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.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Since we left home

We left home after church on Sunday.  It was good to spend an extra Sunday at home. We got a load that was picking up Monday morning in Buffalo, NY and going to Lufkin, TX. We figured if we left on Sunday and drove up to Buffalo we could get there at night and sleep and then make our pickup in the morning already rested and ready to go.
So Pops drove us to Buffalo. It was a pretty uneventful trip. I felt kind of sad and quiet because I realized that it would be probably be a long time until we go home again. We aren’t planning to go back until September.
We drove to a service plaza on the NY turnpike and spent the night there. We got up in the morning and went for a big walk. Then we drove over to our pickup. Our pick up was located right on the shore of Lake Erie. It was an easy pickup however it was a 5ft. wooden cube with a piece inside weighing over 5000 lbs. The company loaded it onto the truck but did not push it back at all so Pops and I working together managed to finally get it moved back further into the truck. It was hard work. And so much for just having my back worked on while home.
Then we were on our way to Texas.
I was driving first and I watched Lake Erie on our right side for many many miles. It was a beautiful sunny day. I drove us to the New York line, through the small part of PA and then into Ohio. It seemed to take a long time to drive through Ohio but finally we made it to Florence, Ky and stopped at a rest area to switch over.
It was hot. Our air conditioner wasn’t working right at the moment for some unknown reason. We only had the dash A/C.
Pops began to drive at this point. Once it got dark and a little cooler, I went to sleep.
When I woke up we were just about to enter Texarkana, TX. We stopped and made coffee and got something to eat and then I started to drive. It was going to be a little slower now because we were going off the interstates and going down more rural roads to Lufkin.
Pops tried to sleep.
Somewhere about 60 miles from our delivery I was driving through a small town and there were many traffic lights. At one point the car in front of me stopped quickly when the light turned yellow and I had to stop quickly also. I felt something go wrong with the brakes. The truck did stop but the brake pedal kept going to the floor and the air tank buzzers were on.
When the light turned green and I took my foot off the pedal, the air built right back up to normal. I put my foot on the brake again and again it drained all the air from the tank and the buzzers came on and the pedal went to the floor, but once again built right back up just as quickly.
So Pops and I talked about this and decided to drive slowly for the remainder of the way and then get it fixed immediately after. So that is what I did. I left a huge space between me and anyone in front of me. And if we came into a small town with lights I basically coasted through without using the throttle too much or the brakes too much.
Finally we reached Lufkin and found our delivery address easily. We got unloaded and then Pops called our truck owners and they found us a repair place real close by.
We drove there and they got us right in. The mechanic found an airline that was not tightened the way it should have been. This was a brand new line that was just put on our truck while we were home. Pops called the mechanic we use when home and told him about what happened.
Anyway, we were now on our way. We were told to go to Houston for layover. It was Tuesday the day before the 4th of July so we figured that we would sit for a couple of days now.
But we were offered a load that picked up in Humble which is right on the way to Houston. It was supposed to deliver today also. So Pops called Fedex to double check to see if we could deliver today because we didn’t want to do such a short load if we had to wait to Thursday to deliver. They assured us that it would deliver today.
So we drove to the airport where we were to pick up the load. When we got there we found out that this load should have picked up over a week ago and the airport was charging a fee to pick it up and we also needed certain paperwork to pick up the load which we didn’t have. So until all of that got straightened up more than 2 hours had gone by, so much for a quick and easy load.
But we finally got it on the truck and then drove to our delivery. We found out on the way that we were going to a big chemical plant and that no pets were allowed so I would have to stand outside the gate with the dogs. Then we found out that no one with facial hair could go inside, so that leaves Pops outside the gate. Well, now he would have to wait with the dogs while I drove the load to the dock. I have never done this before. Pops always does the loading and unloading. I don’t even know how to work the secure bars and it’s all I know to do to open and shut the doors. Oh well, I would do it.
