Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there! This has been the third year in a row that we have spent Thanksgiving out here on the road. It really isn't as bad as you may think. I would much rather spend Christmas with my family so that is the holiday that we try to get home for.

For those of you that haven't been reading my blog for very long, Thanksgiving is a really unusual holiday for us out here on the road. Thanksgiving of 2007 found us stuck up in Bozeman,MT where we had blown the transmission in our truck. We were stuck there and the people that worked at the hotel invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner at one of their houses. That year we were especially thankful for the kindness of strangers inviting us into their homes to share the holiday with them. If you get a chance, go back in my blog in the archives to November of 2007 and read the entries around Thanksgiving. It is way to much to type on here, but it is worth the read. They were extremely nice people that I still think of till this day.

Thanksgiving of 2008 also found us in Montana. This time however, we were about 100 miles west of Bozeman. I was going to try to make it to Bozeman so we could eat there, but I ran out of time. At that point I was beginning to think that we were about to start a tradition of spending every Thanksgiving out on the road in the state of Montana!

This year however, we ended up eating our Thanksgiving turkey dinner in Flagstaff,AZ. We stopped at Little America and had a wonderful turkey dinner. We have eaten there before and knew that they had great food. It did end our streak of spending Thanksgiving in Montana though darn it!

This year I am thankful for a lot of things. I am thankful for my husband, my wonderful step children, my family, our friends, our jobs and even my blogger friends that post on here and keep up with our travels. You really make me smile when I see a comment on a blog entry. :) It has been a tough year, financially, as it has been for so many people. The economy is in the toilet but I am hoping that things are starting to look up. Even with the economy the way it is, this past year we have been able to take two wonderful vacations and we purchased our houseboat that we are working on when we have the time. And money. LOL Eventually that will be our residence so it is a project that we have put a lot of time and love into.

This year our son has finished his schooling in the Navy. He is on break now but he reports to his permanent Naval Base the first week of December. Our daughter graduated high school and has started college with the hopes of getting into a Nursing program. We are so proud of them, as any parent would be.

I hope each and everyone of you out there has taken this time today to reflect on this past year and let those around you know how thankful you are that they are in your lives. I hope you had a wonderful day and I will update you more on our progress. As for now, we are off to Maine!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Another day down! Still not feeling really well, but I am feeling a little better, so that counts for something.

Last night we delivered our top secret load to the airport and then headed to the Flying J just south of Milwaukee,WI to spend the night. We got our next load right after we dropped at the airport and we saw that we were able to sleep in a little this morning, so that was great news.

Knowing that I could get some extra sleep, I set my alarm last night to wake up this morning at 0700. We went ahead last night and idled the truck since it was quite cold outside. We have the auxilary heater in the truck, but it is extremely hard to regulate that thing. It goes straight to about 95 degrees in nothing flat and then it is just miserably hot. Since we both haven't been feeling better, we decided to idle so that we could control the temperature in the truck a little better and get a good nights sleep.

With that in mind, I headed to bed at around 2130 last night and woke up feeling a little more refreshed. My nose was a little more stuffy this morning, but I felt better than I did the day before. I ran inside to do my business and grab something to drink then came back out and took Smokey for his morning walk. Since we were parked at the Flying J, and they aren't a fuel stop for us, I had to drive across the street to the Pilot to get fuel. By 0810 I was driving out and hitting the highway.

The load we picked up today in Menomonie,WI had an appointment time of 1430 and it was 267 miles away. I ended up and arrived there at about 130o and they were able to get me right in to a dock and they started loading me. It was a tiny place in that there wasn't a lot of room in front of the docks to maneuver around. They had a big grassy area about 15 feet wide that went to the road with no curb around it. It sure would make it easier for us trucks if they took out that grass and paved that area. It took me several tries to get the truck straight with the dock because I didn't have much room up front. I was thinking that maybe it was just me having a hard time until the next truck came in and had the same problem. It wouldn't have surprised me if it had just been me since you never seem to be able to do anything 100% when you aren't feeling well. So either it was just a hard back, or the other driver wasn't feeling well either. haha

Anyway, we got that loaded, went and scaled and grabbed some lunch. We were a little heavy on the trailer tandems so we had to slide the tandems one notch to get legal. We didn't have much leeway since we are going to Victorville,CA with this load and we can't have the trailer any further back than the 6th hole to begin with. But we got it all set and took off.

