Saturday, March 28, 2009


What an adventure we have had since we left Paul's Valley. After getting unloaded we left and headed down to Elk City,OK to pick up our next load. Unfortunately when we got there, they didn't have all of the product for us so we had to wait 3-4 hours for it to get there before they could get us loaded. By the time we got loaded it was time for me to drive so I got up and headed out.

There was a bad storm headed into Amarillo so I wanted to get there before it got too bad. As I headed out of Elk City towards Amarillo, the weather was fine for a while, but I didn't make it very far before it started snowing and the roads started getting icy. I headed out around 0330 and made it into Amarillo around 0730. It was slow going. Talk on the CB was that I-40 was already shut down at the TX/NM state line at that point.

When we got into Amarillo, I headed straight to Freightliner to get in line for an appointment. They said they would try to get to it that morning but it would probably be that afternoon. Finally around 1300 they come and get me and have me pull into a bay. After doing some diagnostic work on it, they determine that the code we were getting was indeed indicating a bad turbo. Not the news that I was wanting to hear, but the good news was that they had a turbo in stock and they could get working on it right away and it would only be about a 3.5 hour job.

After moving the truck to another bay to where they mechanic was going to do the work, J and I headed into the drivers lounge to kill time. While all of this was happening, they had switched our load with another driver. He got there and we switched trailers and as soon as we got that done, another Prime driver came in to get the load we had just switched for. The second load they gave us was a pharmaceutical load and someone needed to stay hooked up to it at all times. Since our truck was in the shop, that wasn't going to be possible. So that is where the second Prine driver came in. He gave us his empty trailer and he took the second load they gave us so that someone would be with it at all times. At this point, we didn't have a load and were babysitting an empty trailer.

By now it was close to 1800 hours. J went and talked to the mechanic working on the truck and they were having problems getting the new turbo talk to our ECM in the truck. At this point, they weren't sure if the new turbo was a lemon or if we also had a bad ECM. The mechanic didn't want to pass off the work to night shift since he was in the middle of it and knew where he was and what he had already checked. That is when J decided to call a hotel, and have them send the shuttle. And they accepted pets. So we were going to spend the night in a hotel.

This all happened on Friday. The storm started blowing in early in the morning hours and it was hitting full force all day Friday. Earlier in the day, while waiting for them to get to us, we were waiting out in the truck. The snow was coming down in horizontal sheets and the wind was blowing with gusts up to 50 mph, according to the radio and television. Visibility was not very good either and it was just down right cold. The wind just cut into you when you went outside. You should have seen me when I had to bundle up to take Smokey outside. I was really wishing that I had a coat for him since he has short hair. He was quick about his business though. Did what he had to do and was ready to head back to the truck.

Now it is Saturday. This morning I talked to our FM and let him know what was going on. At little later I finally got a call from Freightliner. I was happy when I saw the phone call thinking that they were calling to tell me that the truck was ready. Nope, that wasn't the case. They were having a problem last night getting the turbo to communicate with the ECM. They got that worked out but what they were able to figure out is that the new turbo has a bad actuator or actuater or something like that. I have no idea what that is. But I do know that they have to order one and won't be able to get in here until Tuesday. And like I said earlier, today is just Saturday.

I called our FM back and he was able to send another team to pick up our empty trailer and I let him know we were going to be out of commission for a few days. Luckily my mom lives in Lubbock which is only about 120 miles away and she is off tomorrow. So I gave her a call and she is going to come up here tomorrow morning and pick us up and we are going to go spend a few days in Lubbock. It worked out that this happened close to family. It will be a lot better to stay with my mom and not have to pay for a hotel for the next few days. Then, when the truck is fixed, either she can bring us back up, or if she is working, we will see if my dad can bring us back up here.

You know, it is amazing how the weather is. Yesterday it was a complete blizzard here. This morning we wake up to the sun shining but the roads are still slick. By about 1600 hours, the roads are dry and the snow is melted except for some of the drifts. I can't believe in all of this that we completely forgot to get pictures. I guess things were just crazy and I didn't even think about it!

I will keep yall updated on our progress and let you know how we are enjoying our few unexpected days off.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paul's Valley,OK

Wednesday morning found me waking up to a chilly outside temp. J was snuggled up in bed all nice and cozy and I ventured out to grab a shower and some breakfast. With thoughts of a nice ham steak and eggs for breakfast, I took a quick shower since my stomach was already grumbling at me. Well, you all know how my luck goes. I am in the shower room getting ready to walk out and "ring ring" goes my phone. John was calling me with our next load. I was hoping that I was still going to have time for my much anticipated breakfast, but it wasn't meant to be. I had to hustle out to the truck, write the load info down and hit the road.

