Thursday, February 28, 2008


Last night J got me to within 30 miles of where we were to deliver today. So this morning I get up at 0530 and head over to where we deliver. Found it with no problems. Got in there and got backed up and they guy comes out and tells us that we have to unblock the product while they use the forklift to get it out. It said that on the paperwork but I didn't notice it. So we have to take care of that. Get that done and when we were done we still didn't have a load. We were only about 15 miles off of I-95 so I headed back to I-95 then went south about 15 miles to a Pilot we passed. Parked there and we went inside and grabbed a shower. By the time we came back out we finally had a load. THANK YOU Thom, for he got us a load to Fontana,CA. FINALLY we are headed back south.

At this point, J lays back down and I take off. I have to get from Middletown,DE to Lititz,PA. And of course it can't be easy. Nothing back east is. For one thing, the shortest route ANYWHERE around these parts is going to include a state route and a US Highway. Both of which will be two lanes, no shoulder, maximum speed of 45, 12.5% grades (yes, I had those today) and many Amish carts. Hence why it took me almost 2 hours to go 46 miles. Also, there is a detour from MD222 that says to take 276 to 275 and apparently I missed something somewhere because I ended up driving along the banks of some river and there was NO other truck traffic. I really started getting worried thinking I shouldn't be where I was, but there were not any "NO TRUCK" signs. So the detour was apparently more for the ease of things because I definitely went the tight-ass hard way. Came across a rail road tressel that I had to go under that was marked 13'6" and that was close. The town I went through, well one of them, had houses practically ON the street, with NO sidewalks and you couldn't park on the street or cars couldn't get through. Power lines were extremely low and at one point, there was a LONG extention cord out a window, across the 2 lane street, and to a RV for power. I saw that and just knew I was going to pull it down. But the good Lord was watching over me because I made it through without incident. I did go through a few other small downtowns where I had to make turns on the US routes and cars were having to back up for me so that I could make the turns and I was using ALL of my space. Not my most favorite trip because of how tight it was, but the Pennsylvania and Maryland country side is gorgeous. I meant to take pictures, especially of the Amish cart I passed, but the road had no shoulders so I couldn't pull over anywhere and get the camera out.

Mark, if you happen to read this, we are taking this load to Fontana. We should be there sometime Saturday night. If you are still there, I know you finish class on Friday, but if you are there waiting on a TE or something, maybe we will see you Sunday morning.

Not much else to post at the moment. I am about to get ready to head out to the truck and hit the sack. I will wake J up here in about an hour and then he can deal with the wiper and the trailer. :) My work day is done!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guess what I saw this morning?

When J woke me up at 0230 to get up and get ready to drive, I looked out the window, and I saw SNOW! You know, I really just have to laugh about it.

So we picked up yesterday in Fort Worth and delivered today in Plainfield,IN. I got there about 45 minutes late. I couldn't get out of the gate at Edwardsville because there was a typo from when they were entering the trailer we have assigned to us. Then I ran into an accident where the interstate was closed down and they had us take a detour to go around it. Then with the blowing snowk, I was going a little slower than normal, and I had to cross Illinois at a mind-numbing 55. Although I did do 60 most of the way. But I got there at 1050 for a 1000 appt. They got me unloaded and by 1145 I was out of there. We left and headed to the Indy OC and while enrt there we got our next load. We picked up a relay from the OC which worked out great and by 1245 I had that load and was leaving. Stopped down the road at mthe Pilot to scale the load and then took off again. Drove J as far as London,OH and stopped there at 1515. I had been behind the wheel since 0300 so I am worn out. And with the live unload and picking up another load I still managed to get in 500 miles. Sweet. This load delivers between 0800-1000 tomorrow in Delaware and J should get there sometime around 0300 so that will be nice and we can get some good non-moving sleep.

So that is it for today. I'm exhausted and going to bed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Actually have a load

About 1015 or so this morning our computer beeps and we get a load. Heading to Indiana again. Seems like this is the run we get almost every time we come back out from time at home. At least the last three times we have had this load. The only thing I don't like about it is that since we deliver in Indiana close to Indianapolis, we are up north on I-70 and we always always always get sent to the north west from here. This should be interesting. I am going to have to remember in the morning to send our trip planner Thom a message and beg him to send us to California or something so we can get in the I-40 freight lane.

Dinner is almost ready and we will be stopping in the next hour. Tonight we are having lemon pepper chicken, brown and wild rice and a salad. I'm telling you, this Burton Stove is the shit! The chicken was boneless skinless breast cooked in a slow cooker bag with butter and lemon pepper seasoning. The rice is the kind that is in a bag and you put it in the microwave for 90 seconds. We don't have a microwave, but we are stopping at a Love's Truck Stop and I will cook it there. Then the salad is pretty simple. Pour it out of a bag. I am starving and can't wait to eat!

