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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Cotton Field

Retangular cotton bales

Cotton round bales

Moving and Packing

After our delivery early the next morning, We got started to Virginia for our next pickup. I still cannot believe how much running we are doing this week. After this trip we will have traveled over 6000 miles in one week. So it is a beautiful day and we have a little time to waste so we pull in to a rest area and hang out.
I left the dogs out to play and run and I walked around and talked to Starla on the phone.
A van pulled in with 2 parents and 3 little girls. One of the girls had a skateboard with only 2 wheels on it, one in front and one in back. She was so good on that skateboard that we were amazed. I even took some video of her with my phone but I can't figure out how to get it onto my computer yet.
Then we made our pickup and started the drive to Missouri.
I was still driving at that point, but Pops wasn't sleeping. He was texting and talking to people on the phone mostly about hunting and stuff.
I drove us through Knoxville and then Pops took over. I went to sleep. We were in Memphis when I woke up. Pops did get to pull over and sleep for a few hours during the night. So I helped him find our delivery address. It was just across the state line, a little north of Memphis in a very rural area with a lot of cotton fields.
I am fasinated by cotton fields, when I think of how cotton used to be planted and harvested and the technology that they have developed over the years to help with the harvesting. I see the fields and fields of white fluff and imagine how many pairs of blue jeans or cotton T-shirts or whatever that this might produce. Wow. It is amazing.
We have been seeing the huge retangular bales of cotton, but this is the first time that I have seen cotton round bales. And there is so much cotton that "gets away" and blows along the highway that it almost looks like a mattress exploded.
Anyway... we made our delivery and was now headed for Memphis for layover.
While in Memphis, we got all of our laundry done and got showers. It was nice to be parked and be able to relax. Although we couldn't go outside because it was raining, really hard. It rained hard the whole time we were there.
We hoped that being in Memphis would get us a load going to Texas. Our "new" truck is ready and we were wanting to go pick it up. And sure enough, Sunday morning we got a load headed to Houston.
So we had our church service. We had communion and listened to one of the sermons that Keenan had mailed us and we used my First Place book to do a brief study/discussion lesson. It was a good time of worship.
Then we picked up our load. We were hauling animal fats (in the form of pellets) to a chemical plant to be used in various food products as flavorings.
I realized that we would be able to travel through Louisiana!!! I love Louisiana. I love Baton Rouge. I love the cajan rednecks there and I love most of the foods. I couldn't wait to stop and get me some boudin balls.
But most of those ideals were destroyed by this trip.
Being that it was Sunday night and the end of Thanksgiving weekend, everyone was returning home after traveling for the holidays and LSU college kids were returning to school in Baton Rouge and traffic was a nightmare. What usually is a 2 hour drive from Hammond, LA to where I buy my boudin turned into a 4 1/2 hour drive with bumper to bumper traffic especially right through Baton Rouge. We would stop and start and stop and start and drive only a few yards each time. We even had to do that on the BIG BRIDGE across the Mississippi River!
When we were in Hammond getting fuel, I thought I better call ahead to order my boudin and asked them to put aside 8 balls which they said that they would. Two hours later I called again and told them that I would be delayed even longer than I thought and they said it was ok, my boudin was put aside.
When we finally got there I went inside to get my 8 boudin balls and came out with 6 big to-go containers. I wasn't sure what they had packed with boudin but I thought maybe some potato chips or cracklins or something. But no, turns out that I had several pounds of cooked boudin and many flavors. I took the order back inside and they told me that as soon as I left the store the rightful orderer of that boudin had come in right behind me and was very upset that her order had been given to someone else. Apparently she had some unflavorful language for the employees there.
But she saw me carry the bags back inside and followed me back into the store and was very happy to see her order still available, but after all of this I realized that my order was not to be found. Oh well. The lady kindly offered me a couple of her boudin balls and even though it wasn't what I was hoping for I did get to eat a boudin ball that evening.
We slept for a few hours there and then we drove on into Houston. We had to go through many high security measures and watch a security video to be allowed to enter the plant. We made our delivery and then were given a layover option of San Antonio which was perfect for us to be able to pick up our truck.

