Posted on 1:32 AM

Thurs, Nov 13... You Have to Write Home

By Lynette at 1:32 AM

Today was one of those days you have to write home about. This is what trucking is all about!

Let me set the stage... yesterday my main concern was seeing snow, right? Ok... I saw some snow and I was pretty at ease all day... I had all my maps done, looked over the directions again, and I was confident we wouldn't have any problems.

We had driven almost our legal limit for the day and we were both getting rather tired (yes, riding is tiresome too). Our directions were sketchy (in our opinion). The "ship to" address and the written directions from our dispatch didn't match at all, according to the map. We knew we would really have to pay attention the closer we got.

Well, ND is dark at night... really really dark... at night. I have the map up and I'm looking at the highway signs.... our directions said "west on hwy 19"... the highway sign shows 19 going all directions, the gps is screaming for us to right! Common sense says... if you are traveling due NORTH then LEFT is WEST!

There's a state sign with names of cities on it, right in front of us, with arrows pointing every which way and a hwy 19 sign... ok great... this road is not on the map... gps still saying turn right... directions saying turn west... Trapper says, "Do you think this is it? Is this where we turn?".... That question was like me asking him, "Do you think I look fat in these jeans?" There was no right answer... We debated and finally agreed to turn left.

Thinking all was good... it was asphalt after all... for about 50 feet and around a curve... then it turned into a gravel, ice, snow, slush mess! "Stop!" was the only word I could get out.... "Just stop!" We stopped and just looked at each other.... and looked around....

Uh oh... wrong turn. Now what? It is pitch black outside. He's using the big beam light to see if there is anything ahead.... there's not.... he gets out and walks a quarter mile to check out the road... no where to turn around... we are off the map according to our gps... looked like we were in the middle of a field... and the windchill is probably 20 degrees. So, the only choice was to back up.... back through the bend... back out on the road. Sounds much easier than it was. Twenty minutes (or so) we're back on the road.

Our turn was the NEXT left!

The directions from here were.... turn west on hwy 19 (we did) and turn south between mile marker 116 and 115, customer 2 miles on left. We know we're carrying insulation but we're beginning to wonder where to???

We drive down hwy 19, see the mile markers, but don't turn. We are just not sure what is going on. With the "ship to" address and delivery directions not matching we are kind of skittish. We talked about it, reread all the information and decided to turn around and turn on the street between the mile markers.

We are now on another gravel, snow, ice, slush mess road in the middle of North Dakota! We drive 2 miles and there's a building that appears on our left. It has a construction materials on the outside, so we assume this is it. We stopped!

Trapper sent the "at customer" message on the Qualcomm and then called CFI headquarters. Our gps is showing us off the map... the dispatcher found us on the gps at headquarters and gave us directions out of there back to the main road, just in case.

By this time, we were exhausted and couldn't wait for the sun to come up so we could actually see where we were.

Now... Thursday morning... sun's up... and there's nothing around here for miles. Turns out, this is a building supply company and we were simply delivering insulation. They unloaded us, by hand and gave us directions back to hwy 19. There are pictures in the movie... you'll see what I mean. There is nothing.

Our second delivery was at Minot Builders Supply in Minot, ND, 98 miles away. Our directions... hwy 2 west, start downhill, turn right on the street half way down hill, if come to rail road bridge you have gone to far.

I wanted new directions! But, we made it fine to this place. When you look at the pictures, notice the docking procedures here. We docked at the outside dock first and then had to squeeze into the enclosed dock. Luckily there was enough room to turn around. When we drove in, I told Trapper, "I hope you don't have to dock between the scaffolding and trailer". Well.... he did...

Leaving Minot, ND to Stanley, ND was only 55 miles and pretty country. Stanley is making a stand in the shell oil industry so their economy is good for now. I snapped a couple of pictures of oil wells and the picture of the hay bails. I've noticed in some western states they will bail the hay on the side of the interstate too!

Our directions to Stanley were good. The map was even in concurrence. It was another construction delivery. Making site deliveries in an 18 wheeler! I thought they would just unload the trailer and put the insulation on the ground but no.... the man asked Trapper.... "Can you back up to the trailer and we'll throw a piece of wood across and unload you?" Trapper did just that... perfectly squared us up on the first try and got close enough so the guys could use a piece of plywood to walk back and forth.

Leaving there, our day was done.

In an earlier blog I wrote about the computer work and paperwork that goes along with this job... keep in mind... all these stops required a delivery receipt, 4 Qualcomm messages at varies stages, and the directions and maps. If you were solo, you'd have to do this and drive in a strange place!

Finishing our deliveries, we're headed back to Minot, ND (where we saw a decent truck stop.) At times, because of time limitations, you don't have time or there is no where to shower. Well, it's like camping... which I will use Diane's words (owner of Heads Carolina Tails California blog)... not the kind of camping in the RV towing the car and all the amenities... at times this is like real camping! Showers are our second priority today!!

As the night settled.... showers taken... Trapper treated me to not cooking tonight (thank you!) and we've settled in the truck. I took a nap earlier this afternoon so I am still up at 2:00 a.m. and he's zonked!

The weather report is calling for snow showers here tomorrow... Friday... I just looked at the weather map and it's snowing in Stanley, where we delivered earlier today 50 miles west. I just noticed it's raining now and but the temperature is 36... no problem. I hope snow showers means the same in ND as it does NC... just a little snow...

We're on the board and hoping to get back on the road tomorrow to somewhere.... you never know until the beep, beep!!