From the time he called with the load info, I knew that we were going to be late. He had me travelling 114 miles in two hours. Not possible in California on the roads that I had to take. I told him to let them know I would be there in three hours. And I made it right on time with litterally not a minute to spare. We were picking up in Santa Maria but we were in Buttonwillow. So I had to make my way over to CA19 and then to CA166 that runs west right into Santa Maria. But it is a two lane road that crosses from the valley over the mountains into Santa Maria which is on the coast. It is a beautiful drive, and one that I had driven once before, so I knew what to expect. If I recall correctly I think I told J that I NEVER wanted to drive that way again because it is windy and curvy with steep hills. Never say never I guess. ;)

Once we got there and got loaded, after some issues with the pulp temp of the product, we headed out and scaled at a truck stop right on the 101. We have been to this place before and they have an awesome restaurant, Pappy's, that is right next door. Knowing we were in the area, we couldn't pass it up. With a full belly, we head out to the truck, me going to bed for the night and J taking a short nap. If he had left right then, he would have had to deal with 5 o'clock LA traffic. So he decided to wait until around 2000 hrs California time to head out. He made a good decision because he had very little traffic to deal with. He got us into Ontario,CA where he stopped and woke me up for my shift.

I took off from there about 0500 with the intention of making it into Flagstaff,AZ. Along the way we met up with some friends of ours in Winslow for dinner after J took over driving in Flagstaff. J finished getting us to Santa Rosa,NM that night and that is where I took over this morning.
Right now I am sitting at the Walmart in Paul's Valley,OK where they just finished unloading us and J just went in to get the paperwork. We have a pre-plan that we are going to head over to pick up now in Elk City,OK that is going to Woodburn,OR. The only problem is that we are having problems with the truck and we are going to stop in Amarillo tonight and have Freightliner take a look at it. The codes I am getting is for the turbo and we seem to be losing power. I guess we will have to see if we get to take this next load up to Oregon or if we are going to get stuck with the truck in the shop in Amarillo while someone else delivers it. If we get stuck there, it looks like we will be stuck in the snow since they are predicting 6-8 inches. I will keep you informed!! At least I think my dad is going to come up and meet us tomorrow since we will have some extra time on the load.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It has been a couple of days but boy have we been busy! Around 0900 on Friday they FINALLY had our paperwork ready at EXCEL in Plainview so I was told to get the trailer and pull to the front where they would check the seal and give me my paperwork. That load didn't start off on a good note and I should have known that it wouldn't stop there. First, I pull up to the trailer and get ready to back underneath it. It was sitting way to high so I got out to lower the landing gear only to find that it was near impossible to crank. Great. I gave it a good effort and got it turned almost one complete turn but realized that I was going to need more muscle if it was going to be lowered. As much as I hated to, since I like doing things myself, I had to wake J up to come do it for me. There are a lot of things, well, most things, involving driving this truck that I can do by myself. But this is just one of those things that I couldn't do. I'm just not strong enough.

As I got in the truck, I just stood on the step and woke J up asking him to help me. I stood there playing with Smokey while he was getting up figuring no need to get back in and settled when I was just going to get back out. Once J was up and stepping to the front of the truck to put his shoes on, another driver came walking up. Bless his heart, he was coming to see if I needed help after watching me struggling with the landing gear. There are some really nice people out there and except for a few buttheads who give this industry a bad image, the majority are extremely nice and helpful. We talked to the gentleman for a few minutes and then after thanking him he walked back to his truck knowing that I was in good hands with my husband and that he would get the landing gear for me.

J, out of breath himself, finally got the landing gear down and we were able to hook up and pull to the gate to get our paperwork. I went inside to sign for everything and guess what, another problem. Seems the seal on the paperwork was a digit off from what the seal actually was. So, I go out the the truck to wait another hour for the corrected paperwork. I finally get the paperwork and I am off.