As soon as we hit the road I pulled up the National Weather Service website to check the weather. We were routed to drop down to I-80, then take I-76 into Denver, then I-70 over to UT and from there hit I-15 down to Victorville. When I checked the Colorado website there was snow up on I-70 and it was not looking good. The road around Eisnehower Tunnel was snowpacked. Not good. So I look at an alternate route, taking I-80 all the way over to Salt Lake City,UT and then hitting I-15 to go south. It was only about 70 miles further but there was snow, icy roads and high winds across Wyoming. Ok, that doesn't look good either.

Well, I decide to check my last alternative which was to hit I-35 in Minneapolis,MN and take it all the way down to I-40 in Oklahoma City,OK and then hit I-40 across to I-15. This route is about 120 miles further. However, there are less mountains, which means much better fuel mileage, and no bad weather. We still may spend a little more on fuel going the extra miles versus what we would spend pulling the mountains in Colorado or Wyoming, but we decided we would rather do that than to have to fight the snow.

Now that we have a plan, we are pointing the truck in that direction and off we go. We are currently trying to see if we can drop this load around 1500 on Wednesday there at the receiver in Victorville,CA or if we are going to have to stay with it and wait until the appointment on Friday morning. Our hope is that we can drop it on Wednesday and that we will be able to get something out of CA that evening so that we won't be stuck somewhere over Thanksgiving. We really want to keep moving until Christmas or New Years. So we will see what happens. We may get there and deliver and not be able to get anything until Friday so we may be stuck anyway. But I guess it is better to get there and be ready for another load just in case we luck into something.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Haven't posted in a few days because I have just been feeling icky. I have been arguing with a cold for the better part of 4 days and so far the cold seems to be winning. I have been running a pretty low graded fever for about 3 days and that just zapps all your energy. Thank goodness it hasn't gone into my chest yet. I always seem to get upper-respiratory infections so I seem to be holding that off at least.

When I last posted we were heading to Tolleson,AZ which is a suburb of Phoenix. We made that delivery and from there I went to Yuma,AZ to pick up a load of lettuce that we delivered in Springfield,OH. Now we are on another load but I can't tell you where we are picking up or where we are going because it is another one of those high value top secret loads. :) Needless to say, people will be happy though when we get this delivered!

From what Michelle posted on my last entry, my old bosses daughters funeral is set for today. It is going to be an extremely rough day for her and all of my old co-workers. Thank you for those that have posted and to those that didn't but have had that family in your thoughts and prayers. It is appreciated.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I covered some ground today! I'm worn out!

Ok, so after Iposted yesterday, I sat for a while there at the receiver, US Cold Storage in Bethlehem,PA while my travel agent, aka Dispatcher, decided what he was going to do with me. Since they didn't have any empty trailers there, I was stuck until they emptied one or until dispatch sent me somewhere else to go get one.

Finally around 1000 hrs, I get a message from dispatch to go about 60 miles to pick up a trailer, preferably an older one that still runs when the back doors are open, for a load he was looking at giving me. As soon as he sent me that message, the yark jockey came over and let me know that door 46 was empty and I could have that trailer. Sweet! So I go over and hook up to the trailer, do my pre-trip on it and pull out away from the dock and parked next to the curb in their yard. As I was parking there, I got my new work assignment. They wanted me to go about 720 miles for right at $600. I sent a message saying, "Under a $1 a mile???" to which I get a response of "That is the normal rate from this shipper".