Back on the road.....Kinda

Well, we are ready to head back out and are in the truck, but we don't have a load yet. The only thing that sucks about that is that I got up at 0600 to grab a shower and eat breakfast here at the OC before we were available, at 0800, and still nothing. If I would have know, then heck, I would have slept in. I didn't sleep well last night and could already use a nap. It was just one of those nights where I had wierd dream that had nothing to do with anything that has happened recently. Just wierd dreams.

We saw several people we know inside the OC this morning. I felt like quite the social butterfly. LOL Ran into Richard and LouAnn who have bought their own super nice T-660. Richard has been driving for Schneider for a year and a half and LouAnn is just finishing up her training so they can team. She had CDL prep today and will probably test with DPS tomorrow for her permanent CDL and then they will be ready to go. I'm really excited for them. We ran into another guy that did our Winter Training drive test. For the life of me I can't remember his name and I hate when that happens. But his wife went through class with LouAnn and they are going to be teaming also. Then we say Steve who did our CDL Permit prep when we were in class, we saw Don who was J's truck instructor and then we ran into Rob who did our CDL test with us. We couldn't hardly get out of there! Also met Fred who was just finishing up training and had his CDL prep today. We know him through and it is always great to meet people that we know from that website. We have met some really great people that way.

We didn't do a whole lot at home on our time off. J got some trash and tree limbs and leaves burned while we were there. We had to pick up a lot of trash because the trash service didn't show up when we left last time to go out and so the neighborhood dogs have had 3.5 weeks to make a complete mess of our trash. Also, some other person dumped their trash in our trash bin so that was an even bigger mess for us to clean up. J was going to call them and complain, but I had to point out that someone could have stolen their trash and went through it looking for Identification Information to steal their identity and then just dumped their trash at our house. Believe me, that is not uncommon out in the freaking boonies where we live. So I was able to deter him from calling them or from cancelling all their utilities since we had the bills in our trash. :)

We went over to a friends house on Saturday and had dinner then went out with her and some other friends for another friends birthday so that was fun. We were also able to take Bandit with us because Bandit has stayed at this friends house and played with her dog Chewey so that worked out good.

I guess that is about all that is going on with us. Still nothing on a load yet so I will just hang out here until I find out something.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Finally headed home

Thank goodness! Last night we stopped at the Petro in Joplin,MO for the night. It worked out well because another team that is just starting out that we know ended up there for the night. So we all got up and the crack of dawn and went inside and were able to visit for close to two hours. If you guys read this, I know it was early for you to get up, but we really enjoyed it. Try to stick it out, because I promise, it DOES get easier. The first few months will try your patience but it will smooth out after that. I hope you got some more sleep after we left and have a safe trip the rest of the way to your destination.

So we headed out of Joplin around 0730 this morning. It is raining, raining, raining! I guess it does beat the snow though so I'm not going to complain. We should get in around 1500 this afternoon and then we will head over to pick Bandit up and then head home. We have a lot of phone calls and stuff to make this time while we are at home. We have to do a lot of serious thinking and talking to decide what we are going to do about becoming Owner/Operators. It is a definite step that we want top take, we just have to figure out if now is the time to do it. Freight is slow, but it IS starting to pick up. Plus, if we get started now, we have all summer to run hard and get a little saved up for when it gets slow again this time next year. We ran into a team in Auburn last week that just got their truck in October and she said they have been busy still averaging close to 6000 miles a week all through the winter. That is some good news for us. Granted our miles hasn't been the problem, it has been the weather. But maybe we will have a little more say in where we go as O/O since we have no say so at all right now as company drivers. But I will keep you updated on what happens and what we decide whenever we are able to make that decision.

That's all folks!

A sad loss...

I was talking to a friend of mine that I used to work with at the police department this morning. Another of our co-workers just lost her 12 year old step-daughter due to this "flu" that has been going around. I don't know all the details, but apparently she had been sick for about two weeks and they thought it was just a cold or possibly the flu that she just couldn't shake. Again, not knowing all the details, I know they took her to the doctor and possibly the emergency room. In the end, she died from it. I can't stress enough to people to take care of yourselves out there. I know we have been sick also, and if at any point I would have felt like it was an out of the ordinary kind of sick, I would have stopped the truck and gotten to a doctor. I truly believe that a person knows their own body and will know if is something more severe than just a head or chest cold. I just ask that anyone who is of a mind to, keep this family in your prayers. They are going through a very rough time right now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Tonight we are going to stay at the lovely I-55 Truck & Travel Plaza in Bolingbrook,IL. We originally stopped at the Lake Forest Oasis and had some dinner, but there is so much traffic in and out of those things that we didn't want to stay the night there. J had a little more drive time so we headed on down here. It was only about 45 more miles and it is on the south side of Chicago. So that is good for in the morning so we don't have to fight rush hour traffic in Chicago.

Today we got up at 0500 and headed out fron Burke,WI to our drop in Milwaukee. Made it in about 30 minutes early and got unloaded by about 0930. Then we headed up to Green Bay where we picked up our next load. Missed seeing you Bob. I just really didn't want to get you or anyone else sick. We will try again next time! But we will eventually meet up!

That is all for tonight folks. I'm worn out and going to bed.

