Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back on the road

Made it back out this morning. Last night we dropped Bandit off at her "hotel" and headed in to the truck. Got all of our stuff loaded into it and then headed to the shop to get the rest of the maintenance done on it. They had it for 2 full days doing the windshield so for the life of me I don't know why they just didn't do the rest of it, but they said for us to take it to the express bay to have the other stuff done. Whatever....

While we were waiting we ran into Jack and Sharon there at the OC. Jack was in school with J and I. Actually Jack and I had the same instructor. His wife Sharon had already been driving for something like 13 years so she just went to an Orientation for experienced drivers. Kind of backwards, huh? Usually it is the husband who has the experience. But it is kind of a neat story. I guess Jack worked the dock and yard at a place where Sharon delivered to a lot and that is how they met. Cool.

So we get up this morning and eat and shower and head to the truck to see if we have a load and there is a message from Green Bay saying that we won't get a load until they get a copy of my drivers license. Well, this is one of the reasons I went to DPS while we were off. They can't seem to send me a current copy of my drivers license with the correct endorsements on it. So I am able to send her my old drivers license with the top cut off along with a copy of the paper license showing the correct endorsements and she says that will work for now. Thank goodness! So we finally get a load and we are headed to Indiana with it. Of course that is right into the snow. Yep, Mrs Ice Trucker is out on the highways again..... Lord help us all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yesterday - Tuesday

We FINALLY made it to a Volvo dealership! It is the last truck that we needed to look at. SNI Finance will finance either the KW T2000, Freightliner Century, Peterbuilt 386 or 387 and the Volvo 780. We have now been to look at all of them and I must say that the Volvo is the one we like the best. It has a 77" sleeper giving 7 more inches of room in the back than the Freightliner or Peterbuilt models and 5 more inches than the KW T2000. You may not think that is a lot of room, but after you have been in a truck and realize that space is at a premium, that extra 7 inches is a LOT of space. The beds are about the same size but you have more room where you stand and it makes the cabinets a bit wider. The Volvo also has a table in it. The bottom bunk is like a camper where the bed will pop up in the middle into a table. We really like that idea for two reasons. If we are doing a 34 hr restart we have a comfortable space to sit and relax and two, the space is open under the table, even when it is made into a bed, and that is extra storage and a place for our little dog to sleep. She likes to "den" so that spot is perfect. So I think we have made up our minds on what truck we want to get. No we just have to wait until the right time. We are taking Justin and some friends to a guest ranch over Spring Break so we will probably take actual vacation at that time and then come back out as an IC after that. We are just going to have to talk to them and see what the best way to go is.

We also dropped the truck off at the OC yesterday so they can get some maintenance done on it. We also are having them replace both windshields since they both have chips in there.

Today we are just hanging out at the house getting laundry done and getting ready to head back out. Tomorrow I have to go down to DPS and have them resend me my drivers license. I don't have the actual hard copy that shows the right endorsements. I still have the one showing I need a licensed driver in the front seat without the correct endorsements. If you run my DL it is correct, I just never received the new and correct actual hard copy in the mail. And since it is a Class A CDL, I have to go request a new one in person because they won't issue a new one over the phone or online.

That is where we are right now. Hopefully the truck will be ready when we get there tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Picture with new camera - Nothing fancy yet!

This is a picture we took in the kitchen as we were getting ready to go to some friends for dinner. We were attempting to take a picture of us with the new camera. This is our "surprised" look! :)


Today so far has been a lazy day. J woke up around 0630 and I got up around 0800. He is actually asleep on the couch right now snoring up a storm. :) I think he coughed quite a bit last night and didn't get a lot of sleep. Probably here in a little while I will make him get up and hit the shower so we can head into town and get a few things done. I want to let him sleep but I know if I don't get him up, we won't get this stuff done and we really need to.

So nothing else going on. Pretty boring since we are home. I do have a ton of stuff to do outside though since we are gone so much. I need to get all these leaves rakes, the dog pen is overgrown since we leave Bandit with friends while we are gong. I'm talking stuff that is 4 ft high back there. We live in the county on 4.5 acres so there is a lot of brush and trees that we need to get trimmed. Especially the trees. I am afraid coming in sometime in the truck that I am going to punch a hole in the top of the cab from hitting the trees. Unfortunately, the chainsaw was in the shed and there was a leak in the shed and the chainsaw rusted and seized up. Looks like we are going to have to go buy another one. UGH....

Sunday, January 27, 2008


We made it in Saturday around 1000 hrs. I booted J out of the truck as soon as we pulled into the OC and he busted ass home to get the mail. We have the mail held at the post office while we are gone and we had a camera that was sent to us that we REALLY wanted to pick up. Well, because it was Saturday, they closed at 1100 hrs so he had to hurry to get there, but he made it just in time.

This is the story. About a month ago, one of the members of posted some pictures he had taken. I had also posted asking him what kind of camera he was using because the pictures were amazing. J and I were wanting to get a really good camera for a late Christmas present. So I got a PM (private message) on there from one of the other members offering to send us a camera he had that he wasn't using anymore. A Nikon Coolpix 5400. I was blown away from such a genuine offer. He reads my blog (you know who you are :) ) and hopefully I have been some help to him in making his decision to drive. So I want you to know, that we did get the camera and I am still trying to figure it all out. I have taken a few pictures and when we get them loaded, I will post them. And I will promise to take pictures while we are out on the road so that my readers can see what we are seeing. Because I am no writer and I know the pictures will do more justice to the scenery than my attempts at describing them to you.

So we will be home for a few days and I am really hoping that we will get to the Volvo dealership. Tomorrow we have to take the truck in and drop it off for a PM (preventive maintenance - oil change and stuff) and then we will go by the Volvo dealership. I have been wanting to do that the last two times we have been off and we haven't done it. So I am going to make sure we make it by there tomorrow. It is getting really close to the time where we are going to get our own truck, so we need to make sure we have looked at all of our options.