I decide to run into the restroom before I commit to the load because I am seriously debating refusing that load. On top of the crappy pay, it is also a hazmat load. When I get back to the truck I am about to send a message a message refusing the load and I get a message back saying "Hold tight. Don't leave yet. Checking on another load". Good thing since I wasn't going to take that one. LOL

A few minutes later I get a new work assignment picking up at the place I am currently at, US Cold Storage, at 1400. THAT is more like it! It goes 2300 miles to Phoenix,AZ and pays about 4.5 times as much as the first one. Momma is happier with that now. :) So I send in a message accepting that load. After I do that I go find the yard jockey and tell him that I don't need the trailer anymore since I am picking up the trailer that is being loaded in dock 49. He has me go drop it and then as soon as I pull away from my empty I see that he has told another Prime driver, who was also waiting, that he could now have that trailer.

After I got that all figured out, I headed over and backed under the trailer in door 49 and sat there to wait for them to get it loaded. Since they knew I was there waiting, they got it loaded pretty quickly and I was out of there a good two hours before my actual appointment time.

I headed out with plans of stopping in Carlisle,PA for J and I to switch. He woke up a bit before we got there and we came up with a plan. We went in and got a shower, ate dinner and did laundry. Then we decided to stay there the night. We are both low on hours. We figured if we stayed there the night, he would get a restart on his hours. Then hopefully when we deliver this load, I will be able to get a restart on my hours then we will be good to go for a while.

Having made that decision, I got a good night of non-moving sleep and got up this morning at 0230 and by about 0330 I was headed out. We stopped and switched in Brazil,IN which gave me a 590 mile day. I could have made 600, but I really had to go to the restroom! :)

Currently the weather is rainy and dreary here on the eastern side of IL that we just now crossed into. I need to go check the weather and see what is in store for J tonight while he is driving!

Also, not that anyone that reads this will know this person, except Michelle, but I would like to ask for prayers, thoughts, well wishes, whatever it is that you do. I found out from Michelle this morning that my old boss, Brenda, lost her daughter last night in a traffic accident. I believe her daughter, Allison, has just graduated or was about to graduate, from college. It looks like she swerved to miss a deer and lost control of her vehicle. She was driving alone and a passerby saw the wreck after it happened and called 911. Brenda is single, this was her only child and she lost her mother this past year. I just ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I can't even begin to imagine what it wouold be like to lose a child. Especially your only child. This has been a very tough year for her and she has so much more to go through. So thank you in advance.

As a side note, because of what happened to her daughter, DO NOT SWERVE to miss an animal. NEVER do that. Hit the animal. I know it is reflex or instinct to want to swerve and not hit them, but don't do it. Your car insurance will replace or repair the damage to your car. Your life insurance will NOT replace your life. Once you are dead, you are dead. That is the cold hard facts. If you are ever in that position where an animal runs out in front of you, take your foot off the gas pedal, apply the brakes GENTLY, aim for the opposite lane if it is clear and you are able to, but don't jerk the wheel. If you see that you are going to hit them, just hold steady, lock your elbows if you need to so that you don't swerve, and just continue to slow down at a steady rate. You don't want to slam on your brakes because you have to remember there may be traffic behind you. I have hit a deer before, I felt so bad, but I just plowed the poor thing over. There was only going to be one of us survive that encounter and I was going to make sure that it was me. Ok, end of my preaching. Just don't swerve!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


After sitting for a few hours at the Pride Truckstop in Chicopee,MA on Saturday afternoon, we finally got a load. We considered refusing it, but since it was a Saturday, if we refused that one we probably wouldn't get loaded again until Monday. So we went ahead and took it.

We had to deadhead all the way up to Easton,ME which was about 450 miles. UGH! We headed out from the Pride Truckstop around 1700 hours. By around 2045 we had made it to Kennebunk,ME where we stopped for the night. The rain that was hitting the NE had made it to Maine and we were right smack in the middle of it. There were cars all over the road. The road is also that really black asphalt with faded pain so it was really hard to see the lines. Since we knew the trailer was preloaded and not due at the destination until 1900 on Monday, we decided to just stop and I would take off Sunday morning when we could see.

I got up and hit the road about 0530 (o630 local) and it was just starting to get light outside. I wouldn't say the sun was about to come out because we didn't see it all day. Pretty much like the past two days. I got about 10 miles up on I-95 and they had two of the three lanes shut down due to water being over the road. A good 4 inches from flooding. I would bet that at some point Saturday night they completely closed that road due to high water. Probably a good thing that we stopped.