Monday, February 18, 2008


So last I left you I had made it to Miles City. Ok, I woke up yesterday morning and headed out. Luckily that snow didn't amount to anything there in Miles City. I felt horrible and knew I wouldn't make it far. I made it a whopping 110 miles. Stopped at the Flying J in Beach,NC at exit 1 because visibility was about 20 yards and the roads were ice covered. And dealing with driving in the just wore me completely out. But the good news is that J was going to start driving. We grabbed some brunch, what little I could eat, and then came back out to find the wind blowing even harder. Then we decided to just shut down for an hour or so, take a nap, and re-evaluate things when we woke up. Luckily things were better and there was enough traffic out that the roads were clearing off pretty good so we took off after his nap. Well, he took off. I was still crashed in the bunk. He made it to Fargo,ND last night and then I took over from there this morning. We were hoping that if I got up and drove a while then he could take over when his 10 hr break was up and we could maybe make this delivery before 1700 today, but it isn't going to happen. So we will get in to Milwaukee around 1800 tonight, get a good nights sleep and then deliver in the morning.

I talked to Tonya on the Qualcomm today and now she had J running solo and me out of service. We have been really lucky as far as not getting sick. The last time I was sick was during STA (training) and that was a year ago. And it has been even longer than that for J to be sick. I guess it was just our time.

Hopefully since we are due back in Dallas on Thursday for TAH we will get a load out of Milwaukee taking us straight home. But we will have to wait and see what they have in store for us. I guess we won't find out until tomorrow when we deliver and then get our new work assignment.

So my solo driving days are over and J gets to start his solo driving career. I hope it is as exciting for him as it has been for me. LOL!! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stopped in Miles City,MT

Do you know that if you take I-90 headed east from Idaho and enter Montana, and then get on I-94 in Billings and go to the North Dakota state line, that is is over 700 miles? Montana is a big freaking state!! I only managed to get 493 miles in today. Made it to the Pilot here in Miles City and called it a night. I am definitely coming down with what J has had but I am trying to take medicine (non drowsy) so that I can make this load and not get completely sick. We are due for TAH this coming Friday so I really don't want to be sick for that. On a positive note, J is feeling good enough to annoy me this evening so that means he will be feeling good enough to drive tomorrow. :) We only have 1040 miles to go so we should be there Sunday night to early Monday morning. We will stop somewhere tomorrow night and then call in and see if we can get an earlier unload or maybe just drop instead of live unload.

I am sorry I have been slacking on the pictures. We took some but I have just been too tired to down load them and then load them on here. I know it isn't THAT much work, but when you aren't feeling 100%, it is a pain. I am posting here then heading off to bed. Actually, I guess that is all for tonight. OH, it did just start snowing here. Yep, you know how my luck goes. I will let you know tomorrow night whether this snow is going to amount to anything or now. Sweet dreams.....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Made it to Missoula

And I am calling it a night. Only got about 430 miles today. I am sucking at this solo gig. LOL!! I got up and headed out and got out of Oregon, crossed through Washington and Idaho and ended up here in Missoula,MT for the night. But I am so darn tired. I think part of it is that I am not used to driving this late. And part of it is that I am fighting not getting what J has. I have taken Dayquil both yesterday and today. I think I caught it in time, but I just don't feel 100%. J is feeling some better though and I hope he will be able to start driving again Sunday afternoon. If he does, then we will definitely get this load in a day early.

Did have an interesting thing happen today though. I got pulled into the scale house for a Level II inspection. J has had a Level III before where they just check your paperwork. The Level II is where they do a walk around of the truck and check lights, horn, signals, flashers, tires, fuel, fuses, flares and registration on truck and trailer. Then you have to go inside and take all your paperwork for the load, your logbook, permit book, medical card and drivers license. I honestly was dreading the first time I got pulled in for an inspection, but I wasn't worried one bit when it actually happened. For one thing, we run legal, and for another thing, it helps coming from a law enforcement background. They don't make me nervous at all like they probably do some drivers. And not feeling up to par, I was kind of like, "Hey, whatever." Trooper was real nice though. He actually used to drive a truck before he went into law enforcement and still has a brother and sister-in-law that drive so he was cool.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Ok, the other day, Wednesday morning actually, we stopped coming over Snoqualmie to chain. Well, all of us trucks were on the right shoulder, then there was a guard rail, then a little local frontage road that ran parallel to the interstate. While J out chaining, he looks up and hollers at me, and there is a HERD OF ELK running down that little frontage road! It was the wildest thing! I swear this is what the elk were saying to themselves, "Hey, look at us! Streaking past the humans! WOO HOOO!!! Look at us go!" It was really neat though. You usually see them in a meadow or you see one or two run across the road in front of you. And usually, it is deer, not elk. But this was a little herd out for their morning jog. It was awesome. And it happened so fast, we didn't have time to get the camera.

I think that is all for today. I am going to check e-mail and hit the sack. Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Solo career....& Happy Valentine's Day!!

