Posted on 10:33 PM

Mon, Oct 27 .... Yes! We are Home!!!

By Lynette at 10:33 PM

Yes! We made it home! Our home truck stop in sight.... we are here!


8 weeks on the road... it's a nice sight. I moved to Trapper's the weekend before we left so I know I have a mess to deal with, but it is a welcome mess.

I guess I will "really" move in and see my kids! Trapper's going to spend some time with his mom and I will deal with the inside of the house.

It's nice to be home for a few days... a toilet close by at all times, a shower, a kitchen, and the computer won't be bouncing around!

We'll return to the blog when we return to the road, in about a week!

Posted on 10:23 PM

Sun, Oct 26 .... North Carolina Here We Are!

By Lynette at 10:23 PM

South Carolina! We'll be home tomorrow!

Today we finished the few miles we had left and we are hanging out in North Carolina. We aren't too far from where we're delivering, so we're going to stay put.

For some reason we decided to clean the truck. The outside of the truck. The wheels, to be exact! So after 4 hours of working on them... we have nice shiny wheels!

We decided to walk across the parking lot to a Chinese restaurant for lunch... we played around outside Wal-Mart with these kiddy carnival things, and then we played around in the shoe store.

It's funny what you find to do when you're just waiting... I'm sure we were entertaining everyone at the truck stop with Barry White blarring from the truck... we forgot the windows were down!

Posted on 10:07 PM

Sat, Oct 25 ... My Old Stompin' Grounds

By Lynette at 10:07 PM

Being from Tennessee... I like traveling through the state.... we left Nashville, TN this morning... rain and cold... Nashville hasn't changed much since I was here last. Traffic is the same!

We're not in a big hurry for this trip... we don't deliver until Monday.








We pass the exit that takes me back to my roots!















And then we decided to stop at a flea market just before you get to Gatlinburg. I asked Trapper if he wanted to tour through downtown Gatlinburg in the truck... he laughed.

My favorite part of the trip on I-40 East is after leaving Gatlinburg headed toward the Smokies. I've always thought this was gorgeous.

We ended our trip today in Mocksville, NC. It was a nice day... getting to play at the flea market was probably the best part!

Heads Carolina... tails California.... I'm choosing Heads!

We were dispatched this morning to go to Lebanon, TN drop a trailer and pick up a load that is going to Kernersville, NC. Which means we will be within an hour of the house but we've got to go right passed!

It's funny... we've been out almost 8 weeks, but once you decide it's time to go home.... It Is Time To Go Home! We're both ready to get there or say the heck with it and stay out!

Anyway... we make it to Lebanon, TN, drop the trailer and go back to Nashville, TN and pick up our load that is going to Kernersville, NC.

We spent the night, Friday night, at the Conway yard. Trucks moving around all night. I'm not sure either of us slept well... As soon as I get up I'm on the Qualcomm... not good... the new trailer number I sent them was actually in Mexico... needless to say... Trapper got a phone call wanting to know exactly what trailer we had! Oops... my bad!

It took us all day to get this done... Saturday we will be moving towards home...

Posted on 9:36 PM

Wed, Oct 22... West Memphis, AR

By Lynette at 9:36 PM

After we received our dispatch last night, we decided to drive part of the trip. We stopped for the night at CFI/Conway’s terminal in northern TX. I tried staying awake with Trapper, but I had to call it a night. He drove a couple more hours and called it a night too.

This morning, I’m letting him sleep, and I’m going to venture to the terminal. It’s pouring down rain and colder than it was in Laredo. I think I should bring coffee back for us!

Not being in a huge hurry, we left around 2:00 p.m. and drove on to West Memphis, AR. Arriving there is a nice relief. Maybe we’ll get back on a day schedule now.

We dropped our loaded trailer and waited on another load. Maybe this load will take us home. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Deciding it was dinner time… off to the nearby Mexican restaurant! Ola!

Posted on 9:23 PM

Tues, Oct 21... Killing Time in TX

By Lynette at 9:23 PM

Ok… We’re rested, reset, and ready!!

But, hey, we’re still 50 something on the board and we want to be headed to South Carolina!!

