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Sunday, November 24, 2013

NRH for the Weekend!!

Well, I've been at Tiffany and Cary's for the past 2 days and will have to get back on the road tomorrow. It has been a really nice, relaxing time off. When I get to take a couple of days off, I just seem to go into mobile vegetative state!  LOL  And it is really a nice feeling to just relax! But I will have to get ready to put my brain back in gear! 

Tif and the herd spent part of last night making a "family turkey" for the season....and it didn't even get messy!!

First you paint daddy's hand......

It's amazing what all you can use a hairdryer for!!!!....
Then mommy's hand gets done.....that takes care of the body and a bunch of the tail feathers......
  ....then Julia's hand gets painted to do the fill in for the body and the rest of  the tail feathers......

Then Josceline's foot makes the body/head of the turkey....

And....we now have a thanksgiving turkey to hang on the wall!!
But during this visit there was also plenty of time to rest and relax to get all refreshed.....
Some of us relax better than others!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hay to Longmont, CO

Made it to Longmont, CO in one piece...nothing exciting....except for the fog last pretty thick late.  but all 465 bales got to their new home.
 He had a neat little attachment to the tractor that allowed him to pick up about 16 or 20 bales at a time.

He had his son, 2 grandsons, friend of grandson, neighbor friend and friend of son there to do the loading....I could watch good men work all day!!

Ended up with a full load, nose to tail, side rail to side rail...and he wanted to add another row, but that would have put my height at about 14' 2" tall to be legal.

The drive over was just another drive...but the stable where I delivered to...oh what a view!!

It sets at the top of what they call Lookout Ridge...thus the farm name..Lookout Ridge Farm.  :)  There were 3 young Mexican guys there to do the that took about 2 hours...

but gave me time to look around and take a few pics...and visit with some really good looking horses!

I'm now parked about a mile from the farm, in the valley, on the side of the road, right past a main road, for the night!  Fairly quiet, level, just finished listening to the football game for the night, catching up on this blog and my paperwork for last few loads, having my evening coffee (lost count of cups...heheheh), and looking forward to rolling again tomorrow. Hopefully! There just aren't many decent loads coming out of the Denver area, especially non-tarp (I make Erin's life difficult!).

So sleep well everyone, enjoy each day that you have, and I'll be navigating on towards retirement a little more tomorrow!!  :)

1,010 days to go!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Found CBS...FOOTBALL Tonight!!

I moved from Wally to Home I have a very good connection for the CBS station....So I won't be moving for several hours now....I'm watching A&M right now, and I will be watching Bama this evening!  It is amazing how a little move will make a massive difference with this digital over the air tv signals. 

And I just opened up this Toughbook a few minutes ago and I'll add pics later. Somehow I knocked it over or the vibrations from the APU made it fall over and it landed infront of the heater vent for the sleeper area....which is a Wambosco (or something like that) heater. It runs off diesel fumes basically is gets pretty warm....well....let's say it gets real damn hot!!!! 

13 of the buttons are melted, shriveled, re-molded....use whatever description you would like, and are laying on my table now!  The little button points still work, and all the keys still work....the keyboard is functioning just like new...with the exception of the missing keys!  LOL   :)   I am glad that I have a replacement laptop with me if needed and have another Toughbook coming....I will have to get thru the house after CO to get it.  HEHEHEHEHEH!!!!!  Just another day in the learning curve in the life of a truck driver....during the winter make sure that there is NOTHING that can come into contact with the heater vent in the sleeper!!!  

Makes me feel like a rookie!!!!  LOL   :P

Anyway, now to finish drying out my straps, running into HD to see if they have a fan. Think I'll also work on my outside lights for loading at night.

I'll make another post this evening after Bama beats up on LSU!!  ;)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nice Drive!

