We got a strange load offer. Remember we are in Little Rock, AR and they offered us a load that was picking up near Austin, TX which is over 535 miles away and then going to Gloucester, MA. The entire trip had a mileage distance of 2550. It was paying really well too. So we accepted it and wondered what the catch was.
When the dispatch came through we didn't see anything to alert us as to this being a fishy load. It was a hazmat load but we knew that from the offer that came out. So we got moving right away since it would take us almost 10 hours just to get to the pickup.
We drove about 32 miles and then got a message that the load was cancelling. Oh man, that's too bad because this really was a good load. Oh well, that happens.
So we pulled in to a Pilot truckstop that was only about 2 miles from us and tried to settle in and wait for another load offer to come.
When we are sitting like this we have to check in with our company and put our location on the computer which shows them where we are and then they can dispatch us. But Gypsy would not let us check in for some reason. Pops tried several times. Finally he called Fedex and asked why this was happening and they informed us that it was because officially our load hadn't cancelled yet. So we waited and after about 20 minutes we did get to check in.
I started reading my book and Pops was playing on his Ipad. We got a load offer but it wasn't a load we were interested in so we declined it.
Then wonder of wonders, the other load came back out as a load offer. So we accepted it and got it. Now we had been sitting here wasting time for over 2 hours. We could've been to Texarkana by now if it hadn't of cancelled in the first place. Oh well, we got moving right away.
Thankfully, I didn't get caught in any heavy traffic which was great considering we hit Dallas about 5pm. Everything seemed to move smoothly.
We managed to reach our destination before 11pm.
Like I said, this was a hazmat load so while Pops secured the load from movement I handled the paperwork with Aaron, who was representing the shipper. He had his wife with him. They lived nearby and had come in just to load our truck.
When I called the load description into our company we realized that we needed an additional placard for each side of our truck. We were hauling ammonia which besides being a non flammable gas it is also an inhalation hazard and that had to be commicated to the public. So Aaron went in search of those placards and the labels for on the cylinders also. But then we got moving. It was Wednesday night about 11:45 when we got moving and we had 1998 miles and had to be there by Friday afternoon. We hoped we could make it by noon.
But that was not meant to be.
At first everything went really well. Pops drove throughout the night and when I woke up in the morning we were still in Texas just short of Texarkana. So I started to drive from there. It was a gorgeous day, weatherwise and I enjoyed the ride across Arkansas and Tennessee while Pops slept. I drove until we were about 40 miles on the east side of Nashville and then pulled in to a rest area. It was a place that was good to just allow the dogs to run without their leashes so we stayed a little extra time. Pops began to drive from there. I stayed awake until we got through Knoxville and started north on Route 81, then I went to sleep.
When I woke up in the morning. We were in Harrisburg, PA and Pops had just pulled into the fuel aisle. His time was up and he told me that I would be driving from here. I got up and got dressed and got some going. But I didn't realize was that the coffee pot still was half full from last night so my fresh new hot coffee was dripping down into the stainless steel carafe with the cold day old coffee. Then it proceeded to run over all over the counter and down onto the floor. Oh boy, that was all it took to make me grouchy. I tried to heat it up and that made it taste really bad. Argh! I didn't have time to make more coffee we needed to get going. It was raining now and we were running a little behind schedule. So I sucked up the awful coffee and listened to my belly growl as I rolled us away from there and onto the highway. The dogs needed out yet so we agreed to stop at a rest area and take them out. I hurridly made some fresh coffee and waited for the dogs to pee while standing in the pouring down rain. Then I tried to quickly get us something to eat. I heated some frozen sausage links and fried some eggs but the greasy sausage made us both a little sick. Oh well, at least I had fresh coffee.
So I drove in HEAVY rain all that day. Traffic was driving really slowly too, but we still saw dozens of accidents. We saw one really bad one where a tractor trailer was actually sitting on top of a car. People were standing all around with umbrellas, the ambulance hadn't gotten there yet. It was ugly.
What should have been a 7 hour drive to our destination turned into 11 hours of me driving my complete time out in all that rain. I was getting really exhausted and stressed.
We kept sending messages to our company letting them know that we were not going to be able to keep our scheduled time and the reasons why. We never heard anything from them. Then when we were about an hour out Pops called our company and they told us that we wouldn't be delivering until 6pm the next day. Oh no, this wasn't happening. Not after all we went through today to try and get here. But we couldn't argue with them.
So we continued on to our destination, parked up against their fence and slept. They did agree to unload us at 7:30 in the morning.
We actually got unloaded at 7 and then was offered Boston or Manchester, NH as our layover options. We chose Manchester because, there really aren't any nice truckstops in Boston and there was already 2 of our trucks there. And also because since it's Saturday we probably won't get a load until Monday and there is a church near Manchester that we like but haven't been to in over a year.
We drove first to Portsmouth, NH to shower and get groceries. Then we went to a rest area just inside the New Hampshire line that we like.
So we rested, Had a good supper of homemade beef barley soup and lemon merinque pie. It was a nice, quiet, sunny warm day and we enjoyed our free time after that long trip. And it does look like we will get to attend services at the Riverside Christian Church. I can't wait to see my friend, Jacqui. We met her the last time we were there and she has become a good facebook friend to both Pops and myself.
I am excited.