Until next time.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Mexico

Right now we are somewhere on I-10 EB through New Mexico. I am worn out. I drove us from Fontana to the New Mexico state line so I am just drained! That is really all I am going to write for tonight, but I didn't want to skip the night and not put anything.

J is feeling some better, he got pretty good sleep today, but I think we just need to get home and get some good sleep in our own bed for a few days. Then we will be good as new. We should deliver at the OC in the morning some time and then we will head home. I'll update probably later tomorrow some time.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snow? In Southern California??

YES!! I swear. What a month this has been. I try to stay positive, and I am actually feeling pretty good right now. It is just sometimes, after a certain point, you just have to laugh at what is thrown at you.

So we get this load coming to California. Sunny California, right? We are enjoying the trip, taking our time and are thinking we will make it in today around lunch, which we did. It started off last night. J shut down (with the other team) in Flagstaff. I didn't get up but he told me the weather was bad. So I just snuggled back under the covers and went to sleep. Got up this morning at 0330, got dressed, opened the curtains, and it was snowing. Yep, that's my luck. So I figure, well, we are in the mountains in the Flagstaff area, and it is about 5000 ft elevation, so I could see it happening. I jus tget ready, take off, and plow right on along.

I make it to the Arizona/California border and it starts raining on me. Sheesh! Keep on keeping on, right? Make it across the valley, hit I-15 south and start myascent up the mountains so I could drop down into the Los Angeles area. I hit Cajon Pass Summit, which is only 000 ft elevation, and it is SNOWING!! This is sunny California DAMNIT!!!! What the heck is going on with this snow?? LOL!! I really just couldn't believe it.

Anyway, made it down and made it to the consignee. Nestle in Mira Vista has to be the most screwed up place for drivers. You have to park, go up to a phone booth, push a button and they talk to you over the intercom. Well, it was raining. And there is a line of us drivers standing out in the rain waiting on our turn to get in the dry phone booth to talk to someone and find out what the hell we are supposed to do. Finally got that done and we lucked out and got another load as soon as we left there. We have until 2000 hrs local time to pick ut up, so we went to the OC and got some lunch and took a shower. Now we are headed to pick up the load. We are going to go back to the OC and get some sleep and then head out at 0400 in the morning, J still isn't feeling very good and he really needs some rest. Thank goodness we are headed home with this load so he will be able to get plenty of rest and take some good meds to make him all better.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lazy lazy trip

Ok, so this load isn't supposed to be delivered until ther 25th. So we have plenty of time. Yesterday, you will remember I said that we finally left around 1300 and I drove until about 1630 or so. We stopped at a rest area and switched drivers somewhere in Missouri. Probably about 30 miles east of the Oklahoma border. So J takes off around 1700 and we drive about 90 miles and stop at the McDonald's on the Turnpike so I could grab something to eat before I went to bed. Also, J wasn't feeling too hot. I think the long night with re-loading the trailer and being out in the cold didn't help because his ears and throat were hurting. Anyway, us and the other team went inside to grab something to eat. While we were eating, we got to talking and swaping stories again, and ended up staying there longer than we thought. We got there at 1830 and when we looked at one of our phones to see what time it was, it was 2215!! Holy crap! Well, we had all had a long day so we decided to just get some rest and head out about 0430 in the morning. We ended up with a total of about 400 miles for the WHOLE DAY yesterday! haha Maybe we suck at this dri.ving thing. hahaha Nah, it was just nice not to be rushed for once.

So I get up at 0430 and get ready and we pull out around 0445. I got in about 560 miles and then I stopped at a little hole in the wall gas station. I woke J up there and he took over. We drove a little further and stopped in Clines Corners to grab us some dinner. We hadn't eaten yet and were all hungry. We managed to keep this stop to about an hour, which was good considering out track record the last couple days. :)

So now we are rolling through Albuquerque headed into Los Angeles.

A quick update on our driver that was shot in Dallas. He is doing better. He is expected to recover which is wonderful news. I have no further information, but I hope he is able to give a description to the police. Also found out that in Daecember, another driver had a similar situation happen where 3 males jumped on his truck while he was at a stop light and pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him. Luckily he gave the engine some gas and drove off and 2 fell off the truck and the third jumped off. He was very lucky to have gotten away. But we think this and the shooting may be related so maybe he can give the police a description and maybe it will help out some.

That is all I have for the moment. Stay safe and I'll add more later!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What a fiasco!

Ok, so when I posted yesterday, we were stopped at one of the "Oasis" stops on the I-294 Tollway. So we ate lunch and finally got the load. Headed south 254 miles I think to pick up our load. Drove all that way empty, but what the heck, we are getting paid. As we are heading down I-55 we stop at the 160 at the Pilot for fuel. There was another SNI truck bobtailing that was getting gas and I started talking to them. They were also a husband and wife team. Turns out, they are picking up at the same place we were and going to the same destination. Cool. So they decide to follow us, since we have GPS and the SNI directions didn't make a lot of sense. As usual. haha So, make it to the shipper at around 2000 hrs.