I've gone from Houston, TX  to Theodore, AL to Chattanooga, TN  to Hays, KS.  And the drive yesterday and today was just about perfect....if you leave out the 25-30mph wind with gusts up to 51mph!  LOL  When you have to keep the wheel turned like this, you know it's blowing!
Welcome to the midwest of the US!  It really was a gorgeous day looking at it...clear skies, 55-60 degrees, everything green, still!  And then the wind started....and boy did it start!  Was coming out of the SE and headed for the NE....another words....from left to right across the highway!  It made the day quite interesting.

I made it to my drop right when I said I'd be there....3pm. Another garden spot in the oilfields, LOL!

 Got unloaded and figured I would be sitting all weekend....but Erin worked her usual magic and I have a load out of the Kansas City area to Colorado, loading Sunday and delivering.....when I can get someone to meet me there!  LOL  A load of hay!! tarp!!!!!   YES!!!

Decided to spend the night next to the Wally here in Hays.  They are like a lot of the Wallys now...don't really want trucks in the parking lots.  But there is a deadend street next to the store where I am backed up into a field for the night.  Peaceful traffic at all!  

Tomorrow I'll head for my pick in the morning, stop and get fuel on the way...or maybe on the way out.  But there is a PetCo on the way, so Abbie gets a spa day....she is overdue for one!  And, today she decided that running thru a muddy spot looked like she will be sleeping on the floor tonight and will have a shampoo tomorrow!  (Update.....the PetCo in Topeka doesn't have grooming?!?!?!?!  That is wierd!!!  So she will get a dry bath tomorrow with the waterless shampoo that I got for her )
But you still get to see some nice vehicles while out here.

And while she is getting all spiffied up, I'll go do my grocery shopping for the next two weeks and maybe get my hair removed!  heheh  Need some supplies, little food, check the DVDs for anything new that I might like, need a couple of pair of pants.

Tomorrow or Sunday or Monday I'll add some pics of the past week and this weekend (DONE ) ....and the changes that I am going to be doing to the truck this weekend so you will have an idea of just what my nomadic life is like.  I like it....will like it even better when I finally get my act together and get things all set up the way I want them and everything is in its place and it really feels like a "house". It's getting closer each week, but trying to get it done while making runs is quite a challenge, because I still have to sleep sometime.....and having clean clothes is always a challenge....but we're getting there, slowly but surely!!

I took this pic yesterday of the cost of regular out is 2 cents lower this morning!!!

All I can end this installment with is......1,013 days to go!! And Abbie and I will be in the our little motorhome traveling at our own pace!!!  CAN'T WAIT!!!  :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

1,020 Days! heheheh

Still on the road....and still love what I do!  But it is still a challenge at times.

Take the run that I just finished. I loaded out from Houston yesterday morning and it was raining like a monsoon!  Apparently from midnight to 7am Houston received over 3 inches on rain!  It was unreal...and the sad part is that I was in it from Houston to Theodore, AL!
It made for a very long day of driving. Each time that I stopped for a break, it would "run" on ahead of me...and then I would get rolling again and catch back up to it!  LOL   I got tired of liquid sunshine!

But, at least the load was an easy load....I had onboard 10 buoys for oil recovery work in the Gulf. I like easy loads like this.... did let me see another example of bureaucratic redundancy that permeates every level, it seems, in both gov't and corporate structure!  The warehouse should probably have been manned by 2 guys to do the job.  But.....I had one guide me in and "guide" the big forklift....
Then,once the major job of lifting off one of the buoys from the trailer, the large lift "maneuvered" around the rear of my rig, and set the buoy that a smaller "reach" type lift could pick it up and move it to the storage area.....
and as you can basically tell from the pictures...we're talking about a movement of about 55 had 2 lift drivers, 2 "guides", an overseer, a foreman and a supervisor in the warehouse to make sure that the unloading was expeditious and VERY safe!  They had their morning safety meeting an hour late and I got to listen in.....if I had to be told what they were told I think I would have to run over my own foot!  Good Golly Miss Molly...where has personal responsibility  and  common sense run off to!?!?!?!

The load that I'm under right now is the blue and gray containers that are in the middle of the pic.  I love loads like this...6 chains and I'm rolling down the road....of course, where I loaded was a huge project that was doing pipe for the underwater, equipment, vehicles, material piles all over the place. Needless to say, it took me about 20 minutes to get turned around and out of there...took 2 minutes to get into the area!  LOL
And for the first time in quite a few years I am actually decorating for Christmas!  I will be adding a few lights to the grill next week and to the inside of the truck. 

So, I am just chilling out this evening and will be resting this weekend, to be able to have a full log.  I'll be in Conroe, TX Monday, from there...who knows...just another day!!  Heheheheh

Monday, October 21, 2013

Colorado....yeah, so!?!?!

I've been in Colorado Springs, CO since Saturday....delivered that morning and have been here since then taking a 48 hour break so that I will have a full log.  It is gorgeous outside, 50 degrees....last night it was cold,windy, with snow and freezing rain!  My how things change!

I'm waiting for a load so that I know which way I'm headed from here.  :)  I'm trying to work my way back to AL for a visit, and hopefully will be there in a week or so.  Time of the year to keep myself down in the warm country as much as possible!  Heheheh

Think I just might work my way over to someplace...a grocery store for a couple of things then find somewhere else to hide until I get a load.  :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maybe I will get more consistent with BLOGGING!! LOL

It has been a few weeks....again....since my last post....SORRY!!!  :)

I've been coast to coast at least twice since last post.  Have had quite a few different loads....
from cable frames for tie lines for cell phone towers (put in hole and concrete poured in) to...... 
scaffolding that was going to be used in an upgrade construction project at a TVA power plant site....picked up in Maryland and taken to Tennessee....

I had never really realized just how large the cooling towers are for these power plants....and there were 2 at this plant!

I hauled my last load of onions....I don't do onions anymore, there are just not worth the $$, no matter what they are paying...they just take too much time to tarp, up to 3 hours, and they leave your tarps stinking for weeks afterward!
One load of "oil field equipment" was anything but that!  It ended up being a load of 4X4's that are used to block up the pipeline being laid while it is welded and then set...

and the wood was not banded very well and I had to stop several times to push in pieces and actually had to pull out a couple before they fell off the trailer!

The load I'm under right now is a load of "poles" that came out of Idaho to Riverbank, CA.  And the little "plant" I picked up at was a trip!
It is in the northern end of the that is called "Hell's Canyon", ID.  

And the road out was about as interesting as the way in!

But when out in the road, the view and the sights make for short memories of the rather lousy load/deliver spots that we end up in at times.

And thanks to the boys and their Comcast account, I actually get to watch a little football every so often!!

At the same time, the roads can be a real "pain".. not long ago, when I had a load of PODS on board. As I was going around LA I hit construction on I-5....and I hit a "bump" (that's what the sign said) that was so hard/abrupt/deep, that it shifted a loaded POD 6 inches to the right and rearranged my truck interior!
And you even get to see some really well done up vechicles that almost make you want to take some time in one spot to see if you can fix up one for yourself!!  Like a 1972 restored Ford Bronco!!!  Sweet!
  BUT.......I just have 1,038 days left out far a "working" goes!  I am obviously looking forward to 62 and Abbie and getting in the Beast and hitting the back roads with my kind of pace...50 miles today, 150 miles 4 days later and maybe, just maybe, 300 miles over the next 15 days!!  LOL

 I am about to eat some dinner and then go wash some clothes and then take a shower....then later I will be driving on over to my drop and parking there outside the gate so that I will be there when they open in the morning.

So, until my next post......have a great week!!!!  :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oklahoma, here I come!

Got loaded out last night from Commerce, CA....8 mi from downtown LA.....47,040 lbs of shingles, headed for Lawton, OK.  I'm at about max weight, with only half full fuel tanks, I'm at 79,420 I am getting 75 gallons each time I need fuel.  Makes for a long trip.  But it is a beautiful day for driving.  No clouds in AZ, 96 degrees (just a mite bit warm)....and as usual for AZ....a healthy wind!