At this point I had two options. I could drive north, out of my way, 2o miles to the closest scale. If the load was ok, I could just drive the 20 miles back to my starting point and only be a total of 40 miles out of my way. Same goes if the load is heavy. Only 20 miles back to get it fixed. Or my second option was to go ahead and head south and scale in Lubbock, which was on the way. That was about 47 miles south. If it was fine, then I just continue, if not, I backtrack another 47 miles. I decided for the 20 mile option up to Tulia. Luckily the load was fine, after sliding the tandems. So I decide to call my dad an make plans to meet him for lunch as we drove through Lubbock.

At noon, I was finally on my way after arriving 20 hours earlier. We met my dad at Rip Griffin's there in Lubbock and had a nice lunch and got to visit for a little. But all too soon it was time to hit the road and get this load down to Laredo.

In Lubbock J took over driving and he got us in to Laredo around 0200 on Saturday morning. They already had a load there waiting on us, at the same spot we dropped, so we dropped our load, picked up the new one and headed out. We made a quick stop at the TA for a shower and breakfast and then I headed out.

I opted to take US 83 over to US 277 then to US 90 and then up US285 where I would connect in to I-10. It is a small 2 lane load, one lane each direction, and you have a few Border Patrol checkpoints, but it is a good road. There also isn't a lot of traffic which makes it nice. I headed out at around 0500 and by 1500 I had made it to Van Horn,TX at x140 on I-10. We switched again there with J taking over and I headed off to bed a few hours later.

J made excellent time and was able to get me 644 miles closer while I was sleeping. I woke up with only 416 miles to go. We were at the Tomahawk Travel Plaza which is at x40 on I-10 in Arizona. (I think that is where it is.) Feeling good after a good nights sleep, I head out.

Originally this load was supposed to deliver at 0800 but we had already told them that we couldn't make that time after the hold up at the Plainview shipper on the previous load. I talked to our FM around 0700 and told him I should make it in to the receiver in about 6 hours as long as traffic wasn't too bad in LA. I should never have opened my mouth about traffic. LOL I jinxed myself. It was horrible. I also had to go up the Grapevine on I-5 and that took quite a while since I was in 6th gear the whole way. The truck also started missing when I was climbing and it has never done that before, so that had me concerned. I sent in a message and told our FM that I couldn't make it on time but I would be there as fast as I could. He said he would notify the receiver and for us just to take our time and drive safe. I am really glad he isn't pushy and just lets us drive the truck the way we see fit.

Finally at around 1145 local, only 45 minutes after I said I could be there, I was pulling us in. By this time, J was up so he hopped out and got us checked in and found out where we needed to go. He showed me the way to the receiving dock, opened my doors, and I backed us in. About 45 minutes after that we were done.

While we were getting unloaded, I had turned the truck off and noticed I had 1 Active Fault according to my dashboard. Hmmm. This can't be good. I turned the key to the on position and held down the Shutdown Override button to see what codes I was getting. After writing them down, I sent a message in to Road Assist to find out. The code I was worried about was showing a problem with the Turbo and that would be why the truck was missing pulling up the Grapevine. Road Assist said that as long as I didn't have anymore problems, that it would be fine and that I didn't need to take it in to be looded at right now. Ok, if you say so, since you are the people that should know about this stuff. But I guarantee that if I blow my Turbo and have to get towed, Prime is paying for the tow since they told me it didn't need to be looked at right away. I drive the truck, I'm not a mechanic, that is why I called them.

After we get that settled, we pull out and head towards Buttonwillow where there is a TA since it was time for a PM on the truck. Got that done and then walked across the street to a little mexican food place that was AWESOME. Walked back to the truck and drove across the street to get the truck, trailer and inside of the trailer washed and then we called it a day. They didn't have a load for us and told us it would probably be this morning sometime. That meant I got to sleep in a non-moving truck and, since I drove to Buttonwillow, J was able to get a restart on his hours.

That is where we sit at the moment. I am going to go grab a shower here in a minute but I am contemplating breakfast first. Yummy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hoot N Holler

When I made it to Lubbock and gave my mom the stuff we had for her, she also gave me something in return. My friend Tom, who is an author, mailed me his latest book, Hoot N Holler, via my mom. I was so happy to get the book and finally read it!

It is a tale of two older women who decided to become truck drivers. And he did his homeowrk on this one. He had everything right when it comes to the big rigs. From the log books to the pre-trips. The story is wonderful! Reading about these two women and the predicaments they get themselves into just had me laughing. It was funny and heartwarming all at the same time. So please, go out and buy a copy. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!!


