Thursday, December 11, 2008
Lots of excitement this past month or so. We were out in LA during the big fires. We could see the smoke from the Yorba Linda fire for miles before we got into town, and as we got closer we could see the hellish ruddy glow from the flames reflected from the billowing clouds. We had to hurry to get our load delivered before the fire shut down the highways we needed to take. When we got to Long Beach to drop our trailer, there was ash drifting down on us. It made me think of the volcano disaster movies I've seen. We never got close enough to see the actual fires, but the smoke covered almost all of LA, and breathing was difficult. By the time we got out of town and up into the mountains on I-15 my eyes were burning and I felt like I had a hangover or a case of the flu. Mike laughed at me for tying a wet bandana over my mouth and nose. He said I looked like a bandit, but it really did help.

Over Thanksgiving, we had a load going to Long Island, NY. It had two stops on it, and we had rescued it from a solo driver who was out of hours and way out of route. We never did get the story on how he ended up so far from where he should have been, but the load was late and we didn't make our first stop in Pennsylvania on time. They had to squeeze us in, and it was the day before Thanksgiving and they all wanted to get finished and go home. Needless to say, no one was happy, and it only got worse for us. Because it took so long to get unloaded at our first stop, it became impossible to make it to our second stop. The deliveries had been scheduled rediculously close together to start with. The reciver for our second stop was closing at 1:00 in the afternoon. We had 200 miles, and the George Washington Bridge to cross before we could get to them. We called them to see if they would stay open long enough to deliver, because this was an important account we were hauling for and it needed to be delivered. (It was chicken, and it turned out it was for the Catholic Archdioses in New York.) They wouldn't stay open, but our dispatcher kept telling us we HAD to deliver it. That would mean sitting at a closed, deserted warehouse until Monday. Not fun. After several phonecalls, we were told to just take it anyway, so we started heading that way. We got to within 3 miles of the GW Bridge before our dispatcher told us to turn around and take it back to a drop yard in Pennsylvania. Whew, that was too close. The GW is like a suspended perpetual traffic jam, and New York City is no place for a big truck.

We ended up taking the load to a drop yard, and we got dispatched to Vermont to pick up a load on Friday morning. That meant we got to spend Thanksgiving day leaisurely making our way upstate through some of the prettiest mountain country on the East Cost - the Adriondaks. Unfortunately, there are very few truckstops up there, and what few there are were mostly closed, so Thanksgicing dinner ended up being turkey sandwiches, cranberry juice, and a slice of pumpkin bread from a convienience store.

We ran as usual for the next week or so, and had planned to take some time off in mid December. Then we got the offer we couldn't refuse. Non-stop, run them hard, drop them and deadhead back as-fast-as-you-can-get-there loads until Christmas. We put off our hometime, and we're running them now.

Today, for the first time since I started driving, we got called into a scale and pulled around back for a random inspection. I was driving, and I was nervous. But it all went ok. The DOT officer checked our truck and trailer, and looked at our paperwork. The only thing he found wrong was an id light on the trailer that was out, and I swear it was working when I pre-tripped this morning. And it was wroking when I got to the TA down the road, too. But we still had to take it to the shop because a mechanic had to sign off that it was fixed. It was working fine when the mechanic signed off on it. Either there was a loose connection in it, or the DOT officer was trying too hard to find something wrong.

Right now, I should be sleeping, but I can't so I thought I'd write. Mike is driving, and we are just East of Nashville, TN on I-24 driving through the first very thick snow we've run into this year. We're inching along in thick traffic, moving about 25 MPH. Its very pretty, but i hope we get out of it soon. I've already seen three cars in the ditch, and visibility is pretty bad.

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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.

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