Better Week

Once we accepted the load to Edmonton it then occurred to us that we might want to check the weather for up there. So Pops got on the weather channel and saw that they were not calling for snow but the temps were to dip below zero during the nights. Oh well, we have warm coats.
So we shopped and stocked up, I brought a good supply of water inside our truck so it wouldn’t be frozen when we needed it. And then we got moving. It was going to be about a 45 hour trip if all went well.
I started the trip and we picked up and then made our trek up and over the beautiful Smokey Mountains into Tennessee and up through Kentucky, into a little of Ohio and Indiana. I stopped my driving somewhere in Indiana and Pops took over. I went to sleep while he drove us through Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin and into St. Paul, Minnesota. This is where I woke up and got us something to eat and made coffee.
On trips like these we usually utilize our crockpot. It is so handy to throw ingredients in and then eat in about 6 hours and usually there are leftovers. We also have been eating a lot of healthy protein bars in place of breakfast or lunch. We are trying to stay away from truckstop food. Both of us have gained back some weight with this job and we need to try to lose it.
Anyway, I drove us through Minnesota and North Dakota and reached the Border to Canada about 11 hours later. We got there around 7:30pm and was through in less than 2 minutes. Our company really does a good job of pre-clearing us to cross. That is why we have so much to do with the Canadian paperwork when we first pick the load up, but it sure does make things easier.
Once we crossed in I drove to first town with any size to it, Weyburn, and then Pops started to drive again. After 11 hours of straight driving, I went right to sleep and slept like a baby until 6:30am when we were driving through a city which sits on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is called Lloydminster. The roads through there are so incredibly bumpy that we determined that they do it on purpose to control speed. But it about shook me right out of the bed.
So I got up and read us our morning devotions and made coffee, washed up the dishes and made the bed. After about another hour Pops parked at a roadside “break” area and we took a little break.
We were getting closer to Edmonton and it was really rural. We saw a lot of buffalo right along the road. They were rooting their big heads in the snow looking for food. It still amazes me to see them in the wild. They are massive beasts.
Both of us saw a lot of coyotes and magpies and other animals.
Finally we reached the city of Edmonton. We were looking for 76th Street or so Gypsy said. But when we got to that address it was a catholic school. So we pulled in across the street and noticed a taxi cab there with the driver inside. Pops went and asked him and he drew us a map and we realized that we needed 76th Ave, not street. Way to go, FedEx. Oh well, it took us only about 15 minutes to drive over there. And then the delivery went very smoothly.
So now we were unloaded and ready to drive the long, long drive back to Minneapolis.
There isn’t hardly ever loads coming back out of Canada so when we got this load offer we asked them to increase the pay so we got enough to cover the fuel back to the US. We got an extra amount that we asked for and so we started the long deadhead that would cover over 1200 miles.
I was driving now and I passed a town somewhere in Alberta that had a sign stating that they had “The World’s largest Pysanka.” I had no idea what a pysanka was and wrote the word down so I could remember to google it later. Hmmm, my imagination was trying to figure out just what that might be.
I drove through so many prairies. The wheat had been cut to a stubble of about 4 inches and the snow laying the golden fields looked so pretty. At one point I saw a coyote running circles around a round bale of hay in the field. He was onto something and wanted it bad.
I saw a beautiful red fox. His fur was so thick and red. It was gorgeous.
I smiled to myself as I bumped Pops out of the bunk as we drove back through Lloydminster. And then I drove us through Saskatchewan.
Our GPS, Gypsy, sometimes gets a little confused when you come into new construction and she will tell you that you are “out of route.” And then she will try to re-route you. Well this happened to me at a place called The Battlefords. It is a river valley in the low mountains. They had just built a brand new cloverleaf to their highway and several routes came together in the same area.
Well, she pronounced me out of route and while she re-routed I ended up in the city. So I got turned around and followed her “new” directions across town and then she again called, out of route. So now I was running in circles. Pops woke up and together with the map we figured it out and I got on the right track again.
Pops stayed awake and talked to me for a little while and I was telling him about the fox and about the coyote running circles around the round bale and he said maybe it was out of route. Haha, he is so funny.
We reached the border at 12:45am. I was tired. I had been driving all day. So once we got back inside the US Pops took over the driving. We hoped to get back to Minneapolis by early Wednesday morning. It would be the day before Thanksgiving and we were hoping to get another load this week.
We made it to Minneapolis and got parked by 11:30am and I was just beginning to shake the salt and dirt from our floormats and wanting to clean the truck when we did get a load opportunity. It was a good one too. But it picked up right away in Iowa and was going to North Carolina.
So we didn’t eat, we didn’t clean and we didn’t shower. We got moving toward Iowa. It took us a little over 2 hours to reach our destination.
We were supposed to be hauling one piece of equipment which turned out to be 5 pallets. When I called Fedex and our owner to tell them this, we got an additional amount added to our pay. Cool.
So Pops and I are making our way across the states again toward North Carolina. It is now Thanksgiving day and I have a turkey breast in the crockpot and it smells so good. We will be stopping in a little while so that we can shower and eat and rest. We don’t have to be there until tomorrow morning at 8:00am.
Oh and by the way, while driving last evening we got a predispatch that picks up in Virginia as soon as we get this unloaded and it goes to Missouri, near Memphis.
This has been a great work week and I am thankful for that. I sure do miss my family and friends today though.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some buffalo "bedded down" along the road near Edmonton.