When we got there we weren't really sure where to go, but there was another SNI driver there so J went and asked him and he told them where to go. He also told us to make sure and weigh the loads because he was overweight on his tandems and had to come back to get them to re-load the trailer and distribute the weight a little better. So we take that to heart. Both of us get our trailers loaded and we head back about 45 miles to the nearest scale. Here is where it gets good. First funny thing that happened was that we were on I-72 and needed to go north on I-55 to get to the scale. It ended up that we took I-55 Business and that was the WRONG one. AND, it ended up that there was a 3rd SNI truck that was following us. haha So all three of us make a turn onto a tiny street to turn around. What a freaking cluster I tell you. Complete mess! But, we get turned around and find the correct I-55 and make it to the scale. Both of us weigh and sure enough, both of us are overweight. Now, because we are going to California, our tandems can only be in the 4th or 5th hole on the trailer. We had it on the 5th, as far back as we could go, and we were 560 pounds over. Too much to let slide. The other team was only 60 lbs over and he decided to run with that. He probably wouldn't get called in at a scale house for that. But we definitely would for being 560 lbs over weight. So the other team heads to Edwardsville to our OC to wait for us and we head back to the shipper to get re-loaded. Finally around 0400 J makes it back to the scale and we are legal. He goes ahead and parks there and we get a few hours sleep.

I get up at 0700, call the other team and let them know I am on my way and I take off. I had about 100 miles to go to get to the OC and I made it there about 0915. I fuel up and J and I run inside and grab a shower. The other team was still waiting on us because we were going to run all the way to California together. There is no rush on this load either so there is no pressure. After the shower we head back to the truck and run right down to the Flying J to grab something to eat. Now, here is where is gets even crazier. We didn't have our CB on when we pulled into the truck stop, but the other team did. Apparently, there was a driver that either worked for a cartage company or was an IC for SNI, because he was pulling an SNI trailer, but last night, he ran over a lady in the parking lot and killed her! I have no further information but I am going to see what I can find out by checking the local paper online. I don't know if she was a female driver crossing the parking lot, I don't know if she was a hooker working the area, I just have no idea. But either way, can you imagine? What an ordeal!

So we head out of there at about 1300 hours. We got there around 1100 but just sat and visited with the other team swaping stories for almost two hours. It is nice to talk to other people when you are out on the road. Especially when you are cooped up in the truck all the time.

Headed out and I am driving. I decided to drive past my normal time so J could get a little extra sleep since he had such a long night. As I am driving, I get a message across the Qualcomm. This is the final really freaky thing. Turns out, last night at our Dallas OC, one of our drivers was robbed in the back of the parking lot and shot! Thank goodness he is going to survive but has had surgery and is in the hospital. So now of course they are talking about all of the new security measures they are going to take and the new electric fences and electric gates they are going to be installing. Also remote camera in Green Bay will watch the yard, another 24 hours security guard on premis with a vehicle instead of just the one we have now that is on foot. So could it get any crazier? And yes, there was a full moon last night.

When we left Chicago, there were snow flurries. Bob said they got 5-6 inches over night. Thank goodness we got out of there. Then today as I was driving across I-44 in Missouri, I saw several cars off the road and two semi's that were on their sides off of the road. It seems that last night they had a storm come through with high winds and just enough precipitation to make the roads wet and slick but not actually cover it with ice. I guess everything happens for a reason. If we hadn't been overweight on the trailer, we could have been in Missouri in the middle of that storm and WE could have been the ones off the side of the road. So I just figure it is best to go with the flow and not question things!

Monday, January 21, 2008


As I sit here typing this, it is SNOWING!! Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is my luck. :) I am just sitting here thinking how pretty it is and that is sucks that I'm in my truck and not curled up in front of a fireplace with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. But that is ok, because I am a professional damn it! hahaha

J, bless his heart, drove 658 miles yesterday and got me from Fort Worth all the way to Edwardsville,IL. He rocks. Of course he told me I would have to beat that. We have this little competition going on. You see we see who can drive the farthest in a day. I told him last night that he can go to bed knowing that he is the KING because that is too far for me to drive and I will gladly let him be champion.

Right now I am sitting at the consignee. I am already unloaded and just waiting on my next load. So far I don't have anything. I have been trying to figure out a place to go park and get something to eat and have been coming up empty handed. Then I remembered the tollways here in Chicago have these "Oasis's" that you can stop at without getting off the tollway. And there is one about 7-8 miles down, so I am going to head over there. Hopefully I will get a load soon. And hopefully it is going somewhere warm! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Big D - Dallas that is......

Last night we got to the Dallas OC at 1810 hours. Dropped our trailer and went in to grab a shower. We got a call from Justin (J's son) when we were almost there and he was at the tattoo shop gettin his tattoo that his girlfriend got him for his 19th birthday. Things worked out that when they were finished with it, they were able to come up to the OC and show it to us. Timing worked out real well because they got there about 20 minutes after we got out of the shower. It was Justin, his girlfriend Stehanie and Jessica (J's daughter) so it was nice to see all of them even if it was just for a few minutes. The tattoo turned out really nice and the guy that did it did a really good job. We tried to get him to go to the guy that does our tattoos but it was a little too far for them to drive. Apparently they work with a guy and it is his brother that does the tattoos so they knew someone who could vouch for his work.

Well, visited with them for a while and they left so we headed out to the truck around 2100. We finally had a load but it didn't pick up until 1230 today. It was nice that I got to sleep in this morning. :) I headed over to pick up the load after an hour of dealing with our box planners. I know all the stuff they send us is automated, but my goodness it is a pain in the ass. If I tell you there is ONE trailer available, then why would you send me a message assigning me a different trailer?? Just assign me the one that I am already hooked up to after 45 minutes of looking for it! ARGH!

So, after that fiasco, I made it to the consignee. When they came out to seal the trailer, I wet to shut the door and I almost thought that the trailer was empty! I think this is the smallest load we have ever hauled. Only 5300 lbs. I really think it is something that could have been out in a straight truck if not a van. But, whatever. It is getting me paid, so that is all that is important to me. I did noltice on the trailer though that the tires are shit. Hopefully I won't end up with another flat. That would be just my luck. Haha I probably just jinxed myself.