What an interesting couple of days it has been. We headed out on Thursday and had a load delivering to Lubbock. This worked out awesome because I had some stuff I had gotten out of storage that my mom wanted. We picked up at 1300 and had to deliver by 2300. My mom works until 2130 and we pulled in right at 2200 to the Sam's where we were delivering so she was able to meet us there. As we were loading the Suburban with the stuff they guy said he coule get us in early. So J backed up to the dock and I went with my mom over to her apartment to unload the stuff we brought her. Luckily she lives less than 5 minutes from the Sam's Club there. After getting back to the truck we made plans to meet for breakfast the next morning if we didn't have another load.

Since the Sam's didn't have a restroom (they aren't open 24 hours) we headed to the other side of town to the Flying J to spend the night. I called my mom around 0600 to tell her I was going to head back that way and wouldn't you know it, that is when we get a load assignment. At least I got to see her a few minutes the night before. So I called her back and told her I had to head out.

They didn't have any load information yet, but sales had told our FM they had a load out of Marfa,TX and for us to head that direction. I was hoping to load out of Amarillo since it is only about 120 miles north of Lubbock versus loading in Marfa which is 300 miles south, but I just go where I am told.

I make it to Odessa, about 150 miles south, when I get the dreaded phone call that the load in Marfa has been cancelled and to hang tight where we were till they found us another load. I find a small truck stop and pull in and wait. At least it gave me time to eat lunch. I headed up some bean and ham soup and had a salad out of the fridge.

About two hours later we get a load assignment. This time they have us loading in Plainview, which is about 50 miles north of Lubbock, where I started the day off at. I proceed to get my logbook caught up, run inside the store real quick, and I am off. Backtracking I go back towards Lubbock. I made it to Brownfield where J and I switched.

From there, J had about 90 miles to go. My mom was at work, so I called my Dad to see if he wanted to have dinner with us that night. This load was suposed to be a drop and hook headed to Laredo. So I figured we would pick it up and head back through Lubbock and be there around 1900. That would give us time for a shower and then get to visit with him over dinner. I should have know that wasn't going to work give the way that they day had already started out.

We get down here to Plainview and check in around 1600. They tell us it isn't even loaded yet and they don't even have a trailer number yet. Great.... We drop our empty by the wash bay and I sent in a message letting dispatch know what was going on. I also told him that we were going to go grab some dinner while they figure out what the plan is. I then called dad and had to cancel dinner with him because we had no idea how long this was going to take.

We headed down to Furr's and wouldn't you know it, as soon as we pulled in, we get a message telling us the trailer number and that it should be loaded and to ask for that trailer. Since we weren't on a time crunch, we went ahead and ate and then headed back.

When we checked in the second time, they said that yes, it was loaded, but they didn't have the bills for it yet. They said that we could just park off to the side and they would call us when they get the bills. Ladies and gentlemen, that was yesterday afternoon around 1700. It is now the next morning and it is almost 0800. We checked in the first time 16 hours ago and we are still here. What could possibly be the hold up that would take paperwork 16 freaking hours???? I am a little frustrated at this point.

And on top of that, they have us pre-planned on a load picking up in Laredo tonight after we deliver this one that will deliver in Delano,CA Monday morning. It is looking like we are going to be late on that one, as far as delivering it. We can pick it up 24/7, but unless I get moving really soon, we aren't going to make the delivery time. I still have to go about 600 miles to Laredo today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Well, it has been a few days, but we have bee enjoying our time off here in Allen.

We headed out of California with our FedEx load on Thursday morning around 0330. Made it into Ft. Worth,TX around 0615 Saturday morning. From there I headed up to the Pilot to send in our trips so that we could get paid. That is always important! From there we headed out to our storage unit out in Tawakoni to get some paperwork we would need for taxes.

After stopping for lunch at Soulman's BBQ, one of our favorite places, we headed to Michelle's where we were going to stay. We did have to make one stop at a marina that is on the way to check it out for our boat. All of this was on Saturday. We did go yesterday, Tuesday, and check a few other marinas there on the lake, but the one we looked at on Saturday was by far the nicest. It is Bayview Marina on Lake Ray Hubbard. They will add on to one of the docks for our boat since it is 53' and the main slips are 50' but they do that all the time when they get a new boat that won't fit in the slips. And the monthly slip fee is affordable. At only $481 a month, that is something I can work with. Electric and water at the slips, a sewar disposal dump, two restaurants and bars, a marina store, pool for slip owners and larger areas for grilling if you are having a larger party. I was very impressed and it is very well kept up. They also have security and you have a gated entry for each dock so unless you have a slip down there, you can't get in. I really like that part also. So as soon as we know a timeframe to move the boat down, we are going to get back with them and have them start construction on our slip!