Dry Runs

This week has probably been one of the most frustrating weeks of our job. It seems like everytime we go home and then come back out on the road we start slow, but oh boy, this week was the pits.
We got a load from home on Monday that picked up in Martinsburg, WV that was going to Lynn, MA. It was a hazmat load and paid pretty well so we thought we were off to a good start. And it was so far.
We drove to Martinsburg which is a little over 2 hours from our house and picked up our load and I noticed that instead of 2 pallets we had 4. So Pops went back inside and we had to return to the dock to have 2 pallets taken back off. Good thing we paid attention to the paperwork. And then we started our drive to Lynn (a suburb of Boston.)
Everyone knows that we don’t particularly care for Boston but you have to do what you have to do sometimes. Anyway, it was an early morning delivery and traffic wasn’t too bad. So we found our place easily and made the delivery and our company wanted us to layover in Boston to wait on a load. So we parked less than 1 block from where we delivered and we waited.
By evening we were still waiting. So we decided to relocate to Hartford, CT.
We drove over there to a rest area that we like and found a really good parking spot real close the bathroom but lots of space and grass so that I could just let the dogs out without worrying about them getting run over.
We settled in and watched some videos on the computer and got something to eat and then went to sleep. We thought, hoped, that we would be awakened with a dispatch, but we slept through the night.
We hung around for a while the next day before finally getting a load that was going to Wilkes Barre, PA. This was a short load that didn’t pay very much, but at least we were moving.
So we picked up and delivered that load without any glitches and we were done and parked by bedtime. So once again we waited.
We did get a dispatch just before going to bed for a radioactive load that was going to Alabama. We have never done one of these before so we were very nervous and asked a lot of questions and reminded them that we travel with dogs in case that was an issue. We were told that it wouldn’t be problem, but it turns out that it was and the load had to be given to someone else. Well, there went a really good money load down the pipes. We were frustrated although they did give us some compensation for the cancelled load and we were now the top truck on the load board.
So we went to sleep still hoping for a good load.
When we woke up the next morning we noticed that just beside us was a DOT vehicle and he was performing a vehicle inspection on the truck next to us. We figured that we would be next but he got in his car and drove away.
We made some coffee and got moving around and decided that we would relocate to Allentown in the hopes for a better load opportunity.
We parked at a truckstop not too far away and got showered and was just starting to watch more videos when we finally got a load offer. It was a good one picking up in New Jersey and going to Arden, NC (one of our favorite places.)
We were dispatched on the load and drove over to our pickup which was just outside of New York City. It was a good time of day to drive in with little traffic but on the way out it was “rush hour” and we sat.
It took us a good while to get through all that but we did and then we were on the open roads and moving along.
We got to Arden by the next morning. It was now Thursday and we have only had two fair paying loads and one short one. We needed a money load.
We waited at the truckstop and within a short time we were offered our money load. It was picking up just 3 blocks from us and was going 2400 miles to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Yippy! We were excited. It wouldn’t deliver until Monday morning so we wouldn’t have to rush either.
Now we relaxed. We ate a good supper, I read my book and Pops played cards with Gypsy. Then we slept like babies knowing we had a load.
The next morning (Saturday) we got up and showered and then drove the 3 blocks to our pickup only to be told by the man there that our load had cancelled. I don’t believe it!
We drove back over to the truckstop and parked in the same spot that we had just left. Once again we got a few dollars for our cancellation and was put back on the top of the load board as number one truck. Whoppee Ding Dong! I was upset.
Discouragement was weighing me down. I was wanting to go home. I do not want to be away from home and away from my family just to sit around truckstops. I want to run. We need to work.
We were downhearted all day and tried to lift each others spirits but it wasn’t working too well. Sadly we went to sleep that night. The only conciliation was that we could attend our “home church” away from home, Westside Christian Church in Spartanburg, SC with our friends, David and Linda Wilson.
We were awakened the next morning by Gypsy even before our alarm clock went off. We had a load opportunity. It was picking up in 1 hour and going to Edmonton, Alberta for Tuesday morning. This was the same load that we had cancel.
So we accepted the load and immediately drove over for pickup. It was a huge spool of cable wire, just one spool. Yesterday it broke and couldn’t go, but now it was ready. So we loaded , took care of all our Canadian paperwork for our border crossing and away we go.
I was happy now. What an emotional rollercoaster. Can that be good for your heart?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some pix