I guess I better go and check on dinner. Got some Mac N Cheese cooking in the stove. Yummy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Isn't that just the cutest name? Jolly. Just makes me think of little heavy set people with rosy cheeks that are always smiling. I wouldn't mind living in a town named Jolly.

Anyway, we just ate at a little diner at a Valero in Jolly. Pretty darn good too. I almost missed the place and just happened to look at right as I was at the exit and saw semis parked there so I hit the exit ramp. Had a good late lunch and are now back on the road headed to Dallas. Supposed to have this there by 1800 and we should make it. It is a relay so no real rush. Not sure why they aren't just having us take it to it's final destination which is Sugarland,TX, but I just get paid to drive the truck and not think. :)

We put ourselves available at 2000 hours so that will give us time to drop this and go in and take a shower and then we will see where we are headed from there.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My new favorite place

So here is what went on today. I got up and we were at a rest area on I-84 around mm 172 in Idaho. So I take off and it starts snowing on me. Doesn't this sound like the kind of luck that I have?? Anyway, drove about 100 miles and then hit Utah. Still snowing there. It was that lake effect snow. This time we decided to take an alternate route and take US 6 out of Salt Lake and take that down to Price and hit US 491 and then go through Moab,UT. From there will cross the southwest corner of Colorado and come out in Albuquerque. Now we are on I-40 and will take that to Amarillo and then US 287 into Dallas. By going this way, not only did we avoid going through my nemesis, Wyoming, we also cut about 150 miles off the trip. So, that rocks!

Now, for my new favorite place. I have decided that I absolutely love Moab,UT. Have you ever been through this little town. The biggest thing it has going for it is Arches National Park. Of course the Colorado river runs through town and there is hiking, biking, camping and all sorts of other stuff to do. But this little town is tucked in a canyon and it is absolutely breath-taking. If you ever get a chance, you need to visit this little town. It needs to be on your must see list of quaint American towns.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pacific Northwest

Well, we made it! J got us in last night to deliver in Grandview,WA and then we spent the night there at a little truck stop. Our next load wasn't expecting us until this morning so it was good to get non-moving sleep. So this morning I hopped up and headed out. I had about 200 miles to go to pick up in Puyallup,WA. And I have no idea how to pronounce the name of that town, but it is a suburb of Seattle. I didn't get up and get moving until about 0700 our time which was 0500 local time. I didn't want to hit Seattle during morning rush hour so I headed out a little later than normal. Things worked out perfectly. I had NO traffic problems, and went almost straight to destination. I actually passed it and had to turn around. The place wasn't marked very well, but I could see other SNI trailers. So I turned around and went back and luckily there was another SNI driver there. I asked him where we went to check in and he said I could just park my empty and hook up to the loaded one I was assigned because the paperwork was in the nose of the trailer. And sure enough, it was! Awesome! So as I was getting hooked up, a guy came up and asked me if I brought and empty and I told him where it was and then I was set and ready to go.

I headed out and made it back across I-90 to Ellensburg,WA where I got fuel and we switched drivers. We have decided this trip we are not going back across Wyoming. We are going to go south through Salt Lake City and cut down through Moab,UT on US 191. Then we will drop down to I-40 and cut through Albuquerque then on to Amarillo, then to Dallas. This will also give me a chance to ddrop off my moms car registration to here in Albuquerque when we pass through. She needs it by the end of this month. We figured no need in registering her car in New Mexico when she is planning on coming back to Texas in a few months.

I don't have a lot more to report so I guess that is all. I'll post more tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


FINALLY got going again this morning. I left Wyoming in the dest behind me. About 10 miles back we crossed over into Washington. Once we hit Utah the roads have been pretty good. There were some slick spots in Oregon on I-84 but they weren't bad. They also have some huge mountains in Oregon. These that we went over are different than the mountains in the Rockies or on the West coast of Oregon. These had NO trees. Just some scrub brush, but mainly just grass, and it made them seem even larger because they were so bare. Quite breath-taking. Especially this one spot where we dropped almost straight down into a valley. I don't even know what town we came into, but it goes from these huge barren mountains, then you drop 6 miles at a 6% grade with several switch backs, straight down to a farming valley. From the top you can see the different sections of land that are different colors. I imagine it is really something to see in the spring when each section of land is a different shade of green.

We only have about 50 miles to go before we drop this off. We will go ahead and stop for the night and pick up our next load in the morning over in a suburb of Seattle. We could head over tonight, but we have Snoqualmie to go over and it is wet and slushie up there right now. So we would rather tackle that during the day. It is only about 160 miles to the next pick up and they aren't expecting us until tomorrow anyway, so I will head over there in the morning when we get up. One thing I don't understand about this load though is that they have us relaying it in Dallas. But the final destination is Sugarland,TX. So why are we relaying it and not just taking it to destination? Who knows why they do the things they do sometimes.

So that is where we stand right now. We are looking at being back home the 25th-28th of this month. We need to get some stuff done around the house because it is up for sale and we are really hoping it gets sold. This housing market is just horrible right now. I would really like to get a good spring cleaning done and also I want to get the porch re-stained to freshen it up. There are also a lot of trees that need to be trimmed so we will have a busy 4 days at home. We will probably be ready to head back out when all is said and done because that is the only way we will get some rest from all the work we will have to do at home!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


