rare. The blood was running from it and pooling all around my INSTANT mashed potatoes. And the broccoli..... It was raw broccoli heated for a minute or two in the microwave! I wanted to sit right there and cry out load, but I didn't, mostly because by now the shower had really made me sleepy and I just wanted to get into bed. So I asked for a box and took my food to go.
I stayed awake though because I knew we would be driving within 14 miles of our house and within 4 miles of my son's house. I always like to be awake when we drive past there. It is bittersweet to be so close to those I love and not be able to see them.
And then I went to sleep right away.
When I woke up we were at our delivery place. I heard Pops talking to someone. It was another expeditor driver for another company. I got up and got dressed, made some coffee and took the dogs out. By then we were unloaded and ready to go. We drove over to a nearby truckstop and waited for our next load.
We needed some repair work done to our truck. We knew we should just head home from there, but we wanted to be home next weekend. There was an event that we really wanted to go to, but we didn't know if waiting for the repairs was a good idea. So we just played it by ear. But we did get a load offer right away again and took that as a sign that we should take the trip.
It was a pickup in WV not too far from where we were and going up to Connecticut.
We were at the pickup point for a while. It was a chemical plant and we both had to go into the guard shack and watch a safety video and be advised of safety and security measures. They also asked for our phones and cameras while we were there.
While Pops was inside I again straightened up the inside of our home and reheated my food from the night before. I steamed my broccoli and cooked my steak a little more and heated some real mashed potatoes that I had in the refrigertor. This time it tasted exactly the way I wanted it to. And then we were off to Connecticut.
Honestly this trip went without a hitch. It is a familiar drive through familiar roads, again driving within 60 miles of our home. Then diagonally across the state of Pennsylvania into NY and then into CT.
Our delivery was in a rural area of CT. There were many colonial homes with big front yards. It was a pretty drive. We like the rural parts of CT. We lived there for 2 years many years ago. Our son, Tom, was born in Torrington, Ct.
After our delivery we drove into a rest area to wait for a load. We had talked it over and decided we really needed to go home now and get the repairs. It wasn't too safe to wait much longer. But we were 400 miles away. So we waited it out hoping for a load that would get us closer.
We passed up several pretty good loads. Finally one showed up taking us with 150 miles of our home so we accepted it and got it. But within an hour we got news that the load was going to cancel. Oh well. They told us that there was a chance that it would go a little later though, so we waited around for a little while until they finally left us know that it did in fact cancel and wouldn't be going today at all.
So Pops called and talked to our owner and it was decided that we should head home now.
So we called Starla and told her we were on our way. She and her husband had the kids this weekend so Pops made plans with Bill and Hunter to hunt turkeys the next morning.
We drove the 9+ hours from CT to home but we had to stop at one point and catch a catnap. We pulled into our driveway at about 5am. Bill and Hunter were awake and waiting for Pops.
Within 1/2 hour or so they were gone to hunt turkeys. I opted to stay in the truck so that I wouldn't wake the girls up and also I wanted to get a little more sleep.
Lucy recognized that we were home and she wimpered and shivered wanting out of the truck so that she could go into the house to play with Boots, Starla and Bills dog. I made her lay down and go back to sleep.
We ended up sleeping until 10am. I left Chucky and Lucy out and they ran to Boots who was standing on the backporch waiting. I finished gathering our dirty clothes and our travel bags and walked across to the house. Ahh, Home Sweet Home.