Aunt Sharon

Bill Perdew's deer

My cake

My buddy, Hunter


Nan, Bill Perdew's mother

Some party guests

Party Poster

One of the food tables at my party

Vacation Pt. 2

Sunday Morning again, so we headed to 1st Place Meeting with the ladies of the church. We always have such a good discussion and time of learning. This is probably the thing I miss the most while on the road. I love these women.
Then we went into Sunday school and then Worship Service. Jeff preached a good sermon as he always does. And then we enjoyed the weekly fellowship meal. A good many of our people stayed to eat and the food was good too. It was announced that next weeks meal was the theme meal and the theme was, “Texas.” Ok, they eat a lot of barbeque and beans and hot stuff. This should be interesting.
After church we went home and watched some movies and lounged around until time to pick the kids up. Evening services were starting early tonight, I thought because of the big football game and we were having a guest speaker, Bob Long, from the Laurel Highlands Church.
We picked the kids up at 4:30 and headed to the church. But church turned out to be a surprise birthday party for me and many people from the other local churches were there along with Ruth and Carol, and Mary Shaffer and Bill’s Aunt Sharon and other people that are close to me. I loved the cake, it had a fedex truck going “over the hill.” And there were black balloons all around the room and of course someone had gotten me a cane. It was great! What good friends I have.
Monday was another “free day.” We planned to watch holiday movies from the Hallmark channel and clean the house. It felt good to not have anywhere to go. So we just relaxed the day away. How nice.
Tuesday morning was the day I had been looking forward to for my whole vacation. Starla, Tom and Drew and I were going to Washington, DC. I picked the boys up at 7:30 and after a quick coffee grab from McDonalds we were on the road. It took us less than 2 hours to get to where we were parking, but that was still 10 miles outside the city.
We bought train tickets and wanted an all day pass for $9.00, but I pushed wrong buttons and ended up with a $20 ticket instead. I did get to trade it in for 2- $10 tickets and gave Starla one of those and we boarded the train. It took about 20 minutes for us to get to the train stop that was closest to the Capital. And once we got off we needed a restroom so we went into McDonalds along the street to use theirs. But once inside we saw that to use their restroom you needed to insert a quarter into the lock. And none of us had any quarters so we continued walking along until we found a mall and walked around in there until we spotted a restroom. Ok, so now we are good to go.
It was only about 2 blocks until we came upon the Dept. of the Treasury, and then the Dept. of the Interior. Of course, you could see the Washington Monument from all over the city.
Starla was having problems with her camera and couldn’t get it to take pictures, but when the  boys tried, they could. She was getting really frustrated and we wondered if her having a pace maker was affecting her camera. Well, Drew had his camera too and we all had a phone so it would be ok, but I understood her disappointment.
Next we saw the White House and the famous, “South Lawn.” This is where the annual Easter Egg Hunt is always held and this is also where Michele Obama’s vegetable garden is. We took a few pictures and then walked on.
We walked through many parks and saw a lot of squirrels. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was shining and the trees there still had their leaves and they were beautifully colored. It was so pretty.
We saw so many of the war memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, and it was there that we saw 3 helicopters fly over and the Park Ranger told us that the front helicopter was carrying the President to the White House. Cool. We also saw the Korean War Memorial which consisted of life-sized statues of the soldiers walking through the high grass, but the statues were white with hollow eyes and they looked like ghosts. It was quite spooky.
Then we spent a lot of time in the park, resting and taking pictures. And then we walked down toward the museums.
We went into the American History Museum and I got to see Julia Child’s Kitchen. And we went into the Natural History Museum and I saw the Hope Diamond. Then we went into the Air and Space Museum and we got on and off the planes and rockets and played with some of the hands on experiments they have there.
Wow, we were getting tired by now and hungry. It was getting a little late in the day too.
