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, December 17, 2011

Yes, Keenan, I have been lazy!!!

Actually since I have blogged last we switched over to another truck. We were doing that while in Texas, but we actually got rolling and was trying to settle in and get all the kinks worked out and at the same time try to make some money. So it's been an interesting 3 weeks.
We got a load leaving Texas. It picked up in Pharr, TX which really is far down south. It is at the very southern point of Texas. And that load was going to Michigan for the next day.
We had just spent a wonderful "vacation"/work week in San Antonio where the weather was warm and sunny until the day we left there. It was averaging in the 70's. On the day we left though it was cold and rainy, probably only in the high 40's.
When we reached Pharr it was sunny and 85 degrees! I really do like Texas. I really do.
So driving to Michigan was a mixture of driving and trying to make little adjustments to where I wanted stuff stored and put away, but it was coming along and it seemed like storage wasn't going to be a problem except for our clothes but we will figure it all out.
When we did get to Michigan, the temperatures were in the high 20's and it was spitting snow. It seemed so much colder than what it should have felt. The next day it did manage to climb all the way to 40.
We got a really quick dispatch getting us out of there and heading back to Mississippi. We accepted the load and once again got moving.
I was driving and Pops was sleeping when we reached Indianapolis, IN. I noticed the truck felt like it was "slipping on ice." But there was no ice. It did that twice and then everything was ok. I drove through the area and past the airport and was about 30 miles on the other side of Indianapolis when I started to lose power and the engine began to miss. I woke Pops up and told him that we were having some kind of problem and got the truck off the very next exit and off the road while still on the exit ramp. And the engine died. We could start it back up but it wouldn't stay running.
A mechanic was called and when he showed up to help it was clearly evident that he wasn't going to be much help. He kept asking us what was wrong with the truck and asking what we thought he should do to fix it. He came in some little bus that looked like it should be used to haul elderly people to the doctors and such. He wanted to pull us with it, we declined and called a tow truck. The tow truck took us to Stoops Freightliner in Indianapolis.
We felt pretty confident in being at Stoops although we realized that we may be there a while and in fact did have to give up our load. Another truck was coming to meet us and transfer the load. We couldn't get worked on until the next day although they were pretty sure that the ECM (electronic control module) was the problem. We slept in our truck in the parking lot that night.
The next day while they worked on our truck we waited in the drivers lounge with about 20 other drivers. At one point several of them got up and left to get something to eat or just go to their trucks or left for a hotel. One young man noticed that his cell phone had disappeared from where he had it plugged in and charging. I told him that it had to be one of two men that were sitting back there and that I thought they were going to the truckstop across the street to eat. He was very mad and walked over there to find them. One of the men came back to the room and everyone questioned him about the phone and the other man. He did not know where the other man had gotten to. And said that he didn't take the phone.
Several drivers tried to locate the other man and no one saw him after that. We all figured that it had to be him that took the phone.
A cleaning lady came into the lounge and she was told about the phone being stolen and she pointed out a hidden camera and told the man to go into the office and have them pull the tape. He did and they made him call the police too. When the video was watched it turned out that the other man did in fact steal the phone and the video showed it as clear as day. But no one could locate him and Stoops didn't even have a record of him having a truck there to be worked on.
We got our truck finished and a few thousand dollars later we were out the door and across the street at the truckstop waiting for a load.
While we waited we got a visit from our friend, Ralph. He was passing through and had a little time to spare. It was nice getting to visit with him.
We got a load that picked up and was going to Richmond, VA.
We drove there and made our delivery and then headed to a Walmart for groceries and to camp out while waiting for a load. I did some Christmas shopping while there too.
We got a load but drove only a short distance and found out that it cancelled. Oh well, back to Walmart. While driving back to Walmart we drove through Wakefield, VA which calls itself the Peanut capital of the World. There were several stores there selling peanuts and peanut souveniers. There was one big peanut processing plant too. I must confess that it did make me hungry for peanuts, but I didn't stop.
We got back to Walmart and I did go in and pick up a few more items to complete my Christmas shopping. Working this job, most of my shopping is done online which isn't as much fun but it serves the purpose, and probably saves me money.
We got a load the next day picking up in Richmond and going to Marstan, MO. We had just done this load a litlle over a week ago. It was the area with the round cotton bales. So we felt pretty good about it, knowing where we were picking up and where we were delivering to. And when done we would probably end up in Memphis which is a good area from which to get a load.
However we ended up being sent to Jackson, TN for layover instead. But we like Jackson too. The TA truckstop there is very driver friendly. It only costs $1 to wash clothes and $1 to dry instead of the $2 that everywhere else charges. And they have really good food, with big portions at a good price.
While there we got some small light repairs done to our truck. Our taillights, turn signals were out of whack so now that was done.
Of course, I got our laundry all done and we ate good too. I bought us a chicken dinner on a stick. We saw them and tried them there before so I knew that's what I wanted.
The next morning our truck owners sent us to Nashville to get some work done to our power inverter. Our refrigerator, oven and freezer would not run unless our generator was running and it's not supposed to be that way. They should run off the inverter so that there is no chance of them shutting down and thawing out.
And then after that we were to go to another place that was going to tear our drivers side door apart and replace bad parts that was preventing us from using the window and the door lock.
So Monday we were tied up getting these things done, but by evening, our truck was now and is in pretty good mechanical working order. Now we are all set.
We got a load the next day that was a transfer load that would be going into Canada. We were picking it up from another team and delivering it to a city near Toronto.
We don't mind Canada loads so we accepted and drove to a Fedex Freight in St. Louis to wait for the transfer team to show up with our load. Of course they hadn't started the Canadian paperwork so I had to take care of all of that, but I did and we got moving.
We were going into Detroit and crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, ON. It is a huge bridge and naturally I was driving.
We didn't have any hold ups going into Canada. Fedex is really good about processing the paperwork to get you access easily. But Gypsy decided that she didn't want to work for us while in Canada, so we had to find our way the old fashioned way, with a map. but it was ok, we managed.
We were offered a load that picked up in Canada the next afternoon and came back to Springfield, IL. We didn't really want to wait in Canada that long, but decided that it probably was the smartest move financially that we could make. So after delivering the first load, I contacted our company and asked them for directions to the nearest Walmart so that we could "camp out" until the next afternoon.
We made our pick up the next afternoon and then headed back across Ontario toward the Ambassador Bridge again. Of course I was driving and this time it was super duper windy. I told Pops that we would probably get blown right off the bridge. And you should've seen the look on his face when a huge wind gust did in fact blow into us as we were crossing the bridge. (I almost peed my pants!)
I was never so glad to get back to firm ground.
We delivered our load the next morning in Illinois and was immediately given a load picking up in Peoria and going to Morganton, NC. That was good because it is time to head to Hillsville, VA and start to pack up Chad Fatula, our new preacher, and his family and bring them to Hyndman.
I am excited that he is coming and I am amazed once again at how God works everything out to get us here just when we needed to be. Thank you, Lord.

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