We have been pretty lazy at home this time. The main reason we came home was to see Jessica since it is Spring Break. She drove up here and is staying with us here at Michelle's so it has been really nice and a lot of fun. She got her tongue pierced and that was an experience. Her tongue is still a little swollen since she had it done day before yesterday. I sympathize with her. I have mine pierced and remember well how swollen mine was for about 5 days. I am really hoping hers doesn't last that long.

Today we are going to get the truck cleaned out and finish up a last load of laundry. Try to hit Massage Envy and get a massage and then be ready to head out tomorrow morning. It has been so relaxing that I don't want to go back out. LOL Especially since we had lunch yesterday at a restaurant down on the lake and it was beautiful. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the sun. I even ran into a friend from the Fire Department that I haven't seen since I quit dispatching so it was great to catch up with him. I believe he said that he has a boat also that he brings out to that lake so as soon as we get ours out there, I will definitely get ahold of him and we can have a floating party out on the lake.

Sorry nothing too exciting to write about. LOL But we will be out again tomorrow and maybe I will have something more exciting to tell you about! Have fun until then!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


J did an awesome job last night of getting us into Victorville,CA and getting the load dropped. As he was leaving and heading down the street to get to the Interstate I woke up. We made it down to the Pilot where we went in and grabbed something to eat, because he was starving. I just had a small sandwich because I woke up a little hungry.

When we got back in the truck we didn't have a load so we sent in a message to call us if we got one because we were going to bed. My phone rang around 0930 and I thought we had a load. But it was just my Mom calling. So I got up and chatted with her for a while then headed inside to grab some coffee while I waited for our next load.

J got up around 1230 and we still didn't have a load so we headed inside to grab a shower. Of course while we were inside is when John called with our load. When we got done, I called him back and he had us a load picking up tonight in Los Angeles delivering to Fort Worth. I knew he would come through with a load back home for us!

So right now we are still chillin at the Pilot here waiting to pick up our load tonight. We don't pick up until 2215 so we have some time to kill. I will probably head to bed here in a while. We are supposed to be there at 2215 but the load doesn't leave until 0115 local time. That is 0315 our time and my shift starts at 0300 so I will be driving us out of California. Yay! We are headed for home!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Last night after we switched in N. Little Rock, I stayed up front and blogged and then it was time to go back to the sleeper to and lay down with a good book until I fell asleep. It has started sprinkling a little but nothing major. As I was in the middle of a chapter all of a sudden I heard this loud BOOM and the whole truck shook! Holy Moly! I immediately yelled at J asking him what the heck that was. Apparently he had been watching a nice lightening show and one of them decided to strike in the median right next to us! Boy that was close! I have felt those before but that was by far the closest that one has ever came to hitting us. I should be thankful that I'm not Allan, another driver we know, who actually had his truck HIT by lightening when he was parked at a truck stop for the night. WHEW!!

Things calmed down and I convinced myself to put the book down and get to sleep. I hadn't slept very well the last two nights, along with something bothering my eyes. But boy I had a good nights sleep and I felt so good this morning.

J made it to the rest area on I-40 on the east side of Amarillo,TX and that is where I took off from this morning. I made a stop there in Amarillo for fuel and then one more in Tucumcari,NM for a quick bathroom break. I finally made the AZ/NM state line around 1415 hours. And it was only 508 miles. Usually when we head this direction we get really crappy fuel mileage because we are facing a headwind. For whatever reason, we had a tailwind all the way to practically the AZ state line. I was going 55 mph the whole was trying to get the best mpg that I could. When I stopped for the day I had it at 7.25 mpg. That is outstanding! Especially since I am on I-40 and headed west. I am hoping that we can end the trip in th 7's if not the high 8's. But we still have the hills in California, and they are a bear. Lots of LONG pulls that put you down in 6th or 7th gear depending on how heavy you are. Luckily we are fairly light with only about 28K in the box.

It looks like we will drop this around 0300 and then we will just wait for our next load. Hopefully it will be something headed back east that will either deliver in the Dallas area or it will be a load that we can drop at our drop lot in Justin,TX and another team can pick it up from there.