It’s 96 degrees here today. We should be sitting in the sun. Trapper’s playing cards, I’m blogging, and we’re getting stir crazy! Rumor has it there were 90 loads coming through customs, so hopefully we will be leaving here soon.

It’s nice when you have showers near, if you’re going to be in one place for an extended period of time. But, you can only take so many showers in a day! Dinner time is here… cool…. We get to move out of the parking lot!

We’re both happier when the truck is rollin’. Can you tell?

8:30 p.m. we get the “planned load summary” on the Qualcomm… we are headed to West Memphis, TN. We’re moving but not closer to home!! Oh well… we’ll make it home one day…


I almost forgot... unleaded gas in Laredo... $2.19!!!

Posted on 8:52 PM

Mon, Oct 20... Monday Morning Real Trucking!

By Lynette at 8:52 PM

9:00 a.m. arriving at the broker's to drop our load. There have been many times I'm thankful I am only a passenger. Today was one of them!

This is where we are delivering... someone has got to move!! Patience is a virtue with truck driving.

I've heard it said that if you can survive being an OTR driver... you can survive anything!

With Trapper's ability to maneuver this truck in spaces that I can't imagine... the trailer is unhooked from the cab and we are free!

Getting out has got to be easier than getting in!

As we were heading back to the terminal, I couldn't help but notice the similarity of Laredo to an ant hill. There are trucks every where. One was running down the street with the trailer doors open.
It's crazy here... especially on Monday's!



















Back at the terminal, we are still 60 something on the board. We decided to go to the laundry and do the bed coverings. Plus that means we can get one of those really cool breakfast burritos they make here!
We messed around all day. Talked to some drivers that were waiting along with everyone else, showers, and I spent a little while looking for my pictures from Mexico.... until Trapper reminded me that we haven't been there.... Yet! (Inside joke...)

Posted on 9:39 AM

Sun, Oct 19... Hello Laredo!

By Lynette at 9:39 AM

I understand now the saying that "everything is bigger in Texas!"


They do BIG well. This picture was taken at a rest area as we entered the state.

Needing a little quick break, we stopped to walk around for a few minutes.




We arrived in Laredo, TX (around 9 pm) with our load that is ultimatley going to Mexico. We checked in and found out we are 112 on the board! There are a lot of trucks here!

Out of all the terminals, Laredo is my favorite. It's warm here and very driver friendly. We're highlighted for home, so hopefully we won't be here all that long. We deliver tomorrow (at the broker).

The town of Laredo is completely truck oriented. The first time we were here I could not believe the number of trucks. There are trucks of all kinds... big rigs, old cab overs, day cabs... all zipping around taking freight somewhere!

We dropped the trailer in the lot, so we can bobtail, and although it was really late... I decided it would be a good idea to do laundry. With 100 trucks here, come Monday morning... the laundry room would be full!

Posted on 8:51 PM

Sat, Oct 18... Missouri Surprises!

By Lynette at 8:51 PM

We left IL yesterday and made it through MO today. We needed a couple of things done to the truck so we planned on stopping in Joplin, MO. This is where CFI/Conway Truckload has their headquarters.

I know Trapper was four-wheeling again this morning… forget giving him “his” time…. I was bouncing all over the place. I expected bad news, as I stuck my head toward the front of the cab… but all I saw I was road. There are some highways that are simple intolerable!
I must admit…. I fell in love with the archway in St. Louis, MO… as always… I took a million pictures. LOL
Arriving at Joplin, the marquee welcomes Trapper! We needed a back tire replaced and the inverter replaced. We got our new tire, but the inverter will have to wait. The service department was extremely busy and the wait was too long. Our eating out is becoming a huge variable expense and I’m going to forget how to cook!

The terminal was nice. Very driver friendly… weight room, basketball courts inside, nice facilities. They don’t allow bobtailing, so they run a shuttle bus back for the drivers.
video
After a short tour… we were back on the road. Our day was going as planned… no mishaps with the map, equipment, or anything out of the ordinary. Our stop for the evening was in Big Cabin, OK. This is where the day got fun.
The truck stop is huge. I really couldn’t imagine anything we needed that they didn’t have. At times, you have to make “fun” happen when you’re on the road. You see things that you just don’t normally see everyday.