What is it that Wyoming has against me? I am beginning to think it is something personal. Last night J drove us to a rest area about 13 miles east of Laramie,WY. This left me 323 miles of Wyoming to tackle today. I got up and things went well the first 13 miles. That is where my first stop of the day was because I had to get fuel. Got that done and headed back on my merry way. Made it about 20 miles down and that is where the wind started. I fought the wind for the next 230 miles. Then, when it couldn't get any worse, it started snowing and blowing snow over the road. ARGH!!! And up until that point, the roads had actually been clear and dry. It was just extremely windy outside. But at the point that the snow started blowing, I was dealing with white-out conditions at 1330 in the afternoon. I had to wake J up and have him help me watch the road because I couldn't even see but maybe 50 feet in front of me. It was bad. We finally see an exit and we take it. It is exit 30 which means I am almost out of this forsaken state! But here is where it gets fun. We are now stuck right here until tomorrow morning. The winds are really bad and the weather service is saying they will calm down over night. Also, it is currently snowing just over the border in Utah. I-84 is a mess according to the drivers that just came through there. AND, I-84 is actually shut down going into Idaho which is the way that I am going. So, we decided to stay put here until in the morning. Yet another night spent in Wyoming due to the winter conditions. On the bright side, only 30 more miles to go to Utah, and even though it is snowing there, they have the salt-spray for the roads so that clears the up real quick. They are much better with clearing the roads than Wyoming is. It should also give them time to clear up I-84 into Idaho where they have it shut down. I have definitely decided that when we get our own truck and become Owner Operators that we are NOT going to come through this state in the winter. And if the winds are always this bad, I am NEVER coming through here again, unless the money is really really really good!

So, now that I have that out of the way..... :) I got some good sleep last night because Kansas is so flat and straight, and I-70 is a pretty smooth road. Although I am wiped out now from dealing with the Hell state this morning. So I am thinking a nap is in order. We are stopped at a TA, which is really my least favorite restaurant for a truck stop, but we went inside and ate. I got the chili bread bowl which was actually pretty good, especially since it is so freaking cold outside. Temp is supposed to be -11 tonight. Brrrrr I may have to make J snuggle with me tonight to keep me warm. Times like this I really wish we had a toilet of some kind in the truck, like RV's do, because it is so damn cold when you have to get out of the warm truck to go inside for the bathroom. I guess that is just one of the things you have to deal with though when you drive one of these things.

More on the continuing saga later. My bunk is calling me......

Monday, January 14, 2008


This is a stretch of road that I have never been on. Hard to believe considering that we have been driving this truck for 9 months now. But it is true. We haven't been on this stretch of I-70 before. From Kansas City to Denver. But this time we got on I-70 in Salina and headed west. First, I do want to mention, that at exit 252 in Salina,KS there is a Bosselman's Pilot with a Grandma Max's Restaurant inside. We stopped and fueled up, showered and had lunch there. I have to say that I had one of the best steaks that I have had so far being out on the road. I got the 12 oz sirloin and I swear it was about an inch and a half thick and cooked perfectly. So I highly recommend that place. OH, and the sweet tea was awesome!

Ok, so I left off yesterday while we were at the Houston OC. So I got the tire fixed and took off. It took WAY longer than I thought to get to Arkansas because we took US 59 to US 71 and you just can't make good time on that road. Especially up in Arkansas where it is curvy as hell and a lot of the curves are marked 45 mph. In Texas it is mostly a 4 lane road, but in Arkansas, until you get to Fort Smith, it is a tiny 2 lane road with no shoulder. Not fun at night. Joe finished driving and got us in there around 2130. Dropped and found out that Walmart didn't have any empties for us to take. Luckily, we were now heading to Jenks,OK which is a suburb of Tulsa and they had us pick up an empty there in Tulsa so we didn't have to go out of the way. We did however have to bobtail 122 miles to Tulsa and it is not a smooth ride when you are bobtailing. But we got the empty and then made it to KC (Kimberly Clark) there in Jenks to get our next load. Then J found a little gas station/truck stop right up the road that we could stop at for the night. It was about 0300 by this time and I got to bed at around 1100 again. I don't know why I couldn't sleep. I think the short run messed up my system and sleep schedule. Anyway, he set the alarm for 0800 so we got up and headed out. I drove us to Salina and then J took over. So right now we are around mile marker 190 in Kansas heading west. I figure by tomorrow at the end of J's shift we should be in Washington at destination. Of course, that is depending on weather.

As a side note, I am sitting in the bunk with the curtain open right now while J is driving. From back here, it is like watching a movie on a big screen or something. That is how I would define looking out the front from here. And it seems like we are going slow. But then when you get up in the passenger seat, it feels completely different. I can sometimes almost get carsick sitting in the passenger seat because of the way the truck leans going around corners. I know it is just because it is a high profile vehicle, but it can feel really wierd sometimes. And I NEVER got car sick or motion sick before. Just thought I would share that. Wierd....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still in Houston

Made it here last night with no problem. Dropped this load, then went in circles with Green Bay trying to get out of this gate (it is remote controlled from up there). The trailer we picked up was showing not servicabale and that we couldn't take it, but the estimator said there was nothing in the system written up about it. We checked and everything was working fine. Finally, we were able to get the guy in the shop to call Security up in Green Bay and have them release the trailer to us. So we head out and get to our next pick up. Luckily we had been there before because it is a buger to find at night. Got the load and found that we had a flat on the trailer. Screw it, we will fix it in the morning. By this point, it is 2300 and I have been up since 0600 and my shift starts in 4 hours. So we head to the Pilot just up the road and call it a night. That place was packed, but we found an Idle Aire spot and pulled in and used Idle Aire. Luckily, a few months ago we were in California and signed up for it so we already had the card with credit on it so it worked out perfectly. Shut the engine off, turned Idle Aire on and headed off to sleep.

Since I was up so late, I got up at 0700. This load just had to be to destination by midnight, and it is only about 550 miles, so no problemo. Got fuel and headed back to the OC so we could get the tire repaired. So right now I am sitting in the truck in the bay while they are changing the tire. I think we should deliver this around 1900 tonight. Then we have to drive 111 miles to our next load and I think we have until midnight to pick it up also. At that point, we will probably shut down for the night. J isn't feeling good. His sinuses are going haywire since we pulled into Houston to the point that he threw up from all the yucky stuff that he was coughing and sneezing. So we will see how he is doing later.