That got your attention huh? LOL!! Well, J is definitely sick and I have him on lots of over the counter meds. So they put me on a solo board and I got my first load this morning. Picked up half of this load in Kent,WA and then drove down to Hillsboro,OR (a Portland suburb) and picked up the second half of it. Then I headed out to Milwaukee,WI. Currently I am sitting at a Pilot in Biggs,OR for the night. I only got about 295 miles in for the day, but I had two live loads so that took some time.

When I left from my first pick up, I noticed that they didn't brace the load and they didn't leave me any room to put my load straps in. So I had to go ahead and hit the road and hope for the best. I figured at the second stop they would put that merchandise up against the first load and then I could strap it in the back. When I got to the second shipper, I opened the doors and one pallet, a small one, had fallen over. I tried to put it back up, but it was too high and I didn't have the leverage to get it. So when I went inside, the guy that had me sign the paperwork is the guy that was going to load me. I asked him if he could use the forklift and grab the bottom of the pallet and move it back up. He said sure so I though, "cool, don't have to worry about that now." So he starts loading me and after a few minutes I don't feel any more movement. I head inside and ask and one guy goes and checks with the guy that was loading me and he says I am done. Well, thanks a freaking lot for letting me know. (rolling my eyes.....) I head out and pull the truck up so I can strap the load and shut the doors. What do I find? He didn't fix the pallet for me and they had already shut the dock door. Little things like that just piss me off. I know it isn't his job, but I asked and he said he would do it. If he couldn't do it, or didn't want to do it, he could have just said so or told me a lie and said he can't touch another shippers merchandise and I would have been fine with that. But don't tell me you will do something and then not do it. And you can't tell me you forgot because when you drive that forklift in there, it is staring you right in the face. Just proves to me he was lazy and people like that piss me off. Small rant over now. :)

We stopped in Troutsdale,OR at a Flying J and had dinner. I woke J up long enough from his medication induced stupor so that he could buy me a steak dinner for Valentine's Day. Bless his heart, he is so pitiful looking right now because he is just so darn sick. Still running a fever and was freezing while we were in the restaurant. His hands were like ice cubes and normally he is much hotter than I am. But we had a nice dinner even though my baby is not feeling good.

That is pretty much it for today. OH! I have decided that the drive along the Columbia River on I-84 ranks up towards the top of my favorite drives list. Absolutely beautiful.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back in Auburn,WA

Well, made it back here this morning. I wish I could say it was an uneventful trip, but alas, I can not. Poor J is sick so he only made it to Coeur D'Alene last night. I got up at 0200 so that I could drive us in and make appointment time. But we ended up being late. Turns out that Snoqualmie Pass, which was wet with only rain when I checked it before I went to bed, ended up getting snow last night. As I was coming into Ellensberg,WA one of the signs on the road was flashing that said "IF FLASHING TUNE RADIO TO 1610AM FOR TRAVEL INFORMATION." So of course I turn it on and it is saying that traction tires are required on cars and chains are required on trucks and towing vehicles. Well, you know how I feel about chaining. But, we didn't have much choice. At that point, they had already assigned us our next load so we really needed to get over the pass. I get to the point where I need to chain and have a heck of a time trying to find a spot. I kid you not there had to have been at minimum 40 trucks chaining up. So we chain and head over, unchain and arrive at the customers about 2 hours later than expected. But again, I can't control the weather and they were updated that we would be late and the reason.

Also, on the way down from Snoqualmie, I stopped at the TA in North Bend to fuel and also got J some Dayquil, Nyquil and Tussin (cough supressant and decongestant). He is running a fever also so that is not good. He never gets sick so when he does, it generally lays him up for a few days. I called into our dispatch and talked to Tonya about it. He can't drive because he is taking all those meds. What they did was put me (us) on a solo board for the next few days. That way, he doesn't drive, I do, and I drive like a solo and will get a solo load. But it will give him time to recouperate and we can shut down all night for a few nights. He just needs some medicine and lots of rest and I think he will be fine. I will probably get one solo run and deliver it and then they will probably put us back on our normal team board. We will just have to wait and see how he feels. So for the moment, I am available at 0300 hours as a solo driver, with a passenger. haha We were wanting to get back south out of all this nasty weather, but I don't know if that is going to happen. More bad weather is going to hit the midwest in the next few days along with the north. I guess we will see how this solo board works out.

We took a few pictures coming down the pass but I haven't loaded them yet. But they look the same as the others as I posted from Snoqualmie Pass. Everything is covered with snow. :) I do find it amazing though that it can be blizzard conditions at the top of that pass, and you drop down another 10-15 miles into North Bend which is at mile marker 32 and the sun is shining and it is gorgeous outside. The weather amazes me.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Another really cold day today! Got up and headed out of Green Bay around 0730. We were hoping to get ahold of Thom our trip planner to see if we could get ahold of him and talk about getting something headed south after this load but we weren't able to get ahold of him. Left message and we still haven't heard back from him yet. I know he is busy. He has way to many teams assigned to him if you ask me. But I'm not a person of authority for anyone to listen to. :)

Anyway, headed out and stopped for breakfast real quick. Then took off again and had to stop at a rest area right outside of Menomonie,WI because we had a board conference call this afternoon. Went over some really basic stuff that we already knew, threw in a few things we didn't, and took about an hour of our time. There was time for some Q&A at the end, but because us truck drivers like to talk, only about 3 people got to ask questions. And of course it took an hour out of my driving time because they don't want us on our cell phones while we are driving. Now, I usually don't follow that rule :) , but on a conference call, I figured I would want to write some things down so I stopped.