As we were getting everything shut down for the day… I noticed these trucks… obviously waiting on the mother ship! Except for the PAM truck... I guess he/she was a stepchild????










Maybe Indian Chief is their leader????Over the past 2 months, we’ve showered in several places… BUT nothing like this! Trapper opened his door first and then we opened mine… get this! Talk about over the top!! I spent more time taking pictures than taking a shower… but, hey… we’re in no hurry tonite, right?
Trapper's shower was green... mine, well.... red! OK???? Here's the inside look at the shower.


I took so long in the shower Trapper came knocking on the door (to make sure I was OK????) Actually, he was waiting on me, which I didn’t know… and he must have gotten tired of being in the tv room…. He is way too good to me… and I stepped it up a gear when I realized he was waiting on me! He's a good man... LUCKY ME!
We walk outside and see THIS driving in!
We both want one… but Trapper wants one worse than I do.


Trapper remembered seeing this on the cover of a magazine… me… well, just taking pictures.

I googled this really quick and found out that he does a lot of truck shows. I’m not sure if he hauls anything or not… it didn’t say????? Quite customized! The trailer was custom painted also. The name of the truck is "The Gambler".


After this… we retired to our truck and to bed. Laredo… well… we’ll be there tomorrow and highlight for home!
The video is of this truck.


video

Posted on 9:24 PM

Friday, Oct 17... I don't think so...

By Lynette at 9:24 PM

Trapper started driving early this morning to ensure we get this cider delivered on time. I choose to stay in bed…. 140 miles down the road, I decided to get up. I was surprised I slept that long, but traveling on the OH turnpike is easy riding… you barely notice the truck moving.


Unloading the cider from WI went pretty quick. We were only carrying 20 pallets. We left N Aurora, IL and headed to Joliet, IL. We had 1 hour to drive 34 miles. This sounded easy enough and we thought we could simply leave the same way we came; however, my Streets And Maps went blank as we were pulling out of the plant and we made the rash decision to follow the GPS. This was not a good decision!

Two turns and we are headed right toward downtown N. Aurora, IL… a driver’s nightmare comes true… we came face to face with a 12’ 4” clearance bridge!!! Crap! Now what???? There was no way this truck was going under that bridge and we had no intention of becoming the monthly poster children for CFI’s safety department.

My job description changed quickly to directing traffic and moving road construction signs. Our only choice, in this mess, was to make a 45 degree turn… go through a parking lot…another 45 degree turn…and hope the upcoming street wasn’t one way! Not that a one way street was our top concern… forget the “this vehicle makes wide right turns!”
Trapper maneuvered the truck around and we made it out of this predicament. We will NOT let this happen again!
We made it to our pick up with 5 minutes to spare. Whew!

Our drop n’ hook took forty minutes and we were on our way! While Trapper was finishing with the shipping department, I set the map and GPS!

With only 3 hours left (on our 11) to drive today and being ready to stop for the day… we stopped in southern IL for the night.

We’re both ready for the 1200 mile run to Laredo, TX… warmer weather… wide open spaces!

Posted on 9:19 PM

Thurs, Oct 16...

By Lynette at 9:19 PM

Although we were at our destination, rise and shine came early. This was suppose to be a drop n’ hook, but they did a live load. Loaded, map set, and QUALCOMM messages sent, we left Middlebury, VT around 10 am. We deliver on Friday in North Aurora, IL.

We’re hauling 43,000 lbs of cider to North Aurora, IL. We brought empty bottles to VT from PA and we’re taking bottles full of cider to IL. Ultimately it will be repackaged and distributed to retail stores. A lot of miles will be in that bottle of cider on the store shelf.

Our QUALCOMM beeped earlier and we’ve been preplanned to pick up in Joliet, IL on Friday and deliver in Laredo, TX on Sunday, Oct 17. No play time on this trip! There’s only a couple of hours between our delivery and pickup once we get to IL.