We plan on staying in Dallas until Wednesday and then heading out again. We are looking at staying out 2-3 weeks and hoping that they are good ones. Then we will probably try to get a load to Atlanta where I can drop J off to work on the boat and I will go solo for a couple weeks. After about 2 weeks, I will head back to Atlanta and take a week off to help him then we will hit the road together from there. We are hoping that during that time we will be able to get a LOT of work done to the boat and have it ready to move to Texas by the end of April or the first part of May. That is our hope. That way we will be able to stay on it and finish working on it when we go back for Jessica's graduation and then when we are there in July to pick her up to go on the cruise. I can't wait to have it done!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

N. Little Rock,AR

We finally made it out of Georgia! We got a load around noon on Sunday and that is what we were set to pick up. Sunday morning rolls around and I finally decide to write all the information down regarding the work assignment when I notice a problem. The receiver will not allow pets on premis. And as you all know, we have Smokey with us. I really didn't think it would be a problem as long as we didn't let him out of the truck while we were there, but I sent in a message asking about it to be on the safe side. Our FM John said he would check on it for us. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later I get another message telling me that he was taking us off the load because they won't allow the dog on premis, period. Even if he stays in the truck.

Now realizing that we are going to have to sit and wait for another load, I go ahead and leave our cozy Walmart parking lot and head back towards the Pilot in Atlanta so that we can get a shower and be ready for our next load whenever they found one for us.

I got to the Pilot and decided to wait a while before waking J up for the shower. While I was waiting we got our next load assignment. We could pick up anytime that day before midnight down in Albany,GA and we were delivering to Victorville,CA. This works good for us since it gets us back to one of the coasts. Around 1300 I wake J up and we grab a shower and take off to pick up our load.

While we were headed down there I had to send another message to our FM asking him for a last minute favor. They really need to know in advance if we are taking time off, and we did in fact just take a day off to look at the boat, but it wasn't like we were taking a week off at home. See, I had to see if he could get us a load out of California back to Dallas because it is Jessica's Spring Break. I knew it was coming up, and I knew the dates, but I was having a blonde week or something because I was thinking it was the week after and that I had two weeks still on the road before we headed back home. He said he would try to get us back and I know he will come through. He is really awesome and usually works these things out for us.

Right now we are on the west side of Little Rock,AR and are headed to CA. They set up an appointment time of noon on Thursday but I am hoping that we can drop as soon as we can make it out there. That way we can have a better shot of getting back home. But we are going to have to cover some miles. I just couldn't wake up today. I even stopped to take a nap and still couldn't wake up. I don't have any allergies that I know of, but my eyes have been itchy and swollen the last two days. I may just be coming down with something because I am really tired too. It is only about 1545 and I am going to be heading to bed in less than an hour. I just an't hang today.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Well, we went and did it. We bought a houseboat! It is 13x52! But boy, does it need some major work. But even as it is, it was too good a deal to pass up. Luckily, J and I can see the potential in things and we love remodeling. I am pretty darn handy with a power tool also! At the moment, the boat is just sitting at the Marine Liquidation place waiting for us to come start work on it. Before we can move it, we are going to have to do some hull work. The boat is 31 years old and the bottom shows. Not to mention at least one softball size hole in it. After being told by the guy where we bought it from, and checking online, we have found that we can sand the bottom (steel hull) plate the holes and weld around them, then put a fiberglass covering on the bottom and completely seal the bottom of the boat with that fiberlass. Doing that, grinding and sanding all the railings, painting the outside of the boat and replacing all the plywood on the roof and recovering it is going to take at least a week of hard work. We are hoping that we can find some help here in Dawsonville that will work fairly cheap to help us out. After we get all of that done, we will then have to have it moved to Texas.

We found a marina that we can put it in, but they don't have dry storage for a boat that big, so it has to be ready to go into the water and into a slip when we move it. That is why we have to get the work on the outside done first. The place we bought it from is awesome and said that we can keep the boat there as long as we need to and only pay then a $67.50 a month storage fee and we can do the work on the boat right where it sits. And when it comes time to move it, they have the lift to get it on a rig. While it is there, we are also going to take as much of the interior out as we can and take it to the dump. Basically everything inside will need to be redone. The subfloor needs replaced, then new flooring on top, all new counter tops in the kitchen and bath, new shower, new toilet, basically everything. We are planning on taking it down to the 2x4 framing and starting new. It is going to be a long drawn out project and we figure we won't have the boat ready for occupancy until next summer. But it is going to be really nice when we get it done. All for an initial investment of $3500!! Of course then comes the cost of moving it, hull work, engine work, new interior,etc, etc, etc. LOL It will add up pretty quick. But we are figuring that over the next year, we will put about $10,000 into it, including moving it, and we will have a completely remodeled home that is paid for!