Keep your fingers crossed for us that the weather is good going back up to Washington!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Well, we made it to Utah to deliver. Finally! Then I drove to our pick up to get loaded so we could get out of there. As I was driving to the consignee in Logan, I had to go up Hwy 89 and there was a sign that said "Oct 1 - Mar 31 Snow Tires or Chains Required" What the heck?? This is not good. That is a steep little road to get from where I was to where I was going. Anyway, the sign just meant that I had to have the chains with me but the chain law was not in effect. Thank goodness. The road was dry. WOOHOO!! So I find the place and get loaded and head back down the steep and windy road and head to the Pilot at exit 344 on I-15 so that I could scale the load. Papers were showing it at 43,000 so I had to get it weighed. They tell us to weigh anything over 30,000 so that our axle weight is correct. Overweight fines are EXPENSIVE and we have to pay those out of our own pocket. Anywho, got that done and we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant next door. For anyone who ever gets up that direction, the restaurant is CJ's and it is right next to the Pilot which is on the west side of I-15. They have the most awesome food and huge portions. Their omlets are 4 egg omlets, you get 5 pieces of bacon and I swear they hand grated a large baking potato for my one portion of hashbrowns. AND, they have biscuits and gravy to die for. Home made baby! De-lish....

Ok, sorry, got off track there. Finally headed out to make our trek BACK across Wyoming. Roads were decent until about mm 150. That is where J pulled it over for the night because it was windy and blowing snow was making white out conditions. We had to stop at a parking area, not even a rest area, it was so bad. I got up and took off again to icky conditions but made it about 12 miles down the road to the next actual rest area so we could use the facilities. I had to go! I know....TMI. Sorry... Once I take off the roads are better than I have driven there before, but not great. Still icy and I had one point of about 8-10 miles where I was back down to about 25 because of blowing snow again and I couldn't see a truck length in front of me. But I pushed through and got us to Limon,CO where we switched drivers. J drove to Quanah,TX and then this morning I drove us on into Dallas. We stopped at the OC here and showered, had lunch and did laundry. We also ran into some friends that are going through the driving school here (Dallas STA) and they looked really happy so I am glad! We also ran into another team that are just becoming IC's (Independent Contractors). They just bought a truck using outside financing, and the wife is going to school next week, then her husband who already drives, will be her TE out on the road. We exchanged e-mail addresses and hope to stay in touch. It will be nice to have first hand info from a team just starting out as IC's since that is what we are wanting to do in a few months.

Right now we are headed to Houston to drop off this load at our Houston OC. We actually have our next TWO runs already. I don't know who planned this, but I wish they were always this on the ball. After we drop this load in Houston, we are going to Baytown,TX and picking up a load going to Bentonville,AR. Then we are taking and empty trailer to Jenks,OK and picking up a load there going to Grandview,WA. The only bad part about that load is we will have to go back across WYOMING!!!!! But I will deal. I have decided that I may go drive the Ice Road up in Canada next year since I will have so much experience driving on ice!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Made it through Wyoming! Last night when I laid down around 1930 or so, the road was still closed. So we sent in a message that we wouldn't be delivering at our new time of 0500 this am because road was still closed and since it was, even if it did open, it was already dark. So we weren't going to take off until morning when we could see better. Well, because I fell asleep so early, I woke up at 0600 this morning. I got online real quick and found out that they had opened the road and there were no restrictions on the roads. Sweet!! So I woke J up and we went ahead and took off. I think what woke me up was a message from dispatch saying that the consignee would take us at 0930. When I realized what time it was and that we had better get a move on if we were going to make that appointment, I realized I would have to take off in the dark. UGH!! But I did it. The roads were almost dry. I hit I-84 which took me to the north end of Salt Lake City which meant I didn't have to deal with Parley's Summit. That made me really happy! I managed to get to the consignee at 0955 which was only 25 minutes late. So I considered that a good morning's drive.

Once I got there and they started unloading me, I got our next load. I am picking it up in Logan,UT and relaying it in Houston at the OC. Freaking AWESOME! Back to warmer weather and dry roads! But guess what?? We have to get there via I-80 back across Wyoming! And here I thought our luck had went and changed and that things were gonna get better. No such luck. Well, I can hope that we have a good trip across Wyoming this time. I don't think any other storms have passed so hopefully the roads will be even better than when I drove across yesterday. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

On, and as a side note, this load is a freeze protect load. Which means they don't want it freezing. Did it even occur to them that they may not want to ship out of Utah in the winter and they may not want to route us through Wyoming?? DUH!! hahahahaha

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wyoming...Again...Bad weather...Again

You know, I am sure that Wyoming is a really beautiful place. And I am sure that there is a reason the people want to live here and experience the "Old West" and a way of life that is much slower paced than the lives the majority of American's lead. But for the life of me, I do NOT understand what they like about this place in the winter!! Don't get me wrong, the snow is beautiful up here. But is it no fun at all driving a semi on ice packed roads, with wind blowing a minimum of 40 mph and snow blowing over the road. Right now we are stopped at a place called Little America which is located at mile marker 68 on I-80 in Wyoming. I-80 is currently shut down from mile marker 30-39 and then from mile marker 30 to the Utah state line, they have the chain law in effect and no unnecessary travel permitted. Do you think my load of laundry soap is considered necessary travel? Well, not in my book it isn't. :) The reason the road is shut down is due to winter conditions that caused a Covenant truck and another truck to wreck and the Covenant truck is carrying a hazmat load. When I heard it on the CB they were saying they were waiting for Hazmat to get out there. Who knows how much longer that will be. What kills me is that I only have 140 miles to go. I am so close! Also, they have me routed to take I-84 to I-15 when I get into Utah and I was told that will take me through the Canyon and not over Parley's Summit so if that is true, I am happy about that. I called the number for the Utah road conditions and they have the chain law in effect up on Parley's Summit right now and I wasn't looking forward to that drive at all. For those that have been following our escapades, you know this is our first year driving which means this is our first winter driving. I have had more than my fair share of bad weather this year. I just figure if it is so bad that they are requiring us to chain up, then it is too bad for us to be driving at all and we are safer parking. So that is what we have done. Parked and are now waiting to see what happens with these roads. Besides, my fingers need time to get back to their normal positions from gripping the steering wheel so dang hard this morning. I think I left my fingerprints permanently embedded in the steering wheel......