Posted on 3:46 PM

Wed, Oct 15.... Sight Seeing in Vermont

By Lynette at 3:46 PM

We had a relatively easy day today. An early start proved beneficial. We arrived in Middlebury, VT around 4:00 pm. We’re heavy, so the mountains made it a little slower than normal. The leaves have turned nicely since we were in this area (upstate NY) 3 weeks ago. Our trip will take us through the base of the Adirondack mountains.

We arrived in Middlebury and found the Green Mountain Beverage Company. The shipping department had left for the day. We weren’t suppose to be here until Thursday morning, so we had a little time to kill. We decided to drop the trailer and go sight seeing.



I googled Middlebury, VT earlier in the day and found out that this is where John Deere did a couple of years apprenticeship prior to leaving for IL and starting John Deere Company. The town was built around a company named “Marble Works” and the majority of the buildings downtown are in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Vermont completes Trapper’s list of states he has driven through. He’s made it to all 48 now!

We bobtailed to town, found a place to park the tractor and walked around for about an hour. Most of the buildings had established dates in the early 1800’s and early 1900’s erected dates.

Dinner was at a little place called Rosie’s and then back to the Green Mountain Beverage Company for the night… just in time for the presidential debate; of which, I survived the first 30 minutes. Trapper somehow survived the entire debate.


video

Posted on 7:46 PM

Tues, Oct 14... Everywhere Was Tight!

By Lynette at 7:46 PM

We had 4 stops today. The first one was the dock we were backed up to. Our appointment time was 5 am, the second stop was at 7:30 am (9 miles), the third was 9:30 am (18 miles) and we were preplanned to pick up a load at 10 am in Glenshaw, PA (18 miles) headed to Middlebury, VT.

Our schedule sounded ok, but Michael’s loads are unloaded by hand. We were carrying a load of Lenox Christmas decorations. It was 7:27 am when the first load was unloaded. We sent the unloaded QUALCOMM message and we were dispatched 9 miles to be delivered in 2 minutes. We both laughed. Trapper called operations and they had already contacted the customer and advised we would be late.

It took us 30 minutes to travel 9miles. It was rush hour traffic, 35 mph speed limits, and really skinny curvy roads. Detours don’t help either. There was bridge repair and a detoured truck route. We finally arrived at our second stop. Being docked and checked in with the customer… coffee was a priority. A quick walk across the parking lot marked coffee off the list. By 9:30 am we were unloaded from our 2nd second stop and en route to stop 3. By now, we’re late for the 3rd stop and our preplanned load that we were suppose to pick up at 10 am. We get the dispatch to the 3rd stop and we were given 30 minutes to drive 18 miles. We just shook our heads at each other this time and drove on.

We find the last shopping center, pull in, go around back and viola! Check out (in the pics) the overhang on the building! They removed part of the corner of the building so a truck/trailer could make it around. The other pictures (of the rocks) are out the passenger window of the cab. TIGHT!!!

We got around the building, checked in with the customer, docked, and all the Qualcomm messages were sent. We were here until 12:30 pm. We received the dispatch for our 10 am appointment and we were given 30 minutes to drive another 18 miles.

Another call to dispatch to explain our situation, the dispatcher agreed to move our appointment time back 15 minutes. … The dispatcher didn’t seem to understand why we couldn’t make 18 miles in 30 minutes, so a little explaining that the speed limit is 35 and in some places it was 25. We now had 45 minutes to get there.

We quickly look at the map we are on the road. We twist and turn through these tiny towns, curvy roads, and steep grades. We drove right past the place because the name we had was not the name on the building… find somewhere to turn around (which in a tiny town is not the easiest thing to do)… and we arrive at 1:30 pm.

Feeling like we have run a triathlon… the guard met us at the gate. Really nice man and very apologetic. He told us they wouldn’t be able to load us for approximately 3 hours! Ok… so we sit… and talk… and sit… Around 4 pm we’re docked and being loaded. The pictures are of the building and the driveway around the building. You have to exit the same way you enter… there is no room. The plant is sandwiched between a hiway and a railroad track.

At 4:15 pm we get a QUALCOMM message that the load won’t be ready until the next day and we need to stay put and pick it up tomorrow. Trapper was talking to another driver… I read the message, but couldn’t bring myself to respond the way I wanted to. This is Trapper’s job after all.