Now, as far as work goes, we have a load picking up about 30 miles from here at 1500 tomorrow afternoon. We spent yesterday looking at the boat expecting a load out this morning but we knew freight was soft. We got assigned this load around noon today so we are still just waiting to go pick it up.

Currently we are camped out in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Tonight will be the 2nd night we have stayed here. But it is a Supercenter and open 24 hours so that makes it nice. Especially when I need to go to the restroom at 0400! We had a really good dinner lastnight at Longhorn Steakhouse that is here in the parking lot. Then today for lunch we ate at Five Guys Famour Burgers & Fries which is also in the parking lot. That has to be the best burger I have ever had. I know why they call them famous. If you ever pass by one, be sure and stop. Amazing.

Now we are trying to decide what to do for dinner. There is a McDonald's in the Wal-Mart, but we get that out on the road. There is a Chick-fil-a but it is Sunday and they are closed. So I'm not sure what we will do yet. Maybe just go buy some milk and cereal from Wal-Mart. Or PB&J. Considering we will have to go on a budget now that we have a houseboat to remodel!!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Unfortunately we don't get to look at the boat today! That is tomorrow and I am so excited!!

So until then, I will just tell you what we have been up to the last few days. I woke J up while we were in Austin after I got us loaded and we were off. Side note, did you know that there is a SPAM Museum? And it is in Austin,MN? Interesting. Anywho, J took off and drove for a while and got us to Kearney,KS just above Kansas City,MO. From there I took over and got us to our drop in Carthage,MO.

Now this was a really cool place. We have been driving for two years and this is the first time that we have ever delivered to a cave warehouse. We delivered to Americold and the storage facility and docks were all underground in these caves. It was so darn cool. Litterally and figuratively. I managed to make it there by 1200 hrs for a 1500 appointment and I was lucky enough for them to get me right to a dock. By 1430 I was done and pulling out of the caves.

Since our FM knew we wanted to get to Atlants, he already had a pre-plan load for us. As soon as I sent our depart I headed for the nearest truck stop to grab a sandwich and take Smokey out. While I was on the way there, we received our new work assignment, so I wrote all the info down and off we went.

Our next load had us picking up in Rogers,AR at a Tyson plant. I got us there and got us loaded and headed down to the Pilot to scale and that is where J took over. I worked until about 1830 that day, but I didn't start until around 0800 so I was fine on hours. With the stops we had and not being able to use the APU in the Caves, J didn't get a lot of sleep. So I drove a little longer for him to try to get a couple extra hours rest.

When we pulled out of the Pilot, J was driving and I was headed to bed. We had plenty of time on this load since we can just drop the trailer anytime before 0700 tomorrow morning, so J went ahead and stopped in Little Rock,AR for the night. He was just worn out from his sleep being interrupted. I took over there and left out this morning around 0600. I had a good day driving and got us to Lincoln,GA where we stopped to switch again and to grab a bite of lunch.

Now we only have about 180 miles to go and we are cruising through the south part of Atlanta now on I-75. Our plan is to get this dropped tonight and head back this direction tonight. At least part of the way. In the morning I will get up and drive the rest of the way back into Atlanta. Once we drop this load, we will grab and empty trailer and our FM has already given us a place to drop it at up here so that we can bobtail around and then pick it back up when we are done looking at the boat tomorrow. I have my camera battery charging so that we can take some pictures to use for a reference. Everytime I have tried to post pictures the last few months, I have been having problems and the computer locks up. But I will see what I can do.

So that is what we are doing. What are you guys doing?? :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We have been having problems with our new GPS that we bought. Argh! So last night before I went to bed, we found a Petro and went in to see if they had another one and if we could exchange it. Of course absolutely none of the Petro's have the one we bought in stock and so we can't exchange it. And I haven't found another place that carries it. As it turns out, they will only refund your money the first two weeks and then exchange it before 30 days. After that, we have to deal with the manufacturer. As it happens, we bought it mid December so we are going to have to deal with the manufacturer by sending it in under warranty and then having them send us another one. In the mean time, we bought another Magellan (Maggie) to get us by. This one is smaller than the original Maggie that we had, but it is the same model. So we know how she works and are comfortable with her. I actually have kind of missed her and it is nice to have her back.