Around 1230 local I made it into Easton. I checked in and was told where to pick up the trailer. But first I had to go to Danny's and get a trailer washout for the trailer we were dropping. Super nice guy but he lived down a dirt road. For a few minutes I was wondering if I had missed a turn and was lost! But I topped a hill and there was his sign. It is a good thing that he only does washouts, because if he did truck washes, the trucks would be dirty again before you could hit the highway!

Got that done and went back and dropped the trailer and headed back towards I-95 to get scaled. I was at an even 79,000 lbs and had to slide the tandems back two holes to get legal. It was all good so we were ready to roll. From there J took over and off we went!

J got us to a Service Plaza in CT about 15 miles north of the NY state line. I took over there and had J stay up with me until I got through The Bronx and Newark and managed to get on I-78 without getting lost. It is such a cluster through there! I haven't actually gotten lost going through there before, but I did have to take the exit for US-1/US-9/I-78 and if you read my blog, you know that anytime I get near that stupid US1/US9 that I will take a wrong turn and get lost!

I made it through though and made it to our receiver, US Cold Storage here in Bethlehem,PA around 0600 this morning. As it turns out, they do not have any empty trailers here. I was told that as soon as they get them empty that they are reloading them to go back out. But one Prime bobtail that I was parked to had a yard jockey come tell him about a trailer that was empty that he could have. So I don't know what the deal is. Dispatch told me to stay here and we an see if they can get us a load coming out of here, which would be nice since I wouldn't have to go hunt down an empty. Or the other option is that the yard jockey may come tell me when they get an empty and I may take it and run. Maybe we will just have to see which comes first?

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Boy, what a dreary rain filled morning I woke up to today! UGH!!! After a week on the cruise I am NOT liking this weather! LOL

When J took over last night he only had 567 miles to go to our receiver. I sent off for directions and wrote them down for him so that he would know where he was going. The directions also said that we could park there overnight so we didn't have to worry about finding a place here in Massachusettes to park since we knew we would get there long before our 0700 appt. As it turns out, J got us in around 0230, even though he had to deal with driving in the rain the last 150 miles or so.

Around 0700 they had him back up to a door and since he couldn't hang anymore, he woke me up and he crawled into bed. C&S Wholesale Grocers, where we delivered at, is a busy little place. I don't think they even started unloading me until around 0800. But by about 0915 they were done and I went in and got my paperwork.

Since I figured we wouldn't have a load right away, I pulled back around the building to the staging area and sent my depart message and then took Smokey for a walk. I waited about an hour with no message from dispatch other than sales was trying to book some loads. So after that hour I decided to move about 25 miles south down to the Pride Travel Center off x6 on I-90. The directions to the receiver said the lot was only open till 1300 so I knew I would have to move before then. I figured the sooner tha I moved, the better chance I had of getting a parking spot as close to the truck stop as I could. Normally that isn't a big deal, but when it is pouring rain outside, I want as close as I can get.

I probably do need to go do laundry, but I am just not motivated to get out in this rain! Maybe I will get around to it if the rain slacks off here a little later. It is about 1230 local time, on a Saturday, so I am really beginning to wonder if they are going to find us a load today. Or over the weekend for that matter. I hope we aren't stuck here until Monday. Yuck! Keep your fingers crossed that we get moving soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Folks, I don't have much to report today! J got me to a rest area about 50 miles west of the IN state line just outside of Chicago and that is where I took over.

We have plenty of time on this load, about an extra 30 hours. Yesterday our fill-in FM said that he would try to get the appt moved up for us. Finally around 1200 today we got a message saying that they will take us at 0700 in the morning instead of having to wait until 0500 on Sunday morning. So that makes us really happy. Right now it is about 1540 hours and we only have about 550 miles left to to so it should be a breeze. The directions say the yard is open and we can park overnight so we are going to head on in and see if by some chance they can even unload us early.