Trapper gets back in the truck and I read the message to him. He just looked at me. His first words… “Did you respond.?” I said, “No.” He looked relieved. We were loaded shortly thereafter and I sent all the QUALCOMM messages. We were finally on our way to Middlebury, VT with 35,000k lbs of empty bottles.

At this point Trapper calls our dispatcher again and inquires about the message we received. Everyone was totally confused on this load… but hey… didn’t matter to us… we were loaded and rollin’.

Driving too long today was not on either one of our minds and legally we don’t have too long that we can drive or be in service. Our home for tonight was at a rest area and we were glad to get there.

The underlying message for today…. A little communication goes a long way. Correct communication goes further!

Ok so I can't spell squeeze... LOL video

Posted on 1:18 PM

Mon, Oct 13... Got Air?

By Lynette at 1:18 PM

Monday, Oct 13
The further south we go, the more imperative it is to get the air fixed! Obviously there is a little heat wave, even though we’re in OH! The Kenworth place was a nice relief, but being as busy as they are we’re going to be here 3-4 hours.







This must be the business to be in… they sign proudly reads… “Labor is charged at $93.00 per hour!!“ That would be nice… Here are some other prices.














Across the parking lot was a Kenworth sales lot. We gave in to the temptation to look at trucks! It’s amazing how many amenities are in some tractors. There was one that you could have lived in permanently….hmmm... house vs. truck????
With the air conditioner working in fine order we are off and rollin' again!


Monday came to a close with us arriving at our first stop in Pittsburgh, PA. We were delivering at Michael’s, in a shopping center. There was a nice Italian restaurant within walking distance… a nice dinner was to be had!
After dinner and a brisk walk back to the truck… it was time to call it a day.







Trapper decided to check out the area behind the building prior to pulling around back. This was probably the navigator's job, but I'm really glad the driver did it!

We maneuvered the truck around, backed up to the dock, and called it a day.

Posted on 12:23 PM

Wed-Mon, Oct 8/13... Rollin' On...

By Lynette at 12:23 PM

Wednesday, Oct 8
We drove through North Dakota for the majority of the day. Trapper wasn’t feeling well at all, so we didn’t push ourselves.


Thursday, Oct 9
Today was scenery and driving, which equates to me sight-seeing and Trapper working. We woke up to 14 degrees this morning! We made our way through Minnesota and Wisconsin. After pushing our hours to the limit and Trapper’s health to the limit… we stopped for the night relatively early.




Friday, Oct 10
With our delivery being Saturday morning at 4:30 am we made the delivery Friday night around 9 pm in DePere, WI. This was a decent drop and we picked up our empty trailer. There was a Wal-Mart close by, so that was our stopping place for the night. A quick trip into Wal-Mart and we were done for the night.


Saturday, Oct 11
Trapper called our dispatcher and we were told that we would probably not get dispatched until Sunday or Monday so we were off to find a truck stop. Both of us were a little aggravated because we had originally been told we’d be dispatched out on Saturday.

We found a truck stop and decided this would be home for a couple of days. Being behind in my domestic duties… it was time to do laundry. I found the laundry (two washers/one dryer) and everything was full. So… back to the truck. Waiting on the laundry to free up, we decided to do some house cleaning. Like any normal couple… Trapper took the outside, I took the inside (but being such a gentleman… he helped with the inside.) We took everything apart, cleaned it out, cleaned it up, and put it back together. The laundry was finished in two hours… one load… and off to dinner and then showers. Well… no showers… no hot water at the truck stop. We sat around in the trucker’s lounge, for the first time ever, and talked to 3-4 other drivers. The day was a good rest and we’re working on our reset so it all worked out great.

Sunday, Oct 12
The Qualcomm is a beautiful sound once you’re physically and mentally ready to go again. We were dispatched for New Lenox, IL with our final destination being 3 stops in the Pittsburgh, PA area. We had to be in Pittsburgh, PA Tuesday at 5:00 a.m. The air conditioner on the truck is in need of repair, so we have to schedule some time to get this repaired. Trapper’s feeling much better and we’re rested and rolling!

Posted on 12:10 AM

Tues, Oct 7... You Have To Laugh...