I finally made it to bed and J woke me up in Baldwin,WI this morning at 0400. We both got up and went in and took a quick shower and then headed the last 48 miles to our delivery in Roseville,MN which is in the St Paul area. I got there at 0700 for an 0830 appt but they had me unloaded by 0745. I love when that happens! Especially since we wanted to meet a friend for breakfast.

As I pulled out, I sent Emily a text to get her lazy butt out of bed and that we were on the way. We met down on I-35 at X81 where there is a small truck stop and a McDonald's. We got to visit for a couple hours and it was really nice. She has been going through a rough spot and it was good to be there for a friend.r

When we got back to the truck we had our next work assignment. He couldn't find anything heading to GA for us, but this load picks up in Autsin,MN and delivers in Carthage,MO. So that is closer and hopefully we can get something in that area that can get us down to GA. We will deliver this load tomorrow afternoon at 1500. I picked it up at 1300 today and was done by 1430 and headed to get the load scaled. It is only a little over 500 miles to Carthage so we are in no rush. Besides, J had to wake up in the middle of his sleep schedule to visit with Emily this morning (which he didn't mind at all) but since we aren't rushed, I am sitting her letting J get some extra sleep. These roads are pretty bumpy and I figure he will appreciate the non-moving and non-bouncing sleep.

Here in a little while I am going to wake him up and then we will grab a bite to eat in the little restaurant here and then hit the road. That's all for now folks!


Well we are finally back out at it again! We had a nice relaxing weekend during which we did absoultely NOTHING! We really wanted to drive over to New Orleans but since we were under a load I was nervous about leaving it unattended all day long. I am sure it would have been ok, but on the off chance that something happened or the reefer quit running, I wanted to be close by. But we completely enjoyed our lazy days there.

We did finally have to get back to work, so at 0200 on Monday morning I got up (J was still up and hadn't went to bed) and got ready to head out. We were packed up and back in the truck at 0300 and after getting my log book done, we headed out around 0315.

We had about a 70 mile drive over to the receivers in Harahan,LA. After one quick bathroom stop we made it there around 0445 for our 0500 appt. Things were going good up to that point. But for whatever reason, it took them SEVEN hours to get me unloaded. I closed my doors and pulled out at 1215.

I was extremely tired having only gotten about 4.5 hours of sleep that night due to the other hotel guest making lots of noise. Really it wasn't their fault that I had to try to go to bed early. Anyway, since I was so tired, the first order of business was to find a truck stop to wait for our next load. I headed back west on I-10 and stopped in La Place,LA at a truck stop that had a Huddle House. The first thing I did when I got there was to go grab Smokey some dog food. We had ran out so he was getting a little too spoiled on people food. And that is not good for his digestive system. So after feeding him, we went in and grabbed some lunch then back out to wait for a load.

Our FM had told us that freight was slow and he was looking for a team load and that it may be a while. With that in mind, and given my lack of sleep, I decided at 1400 that I was going to take a nap. About 10 mintues later, J decided he is going to take a nap. Then about 10 minutes after that, our phone rings and it is our FM with a load. UGH! No rest for us!

We get up and get the information and head back over to Baton Rouge to pick up at EXEL. It is some kind of product from Exxon that is in bags like the bags of concrete that you get at Home Depot. It is a powder product of some kind. Luckily it is not hazmat and it is a dry van load, so no reefer this trip for us. Get to save a little money on that anyway!

We are currently headed up to Roseville,MN with this load and we will deliver it tomorrow at 0830. I have found a houseboat that is still on the market and available down in Atlanta. I have talked to our FM today and asked him to try to get us that direction as soon as he can. At the price, I don't want someone to snatch it out from my grasp! It will need a lot of interior work, but that is fine with us. We love fixer uppers. I am just concerned with the hull and motor. If those are working then I think we will be buying it. It is an older 1978 Stardust but it is 13x52. That is a goodsized houseboat. It has a full bed in the state room, two bunks and if you had a futon it could sleep six. The perfect weekend, chill out when we are home party boat. So wish me luck that it doesn't sell before we get to look at it. The guy quoted me around $3000 to have it moved to Texas from Atlanta, but he said that was a ballpark and it shouldn't be much more than that if even that much. So if anyone out there hauls boats or knows someone, I am taking names. :) I have a feeling that we may be needing someone here pretty soon. WooHoo!!!