A bad day fishing is better then a good day at work. Or so my dad said more then once. Well, a bad day at a race track is better then just about anything! Car racing that is. And more then one driver had a bad day Saturday night at the local dirt track. The local dirt track was a banked quarter-mile with dirt flying in your face and dust was landing in your eyes. A few kids had goggles’ on, smart parents those Midwesterner’s! And headsets to cut out the noise of roaring V-8s in high gear blasting down the very short straight away before a quick turn to the left and a slide like no Disneyland ride can repeat! People going crazy yelling at ‘their’ drier to hurry up and pass the guy in front of them. Like they’d need the encouragement or can hear it. Different classes of cars from small like ‘claimers’ to high powered fire-breathing ground shaking fiberglass works of art. Others, of course, were budget busters with everything the driver had dumped into the car on the chance he or she was good enough to make the ‘big-time’. A young girl was there racing her heart out to beat the guys in their playground. And she did real good, placed 7 out of 19 in the main event. It was relaxing and heart-stopping at times when the guy in first place didn’t start his slide soon enough and he landed in the catch-fence. But he walked away, waved to the crowd and every one, but him, was ready for the race to continue. They wanted to see the crash but no one get hurt. Until next time….

The sun setting over the flat plains of IL farm county. It has its own beauty to it a peacefulness, quite and warm, that we miss in the towns. Where they’ve called it a village rather then a town. Where everyone knows the other and watches out for the kids on the block. Of, course, they should close their shades more often too!

The rest area in TN had a sign honoring the Indians we treated so badly back in the day. The start of the ‘Trail of Tears’ started right around here, it read. They had built themselves a town, with stores, homes and streets, a law system with court houses and a written language. And still ‘we’ rounded them up, marched them to a land no one wanted to live in and guarded them so they won’t return. The government had to give away land for free before the ‘white-man’ would live there. The land is full of trees, grasses and birds and I’m sure, plenty of wild game was here then for them to live off of. The only killed enough for food, not for game, so they would have food the next season. Beautiful county, I could live in TN.

….only just a snap-dragon getting some sun….

I started this trip in SC, picking up insulation from this factory. They say the smoke from these stacks is safe for those living around and working around it. But I’m not sure. Nonetheless, a big old, factory it is.

Here I am, just cruisin’ down this 2-lane highway in Central IL and in the front field of this farm are these buffalo. The pictures didn’t turn out real good but I slowed down as much as I could considering it was a highway. Their coats were beginning to peel off as they rub up against a fence post or such. They’re just eating away getting ready to be next falls steak and potatoes! These were about the size of a large bull. They had horns and everything!

Till later, enjoy…..

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just another day….

May 21, 2010

I had to go over the GW Bridge again on Monday morning. This time it was at 55mph and went without a stop! Here’s a picture.

….Yesterday, [Tuesday) waited in West Point, VA to load VERY large rolls of paper for over 9 hours. Of course ran out of hours to drive, so spent the night in a very nice rest area down the road. Then drove into Jacksonville, FL today. Tonight I’ll stay in this huge rest area just inside the FL state line with a visitor center having all kinds of info on what a wonderful State FL is and all the things to do. I’ll delivery in the morning to the ports in Jacksonville before picking up a load off one of the ships for Family Dollar. Here’s a questions for ya: I drive to the delivery point before 10am to unload; pick up a live load [meaning I wait for it to be loaded] at 1130am; drive 227 miles; wait to be live un-loaded at 1100pm. Somewhere in there I’m suppose to have a 10 hours break so I can drive legally. If you have the answer, you win! I [nor anyone else] have figured it out but drivers are still told to do this.

Thursday, I awoke to a beautiful day in FL! Warm, a slight breeze blowing and just a touch of clouds to break up the blue sky. I had to start the night with the a/c on to get to sleep then turned it off at some point. I parked in such a way so the parking lot lights were NOT shining in the cab. Pulled the curtains and it was dark….just the way it was meant to be. Sleep soundly. Doesn’t happen very often but I do appreciate it when it does.

So, Cool!!! I’m in the port of Jacksonville, FL. I had to get a TWIX card, allowing me into the port. I’ll have to pay an escort to take me around the port to where I’m going to drop the load of paper rolls. Guess there’re going over seas t come back as boxes around that big flat screen TV you’re going to buy from Wally World! I came in through a camera system with x-ray vision to look inside the trailer. No dogs anywhere but lots of concrete barriers, arrows and gates directing us where to go. There’re cars, rolled steel wire and lots of containers waiting for shipment to somewhere.

Owls watching us….

May 17, 2010

On my walk through the woods last weekend in the mountains of Maryland, I came upon the watchful eyes of these creatures. At first I walked right by them. But while scanning the countryside I could feel someone r something watching me. Then I saw these characters…and they were watching me. (Watch their eyes, they move as they look at you, move your eyes and they’ll watch you too!) They sit on a property marker keeping guard. There is probably a place to attach a light of some kind; I’m sure as a front porch light. But it works as a yard marker. Interestingly, there is only one of them. The other side of the property didn’t have one or it’s now guarding someone else’s’ yard!

This is the system that holds up the bridge heading into the Washington DC area headed north on I95. I’ve been over it before and is so ‘modern artsy’. Pretty cool looking.

The military college in PA at Harrisburg (I think) was holding a fair of some kind this last weekend (5-15-10). There were people dressed in 1776 clothes giving tours, along with soldiers dressed from the Civil War, WW1 and 2. I also saw those dressed in desert gear from present day warfare. There were displays, tents, military vehicles and tanks. There are permanent displays with airplanes and helicopters on poles above the ground. And of course our nations flags were flying, from the last 250 years and many from the states and colonies. And lots and lots of people milling around, looking around and enjoying a beautiful spring day in the country side of PA.

Traveling throughout the southeast, there has been someone planting flowers along the highway for me to take pictures of to share with you. In places they leave signs saying who they are and whether the flowers are in honor of someone or a group of people. Sometimes they’re just there for our enjoyment. All different colors, some in patterns with the same colors to form a design, and others all mixed up like a spilled box of pik-up stixs. Either way, it sure is pretty and breaks up the view from the drivers seat.

Again, this is a trailer being off-loaded from a rail car. But this time it’s the trailer I’m taking to Manchester, CT today. It took this ‘lift’ about 5 minutes to attach to the trailer, lift it up, back up, place it down and release the trailer. So, cool! My drive to Manchester was a short 131miles. I figured it would take about 3 hours, depending on traffic through NYC. And we think LA or Phx traffic is bad. Or maybe your little town is too busy at times. Sunday afternoon, headed out through NYC towards CT, it took me 4 1/2 hours to travel 18 miles out of Kearny, NJ, up US1, merge up and over the George Washington Bridge and through the Lincoln Tunnel. It took me almost 8 hours to travel that 131miles. I have to go back through NYC again today on a return trip to Hanover, MD. They have the delivery times set to give me 8hours to travel 325miles. I’ve already told them I can’t make that delivery time…..

Take care, be safe and kiss the ones you love….

Cruising along at 65mph this shiny, chrome bright tanker passes me. I didn’t think much of it, it happens a lot. A minute later, I passed it as it got shuck behind a slower car. Yet, as it passed me again, out of the corner of my eye I saw myself….maybe you can too.

It was raining, well, OK not quite yet, but the thunder heads were booming in the very near distance, lightening was flashing around me above the trees and something was ready to chance the color and appearance of my shirt. I was walking back to the truck and a guy, about my age, stopped and asked how far I was going, did I need a lift out of the rain. Well, it was just starting to rain, but you couldn’t tell, because it’s a dry rain….it’s normally so wet here in the mountains of western Maryland, I couldn’t tell if it was raining or the dripping from my forehead was from the humidity. I noticed the white jeep as he past me a few minutes before, then saw him double back. No, I said, I only had a little ways to go to my truck; which was parked under some large trees at the shippers yard for the night. He said Ok and continued down the road to a place to turn around. I was really impressed that a stranger would stop and offer me a ride. So, when he came back around, I flagged him down just to shake his hand and again thanked him. He said he saw from the pole I was carrying I was a fellow fisherman and wanted to help out where he could. When he saw the rod was actually the camera pole, he said that was still OK, the camera shouldn’t get wet either. Nice people here in the mountains of Maryland.

Walking from the shipper I found an old road along what I’m sure on a good day is a stream of sorts. Frogs, lilies, and maybe a spider or two live there.
But I doubt any fish, yet one never knows. It was dammed up from the natural falling of old trees, brush and leaves to form a series of pools. A few were completely covered green droppings, almost moss like; but I’m sure from the trees that grew out over the water.

In the distance I could hear the hoar of a V-8 and knew there had to be a short track somewhere close. I kept walking down the dirt path used by hikers and bicycles that had been used at some point by a 4-wheeled something. I knew it wasn’t going to take me to the sound of the engines but I was going to keep at it. Yet as the thunder from above me got louder and closer, I thought it best to turn around; get soaked today was not what I had in mind. The race track would have to wait for another trip. Mixed in with the thunder was the ever-present sound of geese making their way back from wherever they go in the winter. There seem to be a lot of geese that live east of the Mississippi River as the south and east are full of them. But then I’ve seen them in Reno, NV, too….oh, well. The cool thing here was they had baby geese with them. Cute little birds, not at all like the adults but a mixture of taupe, brown and/or a darker shade of brown with a hint of gold thrown in; very furry and low to the ground. An adult seemed to be standing guard over them; I’m sure making them eat all their vegetables…..