Out West Pt.3

We both enjoyed that Route 17 journey very much. The change in the scenery during that stretch of highway is just amazing.
Once we entered and exited Flagstaff, AZ our direction changed and now we were heading East. And it wasn't long before we started the decline of the mountains and ended up through desert areas again.
I found a truckstop in Winslow, Az and decided to stop to see if I could get the keychain and postcards before we left the state. Sure enough they had what I was looking for. We also fueled the truck and grabbed some fast food and walked the dogs before hitting the road again. Of course the company was calling and wanting to know why we were still so long.
When I was typing Winslow, AZ into our computer I thought to myself, where had I heard that before? And asked Pops if it was part of a song. And we both got it at the same time, Eagles-Take it Easy. So we had quite a bit of fun with that on Facebook for the rest of the evening and we both hummed or sang the song off and on for two whole days; funny how that happens. "Well, I'm standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ......"and "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy."
Nothing much looked any different in New Mexico, Texas, or Oklahoma on the return trip. Although I did pay a little more attention to some of the houses that some of the Indian people live in. It bothered me to see the poverty level of many of them.
Before long we were driving back through the state of MO. Now this seems to be real familiar territory to me now. We have been through these areas many times now and I was recognizing where we were and knowing what was ahead before we even got there. But one thing really got my attention this time, the armadillos. There were so many this time. I don't remember seeing that many ever before when we were here. Maybe it had to do with so much flooded areas and the water was forcing them to move to other areas, I don't know, but it was remarkable how many there were. And they are strange. They look strange, and they run weird. I don't know much about that animal, but they are odd and they get run over more than any animal, I think.
Then we were going back through Illinois because we were rerouted because of major flooding in the Memphis area. We heard that parts of that area was so bad that many roads were closed and bridges were out and peoples homes were flooding.
I know we have seen a lot of flooding in many states this spring already. Some states were even taking drastic measures to relive pressure on their dams. Some cities were being flooded on purpose to protect other cities from worse flooding. Wow.
We drove through the same places that we had passed on our way out. When we were driving along the flooded fields in southern Illinois it was nighttime. There were so many insects that within a very short time our windshield almost completely closed up because of dead bugs. It was disgusting.
We finally reached our destination in Nashville late Saturday night. Our delivery appointment wasn't until Monday morning and because our load was so high security we had to go to a FedEx Freight terminal and wait out our time, behind the locked and guarded fence.
The guard left us in and told us where to park and we didn't take long until we were both sleeping. When we woke up the next morning, Sunday, we walked the dogs and had a good look around. This place was big. There were about 75 or more trucks all parked in a line right in front of us and all the docks around the terminal were parked full. There were lines of trailers too.
Pops and I had our own church service because of not being allowed to leave this area. We had communion, we had a study discussion and then read some scriptures and prayed together out loud, mentioning our requests and many of our church members up to God in prayer.
After church I got my lawn chair out and took my book and the dogs and sat outside. There wasn't a soul around except the guard in the guardshack and Pops and myself.
But then we noticed two smaller trucks drive in. They had a pressure washer logo on the side of their truck. They had come to wash all of those trucks that were parked in the line. It took them many hours to do it. Just before they left the lot I asked them if they would wash our truck. I wanted all of those nasty bugs off. They agreed and I paid them cash and they did the best wash job our truck has seen in a long time. I was proud of the bargain that I had struck with them. We usually pay $50 or more. Our boss would refund us the money the next day. And not only that, our boss decided to have pizza sent to our truck since we couldn't get out to get food. Wasn't that nice? So soon the PizzaHut guy pulled up bringing our order. Ha, life is good.
We got a great nights sleep, but woke early to make our delivery. We had to drive about 2  hours to get to Knoxville.
It was easy to locate our address and it didn't take long to get the load off although Pops and I had to unload it and haul it all into the building. And then we were sent to South Carolina for another pickup.
We like going to South Carolina, we have friends there, although we never to get to stay for very long. It is a real good area for good loads. At least for our size truck. We talked to 3 van drivers while there and they were complaining about slow freight. But within 2 hours we were on another load and getting ready to head to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Oh wow. No rest for the weary.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Mt.

Road into Flagstaff

Wreck smoke and burn marks
Mt. drive

Mountains behind mountains.

This is the area where I saw the syringes.

I liked this range.

