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, August 8, 2014

Week in the West

So what a week it has been. It has been a little laid back and more carefree than what we are used to. But it is like that when you get into the southwest. 
I told you about our Monday in a recent post. It was the day that Pops had his drug test and I spent the majority of the day in the dentist chair. I am pretty much recovered from all of that but I am still taking the antibiotics. Actually, I think that I did pretty well considering all that I had done that day. 
About an hour after I came out of the dentist's office we left Salt Lake City for our dispatch. 
We had to be in Denver the next afternoon, so we left Monday evening because Pops felt bad for me and didn't  want me to have to drive.
We stopped in Park City, Utah at a Walmart and I ran in there to get my prescriptions filled and to pick up something for Pops to eat for supper. Then we got moving again.
He drove to Laramie, WY and we stopped there so he could sleep. 
The next morning, I got us moving. I didn't feel bad at all, but of course I was taking pain meds. So I drove east until Cheyenne and then South toward Denver. 
We reached Denver by afternoon and drove around trying to figure out how to get into our location. It was a Gov't facility that covered many acres right in the heart of the city. The whole place was fenced in. We were intructed by our company to not go into the main gate, but go into gate #2. Now logic told us that the main gate would be gate #1 and it was, so we turned in to the next gate and bingo!, it was wrong. This was gate #3. We got out of there and followed the fence until we had to turn right, then we followed the fence until we had to turn left. Finally Pops spotted someone to ask. 
We were told that gate #2 comes first, then gate#1. Well Of course it does, right?
So we FINALLY got to our gate and the guard laughed because he had been watching us on camera drive around and around the perimeter of the facility. Glad we could bring joy to someone. We sure weren't feeling it right then.
Once we got inside and arrived at our building, it went much smoother. We were hauling a radioactive substance. We had never done that before so we were a little nervous of it, but it was kind of simple really pretty much like a regular hazmat load, except for he had to climb inside our cab and sleeper and take readings to see if the activity was coming inside our cab. It was all ok.
So time to go. I started the drive out of Denver. Pops sat up front for awhile. He got a real nice picture of the city. We drove right past Mile High Stadium where the Colorado Rockies play baseball and we could see the jumbotron was on and showing baseball highlights. It was still 2 hours until game time so it must have been batting practice. Then we drove past the Denver Colossium where the Denver Nuggets play basketball. Pops did get a shot of that too. Then it wasn't long at all until we were away from the city an on our way. 
I drove and drove until my time was up. I found a Walmart and stopped there. I had to go inside to get him something to eat again. I wasn't cooking because I was only eating pudding and eggs and soup. So I would grab him deli foods or Marie Calendar's TV dinners.
After he ate and I slurped, he began his drive and I doped up with pain meds and went to bed. When I woke up it was morning and we were at our destination in Tulsa OK. However, no one there knew anything about this shipment and no one wanted to take responsibility for a radioactive load. AND NO ONE WANTED IT TO BE PARKED NEAR THEIR PART OF THE BUILDING! So they instructed us to park  in some distant parking lot with all kinds of metal scraps and broken wooden skids and junk. And we waited, and waited, and waited. 
We began to get worried because we had a predispatch and didn't want to lose it, but if someone soon didn't come get this stuff off, we would lose our next load. 
Finally someone did come and get it. And we were on our way. Next stop OK City. 
We got there later that afternoon and picked up our load. It was a military load and they take forever sometimes because of all the inspections and checks that we and our truck goes through. It did take us about 3 hours total from the time we arrived until we got our load on actually got off the base and o our way. I was driving and drove us across Oklahoma, and through the panhandle of Texas and parked at the Welcome center of New Mexico. I was all excited because about 4 miles back I had seen 3 elk grazing right along the interstate. I wanted so badly to wake Pops up to see, but figured by the time he looked up we would be past them anyway. I thought about stopping the truck but thought that would spook them into running our in front of traffic. So too bad for Pops. I did manage to squeeze off one camera shot and got one of the elk. Oh well.
After Pops got some food and coffee, he began to drive. Our delivery was scheduled for a military base in NM in the morning. 
Again it took us hours to get through the many gates and inspections and get to our destination. We had to turn in our cameras and phones and Ipads until we came out of the base. We do really like these military and gov't loads though. Once you get used to the inspections and such, you don't mind, and honestly feel better about it then if you get to one that just allows you drive right in.
Once unloaded there we got moving again. We, again, had a predispatch and needed to get to Albuquerque by afternoon. It was a rainy drizzly day. But it was a nice day for a drive.
We drove through a little town called Corrizozo, NM and shortly after that Pops pointed to an area out across the desert at the base of the mountains. It looked like it had been burnt, a big area too, like a huge grass fire. After several miles we made a left turn and started to see signs for a recreational area called The valley of the Fires. So, I googled it. It is 42,000 acres of area that, indeed, looks to be burnt but really isn't. The rocks are very black, however vegetation does grow and isn't burnt. But when the sun hits on the rocks and reflects, it cause them to look like they are on fire. Too bad it was overcast on the day we were there. 
We did make it to Albuquerque by after and this was a straight freight load so we drove into the business, loaded our freight and away we went. Now we were headed to Phoenix by morning. I was still driving and drove us the rest of the way west through New Mexico and into Phoenix. At this point, our Gypsy GPS was taking us on a shortcut off the interstate and onto 2 lane rural mountain roads. This was for about the next 87 miles, and about 70 of those miles had warning signs for elk crossings. So Pops gave up his sleep to sit in the front seat and watch for elk. But of course we never saw even one. Although we did see a female mule deer feeding along the road. 
I was getting really tired and it was his turn to drive so we decided that at the next pull off I would stop. Since it was a narrow rural road there were many pull offs along the way for the truckers to stop. Surely there would be one just around the next curve. But when we came around the curve we both said, "Wow!"
It was the apex of the mountain and out before us was the view of many, many mountains. We could see for miles and miles. It was one of the most beautiful places. But no pull offs and just a little too dark to take pictures while we were moving. You will have to use your imagination on this one. Sorry.
Then we came to the town of Payson, AZ. We stopped there in a Walmart parking lot for the night. 
Pops got up about 5:30am and got us moving, I stayed sleeping.
When I woke up we were at our delivery location. Within a very short time, before I even got up and dressed, the product was off and Pops was driving us away. 
Our generator, the thing that supplies all power to the home part of our truck, wasn't working right so we had an appointment to get it looked at. That didn't take long. It was just a loose belt. So it was tightened and we were done.
We drove to the truckstop outside of the city. 
Now the job of laundry, cleaning, restocking, finishing up paperwork, and mostly resting. There is a really nice shop here that sells nice jewelry made by a Native American artist. I asked a lot of questions about all of the stones and settings. The artist is Navajo but does sell some that is made by the Kuni as well. Oh boy, this could be expensive.
Pops is keeping a close eye on me.
I did go into the salon and got my hair trimmed today too. So we are looking for a church for tomorrow. There are 2 in Phoenix that are huge, one has 6000 members and the other says it has 3700. Personally, Pops and I don't really like to go to churches that big. So we are trying to get in contact with several smaller ones. I hope that we find one that isn't too far to go. 
Have a great week.

No comments: