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, June 10, 2012

Shush, Top Secret

We got a phone call from Fedex asking us to do a load that was picking up in Lancaster, PA and then going to Toronto, Ontario and then eventually going to Charlottesville, VA. It paid a great amount and we would pick it up on Thursday, deliver in Toronto on Friday, Pick it back up on Saturday and then deliver in Virginia on Sunday. There was an enormous amount of time built into this load. When I questioned why I was told that this load was top security and of utmost importance and the extra time was in case we would have mechanical problems we would have time to get it taken care of and still make our delivery times.
The delivery times were absolutely set in stone. We had to be where we were supposed to be at the exact times given us. And it was a “secret load.” We were not told anything except where to be and when. And we weren’t allowed to talk about this load to anyone.
Ok, I’m in. We left the house Wednesday after supper and drove to Lancaster and slept so that we would be at the morning pickup on time. We pulled into the company and it looked as if no one else was here. But we did see a worker eventually and he was the only one in the building and we were told to wait until the big shots got there.
While we waited another Fedex truck like ours pulled in and then another. Now the “big shots” were here and we were loaded with 4 pallets. It was boxes and it was shrink wrapped so there was no guessing what was inside. Once loaded they sealed our truck with 2 different seals. And that was that. That’s all we knew. Except for one of the “big shots” had an emblem on his shirt with initials and so when I got a chance I googled the initials and found out what this load was all about.
Even though some time has passed I still don’t think I should disclose exactly what it was for but I will tell you that what we was hauling was written exams. There was a huge test going on all over the world for this particular subject. It was happening simultaneously all over the world, same time, same day.
So we had to take these exams to Toronto which was one of the exam sites. The other two trucks were going to Montreal and Chicago. As we were leaving two more trucks arrived.
I couldn’t really see that it was such a big major deal but what do I know? Anyway we drove north to Canada. Haha. We reached the border and crossed over without any delays. So now it was early evening and we were only 30 miles from delivery but couldn’t deliver until the next day at 3pm so we found a great place to stay and wait. It was a truckstop right next to Lake Ontario. And since it was still pretty early in the day there weren’t many trucks there so we got a great spot right by the Lake. I mean we were only about 50 yards from the shore, but it was a drop of about 40 feet to the water. But between our truck and the water’s edge was a really nice grassy area that was mowed and well taken care of. So we enjoyed our mini vacation by the lake.  I drank a cup of coffee while watching the lights around the lake. It was great.
We got up the next morning and it was raining so I couldn’t take my coffee outside to watch the water like I planned but Pops and I went inside to the restaurant for breakfast. Time did seem to go a little slower only because we can’t use our phones or internet while in Canada. The costs is just too ridiculous. But we managed to occupy ourselves with dvd movies and games on Gypsy.
When the time came we drove the short distance to our place of delivery. It was a big exhibition hall on another part of Lake Ontario. So we backed in and got unloaded. We were wondering where we would go and spend the evening and night again, but they left us stay right in the docks where we unloaded. Ok this would work for us. We had access to restrooms and we had our own food and movies and games. The dogs weren’t real thrilled about not having a big place to run but they did have grass to pee in and it all worked out.
We enjoyed a quiet evening once again.
When we woke up on Saturday we saw people everywhere. They were mostly young people. We figured they were the ones taking the exam. They kept coming for what seemed like hours. There were so many of them too. But around 8:30am the people traffic slowed to almost none.
I mixed up a meatloaf and baked it. I watched another movie and read some of my book. I don’t get bored usually. I can always find a way to pass the time, but I think Pops was a little bored without his phone and facebook friends. But he played cards with Gypsy.
Finally someone came out and knocked on our doors. They wanted to do our paperwork so that once we were loaded we could take off right away. We had to go inside and it took awhile for the paperwork to get completed correctly.
We found out that over 6000 people was taking the exam in this location today. Wow, that’s a lot of people.
Once the completed exams were boxed up and shrink wrapped they were loaded back onto our truck and the truck was sealed up tight. Now we had to get them back to Virginia by tomorrow morning. There would be no lingering now. We would have to hurry.
So of course we had trouble crossing the border. First off we didn’t get cleared by our company before we reached the border so we pulled into the parking lot there and waited. It took about 45 minutes more before we were told that we were now cleared to go across. So we crossed the bridge and entered the customs booth. We were told by the customs officer that we were not cleared to cross and we had to park the truck and get this straightened out.
It really stinks when you are not allowed to re enter your own country!
We went inside the building and the officer in there told us that our paperwork was not correct and would need to be corrected within 30 minutes or we would have to wait until 9am the next morning. Oh brother!
We called our company right away and they assured us that it would be taken care of immediately. Well, immediately turned out to be about 10 minutes but that was pretty good. I was glad to be cleared and allowed to come into the states.
So then I went to sleep while pops drove us to Virginia.
When we reached our place of delivery there were actually armed guards there that unsealed our truck and watched every move while the tests were taken off our truck. I just could not get over the extraordinary measures being taken with this load. You would have thought we were hauling gold from Fort Knox or alien body parts or something, instead of some tests.  Oh well, it’s out of our hands now.
What a trip! It sure was quite interesting from start to finish. So now we were told to go to Alexandria, VA for layover so we drove up there and sat for the day. We were at a very nice rest area and got to relax for many more hours but at least we had our phones and internet again.
We waited and turned down several loads before one came that was picking up in Richmond, Va and was going to Dallas, TX. Oh yes, we’ll go to Texas.
I was going to Texas and I was happy. I love any opportunity to get to go there. But it was short lived because we barely even had our load picked up before we were immediately predispatched on another load. We wouldn’t be getting to spend any time in Texas, because our next load was a military load picking up in Fort Carson, CO and going to Fort McCoy, WI.

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