The one BIG thing I do need to report today though is that our son Justin graduated from his final class in the Navy before being assigned to his permanent submarine. He graduated from Nuclear Missle Tech school, meaning that he will be working on the missles on a submarine. He will have some much needed time off to spend with family and his fiance before he reports to his base on December 9th up in Bangor,WA. I can't even begin to describe how proud of him we are. For those readers that are ex-military or have children in the military, you know exactly how we feel. He had grown up and matured so much in the last year and a half since he joined. He went in as a boy and we have watched him become a fine young man. It is amazing to watch that transformation in your children!

So that is where we are right now. We are going to be out on the road until around Christmas and then we will take about 10 days off to spend with family in Lubbock and then go to Las Vegas to ring in the New Year with our friends there. IF we can get a load to Vegas that is in between Christmas and then. If not, then we will just either hit the road again or stay in Lubbock. We don't want to drive that far unless we get paid to!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Sorry it has been a few days but as soon as we left out the damn charger for the computer went on the fritz! UGH! It was torture not being able to get on the laptop. Luckily we both have the internet on our phones, but you can only do so much on a phone. No way would I try to blog from it! LOL

Time to catch you up. After making the local delivery we got a pick up in Fort Worth at Kraft going to Denver. We picked it up on Monday evening and off we went. It had a Thursday delivery but it is only around 700 miles to Denver. No way we needed all the time they were giving us. We were able to get them to move our appointment up and we made it into Denver around 1230 on Wednesday.

I sent our depart and we headed to our yard there to grab a shower. While we were enrt they sent us a message to deadhead to Salt Lake City,UT and they would load us out of there. So they got a nice message back from me saying that we weren't deadheading that far without a load assignment. They like to deadhead us there and then try to find something once we get there. I'm not driving 600 miles without a load. Plus, I want to make sure it is worth it to drive that far just to pick up a load. When we came back out from our showers, they had given us a load up to Rexburg, ID to pick up the next morning.

Here is what is irritating. If we had just driven to Salt Lake we would have gotten there and then maybe been assigned this load. However, we would have driven about 200 miles out of the way to get there. So I am glad that I told them we werent moving until we had a load picking up that direction. What could have been about a 770 mile trip ended up being only a 580 mile trip. Roughly. You have to be smarter than the average bear when dealing with dispatch and sales. I know they are just doing their jobs, but my bottom line isn't their priority. But it is mine.

We headed out and J got us into Rock Springs,WY where I took over. We headed up US191 then took US89 over to Alpine,WY where we hooked into US26 that took us into ID and our destination. It was an extremely windy road for about a third of the way. I figured it was a beautiful drive, but it was dark when I passed through there so I couldn't tell.

I was about 30 minutes late to my first pickup because I had run into some ice on the road over in WY and had slowed down some. But I made it there by 0730 local time and was loaded pretty fast. From there I drove the 14 miles to our second and last pickup and repeated the process. I was talking to a Stevens Transport driver while getting loaded and we were both headed back to the East Coast. He wasn't familiar with the area and mentioned that as soon as he was loaded that he was going to figure out how to get out of the area. I knew where to go since I was backtracking the route I had driven in. Once I got scaled and had my paperwork in hand, I hollered at him on the CB and he followed my lead. I know I looked smart leading the way, but really, it is easy when you have just driven that route. Oh, and a GPS is nice. :) LOL I did lose him somewhere along the way because he pulled over in the mountains. Probably had to take a break for the restroom or something. But we stopped in Alpine,WY to get a coke and I saw him make the turn onto the right road. So I felt good that I had at least helped him get to the right road.

We really enjoyed the drive back through that part of ID and WY. The portion that I missed that morning was beautiful drive coming back during the daylight. I wouldn't mind living up there. The road we were on followed the Snake River and we drove right along the Palisades Reservoir and Palisades Dam. Beautiful, beautiful country.

I had been up since around 0130 on Wednesday morning to drive us into WY and by the time we got back to Rock Springs,WY (J was driving by this time) it was almost 2000 hrs. I was exhausted. We stopped at the Flying J and grabbed some dinner and then I hit the sack.