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I am SO glad that we decided to stick around at the Gary OC last night. Have you been listening to the news today? That storm that is actoss the midwest is what we sat through last night. Of course it is still going on and the storm seems to just be hanging out and intensifying, but we managed to sit through some of the worst last night and then skate around the top of it. So far I am hearing 3 deaths are to be blamed for this storm system. Sometimes it just pays to listen to your gut and stay put for a while. Once we did leave, J said it rained all through Illinois and then there was heavy fog through Iowa. He finally pulled over around mile marker 180 on I-80 in Iowa and we parked again until 0730 this morning. The temperature was in the low 30's and there was ice on the hood and door mirrors. That meant the roads were icing up. Best to wait until the sun came up this morning to head out again.

Once I took off this morning, things went well. Roads were a little wet, and the sky looked like it could snow, but no precipitation. And finally when I hit Nebraska the sun came out. Now it is about 45 degrees outside. A heatwave!

This load is taking us to Utah. I'm still not sure about the roads, but I am hoping they are cleared up by now. Currently we are in Nebraska and are going to stop in Ogallala and have dinner with some friends of ours. We try to stop when we can and see friends along the way. Last time we were through here it was in the middle of the night and we couldn't stop. But this time we can, so we will stop, shower and then have a good dinner.

That is about all for now. I'll let you know tomorrow how the roads were getting into Utah. I'm not looking forward to Parley's Summit if it is bad weather!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Chicago, IL

Well, made my "Top Secret" delivery to Libertyville,IL today. I originally thought it was going to be and escorted load, but it turns out it wasn't. It was one of those that we couldn't stop 250 miles from shipper or consignee so that sucked. I hate having to run that far without stopping to go to the bathroom. Especially when ALL of my driving shift was in Illinois!! Which is a 55 mph state for us semis. Yuck!

Made delivery and already had out next load before we dropped. This new load we are picking up from the Gary,IN OC and then taking to Layton,UT. Apparently people haven't been watching the news and seeing all the SNOW that they are getting. WHY ME?? I truly have had my share of snow for my first winter driving. Trust me on this! haha But this load has to be there on the 9th at 0700 for an "at" appointment. Shouldn't be too hard. It is only 1400 miles so all that could slow us down would be the roads. I'm mainly just worried about going through Montana and then entering Utah on I-80 on the east side is where the mountains are. We shall see.

So that is it for now. Time to wake J up and make him get to work!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Time for an update

Well, I am sitting at a shippers waiting to get loaded. It is now 1030 and I have an 1130 appointment but they don't open until 1100 so I am killing time. That gives me an opportunity to get this thing caught up.

Since I'm not in a rush, and in a good spot where I have coverage, I will tell you about the other day that was so frustrating! Ok, came out of TAH on Thursday morning. Wednesday night we met some friends for dinner so we just went to the Dallas OC and spent the night there so that we didn't have to drive all the way back home and then right back in the next morning. So we get up at 0600, grab a shower, grab some breakfast, fuel up, and then about 0900 we get a load. So we head over to Fort Worth for an 1130 appointment for a live load at Motorolla. Get there and get loaded and are ready to go at 1400. Well, this is one of those high value/expedited loads that we can't stop for 200 miles once we stop OR 200 miles from destination. So I hang out in the parking lot until 1500 when it is J's turn to drive. If I had started driving, it would have been almost 1800 before we could stop, because of the 200 mile rule, and that would have been 3 hours past time for us to switch. So I just stayed there and let him sleep until it was time to get up. J wakes up and we hit the road.

He drives about 460 miles or so and stops at a rest area east of Springfield,MO. (We are headed to Indiana) We are due in at 1000 for a live unload and he got there around midnight, so we had time to stop for a few hours and then I could get up and get us there in time for the appointment. 0230 rolls around, I get out of bed, get ready, and am rolling by 0300. Around 0345 I am cruising past a Prime Inc. driver and he gets me on the CB and tells me I have a blown trailer tire. Just great!! I thank him and get on the phone to call into dispatch to see what they want me to do. Now, I know, this seems like a no brainer right? Get it fixed. DUH! Well, due to the load being high value and them not wanting us to stop, I wasn't sure how they wanted to handle it. And I knew I could make it to the Edwardsville,IN OC which was only about 150 miles further. So I call in and she isn't sure, so she transfers me to SEM (emergency maintenance) He also determines that I can make it to the OC for repairs, HOWEVER, it is the right rear outside tire and if I get pulled into a scale house, they aren't gonna let me go until it is fixed. So he tells me to stay put and he will get someone out to me. At this point I had gotten off the road and was sitting on an entrance ramp.