So when we got to Bayer we drove to the gate only to be told that the plant was now closed for the Holiday and we would have to come back on Thursday. We were upset. We are only making a few dollars on this load and to have to sit on it and not get any other load offers was really troubling. We called our truck owners and explained the situation.
It turns out that because of Fedex telling us that the load would deliver today and now it wasn’t, they would owe us detention pay if we decided to sit on the load. Pops and I would make our daily rate for just waiting at the truck stop until Thursday, so we decided to stay with the load.
So we drove to a local Walmart and picked up some groceries and then stayed in their lot for the night.
The next morning we drove over to the truckstop and sat up our tv and got showers and relaxed for the day. Our air conditioner was working again and it was a pretty good day although it felt like a Saturday. We did see some fireworks around the area that evening but the dogs were scared so we didn’t sit outside.
We got up early the next morning and drove over to the delivery site again. Pops had been told that since he wasn’t going into the production area that his facial hair was ok. So I got my chair and a book and me and the dogs waited outside the gate. Really it wasn’t so bad. It was already pretty warm, 86 degrees at 8am. Pops was only gone for 1 hour and 15 minutes. But I didn’t mind because I just read my book.
Then we went back to the Walmart area because there was something that I forgot to buy the other day. While in the parking lot across the street we noticed a place called, Ricky’s Thick and Juicy Burgers. They had a Thursday special of 2 burgers, 2 fries and 2 drinks for $10. Awesome, today is Thursday! So when the place opened I was right there.
They had homemade buns in many flavors. I just got a whole wheat bun, but I got Pops the jalapeno/cheese bun. The burgers were angus burgers and they were big and hand patted. They came with cheese and lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and some kind of secret sauce. The fries were made from real potatoes and they were never frozen. Oh my, everything was so good. I brought one of their takeout menus with me because I will definitely remember this place. If you are in the Houston area, near Baytown off Interstate 10, take exit 792 and go south. Ricky’s is in a plaza across from the Walmart. It is worth looking for. Believe me.
After lunch we drove back to the truckstop and was going to settle in to more tv, but I ended up falling asleep. I guess the early morning sunshine and outdoors combined with a full belly got to me. While I was sleeping Pops got a load offer and accepted it.
He woke me up saying we had to go shortly.
We were picking something up at Houston International Airport and taking it to Memphis. Ok, let’s keep moving, I like this.
So we drove to the airport and we were going into the cargo part. As soon as we got parked a hearse pulled in right beside us. I guess they were making a pick up too. Hmmmm.
It didn’t take long to get our freight. It was one large RKN. That is a container that is refrigerated with dry ice and has to be kept within a 5 degree range. Our range was 20-25 degrees. We had to keep monitoring the container throughout our haul. It was going to Memphis, TN.
I drove for most of the evening and then Pops started to drive once we reached Marshall, TX. He drove us the rest of the way to Memphis while I slept through the night. We got to the airport in Memphis and got unloaded and that was that.
While we were driving to the truckstop to wait we got 2 load offers. Both were good ones. One was picking up Sunday going to Ontario just across the line from Detroit for Monday, and the pay was good. The other one was a military load picking up Monday and delivering Tuesday in New Mexico, the pay was really good. Before we could decide we got a call from Michelle from Fedex and she asked us to please accept the Ontario load so we said yes. But minutes ticked by and the dispatch never came to our computer. So we called in and I talked to Melissa who was in charge of the New Mexico load and she wanted us to take her load. I told her that we really didn’t care we just wanted to go somewhere and had already accepted the other load. About that time all the dispatch started to come to our computer so we were going to Ontario.
This load was picking up in Jackson, TN on Sunday afternoon. So we drove over to Jackson right away. It was only a little over an hour away. Jackson has a nice truckstop that we like. It is the one that flies the Christian flag right with the American flag and it also has that wonderful Chicken on a stick that we like so much.
So now we are relaxing and getting caught up on our paperwork and other stuff. I have found a church to attend on Sunday and then we’ll be on our way.
Keep us in your prayers, please.

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