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.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A lot of Texas

It has been a busy week finally after several slow weeks. It felt good to be running again. That is why we left home. We are out here to work and run.
We left Iowa Sunday afternoon for a pickup that was delivering Monday in Michigan. So I started the drive while Pops slept. It was a fairly boring drive really but that gives me a lot of time to think. I also called my dad. I miss him a lot.
He said that he is doing well and always enjoys hearing about our travels. I didn’t have many travels to tell him about this time, but we talked about other stuff. He loves getting the postcards we send him and complained a little bit because he hadn’t gotten any for a couple of days. I have tried to send him one from each state that we’ve been to so now I guess I will get more specific and send some from the cities that we visit.
We delivered our spark plugs to the Chrysler plant the next morning and went to a truckstop to wait for another load. We didn’t have to wait too long we got a load picking up in Toledo, Ohio and going to Olive Branch, Mississippi which is just outside Memphis, TN. 
Once again I started the drive and Pops drove through the night. After that delivery we missed out on a good load going into Ontario, Canada. But ended up getting a transfer load picking up in Louisville, KY and going to Eagle Pass, TX.
A transfer load is one that we get from another truck and take to the final destination because they for some reason cannot complete the load.          We got to the Louisville Fedex terminal around 4pm and the other truck wasn’t scheduled in until about 10:30pm. So I husked some corn and cooked it up with some other stuff and we had supper and then I done the dishes. I took the dogs outside and we stayed out of the truck for a few hours while Pops tried to catch up on some sleep. I talked to my dad again on the phone and then called and talked to Starla also.
When the other truck got there we pulled around to the docks and prepared to transfer the load. That is when the other drivers, Fred and Mary, noticed that one of the crates had fallen apart and the contents were spilled. Well the guys decided that they would try to re-nail the crate and stack the freight back inside. It was heavy cast iron pieces, and the crates were made out of ¼ inch fir strips. What junk! So I took several pictures. The dock workers at the freight company brought some rachet straps over and put around the damaged crate and bound everything together. Then made the transfer from Fred’s truck to ours.
I stayed outside the dock with Fred’s wife, Mary. She is funny and I was glad to get to know another Fedex couple.
Once the transfer was complete and the pictures were emailed to Fedex we got on our way. It was going to be a 30 hour trip.
Eagle Pass is on the south western side of Texas right at the Mexican border. Our load was going into Mexico, so we were carrying it to another transfer place. We did negotiate the load pay up enough that we could deadhead back to San Antonio. Our truck owners live there and we needed new tires so we were meeting them and they were going to get new tires on the truck.
I was hoping that we would go through Houston and across Texas because then we would get to go through Louisiana but that is not the way we were routed. We were routed back through Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Texarkana, Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Antonio and into Eagle Pass.
I don’t really care for the trip through Arkansas, honestly I think it is boring but I like Texas so I enjoyed that part although once through Dallas it got dark and so I didn’t get to look around much. Pops started the drive after passing through San Antonio. We had less than 3 hours drive left and about 7 hours to get there so we did get about 3 hours sleep in a non-moving truck. That is always good.
When I woke up we were at the delivery and Pops was out of the truck. So I got dressed and made some coffee and then we were finished and pulling away. We could see the Mexican border and their big flags flying in the breeze. On the way back up route 35 we got to the border inspection site and they checked us and our truck with drug sniffing dogs.
We made it back to San Antonio by lunch time and met up with our truck owners. While the tires were being put on we went to lunch. I ordered a patty melt and French fries. When the waitress brought our food I asked her for some vinegar for my fries and she gave me the strangest look. When she brought it back she asked if I was going to dip my fries and I told her, “no, I’m going to pour it on them.” Well, you should have seen the look on her face, it was priceless. Our truck owners had not heard of this either so Shirley asked if she could dip hers in the vinegar and try it. She must not have liked it though because she only dipped one.
After we got our tires and told Tate and Shirley goodby we headed to Houston to wait out our layover.  We got there around supper time. I made us some vegetable soup. What a dumb thing to make when the temps are hovering around 100 degrees at 10pm. Oh well, it was good.
There were a few load offers that we would have liked to have the next day but we didn’t get them and there were a few that we didn’t want at all. Finally around 3pm a load came that we wanted. It was a load picking up in Dallas and going to Kansas. It paid pretty well. So we accepted and got the load but less than 2 minutes later it cancelled. We were paid $47 for the dry run and placed at the back of the pack that was here in Houston waiting for a dispatch. Pops called our company and complained because we had lost our load status and hadn’t even moved our truck. So we were given our load status back, which put us as the number 2 truck when loads were offered.
There was a man in a pickup truck parked next to us at the Flying J truckstop. He was on his computer for 2 days. He had a cat in there too. The back end of his truck was full of all kinds of belongings. We think that he lived in his truck at the Flying J. He was there the whole time we were playing on his computer the whole time. He would turn his truck around in the morning so that the sun was shining on the back of his truck and then around 1pm would turn it around again so that the sun would not shine into his truck, strange. The cat jumped in and out of the truck window whenever it wanted to. We never saw him get out of his truck except to get a can of sardines out of the back or get something to drink from a cooler in the back.
It was Friday and I figured that we were probably here for the weekend so I made supper of steak, baked potatoes and salad, along with apple pie for dessert. Banquet makes good little pies that can be “baked” in the microwave and they aren’t bad really, although apple is my least favorite. I like the berry ones.
At 6pm est,  a load offer came picking up in Seguin which is near San Antonio and going to Laredo, TX. We really would’ve liked to gotten out of Texas but at this point thought that we were done for the week so we accepted the load as kind of a bonus run for the week. So we packed up our belongings and got moving. Of course it was rush hour through Houston and Katy. But once I made it through all that traffic it was a pretty good trip.
At one point I saw a bird in the air. It seemed to be having trouble flying and as we got closer I could see that it was carrying a snake, a pretty long snake and the snake was trying hard to escape. Once the bird got the snake under control, it flew better. That was really cool to see.
And then I saw in a field 6 elk. They were right along the road. They were behind a fence so I assume someone was raising them but who knows. That was cool to see too.
We did get to our pickup and they were laughing because we were going to Laredo. Apparently no one wants to go there. Oh boy, well, we’ll see.
We did get to sleep again for a few hours in an unmoving truck and then Pops drove us there this morning while I finished sleeping.
It wasn’t a bad place really. Except hardly any English was spoken.
On the way out of there we stopped at a really nice rest area. It was decorated with colored Spanish tiles and it had many fish ponds. It was beautiful. We got a nice packet of brochures for just about anything there is to do in Texas.
We made it back to San Antonio which is our place of layover. We went in to get something to eat and while eating a gang of motorcycle riders came in. There was a man with them that had on a big tall witches hat. I kid you not! And no one batted an eyelash. And then there was a woman with them wearing a bandana around her head and when she walked past I noticed that she had a tail! A tail!!! She had a raccoon tail coming out of her behind. I almost spit coffee all over the place. Well I tried desperately to get a picture of that but I couldn’t.  Oh my oh my. Well I’m going back to my truck now, this place is strange.
When I passed on to my daughter and son-in-law what we had seen they wanted to know what drugs I was on, but come on you couldn’t make this stuff up.
When we got back to our truck a man came around like a traveling bake sale. He was selling banana bread to help his church which helps get drug addicts off the street, cleans them up and gives them somewhere to live while getting them clean. So we bought 2 loaves. What would Jesus do?
We plan on going to church tomorrow and then the Alamo and the Riverwalk and then I seriously want to find a real Texas barbeque to eat. But who knows? We are so unpredictable.

No comments: