Sun rise over the Monument Valley in AZ. Another beautiful morning driving down the road. The shadows caused by the sun as it shines through the monuments casts strange images on the valley’s floor. I wonder what the Indians first thought?

Man, this has been a really long time coming. It doesn’t seem I’ve had the motivation to sit in front of this computer and type how my adventure is revealing itself. I thought coming west with USX would be an improvement. Yet it hasn’t turned out that way. I still have my goal of going out on my own…but this step turned out to be out on a slippery rock and I’ve slipped and gotten wet. But hey, the sun came out this morning, the sky is opening up blue without a cloud for anything to hide behind and I know things will get better….if only at one little bit at a time.

I heard last week I’ve been accepted by Mercer Transportation to join their fleet as soon as I have purchased a truck. So now, the search is on in earnest to find the best truck I can afford. I’ve done my homework; collected data for my expected expenses; lined up information on required licenses, insurance and plates. But the truck will be the hardest part to the puzzle to find and the search is taking awhile. I’m hoping to have it completed by end of summer.

I had a good time in Phx during my home time. Took Mom to the airport on June 10th for a visit to Diana’s in Oregon. I left my truck at the shop before I sent on home time. Then returning on June 10th to find it would be another 2 days before it would be ready was disheartening. They had it a week, what could have taken so long? The transmission had a problem and the repair part was delayed getting there. Then it seemed an electrical problem showed its claws and they couldn’t find it. Finally the decision was made to move out of my truck and move into another. But the driver of the truck I was supposed to move into still had almost all his stuff in the truck! Clothes, tools, food, sleeping gear and maps. I wasn’t about to invade this guys home! Why did he leave all his gear in the truck? Did he think he was coming back to it? And besides, where would I put his stuff? No, I think I’ll wait till Monday and talk with my regular FM to see what’s up. So, wait over the weekend. I talk with my FM Monday morning and am told he’ll look into what’s happening. Late Monday afternoon, we again talk and I’m told he’ll get back with me soon. My wait drags out to Tuesday mid-morning and I call him.


Mexican Hat Rock. Pretty cool, that top hat is balanced just right. Amazing what God has built for us to enjoy and marvel at. The town just down the road is named Mexican Hat.

Hole in the Rock is just around the corner. It actually is a very large hole. Caused by the flow of water as it rushed from the valley a few million years ago.

I’ve never been through the Valley before. Really pretty, the evening sun throwing strange shadows. And the rock formations are sooo cool. Their colors not running together but evenly arranged, one on top of the other.

Aren’t you at the truck yet? he asks? No, who was supposed to call me? You said you’d call me, I replied. But before he could find an excuse I just asked him to tell me what’s the plan. I’ve got a load to pick up at 4pm, and take to CA for delivery next day at noon. That’s doable but there’s not much time to get my personal stuff together and loaded onto the truck. So I simply get a few things together and head out. The truck is an older Freightliner that’s noisy, dirty, and smoky and doesn’t run very well. I get to LA’s delivery on time and they have another load for me to pick up and take to TX for delivery on Sat, 1500 miles in 3 days. A good run really. But I tell my FM this truck needs repairs. I’m told I should get to TX first then put it into a shop. No, it’s going to the shop first, I tell him. While not very happy with me, he really doesn’t have a choice when I declare these repairs are a safety issue and I had to get it into a shop for repairs. That was Thursday, June 17.

During a walk in the hills above Golden, CO, I spotted this moose or elk or really big deer in the woods!

Well, it’s the evening of June 22 and my truck is still in the shop. Hopefully I’ll get it out tomorrow, get the XM radio installed and detailed and get a load out of town on Friday. I’ll keep you posted…..

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I’ll bet most of you didn’t know there’s coal under St. Louis, IL. And points east and south from there. Apparently there’s a lot of it about 80miles east in Mt. Vernon, IL. And north of St. Louis about 40miles in Alton, IL. I had NO idea. I thought most of it came from the coal mines in KY, WVA and the such. I knew there is some in AZ and CO and UT but IL? And oil in IL? Yes, there is or at least there are oil well…..We we’re drilling the gulf.

I’m going backwards for a minute here. I skipped some traveling, actually allot of traveling.It’s now June 16 and I’m in the land of fruits and nuts and it’s smoggy! but more of that next time….I spent Memorial Day in Alton, IL, at a street fair. Pretty neat, with the typical stuff street fairs have…..food, beer, men chasing women, women looking like they’re not trying to be caught and music. About a block off the Mississippi River. I was waiting to pickup a load of flour and thought I’d enjoy my evening and walk around. I looked real hard for a cigar to buy, but there weren’t any. Plenty of people smoking but not cigars. So, my doctors will be happy, I passed. Ate some red meat and potato chips instead.

The next morning I spied my future home floating down the river. A tug boat. Wouldn’t that make a cool house boat? It wouldn’t have to run, just float. I’d tie it to a dock somewhere anyway. There were several old ones just rusting away on the edge of the river. Wonder what they cost?

I arrived in Denver and went for a walk and came upon this sign in front of a house. Nice of the eagles to stand post.

I headed south towards AZ by way of the Monument Valley. I’ve lived in AZ for over 35 years and never been there. Seen plenty of pictures and now I have a few of my own. It’s crazy how many photos I take when they don’t cost me anything to see. I shot over 100 of the red rock stone spires rising
out of the Valley floor. So pretty; quite and graceful; something from another world. Hope you enjoy a few.

I’m headed to Phoenix now with a load of Coors for the Valley. I’ll get some rest and see some friends and loved ones for a few days. The truck just started to shift very poorly as I headed down out of flagstaff, so I’ll have to get to a shop.

Hope everyone is doing well, enjoy your summer….

I stopped in Kensington, KS for the night and started for my evening walk. I can’t get out as much as I’d like but I try real hard! About 4 blocks down the highway which doubles as main street, I think, was the Bootleger. From the signage I thought it was a bar, but turned out to be a custom chopper shop. So, image my surprise to see three bikers dudes playing dominoes on the trunk of a car. They taped a cloth the size of a pillow case to the trunk so the wind wouldn’t blow it away and laid the dominoes down on it. And these were real life hard, living biker types, not wanna-bes. Their bikers were parked outside so I walked up and started talking to them about the bikes. ‘No one will believe me if I say I’ve met 3 biker dudes playing dominoes on the trunk of a car. What I ‘d give for my camera’, is how I started the conversation. ‘We got a camera inside for ya’, was the reply. From there I got a tour from the owner as he proudly told me about the various bikes, and what he was doing to them. In a little town of 700 probably, was this chopper shop. And that was the second one I’ve seen today. Down the highway was a chopper shop called Cowboys. Two days later, somewhere in IL, I saw another chopper shop in a little unknown town. Small town America at work….

The clouds I travel under are really amazing at times. Large, billowy white thunder heads rolling up over the fields or mountains. Sometimes filled with rain or lightening. Hope you enjoy.

Ended up in McCook, a small south central NE farming town. Then 235miles dead headed to Salina KS, hopefully to see my best old friend Rudy and his wife Connie. They now own and operate a Schlotzskys sandwich shop there but live in Wichita, KS. He was at home so I just talked to him and then he treated me to dinner. Rudy hired me to run the Sbarro’s in Enid in 1982. The land is pretty flat and has a beauty to it with lush green fields of grain waving to me as I drive by. Old large trees surrounding a farm home that’s probably been there in one shape or another for a 100 years.

Coming out of a shipper in Shawnee, OK, this duck was starting to cross the road as I drove up to the stop sign. Seriously, he looked at me and kept walking towards the road. I thought he’d stop and run away or something….and he did, he kept walking across the street. He took a couple of looks at me, saying, are ya goin’ stop, can’t ya see I’m walkin’ here! So, I stopped and waited. He just marched across the road, like he owned it. Amazing, I guess he figured this was his street and I was in his way!

But this direction won’t get time to Phx anytime soon. However, this load is headed to Laredo, TX and there’s usually freight heading west to the coast from there. Maybe I can drop it somewhere in Phx. They changed their mind abut where I get to go. Drop in Dallas, take a load to Duncan OK; pickup a load in Stillwater, OK and go to Cadillac, MI. Michigan’s not near Phx, so drop in OKC at our terminal there. Sorry no time to see Aaron and Angie, but I should have asked them and give them the opportunity to say no, sorry kids! Pickup in Shawnee, OK and head to Chicago, IL. Maybe there’s freight out of there heading to Phx. Nope, drop in St. Louis, pickup just northeast of there and go to Fremont NE. But wait, we have a terminal in Lincoln, NE, so drop it there and take a loaded trailer that’s on there yard to Denver! And there’s probably a beer load out of Golden to the west coast. There hopefully a short load to Phx before Friday! This is why my life really is crazy!! The terminal we have in OKC actually closes and locks the gate from 6pm-6am everyday. I was about to get a shower. Instead I had to drive to the Pilot TS and shower there. Is that crazy or what? Makes no sense to me but then I just drive a truck.

The weather is much cooler coming out of Lincoln towards Denver. I almost had to get the sleeping bag back out to stay warm. And I’m really surprised there’s still a lot of snow on the Rockies. Coming from the desert, our snows melts pretty quickly. I guess above 12000ft it stays around awhile.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day and took the time to say thank-you to those protecting us from harm as well as remembering those who gave their all in that fight. It’s only because of those that we have the right to protest, argue, disagree and enjoy the freedoms all of us take for granted.

A shape Peterbilt, customized with fenders and lowered. Not very fuel efficient but nice to look at. The driver sits very low and far away from the dash, they’re almost hidden from view as you drive by.


Peterbilt 40

Later…