By Lynette at 12:10 AM

We were dispatched at 5:00 am pacific time to go to Puyallup, WA (134 miles and south of Seattle) and then our second stop was in Tigard, OR (125 miles and south of Portland) with our final destination being De Pere, WI. We are scheduled to be in De Pere, WI on Saturday morning at 4:30 am.. Gonna be a quick trip. No goofing off; although, this is a drop n’ hook and the warehouse is open 24/7 (at the other end). We have a little extra time but not much.

We pulled into our first stop, Shopko, and just looked around. The warehouse wasn’t too far off the road, there were intermodal trailers parked everywhere, there was one truck in front of us (coming out), trucks lined up and down the road, trucks behind us, drivers walking around looking for trailers, and yard boys moving trailers around.

Our faces had the same confused looked on them. This place was a shock. The guard told us to drop the trailer right where we were. Trapper repeated it to her just to make sure she said “drop it here”. It wasn’t but a minute later a yard boy came rolling up to move it. The guard also stated we just needed to “look for” the trailer we were picking up. (fyi… most places have each company’s trailers together in a large lot and point you in the right direction or at least trailers are somewhat in one location.) Again, there are trailers all ove this place. We drove around looking for the trailer and found it. Trapper decided to get out and walk over to the trailer to make sure he could pull it out. If the cab had been 6” longer, the trailer would not have come out. Can you say t-i-g-h-t!

Out of there and on to the second stop…. We only weigh 14,900 lbs so we made good time down I-5 south (outside of hitting Seattle at rush hour) to Tigard, OR. Arriving at the second place was a surprise to them. Our planner was suppose to give the customer the heads up about our arrival. This didn’t happen, so they were surprised to see us. Luckily they said they would go ahead and load us, but it would take a while.

Six pallets and two hours later… we were out of there. We’re still really light… only an additional 3525 lbs. added.

I have to say that any man or woman who can take a 53' trailer and a 10' cab and squeeze it around in positions that you don't understand until you see it... well... my admiration goes to you.
We drove a few more hours and decided to stop. Trapper still isn’t feeling real well and we look like homeless people. The truck stop at the Washington/Canadian border had no facilities for laundry or showers…. So… yes, exit 104 on I-84 has showers! But no laundry… I may have to do the laundry in the creek but I don't see myself bathing in the creek!! LOL

Enough truck talk… the pictures are of Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and then the trip between Portland and Biggs Junction on I-84. How lucky are we to go to sleep and wake up to this view!

I understand now the saying I learned in real estate school... location, location, location!!

video

Posted on 1:11 AM

Mon, October 6... Crossing the Border

By Lynette at 1:11 AM

After getting a good night's rest... we are ready to get this load to Canada! My body's clock is still completely messed up; although, Trapper tries to keep us on Central time... I'm still on Eastern. I honestly don't know what time it is. The cell phones have changed to Pacific, the radio is Central and the computer stays on Eastern!

I decided coffee should be the first task, for me. Trapper's been up for awhile... on the phone and QualComm... trying to get our paperwork right and to the right place. You have to get the manifest approved and in the Canadian Border Crossing computers so you can get in the country.

After a quick brisk walk to the nearest convenience store, I return with coffee, jump on the internet to see what the stock market was doing and now we are on our way to the border. Our dispatcher has told us that no one (or not the right one) has received the faxes we sent yesterday, so our only recourse is to cross the border and be sent over to the brokers office and wait again.

Busy morning at the border.

A couple cool pictures I took while we were in line... check out the stacks on the red truck... and then the dog checking himself out in the mirror....


Paperwork approved and in hand... we are allowed in to Canada.













We find our destination and find out we really aren't suppose to be here until tomorrow! Ok... they decided to go ahead and unload us, but it would take the rest of the day... Ok... we decided to walk over to a restaurant and have lunch.

The rest of our afternoon was spent with me sleeping and Trapper reading. It was peaceful. They actually didn't rock the truck too much at all. We were unloaded around 4:30 pm pacific time and everyone went home. I sent the QualComm message that we were unloaded and we were sent a dead head dispatch to go to Ferndale, WA (29 miles). No problem... well... not so quick... you have to have an "empty manifest".