We are currently headed through Minneapolis and J took over and is driving. I guess ya figured that huh since I am posting on here. I can mulit-task, but not that good! haha I have dinner cooking in the cooker. Cheesey spaghetti tonight. Yummy. I want a salad to go with it, but there isn't a Pilot close that we can pick one up at since they are on the Value Menu there.

I figure we will be in to drop this off early Wednesday morning sometime. Then we will see what we get from there.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Made it!

It took forever, but we made it to our drop up in the Chicago area. This morning I left a rest area at the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin on I-94. I drove about an hour to the next rest area and had to go to the restroom so I pulled in. When I went in, there was a television with the weather information on it. It was showing regional and the local weather. Where I was at was showing -10, which was about right because the truck said it was -8. But what surprised me was the next screen that popped up. It was the one showing the windchills on the map. Where i was at was showing a wind chill of -41. Holy cow!!! I new it was freaking cold outside, but DAAMNNN!! That is just ridiculous cold. So cold that when the wind hits your face, your nose just closes up and doesn't want to breathe because it is too cold. So you have to breathe out of your mouth. I will be so happy when we get out of this cold weather.

Anyway, so I was cruising along when I first took off going about 55 because the roads still had some icy spots and snow over the road. This went on for about 100 miles. Then after I got through Madison, the road went to crap. Complete black ice on the road. We were all on the road going about 25 mph. As I toodle along, I have a 4 wheeler in front of me and then another semi in front of that car. As we are crawling at our slow 25 mph, this Dodge Durango decided to pass us going probably 45-50. As he passes the car in front of me, the car decides to get in the hammer lane and pass the truck in front of him behind the Durango. Not a smart idea. The Durango gets about 50 yards in front of us in the hammer lane and loses control of the car. It spins and flips over, the top hitting the guard rail on the left and then lands right side up in the center median. All of us let off the gas but we know better than to hit our brakes. Even though the first truck is driving through a cloud of snow, he does great and keeps it straight. The car that was passing behind the Durango gets past the Durango and pulls off to the left and is able to come to a stop. By now I am passing the car and still slowing down. Myself and the other truck it seemed were going to stop also and help, but when we noticed for sure the other car was stopping to help, we kept going. It wasn't safe for us to stop considering how heavy and big we are, but at least someone did stop to help them. It is Sunday morning and I can't help but think they were probably on their way to church. I hope God was watching over them today!

Well, made the drop at Estes. Was in and out of there in about 20 minutes. It was nice. Got to the gate, he told me where to go, went in, guy told me to park anywhere so I parked in the empty spot next to the gate and then bobtailed out of there. Fastest I have ever been in and out of a place. Then I drove up right into Winsonsin to Kenosha and picked up an empty trailer at Daimler Chrysler. Drove another 30 miles or so to a Flying J and pulled over to let J drive. I left around 0330 this am so I was tired.

Now J is driving us up to Green Bay where we are picking up our next load. Then we are going to head to the Green Bay OC and do some laundry. This wind is REALLY windy and hitting us broadside. I'm not liking it. We may head out early in the AM and give this wind a chance to die down. Weather up here hasn't been great lately.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I want to scream!!

Here is the deal. Last night, J stopped at a rest area just west of Miles City, MT. I get up and start driving thie morning around 0700 local time because he had quit due to snow and wind. Well, the right lane is a sheet of ice, and you can't even see the left lane because it is all covered with snow. I drive about 75 miles and finally get to dry pavement.

We stop in Bismark,ND to get fuel and grab something to eat. While we are there, we get our next load. We are dropping this load, picking up our next one in Green Bay,WI and then delivering it to Kent,WA!! That is right back to Seattle! Right back over all the passes that are snow covered! Right back over the one we just had to chain up for! Right back over Snoqualmie that has been shut down off and on for a week and a half due to avalanche control! They are freaking killing me with the northwest runs! I sent in a message asking if they had anything that could get us south because I know of other teams that have not even been up to the northwest this winter. I also told them that we had talked to out Trip Planner about getting us out of these freight lanes and getting us down south for a couple weeks. He said he would pay attention to the loads we are getting and for us to keep in touch, but of course this is the weekend and he is off so we can't contact him. So if they don't get us something back down south, then we will definitely be calling him back on Monday and having a chat.