So we walked on over to the capital building and took many more pictures and just enjoyed the remainder of our day right there. But before heading back to the train we went and got a bite to eat. We sat at the umbrella tables outside and ate our sandwiches and it was nice to sit down for awhile.
Then we got back on the train and headed back to the parking lot. The train was crowded because it was now rush hour. So we had to stand the whole time and hang on the rail. That made for a long trip and by the end I sure was ready to sit down in my car and relax.
It was easy coming out of the city and traffic wasn’t too bad because of where we had parked so with one short bathroom break we made it back home in 2 hours. I dropped the boys off and then Starla and I went home. Boy, am I going to sleep good this night.
Wednesday morning Starla and I got up early and drove to visit my dad. We got there just after they were finishing up with their breakfast and had a good visit with him and a couple of others that live there. I know I won’t be seeing him again until Christmas time so it was hard to leave this time.
Wednesday evening we went to the church. They are still working on the artifacts that prove the Bible true. It is a very interesting study.
Thursday morning I woke up and cleaned the kitchen really good. Today is the day that the boys are coming up to the house and we are having our Turkey Dinner. So I washed the turkey and made the stuffing and put it in the oven. Then I peeled potatoes and sat them in a pan of water for later. We had baked 2 pumpkin rolls yesterday after coming back from seeing dad. So the meal was coming together.
The boys came around 3pm and we ate and ate til we could eat no more than they packed up some food to take home. They stuck around and visited and watched tv for awhile before they left. It was a wonderful day.
Friday morning was another early morning. We had to be in Meyersdale, PA by 8am. We were meeting up with our good friends from our former place of work. We were first to the restaurant and we waited in the car until the others showed up. We were meeting with Ruth, Carol and Margo. I was so excited to be with them.
Margo brought us each a dozen of brown eggs. Turns out that she has chickens and she is enjoying her farming.
After breakfast we all went back to Ruth’s house to finish visiting. We stayed for several hours until Ruth and Carol had to leave for a work meeting. I miss these ladies and am so glad that we remain good friends.
Starla and I spent the rest of the day making more fudge for her to sell. She is using the money to help pay for a surgery that she needs. We have made a lot of fudge in these last two weeks, probably close to 100 pounds. Our house smells so good.
Friday evening Starla’s stepkids came for their weekend.
Saturday morning was kind of slow. We mostly just lazed around and watched tv. Around noon Starla got the kids ready, she was doing their pictures for school. Hopefully her camera will work for her. It does sometimes.
The pictures came out well. And then we had to take Kailey to Cumberland for her sports. She had a game today and then one tomorrow, so she would not be coming back to the house.
Later that evening we attended the Harvest Party at the church and the kids had so much fun playing games and getting candy and there was so much good food there, oh my. When we got home from the party we saw that Pops and Bill had returned from their vacation in Ohio. So we all talked and laughed and got all caught up with other before bed.
Sunday, this is our last day of vacation. We went to church and heard a good sermon by Mark Meekins on Policies and Procedures of Salvation. It was so good to see him and Molly again too.
After church we had our Texas dinner and it was good. We had tons of food left from last night too. Mary S. from the church brought a cake in the shape of Texas, decorated red, white and blue with a big star. It was pretty. Oh the food was good. There was no Sunday Evening Service so we did laundry and packed up our truck and Starla and Bill worked on their jeep and the kids just hung out helping wherever they could. And then about 5:30 they left to go back to their mother’s. I hated to see them go and I gave big hugs that would have to last a long time.
So, vacation is over! It went by so quickly. But I had a blast. Each and every day was a good one and packed so full of just what was needed.
So where do we go from here? Guess we’ll wait and see.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bullet, Drew's silver lab puppy