If everything goes well, I'll be in Lawton tomorrow afternoon.  Then I have to start figuring out about getting tires for the trailer and the tractor....should prove interesting.  Anyway, lunch break is over, time to roll up some asphalt and get closer to OK.  :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Headed in to CA

Well, stopped in Sparks, NV to shower & wash clothes....guess what I ended up spending the afternoon doing?!?!  That's right.....washed clothes,  showered AND watched a few hours of football!  Sooooo, I'm about to head into CA under the cover of darkness!  My 10 hr break was done 30 min ago...have 1 qtr of football then roll on roll on!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Just a little catch up while on break :)

Once again I am in Salt Lake City, UT pulling a 34 hour restart...SLC is becoming my second home!  I seem to end up here at least twice a month, actually seems to be more often that that!

And I'm amazed that it has only been just over a week since I last posted....I am getting a little better at this! LOL    I believe that I was in Livingston, CA on another 34 restart killing time!  Since that time I have been to ......  Los Angeles, CA to Salt Lake City, UT (see what I mean).. :)..hauled a coil of steel (44,000 pounds).  

Then I went 120 miles south of SLC to a little town named Lynndyl, UT and picked up 45,000 pounds of old railroad rails... and what a mess!! The pick spot is on the side of the railhead and there had been so many loads out that the dirt was down to the consistency of talcum was windy, dirty, rainy, you name it....

by the time I was loaded, I looked like Al Jolson about to do his rendition of "Mammy"!!  Plus, to scale out had to drive 15 miles one way to a feed store in Delta, UT....first trip I was 2,400 lbs over gross, so....back we went to take a few rails off and then back to Delta.
Those rails were delivered to downtown Joplin, MO.  And I do mean downtown. And the dirt there was just as bad as in UT, but much less windy and so just my feet and shins got filthy!!  Nice change.

From Joplin, I went to Pricher, OK...look up Pricher on has a very interesting story to it's death!  It is listed as a ghost town now.....13 years ago it had a population of 1,600+...but due to a 100 year old mining operation, the town (what's left that has not been leveled) has a population of 20 and a huge "SuperFund" operation going on that is trying to clean up the mine mess.  Interesting.

All along these last couple of loads the weather has been interesting....from sunny to rainy to highly windy to pea soup fog!  I was running along thru NE and WY during the time that CO areas received up to 7 inches of rain in 12 hours....those poor folks have a real mess on their hands.  And it hasn't been much better in UT...the SLC area had heavy rains and because of the fires last year in the surrounding mountains, they had mudslides the past several days. On the news here last night they spoke with a man that was still shoveling mud out of his swimming pool - two days after the rains....and they are just hoping that the rains will stay away long enough for it to dry up...but it was raining here this morning when I woke up.  So I'll see what the news has to say tonight.

One thing about being on the road,I really do see a lot of gorgeous countryside!This was the view I had my last run out of UT with the rails at the rest area I stopped at for one night. The little panarama pic doesnt' really do it justice, but it was beautiful!

And, of course, for all of us that love to watch storms, I got to run thru, around or inbetween several of them in the past week!
Love to see storm clouds...just wish I could have caught some of the lightening that was going on with was fabulous!

Also get to see what type of autos are being moved around the country, or changing hands of ownership!  Nice little old Bronco!
And of some try to be more "eco-friendly", I almost missed getting a pic of this cell phone tower!!  Looks like a real tree!  Right!!  LOL
So, this brings me up current to where I am again....parked at the TA in Toole, UT (just west of SLC) on a break again!  Tomorrow starts another chapter in the life of a flatbedder!!  So, more to come, soon!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Extinction....Species and/or Culture??

I have been cleaning up my room and doing laundry and watching one of the PBS stations out here today, and there have been several interesting programs on. They have covered everything from what used to be in Los Angeles and are no longer there to where we have gotten most of our medicines (from plants and animals), music from all over and how it is disappearing.