Back on the phone to our dispatcher to find out where or how this works. With the customer being closed and NO truck stops between us and the border for us to get a faxed manifest... we head to the border... paperless... after about an hour... our empty manifest was faxed to a broker at the border and we are back home! Whew....

We chose to stay at the same little truck stop that we stayed at last night. It's close, available parking, and coffee is a short walk. The truck is rocking tonight... 20 mph winds and no weight... makes a difference.

The little aggravations were really worth it, neither of us are complaining ... this was an awesome trip.

Posted on 11:56 PM

Sun, Oct 5.... At the Border

By Lynette at 11:56 PM

Today should be a breeze... we only have about 150 miles to drive, the paperwork for our load of furniture going to British Columbia was taken care of, and all we really had to do was make a phone call to dispatch and verify our load had been accepted. What a breeze!



We slept in this morning until the coffee buzzer went off in my head. I made my way to the truck stop. Trapper prefers the very back row... so some truck stops... it's a hike. But, hey, I need the exercise.
We traveled through some gorgeous National Forest in Washington. Most of them, Indian names that I could not attempt to spell or pronounce.















Then we decided that we needed to get back to "work mode" and call dispatch and make sure our paperwork had been approved. We stopped at a TA Truck Stop.... again, the scenery was awesome.








































Trapper called dispatch and spoke with our weekend dispatcher. We were told to fax the invoice pages and they sent the fax number to us via the QualComm. No problem... we got coffee, faxed a couple of pages and decided to drive on closer to the border. There was a truck stop at exit 275 off of I-5. We will wait there and go ahead and cross the border later this evening.
As we were driving off I noticed this truck. Our trucks in the east don't have these huge grill guards. I guess when you have Large Game you need Large Guards in case you accidentally run in to one!













We make our way to the truck stop at exit 275. We haven't heard from our dispatcher, so Trapper calls again. He says he will check on it and get back with us. Well.... ok, he never did so Trapper calls again. Our dispatcher had gone home! Well now, isn't that sweet.

CFI is a really good company to drive for, let me say that... but I believe that every dispatcher should have to ride along for atleast 2 weeks prior to dispatching. I know they have a lot of trucks to tend to, but they need to experience the road and then the war room. This is a hot load that MUST be delivered on time. We were following our instructions and our dispatcher goes home.... hmmmm.....

The second dispatcher we spoke to said it would be best to fax all the invoice pages! A 45 page fax!! And he explained the broker's office is closed and it would be about 6:00 am before they could confirm if we had been cleared or not. Glad we got here early....

We are at this little truck stop, if you will, close to the border crossing. This exit is for ALL commercial vehicles going in to Canada. There are 2-3 signs posted on the Interstate stating that you must stop here. This is the only truck stop I've seen that you have to pay to park. $5 overnight. You must stop here and you must pay to park! Cool.... business 101

We decided to walked a 1/2 mile to Burger King to eat and then Trapper went on to bed. He's not feeling real well, so he needs to rest. I'm sitting here looking at a Shell station about 200 yards away and I just realized there is a small airport landing strip between me and the Shell station.














Hopefully someone will get us our approval in the morning. We've had this furniture so long I'm afraid that my emotional attachment is going to turn to separation anxiety when we have to leave it with strangers.
My intentions were to do laundry this evening, but there are no facilities. My domestic duties are suffering this week. Maybe I can do our laundry in Canada... I could mark that off my "bucket list"!!!

Posted on 10:09 PM

Sat, Oct 4... Washington

By Lynette at 10:09 PM

This morning seemed to start early... but I'm either 2 or 3 hours behind my body clock... so I really don't know what time my eyes opened. Trapper was already up and around and it is cold and raining!

Montana is even pretty in the rain. The terrain changes so much. You'll be in desert like terrain to mountains and quick too. We don't have to kill ourselves today driving. We have about 300 miles left of this trip so we'll probably take it easy.

A couple of hours later... we are taking it easy. We've stopped 3 times already! We stopped at a rest area in the mountains of Montana. We're getting close to the Idaho border. As soon as you stepped out of the truck... the scent of pine was the first thing you recognized. The trees are like nothing I've ever seen. They are a color green that we just don't have in NC.