Here are a few more pictures that we took this morning when I woke up just to show you more of the snow we are dealing with.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lookout Pass - Montana

So here is the deal. Another huge storm is blowing in so we had to make a decision. Not make any money at all this week, or bite the bullet and chain up and head out. So we decided to chain up. We left Spokane and headed east. I drove for about an hour and then we had to chain. It was showing chains were advised but not mandatory. So we kept going the first part past Coeur D'Alene for about 10 miles, then there was a chain up area at the bottom of Lookout Pass and we decided we better chain. The roads were horrible and more people were chaining than were not, so we figured we better chain and be safe. J did a great job getting the chains on and it only took about 30 minutes or so. Once we made it over the pass, going up at about 30 and coming down at about 15 mph, then it only took about 20 minutes to get them off. I have added some pictures for yall. We are glad to be back on the road though. We chould get this load in Sunday morning and it should have been there Thursday morning. But what can ya do when ya can't control the weather??

Oh, and in case you are wondering, there is a reason the trailer is white. I guess Schneider bid on some Estes loads and we picked up this trailer from Estes, and it is a reefer unit and it says Wal-Mart on the back. But we weren't using the reefer, they were just using it as a dry box van. Funny thing, we stopped at a Pilot in Missoula and there were two other Schneider trucks there with the same trailers. We must have all picked up at the same location in Auburn.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Something funny about that title? Well, it could be that it is a little less than 30 miles from where we took off yesterday. We took off yesterday and made it over Snoqualmie before they shut it down again. So we are just cruising along knowing that there is snow in Montana and Idaho thinking that we will probably stop in Spokane and head out at first light so we can see on the snow packed roads. About 10 miles before we get into Spokane, it starts snowing and the snow is sticking. We pull into a Petro and let dispatch know we are shut down because of the weather. Again. Get up this morning and check the weather and road conditions online. Chains are required in Idaho and Montana at the state line on 4th of July Pass and Lookout Pass. So right now it is 1230 our time, 1030 local time, and we are still stuck here. I hope we can at least make it to exit 16 in Montana at some point. There is another place there that we can park if we can make it that far. The bad weather is going to plague us all the way on this trip. Right now the roads are snowpacked or icy all the way to Butte which is about 250 miles or so. And then we are delivering in the Chicago area and they just got a bunch of snow dumped on them and things are treacherous there.

Money is starting to get pretty tight. We love what we are doing and don't plan on stopping, but this weather is really cutting into our wallets. When you get stuck because of the weather and can't run, then you aren't making money. I don't understand how some teams haven't even been up in this area all winter and it seems like we are permanent residents up here. If we can make it through the next few weeks, hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can make some money.

So for the time being, we are hanging out here. There is one guy that is hauling a yacht. He picked it up in SEattle and is headed to New York with it. He has been her for 4 days because the passes have restrictions on oversized vehicles. Even when there is no chain law, they aren't letting over sized vehicles over the passes so he is really screwed. So I just have to take that into consideration and know that things could be worse.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snoqualmie Pass - Pictures

Well, about 1130 they lifted the chain law restriction so we hauled ass and headed over the pass. Lucky for us because around 1600 hrs they put the chain law back in effect. I went camera crazy going over the pass so here are a few pictures. You can see how much snow is up at the top of the pass. The first picture was taken towards the bottom on our way up and the rest were taken as we went up. DEEP snow. But it was a beautiful drive. Right now we are about 60 miles west of Spokane and will probably stop here in a little while and drive Montana and Idaho in the morning. Not much else to add. It is past my bedtime so I'm going nighty night.

Port of Tacoma,WA

Thought I would snap a few pictures last night. I was telling you about the Greek Restaurant that I wanted to try so we walked down to it. It was about a 2 block walk, so we walked. Plus we didn't lose our parking space there at the drop lot. Because they had a flyer with to-go orders, we really thought it would be a small little casual place. Thinking that, I was wearing wind pants, a t-shirt, a hoodie sweatshirt and my long coat and J was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Well, we get there and the first picture is the picture of the inside of the place. It is in what is probably an historic home and the family that runs it lives upstairs. Linen covered tables, cloth covered chairs, linen napkins...this place was very nice. I definitely felt underdressed. When we opened the door, an older gentleman was sitting on the enclosed porch and he greeted us. I think he was the head of the family, the father. Very sweet old man and he showed us to our seat. We were the ONLY people in there. They even had not turned the music on and they did that while we were being seated. Now, someone who I am assuming was the son, or maybe son-in-law, was our waiter. I would guess him to to in his 30's maybe early 40's. He was very nice and helped us decide. I don't remember what I got because it was Greek, but it was chicken ka bobs, rice and veggies and J got the lasagne (It was Greek and Italian). When we finished, we were still the only people in the place. I don't know if they were slow because of the season and weather or what, but the food was excellent and the atmosphere was superb. I felt like I was being spoiled and pampered and they were just being hospitable. As we were leaving, the father and probably his daughter were sitting on the enclosed porch and we thanked them for a wonderful meal. If you are ever in Auburn,WA and looking for a nice place to eat, check out Kouros Kusine at 721 W Main. You will be glad you did. :)
Ok, so for what is going on today. We are currently sitting at the Flying J in Port of Tacoma. The one that I mentioned yesterday that was the smallest place. Well, we made our pick up last night and came down here to run inside the store. As I was inside, J was in the truck and saw another truck leave, so we came over here and parked as fast as we could before anyone else had time to pull in and take it. :) When we stopped last night, chains were required for Snoqualmie and when I got up this morning, they were still required, and I just checked again and they are STILL required. So we are stuck again. I am going to call in and see if they want to re-route us. But the weather sucks everywhere right now so they will probably just have me sit it out. We will see. They know we are stopped, because I keep updating them on our status, so maybe they will just tell me to go a different route. Maybe I will just leave it up to them. Hmmm