J woke me up this morning in Sydney,NE where he had stopped at around 0300. He stopped at a Walmart and had went in and was able to find a charger with the right connection for the laptop. YES!! Then he chilled and watched a movie and let me sleep in. He got me up at 0600 and we meandered around Walmart doing some grocery shopping. By 0720, we had the truck loaded back up and I was pulling out of the parking lot.

Since I hit the road so late this morning, I only managed a mere 363 miles. Yep, I was slacking! But we have been driving 55 mph since we picked up this load because it is heavy. Our fuel mileage has sucked since we got the 8 new tires. I really wasn't sure if it was the new tires or the winter blend fuel. Or maybe just a combination of things. But going 55 mph now, we are averaging 7.52 for the whole trip since we left Denver to go pick it up. So I don't know what the deal is. But I am happy!

Today I stopped at the Greenwood Travel Plaza in Greenwood,NE on I-80 at x420. From here we only have 1409 miles to go to our destination in Hatfield,MA and this load isn't due until Sunday at 0500. Sheesh. This is Thursday. We could easily be there by around midnight tomorrow night. That is FRIDAY night. We are going to see if we can get the delivery appointment moved up. If not, then we will head on in and we will both be able to get a restart on our hours.

That is where we stand folks! More to come tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fort Worth,TX

We FINALLY made it back out on the road today! We got up this morning and were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Which makes me wonder. Has anyone actually ever seen a chicken running around with it's head cut off? Hmmm

So we were up and on the road at 0640 this morning to go pick up the truck from our storage facility. Once I dropped J off there he headed to pick Smokey up from the kennel and I headed back to Michelle's to finish rounding our stuff up. J got there about 30 minutes behind me and we got everything back in the truck and we were off. Our first stop was over in Saginaw,TX to pick up a loaded trailer so we could make a local delivery. We made it, just barely, but then sat for about three and a half hours while they unloaded us. That is one of the longest unloads we have had in a while.

As I was sitting there we got a pre-plan which has us picking up at Kraft here in Ft Worth tonight at 1800. It is only about 3.5 miles away so we will start that direction in about 30 minutes. This load will be going to Denver,CO and we will deliver it tomorrow afternoon at 1400. It is nice to get a short run out of here because it will make our payroll cutoff tomorrow afternoon. After that, who knows where we will be going!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cruise Pics 2


One of my favorite pics of the sunset

No mas Tequila!!

Acting like tourists LOL Cozumel,MX

Taken from Senor Frogs in Cozumel,MX

Cruise/Halloween Pictures

Joe looking all groovy....Love the wig!

Our Cabin. We upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. Super nice.

Another view of bed and sitting area.

Michelle, Joe and Me. Rocking the disco look!

Standing out on the balcony before we left Galveston.


I have COMPLETELY been slacking! But I have been thoroughly enjoying myself. We just came back from a cruise and I'm so relaxed it isn't even funny. I think if I stood up right now that I would just fall down like a wet noodle. And I'm not kidding!

I am going to post some photos that we took while we were on the cruise. We left on Oct 31st so there were a ton of people dressed up for Halloween. We went with friends and we decided to go with the 70's Disco as our costumes. OMG they were hilarious! I think you will enjoy those pics when I get them on here. I will probably add another post with just the pics.

Tonight we are going to go to the Guns N Hoses fights. They have it annually here in Mesquite,TX. It is boxing between the Police Departments (Guns) and the Fire Departments (Hoses) in the area. If anyone is in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, it is at Resistol Arena I believe in Mequite. It is always a lot of fun. I will also get to see quite a few of my officers that I used to work with that I haven't seen since we have been out on the road so it will be great seeing them and getting to catch up. I also know of one of my officers that is boxing so I hope he kicks some serious Fire Department ass! LOL!!

We are planning on heading back out on Monday. Last time we went on a cruise we were ready on Sunday morning but the didn't have any loads over the weekend. We figured no since in getting all ready just to sit and wait so we decided to be available on Monday. I will let you know on Monday where we are headed!