The next stop was at Lookout Pass (Exit 0). This was where I saw the "Mountain Man" emerge out of Trapper. You could see it in his face. It's still drizzling and we were talking to another driver here that said we just missed the snow!

After seeing all the "chain up area" and "check your brakes" signs, not to mention the (what I call) "snow sticks" that are 7' tall... maybe I'm glad we missed the snow.

We reached Idaho... what an interesting history. The town of Wallace, ID was the city they used in the movie Dante's Peak. It was also home to the last red light on I-90 which enabled you to travel non-stop, coast to coast, on I-90 and the city had enough perseverance to have their entire downtown area listed in the National Registry of Historic Places to preserve the town prior to the construction of I-90 in this area.

Trucking, at times, can even be educational!! I've learned things about places that I would have never thought of before.

Driving on through Idaho and in to Washington, we had the opportunity to cross over the Columbia River. Absolutely beautiful. That's all that can be said about it. Spokane was next on the map... this town is full of old and new... side by side.

We drove on to the other side of Spokane and stopped at a medium sized truck stop for the night. We decided it was time for showers and dinner. With all that behind us... Trapper decides to go on to bed and I'm so confused on time there's no telling what time I'll turn in. After all, this time last week we were in Maine... 7 days later.... Washington state. I deserve to be confused!


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Posted on 1:47 AM

Fri, Oct 3... Still Travelin' West

By Lynette at 1:47 AM

We traveled through the remaining part of South Dakota and made our way to Three Forks, Mt before we ran out of hours today.

We ran hard today so we can have "play" time on Sunday when we reach the US/Canada border or somewhere close. We have to deliver on Monday morning at 5 a.m. so we'll cross the border Sunday evening.

This particular load, as mentioned earlier, has a lot paperwork and driver instructions with it. We don't want to wait until the wee hours of Monday morning to find out something isn't right. You don't want to play around on the front end of a trip (just in case something should happen) so if we're headed somewhere we've not been then we'll run hard and then save our time to play when we get close to our destination.

We probably didn't speak 100 words today... we were both engrossed in the scenery and I think I took about 100 pictures. Montana is VAST. That's the only word I can think of to use!

Time came for us to stop... we chose the Pilot at Three Forks, MT.... what an awesome view.

I didn't use all 100 pictures (lol)... I tried to pick the better ones... just click the arrow to start.


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Posted on 11:59 PM

Thurs, Oct 2... Lovin' This Trip

By Lynette at 11:59 PM

We started early this morning in Wisconsin. It was quite chilly.

Before we left South Carolina (almost 4 weeks ago!) Trapper was looking over the clothes that I was putting in the truck and just mentioned that I may want to take a few warmer clothes. My response was a simple, "I'm good."

But, I did put a pair of jeans and he slipped a jacket in the truck for me. I would have frozen this morning in my shorts, flip flops, and sleeveless t.

The drive through Wisconsin was nice. I get a kick out of the really large mice holding really big pieces of cheese.


Plus there were other things that caught my eye... this really large rock formation next to the interstate and crossing the Mississippi River (on the north side instead of the south.)



























































We crossed into Minnesota in the afternoon.... now, some of you will think I'm crazy, but I have never seen these awesome wind mills and I was fascinated. I have about 20 pictures of these but I'll spare you the pain! For my friends in North Carolina... I promised I'd add a picture...




















We drove a few miles into South Dakota today. It was getting late and we were getting to our limit on hours, so we started looking for a resting place. Prior to stopping for the night we pulled into what must be the world's greatest rest area! This place was like a mini museum.... and the view... was breathtaking!!!















































After enjoying this stop... we went to Mitchell, SD which is home of the Corn Palace. You should google this. The building was originally built in the late 1800's/early 1900's and the entire designs on the outside of the building are done with corn. The designs are changed yearly. Fascinating story and truly unique building.



















A full day of miles, pictures, and fantastic scenery.... we decided to eat at Al's Oasis and head to the rest area to park it for the night.

















This trip is the best of trucking. Yes, it is a job, first and foremost, but if you plan your dispatch and drive smart... you can squeeze in some fun time.