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Auburn, Washington

Here is where I am currently sitting. The only difference is that it is a little darker now. Not because it is later, but because it is raining more.
So here is the run down for today so far. Starting last night actually. J took over at the Washington/Idaho border and got us in last night around midnight. Since we couldn't deliver until 0800, because it was a live unload appointment, we came to our drop lot here in Auburn and crashed. I got up this morning and went inside and showered (which reminds me to call Green Bay and have them get someone to clean these showers!!) and then we headed to our drop. As I was driving there, which was only 10 miles from the drop lot, I got to thinking that we had maybe been to this destination before. Sure enough, when I got there, I remembered we had. The place is a decent size warehouse but the parking absolutely sucks. And you have to blind side back into the dock. Not fun. Luckily, J and I have these handy dandy 2-way radios that we have and they come in REAL handy in situations like this. So after I went in and found
out what dock he wanted me backed up to, J got out with his walkie talkie and guided me in. Communication is really key when you are trusting what someone says on the radio because you can not see where you are putting the trailer. Also you have to understand what they mean when they tell you how to move the trailer on the radio. We are finally getting to where we understand each other and I don't want to kill him while he is trying to tell me something that doesn't make sense. :) Because it is starting to make sense now.

Anyway, got backed in and I went in to find out where he wanted me to back the truck up and he gave me a trailer and said I could go. SWEET! We were thinking this was a live unload and it turned into a drop and hook. Hell yeah! So off we go and we head to a Flying J that is about 15 miles away. We have been on high value loads for a week which means someone has to stay with the truck at all times, so we both wanted to get a decent meal TOGETHER and not fast food in the truck. I cook a lot in the truck also, but we wanted OUT of the truck. So I head to the Flying J and this has to be the biggest joke of a truck stop EVER. Trucks are almost running on top of each other because this parking lot is so small. I decide screw that and we head back to the drop lot. Once there, we dropped that empty trailer and bob tailed over to an IHOP that was just about 2 miles away. Had an awesome breakfast. I had some of their pumpkin pancakes. They rocked. Scrumptious!

Finished eating and headed back to get the trailer from the drop lot. We only dropped it because it was easier to find something to eat if we were bob tailing. Get hooked up and we get our next load. Heading to Illinois, which is a 2003 mile run, nice. But we have to go back over the mountains. Expected that since there really is only two ways to go from Seattle and that is East or South. This load is Hazmat which will be a first for us. Well, it says it is Hazmat, but it may not be. I will have to check the BOL when we pick up the load. SO, I head over to pick it up because it says to be picked up BY 02/06 @ 0100. Now, I am assuming, and you know what they say about assuming, but I am assuming that the load is ready because it says to have it picked up BY that time, and if it wasn't ready, then why were we given the load, right? Well, I get there and they say it will be ready AT 0100. Also it looks like customer service was showing it as as AT appointment, but for some reason, it was dispatched as pick up BY. Of course, we were there at 1300 local time, which means that I am now back at the Auburn drop lot for 12 hours until the load is ready.

Ok, so given the past several weeks, you would think that would upset me, the fact that we are now having to sit for 12 freaking hours, right? Well, it doesn't, and I will tell you why it doesn't upset me. See, I checked the weather, and it appears that Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 outside of Seattle is SHUT DOWN AGAIN!!!! Yep, you got it. They are doing avalance control at the moment. There are also some really pretty pictures of the conditions, in real-time, if you go to and check it out. It is also showing right now that chains are required on vehicles over 10,000. Well, that would definitely be me. But I will tell you this much. If they are requiring chains, then Mamma isn't driving over it. I will sit it out until they get the roads cleared some.

So that is what I am doing. J is in the back taking a nap. He only got about 6 hours last night. But I am going to wake him up here in a while and we will grab something to eat. There was a menu in the drivers lounge for a place that delivers Greek. I have never had Greek food, but the menu looked really good and the food didn't look wierd. So I think we may try that.

Peace out.... :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Snow snow snow - What I drove through today

Gotta love the snow. I took off from Bozeman this morning and it took me almost 8 hours to drive 367 miles. Quite a bit of the road was wet but not snow packed but some of it was like this. These were taken on Homestead Pass in western Montana. Don't worry, I was only going about 15 mph when I took them. :)
We got our appointment time changed to 0800 tomorrow morning so as long as Snoqualmie Pass is open, then we will make it. It is only 1630 local time and we have just under 300 miles to go so we should get in around 2200 local time. At least we will get a good nights sleep before we deliver in the morning.