About an hour goes by and I get a message on the Qualcomm that says they can't find anyone to come out and that I need to go to exit 189 (I was at exit 150) to the I-44 Truck Stop and someone would meet me there. The shop was closed but someone would come in because they are 24 hour service. Ok, cool, I am running again. So I toodle on down the road and take exit 189 and lo and behold, there is no I-44 Truck Stop. The only thing there is a Love's. So I call SEM back and make sure I have the right exit. He tells me to check the Love's and I tell him that I have never seen a Love's that has a shop. He keeps looking at his info and finds something. This is what his computer said, "Turn into abandoned truck stop parking lot on the south side of the highway. Shop will be behind adult book store." Well, I look up and sure enough, there is the huge well lit "Adult Book Store" sign. I mean, can they make these things any brighter. I think you can see them from the moon. Anyway, so I get on the access road and follow it around to the Adult Book Store. Not seeing any kind of truck stop or shop, so I pull into the book store parking lot and head to the back. I find a building that looks like a shop, that has 2 large bay doors on both ends large enough for a semi. But it was the cleanest place I have seen. I mean, think about it. How many times have you taken your car to a shop and there are broke down cars, car parts, equipment and just all around junk laying around? There was NONE of that here. I was beginning to think the place was abandoned and that they had moved until I noticed a sign, faded as it was, that said I-44 Truck Repair. AND, the porch lights on both ends were working. You know that abandoned places aren't going to have working porch lights.

So I sit and wait. I pulled over and called in originally with the blown tire at 0345. By the time the guy showed up at the shop to fix the tire, it was 0645. So much for him getting out of bed and coming in early to meet me huh? Then I ask him what time they open, and he says 0600. So not only did he not come in early to meet me, he was 45 minutes late to open the shop. ARGH!! Finally, at 0730 I am back on the road. I stop at a Pilot to fuel but we aren't authorized there so I head to Edwardsville, which is a little out of the way, and wait 15 freaking minutes to get in the gate. And while the bobtail in front of me and the truck behind me were waiting to get in, they let about 10-12 bobtails out. Now how does that make any sense??

So get to deliver at 1430 local time for what was supposed to be a 1000 appointment. Find out when I get there that they hve rescheduled me for 1700. Fine, but I wish that info would have been passed on to us. Finally at almost 1900 they get me unloaded. Then I pull down about 7-8 docks to the shipping end and let them know I am finally ready to be loaded. See, they had us live unloading there and then live loading at the same place and delivering right back to the place we originally picked up from on Thursday morning. It was a mess. I think it was about 2130 by the time we got out of there local time.

Now, because we are picking up from here, it is high value/expedited again so we have to start out and go at least 200 miles before we stop. Luckily the Edwardsville OC is about 220 miles from there so that is where we head. Have to fuel up anyway and we had to have them replace the mud flap that was broken when the tire blew. We didn't have time to fix it when we stopped going through there the first time.

So get that fixed, hit the sack for a while, I get up and we shower and then take off at 0800. We get into Dallas at 2200 last night. J got us unloaded and then drove back to the Dallas OC where we dropped the trailer off because it needed more repairs that couldn't be done while it was loaded. Got up this morning and now I am sitting here waiting to get loaded.

So THAT is finally the update for the last few days. This load that we are on may be escorted so it is super top secret and I can't tell you where we are going, sorry! :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

What a day!!

Today sucked. Blew a tire on the trailer, took forever to get it fixed, took forever to get into Edwardsville OC, all that put me 5 hours late for a 1000 appt which throws my next pick up, at the same place, back. I had literally wrote out about 7 paragraphs explaining all of it, but got disconnected from the internet and I'm not about to type it all over again. So just trust me, I am glad today is over.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Well, looking back on 2007, it was quite a year! We started that year with no idea that we would be driving a truck when the year was over. Heck, we had no idea that in Mid February of 2007 that we would quit our law enforcement jobs to be truck drivers. But that is exactly what we did and we haven't looked back. What an adventure. I hadn't seen hardly any of the US and now I can say that I have been to every state except for Vermont! J and I celebrated or 10th wedding anniversary. Jessica got her drivers license. Justin turned 18. Definitely a lot of firsts in 2007!

But now it is 2008 and I am excited to see what this year brings. We have our house up for sale and are really hoping that it sells soon. In another few months we are hoping to buy our own truck and become Owner/Operators as opposed to company drivers. It will bring it's own set of headaches, but it's own set of rewards also. Justin graduates this year. Can I really be that old?? Nah, old is a state of mind. And heck, I am only 37!!!!

I did make a resolution this year. I am going to lose some weight. I would really like to lose about 15-20 lbs. That would put me in the range that I would like to be at. Driving this truck is hard on your body when you do nothing but sit on your ass all day. I have decided that I have to get out and walk more. Last year my resolution was to quit smoking and I did, thank you very much, so I am going to try to keep this one also. Part of losing the weight is to eat in the truck more often and NOT in the restaurants and truck stops. I went shopping and bought groceries for us for 2 weeks and made a menu plan so we will see how that goes. If you are interested, I put the grocery list, and I am going to put what each meal is and the breakdown cost "per meal" on in the "eating healthy" forum.

So.... Now I am sitting at a shippers waiting to be loaded. This will be the first run for us of 2008 so I am hoping things go good! I would hate for it to be a problem filled run, because then I would think "What a great way to start the year! Are the rest of the runs this year going to be like this??" LOL!!

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Hope everyone has a great New Year! We stayed at the house last night with the kids and a couple of our friends. Grilled some burgers, had some champagne at midnight and set off some fireworks. Today we are exhausted. I'm getting too old to be staying up that late! hahaha

Today I have been doing laundry and making a shopping list. We are heading out tomorrow so we have a lot to get done still. We are hoping to leave early and then stop at the Volvo dealership and look at one of their trucks then we are going to meet a couple for dinner that are starting the Schneider STA on Thursday. Then we plan on just spending the night at the OC so we will be ready to go bright and early on Thursday morning.