Cool Mountain

This is the Amazing Grace Christian Church in Grove City, OH

Layers of the Desert

Out West Pt.2

I drove past long hours. Oklahoma is a long or wide state. Most of Oklahoma is Indian Territories. There are many reservations and each one having their own forms of making money such as wild sideshow type attrations, casinos or just roadside souvenier stands.  It was quite a bit to take in as I drove along.
I saw the Chisholm Trail. I had heard about this from a former boss of mine. It is the trail that Cattle(sometimes hundreds at once) are taken on through several states until they reach the railroad and can be loaded on a train for sale. Cowboys would and still do follow along and herd the cattle to the train. It takes days and sometimes weeks to reach the destination. I know there are those of you, readers, who like to research things that I write about so I will go into this further. If you find the Chisholm Trail interesting, google it. Have fun. It was fun to see because just as we were driving by some cattle and Cowboys were right there going through a tunnel under the road. What are the chances of that?
A windstorm kicked up while driving through the prairie. Dust was blowing everywhere. Most all the parts of Oklahoma that we saw were very red dirt and soil. It was so windy at one point I saw a water tower tip over.
After a long, long time I entered New Mexico. This also was another new state for me. I was looking forward to being able to color in two more states on my map. But, now the desert began. We remembered the desert from our last trip to California. Dirt, Dirt and more dirt and not much else. Well yeah, there's the heat too.
New Mexico was pretty. The formations of the sand and rock mountains were interesting. Tucumcari was the first city that we came to. I loved that, well, I just liked saying it. Somewhere around supper time I rolled in Albuquerque. I loved that because when I tried to type our location on Facebook, I could not figure out how to spell it. I had to google it. So Pops and I spent a few minutes spelling it over and over again. Now I am sure that neither of us will ever forget how to spell it.
Albuquerque was nice enough, but I was tired and hungry and I knew that as soon as I reached a truckstop, I was done driving so that was the only thing I was thinking about.
Pops began driving after our stop in Albuquerque. We had grabbed something to eat, walked the dogs and fueled the truck. And then right back at it. That's the thing about these long trips, you don't get much time to waste. You drive 10 or 11 hours when it's your shift, grab something to eat and then sleep while the other drives so that you can do it all over again tomorrow. Our trip was a little over 2300 miles and we had from Tuesday at 2pm until Thursday at 10 am to do it. It can be quite a hustle.
I did stay awake for a little while to keep Pops company but right after entering into Arizona I went to the bunk. We were running a little early, we had gained some time along the way, thanks to the 75 mph speed limits. So Pops actually got to pull off and doze a few hours. When I woke up we were in California nearing the city of Barstow.
Barstow is a big city at the base of a mountain on the western side. So you climb the mountain and then from the top you look down onto the city. It is pretty awesome. At night it looks like stars on the ground. But it was morning. I had just gotten awake and looking ahead I could see a huge black cloud. What the world? As we got closer we realized that it was smoke.
Traffic began to slow down and before long we were almost at a standstill. It was filtering into one lane. I grabbed my camera and began to take pictures. We could see fire. It didn't look good. We saw many fire trucks and rescue workers. Then we saw what used to be a tractor trailer. The cab had exploded! And then we saw another tractor trailer that had been wrecked badly and also burned up. Wow, this was bad. I am sure no one survived the first truck and I doubt anyone could've lived through the second one either. No, I will not post those pictures out of respect for anyone who knew the people involved in that accident.
Man, what a way to start your day! What a downer.
We realized that Gypsy was not taking us on the route that would take us through Los Angeles, but rather we were going through some rural areas around the San Mateo Mts. and in from the backside of Van Nuys.
As we were driving through that part that was rural, we stopped at a wide pull off area to let the dogs out. I had them on their leashes and was walking around with them when I looked down and saw a syringe lying on the ground. I couldn't believe it, it was just laying there in the wide open. Then I saw another, then another and another. I know I saw at least 12 before I got the dogs gathered up and back to the truck. Okay, now I am creeped out for sure. I was not liking this day so far.
But it began to change as the scenery got better. We started to see snow capped mountains and the drive along the base of the mountains really was nice. We drove through a gap in the mountains and then climbed some smaller ones and then saw several canyons. Finally we were in the city. It wasn't a bad trip in either. The traffic was not at all as bad as I had anticipated that it might be. I guess because of the route that we had taken.
We found our pick up address easily and in less than 20 minutes we were loaded and headed out of the city. This time we did go another route. We actually got to drive through Beverly Hills.