The Snow Queen is back!

Yep, you got it! We are in snow again. Right now we are in Bozeman,MT. Something about the Bozeman/Belgrade area that pulls us I guess. We always get shut down here. It is a sign. I just don't know if it is a good sign or a bad sign! Roads are completely snowpacked so I'm not going to start driving until the sun comes up and I can see good. I really don't like driving in the snow when it is dark outside.

We actually have an appointment for a live unload this morning at 0800 but we obviously aren't going to make it. We had to take an alternate route starting out because of snow and then had to cut back to I-90 because the other route got worse than the original one. So we still have about 650 miles to go. If the roads cooperate we will get it there this evening. But we have several passes we have to go over and I have no idea how the conditions on those will be. I just REALLY want to get back south and stay there for a while.

That is what is going on right now. Nothing because we are sitting and I am just waiting for the roads to clear some. I called the number for road condition info and it is pretty bad between here and Butte. And that is where the bigger mountains actually start. I think this is going to be a long day.....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Missouri headed West...

It felt good to get some decent sleep last night. I just haven't slept good the last few nights, but I don't think I am getting sick. I think it is just a woman thing. Ugh...

Anywho, headed out this morning around 0700. Showered, ate, found the trailer, got the paperwork for it and off we went. J went right back to sleep. I think he was worn out too. Although I don't know what his excuse was since he is a man. LOL But I am glad he did because some days he goes off of 5-6 hours of sleep and that just isn't near enough for me so I don't know how he does it.

We stopped at Edwardsville to get fuel and I saw the weather on the TV. It still isn't looking good and they are prediciting another 2 feet of snow in the Cascades up in northern California all the way up through Washington. How this run is going to go is anyones guess. I have a feeling that we won't make it on time but we will see. The weather is just not going to cooperate with us. And you know my luck driving through Wyoming. Which means we will be shut down. But I have come to terms with having to go back through the hell state, so I will deal with it. Hopefully we won't have many more trips through there this winter. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Right now I have our dinner cooking in the Burton Lunchbox. Steaks with carrots. Yummy! Also gonna have mashed potatoes, the instant kind, and I have the water and milk in a Burton water heater so that will only take a few minutes when we are stopped. Also gonna have a salad. Cooking in the truck rocks. And it is so much cheaper. AND, it has the added benefit of tasting like home made instead of like truck stop food.

So off we go to the next rest area where it should be done and we will eat!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Indiana Ice

Yesterday I headed out of Fort Worth headed to Indiana. I got us about half way through Oklahoma on US 69 and then J took over. I had already hit some snow but the roads were ok, just wet. J takes off and right before the Missouri state line it starts coming down hard. He pulled into the Welcome Center Rest Area right across the Missouri state line. I was still awake and could tell the roads were bad even though I was in the bunk with the curtain closed. He had slowed down and it was in 9th gear because I heard it downshift. So when he stops I ask him what he is doing and he says he has to clean off the wipers. Well, that means it is snowing, bad. Then I ask him how the roads are and he say, "Well, I'm ok if I follow the tire tracks in the snow." WTF? That bad already? So I get out and it is a white out. I tell him there is no way he is going any further. The roads are too bad! So he sends in a message that we are stopping and I will take over in the morning.

Fast forward to about 0630 this morning. Snow has finally stopped, but it is a mess. Miraculously the roads are wet, but not snow packed. The Missouri DOT was putting salt on the roads and it works great. So I toodle on along and there are cars off the road every where. I am just thankful we stopped for the night. We make it to Edwardsville and stop and eat lunch and take off again. J heads back to sleep. As I am cruising through Illinois on I-70 I see 6, yes, 6 semis off the side of the road that were jack-knifed due to the ice. One of them was teetering on a guardrail with the cab of the truck just hanging in the air over the ditch. You know that driver about shit when he went flying over that guardrail. By the grace of God he is still alive. So after seeing all of those trucks off the road, I am really really glad that we decided to stop for the night. When I took off driving and the roads were wet but clear, I thought maybe we should have kept going. THEN I see all the trucks that were wrecked. Yep, it was a sign. I never second guess my gut feelings.

So we just delivered here in a suburb of Indianapolis and are now heading to our Indy OC to drop this trailer and pick up our next load. This next load is going to Kent,WA. I don't know if you have been watching the news but I-90 has been closed for 5 days at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington due to avalanches. That is the road we need to take. Great. So we decided we will take I-80 and then take I-84 to Portland and I-5 up into the Seattle area. That would work if I-80 wasn't shut down. We are hoping though that I-80 will be back open when we get to it. I HATE I-80 in Wyoming, but we don't have much of an alternative. Besides, even if they do open I-90, there are more mountains that way and they will probably have the chain law in effect.

That is what we are dealing with. I hope it clears up before we hit Wyoming!