It’s getting late, I’m at the end of another 16 hour day. I still want to work on organizing the work I’ve done on finding another company to drive for; see which ones I already have apps and contracts from….till later.

Running through TN, MS and KY the last week in April, I was lucky enough to experience a natural truck wash. From AR to GA it rained and rained for 9 hours like I was in a car wash, or truck wash! The pictures show a little of the damage but cars, trucks, houses and farms were under water. And allot of it was running pretty fast. I saw lots of trees uprooted and had built dams against the bridges causing even more flooding and damage. It was a mess. Now this week, on the same roads, there are blue skies, white billowy clouds and the fields are starting to show tips of green.

But after every rain will come the sunshine again. What a promise that is.
After the blackness of an Iowa night comes the rays of light that awake us and give the crops a chance to grow. When I’m up early enough, I love the morning sun the best. And yet, the evening sun tells us its time to stop what we’re laboring at, come in and rest, as we get ready to relax for the evening…..to watch ‘American IDOL’!!!!! What a great way to spend the evening after a hard day slaving away at a job we love…..Remember to vote for the talent you can’t live without….

The various trees all have a different shade of green in their leaves with some having white, pink and red blooms. Every shade of green you could think of. And tall, hundreds of feet tall, just swaying in the breeze, glistening in the sun light.

After spending 34 hours resetting my clock at the terminal in Sringfield, OH, I spent the first week in May running from OH to MO, just southwest of St Louis. Then from there to Houston, but was retoured to OKC to drop the trailer and someone else would finish that run. I fortunate part is I was able to see both kids and their families. Then back to Tulsa to pick up beer bottles and take them to Cartersville, just north of Atlanta, GA. The next morning I picked up blank school tests going to Manchester, CT. That’s kinda cool, since I’ve never, ever been to CT and this would be a god time of year to go as the snows probably gone. However, I’ve had an air bag blow out on the steer axle. Volvo service is on their way now. Not sure how long a delay this’ll be……..more later.

May 13, 2010

This is about a month old, sorry. But I’m back tracking a little……look at it as a story with a history. I’m back in SoCal with a load of soap. Tomorrow I’ll pick-up a load of something from a Goodyear Tire plant and take it to Sparks, NV, outside Reno. I’ve been running the way I want to for the last 10 days; getting a pre-plan before I drop my present load. The load I picked up 10 days ago I hope started a pattern of full driving days without the sitting part. Now that I’ve heard from the doctor, today I talked again with the FM supervisor about running the whole 48. I’m hoping this will translate into more miles, less sitting and thus more dollars. The down side is it will also mean I’m not ‘home’ as often. But there’s a down side to everything. The good side is now that the MH is gone; so now the search is on for a pure Owner Operator (O/O) company to lease onto so I can learn more about the business side of trucking. I’ll earn considerably more as an O/O then as a company driver. Of course there’ll be more risk but I can minimize most of them. I’ve been attending web-based seminars geared to the would-be O/O detailing the pit-falls of buying your truck and then how-to start your own business. They are put-on by an O/O who runs a company contracted to FedEx with lots of experience and know-how. I’m hoping it’ll only take me about 6-9months once I lease on to the right company before I’ll be ready to sign with LandStar or a like company. Someplace where I’ll be able to turn down loads that don’t pay enough, and to run more of the ‘lanes’ I want to run, allowing me to take time off where and when I chose. That is one of the reasons I started down this adventure in the first place. I’m finding there are more O/O only companies out there then just LandStar; so I’ll have more choices to choose from. Most of them have both dry box and refer trailers they’ll rent me; rather then having to buy my own right away. They partner with companies to offer insurance, truck maintenance, tires, etc. and almost everything else I’ll need to run my own truck. They are basically a very large broker with a built-in supply of drivers to run their freight. This is the next best thing to having my own authority. Which may not be necessary…. I just know I have to be in more control of what I’m doing, succeed or fail, it has to be my own doing

I drive up to Reno out of San Bernardino, CA with the desert green with a carpet of grasses. The mountains have a topping of white frosting that the skiers and snowboarders seem in a hurry to get to. I came up on the eastern slope of the Sierras, through Victorville, Bishop and Lone Pine; it; first time going this direction and it all looks different! Then topping out at 8500 feet, the rain had turned to a very wet snow and was sticking to the trees. Everything was so pretty, a late winter wonderland to play in before the heat of the summer overtook the country. Heading out of Reno towards Salt Lake City on my way to Denver, the hills have the look of a rolling green carpet. I must be in Ireland! Sorry, I see I’ve skipping from first person to past tense…..I was probably goofing off that day in English class!

A picture of the oil depot at Richmond.


The village is called Sea Crest built by Toll Brothers and just over the hill towards the bay from the picture above. They drive through the oil storage area, over the hill and down into the bay and marina area. Once they’re home they forget all about the oil storage. Until it starts leaking, I guess!!! Still, beautiful to look at.