I saw homes that you wouldn't believe and I couldn't even begin to describe. I wish I had paid more attention to vocabulary in school. Houses that were bigger than our church building, built on the edges of cliffs or dangling over hillsides. Gorgeous, gorgeous houses.
We drove up through the route that took us along the base of the San Bernadino Mts. This is such a wonderful, scenic drive. We had driven it the last two times we came to CA. I was even remembering landmarks before we saw them. It is so cool to me that I can know roads and landmarks in so many states and places that I never ever dreamed I would see in my lifetime.
And then the route changed again into the unfamiliar because rather than head toward Barstow, we headed in the direction of Palm Springs. We had a pick up in Phoenix, AZ tomorrow morning so we were going more south this time.
I enjoyed driving through the familiar names of Pasadena and Palm Springs. I loved seeing the snow capped mountains along side of me as I drove. But after two days of desert, I was a little tired of sand and dirt. Oh well, take the bad with the good, right?
I can't remember what time it was when we actually got to Phoenix. The rush of the past two days and the frequent time zone changes had really mixed up my internal clock. But anyway we found a nice place to park and prepare to spend the evening.
We walked the dogs and then went inside for our showers.
Once the sun goes down, the temperatures become bearable. It was a comfortable 81 degrees. Normally I would think that was hot but after mid to upper 90's, 81 felt doable.
It wasn't long before both of us and the dogs were sleeping like babies.
In the morning Pops and I took the dirty laundry in to wash it and while it was washing we decided to go into Denny's for a "grand slam" breakfast.
After breakfast we walked the dogs and I read for awhile while Pops played some cards with Gypsy. It felt wonderful to not have to rush. Our pick up was scheduled for later in the afternoon.
Before we left there we walked across the street for an ice cream cone and then got our selves in the mindset of travel again.
We arrived at our place of pick up and found out we were carrying a high-dollar, high security load. They wouldn't even tell us what our cargo was! We got loaded and made our departure call. Then we found out that because of the type of cargo that we had we would be monitored thoughout the entire trip and every stop we made for fuel, food, or any reason had to be documented and recorded by our onboard computer, Gypsy.
So we set out for another long trip back to Knoxville, TN. This was Friday afternoon and we had until Monday morning to deliver it, BUT we were not allowed to stop for more than 10 minutes at a time and each stop was recorded and documented. Oh boy.
I was not able to find postcards for Arizona at the place where we had spent the night so I wanted to stop somewhere before leaving the state.
We drove highway 17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff. It was so incredible! We loved this highway so much. At first we passed signs that told us the elevation was "sea level." Then as we drove we noticed it began to incline. We also started to see cacti. The cool ones that look like they are waving. We saw forests of them. They were funny how much they reminded us of people. And they were each one unique in appearance. I loved it.
I stopped at a rest area to walk the dogs and was warned by a sign that "poisonous snakes and insects inhabit this area." Oh, ok, well you should have seen me peeking around the corners of the bathroom stalls before I entered. You can't be too careful. And I wouldn't let Chucky pee on the scrubby bushes either. Oh no, he had to pee in the wide open like a girl dog. I didn't want any hidden snake to bite him. Needless to say, the dogs weren't impressed with the desert rules.
As the elevation continued to climb, there were more parking areas so that you could rest your vehicle and allow it to cool down. There were signs everywhere warning you not to run your air conditioner because it would cause your vehicle to overheat.
By this time in the afternoon the temperature was reading 104 degrees, but the humidity level was showing 0. We stopped many times along the climb. Our truck wasn't heating up, but we didn't want it to either so we stopped and shut it down several times as a precaution. Each time we would get out and walk the dogs. It was hot, no doubt about it, but we weren't sweating! It is a different kind of hot when there is no humidity. You almost can stand it. Well, I said almost.
Climb, up and up and up; elevation 5000, elevation 6000 and finally elevation 7000ft. The views were breathtaking. There were huge canyons and colored mountains and still cacti although now also some pine trees. We saw one canyon that was so big! I just can't imagine what the Grand Canyon must be like. Someday I will see it too, I'm sure. But this was great. We talked about how awesome is our Heavenly Father to create such amazing things and give us the opportunity to see such beauty. We are so very fortunate. America is Beautiful. America has it all, it really does. What a wonderful place to live. We are so truly blessed!
We started to see less and less sand and more dark soil. We no longer saw the Joshua trees but now we saw pines. We didn't see anymore snake warnings but started to see signs that warned us of elk crossings. And we actually saw several elk. We didn't see any horns or antlers or whatever elk have though, I guess it's too early in the season. I also saw a couple of dead ones that someone had hit with their vehicle. Ouch, I'll bet that did some damage.