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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Taste of winter

After leaving church at Christview on Sunday we did our normal Sunday stuff, groceries, laundry, football watching and Hallmark movies.
Our pickup on Monday morning was near the Memphis airport. I always enjoy watching planes and all these were FedEx planes.
Then we got moving and was headed toward Elmira,NY. I was driving first. Pops was resting but not sleeping because we both had slept a full night. 
I saw this guy in Kentucky.

I drove almost to Cincinnati, OH. We stopped at a rest area short of the city to eat and switch off. I tried to get some nice pictures of Cincinnati at night, but it is almost impossible while moving. Geese, I wish we could just stop some places for pictures. I think Cincinnati at night is such a pretty city. Oh well.
We made it to Albany by the next morning and got our load off fairly quickly. Now we had a short mileage trip but it would take up most of the day.
We were picking up in Tarrytown, NY which is an old historic town alongside the Hudson River just north of New York City. 
We had to cross the long Tappenzee Bridge across the Hudson. Last time we crossed it we noticed that there was some kind of construction going on at one end of the bridge. This time we realized that a brand new bridge is in the process of being built. It is a little higher from the water than the current Tappenzee Bridge.
And that load delivered the same day near Albany, NY
From Albany we got a load picking up the next morning near Boston, MA. So we drove that direction and hoped to find a place to park for the evening. Boston area is not very trucker friendly. There aren't many truck stops at all and the ones that are there have only 20-30 parking spots so they fill up quickly. And the Walmarts in Massachusetts don't allow overnight parking either, so parking is ALWAYS a concern. 
So what Pops decided to do was, drop south off the interstate into the first rest area in Connecticut. We found parking there, but we were still around 80 miles short of our pickup location. That meant we had to get up early and make our way through the Boston traffic. 
We were surprised to drive right in with hardly any traffic stoppages. We picked up one small package and driving it to Denver, CO.
It was easy to load the one piece and strap it in. It took longer to do the paperwork involved. And now we would take Interstate 90 from here clear to Chicago area. 
I was driving first, as usual. I drove through Massachusetts, and almost the entire width of New York. Pops took over around the Buffalo area. He drove to Erie, PA and we stopped to eat and walk at the Erie Walmart one of our favorite places to walk. 
But it was cold and drizzly. The wind was coming in off the lake. I could feel it in my sinuses and wondered if walking in that was a good idea. 
After that I went to sleep as Pops drove. He drove over 600 miles that night.
When I woke up, we were about an hour west of Chicago and we're now on Interstate 80. I started my drive and Groggy Pops went right to bed.
This is daybreak in Illinois.
It wasn't long before I was in Iowa. The world's biggest truck stop is in Wolcott, IA. 

 Each day as I drive I take an hour to listen to my audio Bible. I am following a reading plan from my home church. But I always do two days at a time just to pass the time and I really enjoy the dramatized version.
And I always have audiobooks to listen to as well. They always make my drive go by faster. I got through Iowa and then it was Nebraska. 
Nebraska is a long or wide state. It takes a long time to get through. I drove through most of it and then at dark, we did our normal: park at Walmart, eat and walk. I had driven 599.3 miles today. Then bedtime for me.

I woke up at our delivery site and actually Pops already had the load off. So we parked along the curb in the industrial park. We didn't have a predispatch and was hoping for one more load. It was Friday morning. While waiting, I watched the gophers. 
We got a load offer that our company really needed us to do. It was picking up in California and then delivering near Reno, NV. We turned it down. We are worried that we might get stranded in the west and not be home for Christmas. So to sweeten the deal they offered us a backup load from Las Vegas to Columbus, OH. So we accepted.
It was a 1200 mile deadhead to our pickup.

We stayed around Denver area until early in the morning. I woke up at 4:30am, which was 2:30 local time and got us going. 
I hadn't driven 70 miles before running into bad weather. It was near Laramie, WY. And it was ice. For the next 200 miles I drove s l o w l y across icy roads. It was very stressful. 
But once the sun came up the roads cleared off. And then it was actually a very pretty drive.

I drove to the truckstop at Toole, UT. I had driven through a big snowstorm Park City, UT. It was still daylight when Pops took over but it had been a long, long day and my nerves were worn thin. And we knew that we were in for even more bad weather near Elko, NV and then we had Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I went to bed. Our plan was to stop in Sparks, NV for church. When I woke up, it was snowing hard. We were in Sparks. We went in for a shower and found out when we were in there that a road closing snow storm was coming. 
Should we leave now to try to cross the mountain or what? We wasted an hour or so with our company trying to decide. In the end we were told to wait until midnight when the storm would be done.
We found out that the church we planned to attend could not accommodate our truck but they did post their sermons online. So we had on online service with the Summit Christian Church of Sparks, NV. 
The evangelist is Steve Bond and gave an inspiring message on giving. 
After church some friends that Pops knew from a prayer group on Facebook came by. We have never met them face to face. Yet, it wasn't long before We felt as if we had always known each other. We went to dinner at a place called Black Bear Diner. Of course, it is a bear themed place with good home style food choices big big, big portions. 
We had such a great afternoon. None of us wanted it to end. 
Once back to our truck we settled in for movies. After about an hour, Mike came back bringing gifts from him and Judy. It was a bear candle holder and a bear phone. How nice. And we will always remember our day with Mike and Judy.

We did not get to leave Sparks area until the next morning early. The storm had closed the roads for awhile and then several wrecks occurred once it opened, which caused it to close again.
We found out that the chain law was in effect. All vehicles were required to use snow chains to cross. We do not have tire chains, we have a new product called tire socks.
Would we be permitted to use them to get across? Would they be good enough to get us through?

To be continued...

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