But there was one statement made by one of the makers of the program about the disappearance of  cultural music that has hit a chord with me.....he make the statement that, yes, we are loosing species to extinction .... but there is also another "extinction" that is taking place that we seem to just be allowing to take place without anyone making much noise about....and that is the extinction of  "cultures".....and the more I think about that statement the more I agree with it. He was in another country, and the musicians and instrument makers were dieing out and their musical culture was being lost.

I see the same thing happening here, with out "cultures" on a daily basis....all the diversity of our different backgrounds is being swallowed up by "current society" and "the old ways" are being lost...which is a crime!  Just how did we get to where we living and building upon the past....and if we forget the past, we are destined to have a collapse.  

I guess that is why I keep talking about the fact that I am about to start the "Have You Seen America Lately??" blog. I keep passing through small towns/hamlets on the roads out here that you can tell have stories to tell, have had a past that was the backbone of our country, and yet, they are dieing out and being paved over or left to nature to cover up and do away with.  We are loosing our "group" identity....and there were a bunch of groups here at one time....but today the "masses" are being herded to a point that there really are no individual personalities...and I see this happening everywhere.

You have a few different types of truck drivers, but the different groups are being herded into groups that have no patience with each other. There are several different groups of 4-wheeler drivers, but when you really get to looking at them, the only real difference is the amount of money that they are able to invest in the vehicle. But they all have the same urgency to get wherever it is and then get back....don't get in the way!!

But I ramble!!  I am trying to get my thoughts and pictures lined up, and adding pics each week as I can, and getting ready to start my other blog back up...or another one that will be just for what we are loosing. Or perhaps I should say "have lost already"!

About Time I Get Caught Up!!

I guess that it is about time that I get caught up a little on my past travels of the last month or so.  I'm in Buttonwillow, CA at the TA Truckstop for a couple of days. It is Labor Day weekend??, I think, and I don't deliver to Huron, CA until Tuesday morning. I am taking a set of what I believe are "anchor cable templates" to a solar farm outside of Huron. BIG load....almost 4,200 pounds!!  LOL  It was like running empty over here from Salt Lake City.  I took my time getting over here, and will take my time getting things done tomorrow.

I will be taking the time tomorrow to wash clothes, finish setting up/cleaning up my room. I have thinned out things and gotten rid of things that I don't use or need out here on the road to the point that I almost do have everything in a place and the floor and seats practically clear most of the time. Abbie can actually run around and play during the day while we are traveling. She is getting along real well in the truck and on the road...she has even recovered nicely from her spaying!  She was pretty pathetic the afternoon that I picked her up from the vet's office...LOL!  She was quite miserable and I think she was really surprised that I came back for her from the way that she reacted!!

But "we" are now over it and being just as rambunctious as usual...still learning that we might be a Chihuahua, but that we don't have to act like a Chihuahua!!  LOL

I was able to be off the road for my birthday anniversary and was at Tiffany's.  It was a pleasant weekend and pretty restful...and CAKE!!  ;)
And it was pretty good cake...chocolate with chocolate with chocolate!!!  Can't ask for better...never too much chocolate!

And like I keep saying,being out on the road you never know for sure each day what you will run into. Joshua had told me about the VW Synchro vans (4 wheel drive) and I have looked at videos on YouTube of them,but I had never stumbled across one on the road. Well, a few weeks ago,coming out of CA on a run, I spotted this one in a rest area where I had stopped to take a break.
This one was based upon the Westfalia camper version...a very nice setup. Andthey were obviously headed for the woods with this one.  :)

And I keep seeing pickup truck campers that make more and more sense. The one above was in Nevada headed for the mountains. It is not very tall, until you raise the roof, like a poptop camper. This one had a kitchen area, dinette, and also a SMALL bathroom in it. I am a little over this size camper...but in my younger days it would have been great!