Raymond Bennett

Roy Worsham, Sandy, his wife and me

Vacation Pt.1

We drove home from Landover, MD and carried all of our stuff inside, all of the laundry and refrigerator food, and some other stuff. We did manage to do it in only 2 trips each. I started my the washing machine right away and then just sat and relaxed and enjoyed the peace and contentment of being home. It was so nice to visit with Bill and Starla for the evening.
The next morning Pops went to the church for a meeting with the area preachers and elders. While he was there, Bill went to his aunt Sharon’s to get some firewood and Starla and I went to Walmart to get groceries.
Later that afternoon our boys, Tom and Drew came up to the house for supper. Drew brought his dog, Bullet along. I cannot believe how much that puppy has grown. He is almost full grown. But he is still full of puppiness.
I made salmon cakes, sweet potato fries and salad.
We had a really nice visit with them. I love my family so much. I hated to see the boys leave to go home.
Pops and Bill left the house around 1am to leave for their Ohio hunting trip. And now Starla and I were alone for the 11 days.
I had made an appointment to have my car serviced the next morning at 9am. So Starla drove my car down to LaVale while I followed in Bill’s truck. Then after dropping my car off we went up to the mall to walk around. We did some shopping but not much buying and we had a good time.
After picking up my car we headed home for a few hours and a quick nap.
Later that evening we went to the church for Bible Study. I love getting to be with my church family. They are doing a study on Bible artifacts that have been found that give scientific proof of the biblical scriptures. It is really interesting. After church we hung around for a little while just to visit.
The next day we didn’t have any plans so we straightened up the house, done some laundry, watched a bunch of movies and then took a nap.  When we woke up from our nap we watched more tv. While I am traveling on the road, Starla records some of my favorite tv shows and then when I come home I have a lot to catch up on.
On Friday morning we met up with my brother, Jim and then went to visit my dad at the personal care home where he lives. While riding to Confluence in the car we had good opportunity to talk and catch up with each other. And then we spent about 2 hours with my dad and some of the other residents that live there. I miss my dad a lot. He has been getting all the postcards that I’ve been sending and he likes to hear about everywhere that we go.
After we left there and dropped Jim off we went back to the house for a little while and then later we drove back into Somerset to Roof Garden Christian Church. They were having a revival with Evangelist Ray Bennett. It was a fantastic sermon. Ray is a “heaven high, hell deep, world wide,  shotgun barrel straight” preacher. Then we ate some refreshments while having fellowship with wonderful Christian friends.
I am tired. What a busy wonderful time I am having.
Saturday morning Starla and I drove to Cumberland, MD to deliver some fudge orders. Starla is selling fudge to try to get the money she needs for an upcoming surgery. She is making and selling quite a bit of fudge. We have made 12 different kinds; chocolate, chocolate walnut, peanut butter, peanut butter walnut, pumpkin, eggnog, chocolate chipotle, white chocolate cherry, chocolate cherry, chocolate mint, Christmas(white chocolate with crushed candy canes and red and green sprinkles), and butterscotch. I have been helping her make it. I made over 60 pounds so far while home.
Later that evening we met up with my sister, Amy and niece, Kacey for supper in Somerset. Of course we went to Chinese. We all love it. Amy is still trying to adjust to her new job and odd hours so she was very sleep deprived and went home to sleep after we ate. Starla, Kacey and I went to Roof Garden Christian Church to once again hear Ray Bennett.
I was scolded and accused of being lazy by Roy Worsham. Roy is the evangelist at Roof Garden and he and his wife, Sandy are avid blog readers. He always lets me know when I need to get busy and update my blog. I really appreciate loyal readers like them.
After church Starla and I got in the car to go home and Kacey got into her, but she wasn’t alone. She had a really great boy with her, Brantley Rigo. Uh oh. I won’t comment and get myself into trouble there.
Wow, one week of vacation gone by just like that. It went fast.

Some pix from our DC trip

Lincoln Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Tom, Drew, Me, and Starla in front of the Capital Building

Washington Memorial

Korean War Memorial, I thought these were spooky.