This is now real time, it’s midnight here on the
east coast and the very end of a 18 hour day. I’m in Myrtle Beach, SC. The water is about a mile away, according to the map. I doubt I’ll see it. I have to pickup a load of paper and in the morning and take it to a Staples in Maryland. Really need some sleep….same time, same bat channel, Robin…..

There is an oil storage area in Richmond, CA, north of SF with a beautiful marina and village with houses overlooking the bay. It was just wonderful, quite, and peaceful and way over priced!! But the setting was perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet having over trappings of the city so close. Walking along the edge of the water, the sun was just setting over the boats docked for the day. Hope you enjoy the view and can almost feel the cool breeze putting the waters to sleep.

I must admit my days all run together. I honestly don’t know what day it is at times. Most people at least know its Monday or Friday or they need to get up early for church! But for me, it’s just another day to be somewhere with the stuff in the trailer. Friends have asked to places dates along with where I am, so they can follow me better. SO, I’ll try to do a better job of putting actual dates with my stories. Hope it helps. BTW – this story line is about a 90 days old. When I got back out here, I was eager to share what was going on. Then I kinda ran out of steam and it’s been sitting in the computer waiting for me. Posting more often, but not as much, I hope will help me keep up with it, staying in real time with where I’m at. Please, bear with me as I get my act together!

Salt Lake City still has plenty of snow on the ragged peaks surrounding the city. The mountains may not be as high as those in CO, but I think they’re just as majestic. The angle at which they reach towards the heavens reminds me of someone who has fallen down and is looking for towards heaven reaching their out-stretched hand up toward God. From the valley floor, for as far as the eye can see, there appears to be ‘manna’ waiting to be harvested. While not known for their grain harvest, Utah grows a lot of something.

Lyle, I’m sure you saw a few turkeys in NW. Did you actually shoot any? I didn’t shoot any either and here’s the one that got away!

I trust everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Be good to yourself today, this is the only day you’ve been promised. See ya.

5-8-10

Hi, are ya ready for another chapter of my race down the road against the wind? OK, it’s not much of a race in CA, at only 55mph. But soon, I hope to be traveling in faster company and have different views for you to enjoy. I got’ a tell ya, the desert is so pretty after the winter rain has watered the native bushes and trees and they begin to blossom with colors as bright as the rainbow. The runs up and down Central CA and over the desert to Phx have been lush with colors back dropped against the mountains and Yucca.

I received good news today from the specialist at Barrows in Phx. Doc. McDougal said there’s nothing he sees that needs his attention now and continue to treatment as planned. And have a CAT in 3 years! Now I need to get to Doc. Paine before I get too far East and have trouble getting back to Phx to see him. And I’ve almost completed my medical directives; which is a good think.

But what a beautiful day today is. I’d tell you where I am but I have no idea, since I really don’t even know where today is suppose to be. I can tell you, the flowers are beginning to bloom and have filled the desert with their beauty.

I’m headed toward SLC along with a load of styro cups from the SanFran city by the bay. It was cool and clear on yesterday as I walked up over the hill from the Richmond oil fields and had views across the water toward the city by the bay. I was parked over night right next to a marina boat yard where there were many boats in dry dock, in various stages of repair or in storage from last season. Several of them were so cool; a houseboat, an old pleasure yacht made of wood and a older ‘J’ racing yacht.

I just got back to SoCal after a quick load to Denver then to Salt Lake City before landing in smogsville again!! I know it was smoggy when I grew up here but not as smoggy as it is today. Now it seems to run from the beaches ‘clear’ to the inland deserts of Palm Springs and Indio; from San Diego to almost Bakersfield. It seems you have to get north of Santa Barbara to get out of the smog. But it could be worst…..the whole state could be smogged in!

Vicki, here’s a picture of the gates that close over the highway 80 in WY and MT when the snow is to deep and blowing for traffic to continue. It really happens more then a few times each winter. Can you now enjoy the winters in Tampa Bay?

And I’ve sold the mobile home, finally! The deal was actually signed late last month after all the parties accepted the offer, money was transferred and the seller (mortgage co.) and the buyer have told me it’s a done deal. Now, I can move n to the next phase of my adventure…

Here’s an interesting shot of the ship yards and container yard in Long Beach.

I had a great visit with my kids over the weekend. I saw Chrissy, Tom and Jillian, minus Jessica who was at a Bible verse contest in Dallas, on Friday evening. (Jessica, I’m sorry if I described it incorrectly…let me know the correct name) Then drove to OKC and saw Aaron and Angie on Saturday for a good breakfast and spent some time just visiting. It’d been too long since I’d seen everyone, it really felt good to feel connected again. Thanks for getting together with our old man!

So long for now, see ya again soon…………….