The Hope Diamond

Washington Memorial

Dome of the Capital

Helicopter carrying President Obama, this flew over us while we were at the MLK memorial and the Park Ranger told us that this was the President returning to the White House.

Martin Luther King Memorial

Department of the Treasury


The White House

First snow

We were making a pickup in Gaithersburg, MD. It was an evening pickup and so traffic wasn’t too bad, considering it is close to Baltimore and Washington, DC. We were picking up cartons that would be used for packing light bulbs. We got to our pickup sight and no one was there. Fortunately we had a phone number for our contact person and he told us that he was at dinner and would be there very shortly. It was less than 10 minutes until he showed up and another 15 minutes later we were driving away. We were delivering in Illinois.
Our trip was uneventful and we delivered and then went to a rest area for our layover. I made us a taco salad for supper and played outside with the dogs until dark.
We got a trip the next morning that picked up in Terre Haute, IN. As we were driving through the town I saw a place that had a sign stated that it was the birth place of the coke bottle.
It was starting to get colder and I was worried that it might snow. We stopped at a truckstop and showered. Now I had to drive with wet hair and I was really cold.
Our next trip was to pickup in Romeoville, IL and going to Springfield, MO. We were hauling appliances. We met a nice couple there. The husband also drives for our company and the wife was riding along for the week to see if she would like to do this for a living. She asked if she could take my picture to prove to her mother that there were other women who actually drive truck. She was very nice and asked me many questions that I answered as honestly as I could.
Once we delivered in Springfield, we began to turn down load opportunities that didn’t bring us near home. We passed up quite a few really good trips that I would have loved to be able to take. By late afternoon we still hadn’t gotten a load and then I was told to go for a random drug screen. So we headed directly there and that took up about an hour and a half.
We talked with our truck owners and made a decision to go to St. Louis. We thought we might get a better chance of heading east from there.
It was the last night of the World Series games and they were taking place in St. Louis. We saw the stadium lights and the blimp overhead and the city was light up with so many beautiful lights. We listened to the game that night and heard the Cardinals become the World Champions of Baseball.
The next morning when we woke up we were noticing that many of our family and friends back home were waking up to snow and cold, a lot of snow! Oh brother, it’s still October!
We chose a load that picked up in St. Louis and was going to Landover, MD. Landover is just outside of Washington, DC and is less than 3 hours from our home. So we will be picking up our load on Friday and it delivers Monday morning and after that our two week vacation would start.
We drove to our pickup and we were hauling airplane parts to the Belgium Military. But it wasn’t a high security load so we had the entire weekend to drive about 9 hours.
We took our time and stopped frequently. We were in no hurry to drive in snow. Then we realized that we could stop and attend our own home church on Sunday. We decided to keep that part a secret and planned to surprise everyone.
We did not run into snow until we reached the PA stateline. Then we stopped in Grantsville, MD to get showers and do laundry. Then we drove to Hyndman, PA and parked in the lot at the church and spent the night.
Everyone was surprised the next day and we enjoyed a wonderful service with our family and friends. We stayed in our truck throughout the afternoon and then attended the evening services. After church that evening we drove down to Landover. We parked in the parking lot of the Redskins stadium which is the same location as our delivery. We weren’t scheduled until 9:30 the next morning so we slept there in the parking lot.
At 7am the next morning someone knocked on our door and I could hear a man with a german accent talking to Pops and telling him that he would unload us now. So we backed into the dock and within 20 minutes we were unloaded and our vacation was beginning.
We were going home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Pics

The man in the middle is our truck owner's nephew. These men caught the alligator for the state record in Louisiana for largest gator.

We were being overtaken by migrating birds this night.

Boat on the ocean near Norfolk, VA

Eastwin Christian Church in Memphis, TN

Jeff Whitlock, evangelist at Eastwin Christian Church

Fall at the truckstop

This is the jet that carried the team merchandise for the Texas Rangers that we delivered all over the Dallas Area during the championship playoffs

One of the magpies that we saw in Edmonton, Alberta

Atlantic Ocean

Another look at the Ocean

Pier at Norfolk, VA

Part of the floor tiles at a rest area in Missouri that highlights Route 66.