Oh, that’s my truck….

October 28, 2010

I was driving down the road really well. It was real early, 430am, headed to Phx. I dropped my load in SLC, around noon on Friday and headed home. I needed to get at least 180 miles down the road or wouldn‘t get home by late afternoon on Saturday. It was raining, with a full moon trying to break through the rain clouds and lighting’. I turned south headed towards Bryce and Zion. As the sun came up the rain stopped and the truck started to run poorly. Low power, high smell of burnt diesel and the truck was running rough. I stopped several times and popped the hood, trying to figure out why it was running so rough. I never imaged it was something internal in the engine.

Knowing I couldn’t make it to Flagstaff for whatever repairs it needed, I finally stopped in Page, AZ to find help. I logged onto a clearing house website of repair, towing shops. I found a repair shop in Kanab, UT, about 75miles behind me. They towed me back to their shop and set me up in a rental house they had. Monday morning they started tearing it apart to determine what happened.

Tuesday afternoon, I think, they’re figured it out and it’s not pretty. I’m not sure how but it appears a valve got stuck and damaged the valve port in the head. A few other parts are damaged and will need to be repaired or replaced. Hopefully, all the repairs will be completed by Thursday afternoon and I’ll be home late Friday afternoon.

The pictures only tell part of the story. The shock of seeing it tore down when I walked in and saw it was indescribable. All I saw were $$$$$ signs. I guess I’ll just have to make more…..

2 3 7 6 9

a hike up the canyon…

October 27, 2010

Kanab, UT, just down the road from Bryce Canyon, is beautiful with a mixture of ranches, farms, schools and churches, homes old and new with grass yards and white picket fences. High above the picture perfect town are wind-whipped sage brush and bending trees growing into the red rock cliffs.

The trail signage stated the trail was only a mile and a half long up and around the top of the ridge. So, I started up the red sandy trail following the pair of hiking boots ahead of me. Fortunately, it rained a few days before and the trail was easy to follow, as long as I followed the boot prints. Up and over the boulders, through the wet sand and around the trees I went.

The shape of the cliffs, the way rocks have broken away, tumbling down the side of the canyon is amazing. It’s just beautiful. Through the years, rocks have been piling up, causing tons of pressure to bring together the colors of various minerals now showing bright in the sun. Some of the rocks show rings of difference colors. The sharp edges are mixed with the round smooth corners worn away from years of forceful water running over them. The softer areas of the sandstone wear away faster leaving strange figure like indentations in the surface. The dirt is more like fine red beach sand. This fine sand shows the evidence of deer tracks, as it’s deer season and they’re on the run. I follow a set of very, very fresh tracks awhile but become concerned I’m going to get lost.

My hike is a good time to get away from what’s going on around me. Soon, I’ll be back in the real world of trucking and all that has for me.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.


The flowers along the side of the road are a welcome break for my eyes as I travel through NC. Someone actually plants these every year. Thanks to the garden clubs for making a small improvement to the journey.

The trip into Salt Lake City and then to Phx was going to be quick. I picked up a load of electric fork lifts in Greenville, NC. and headed west. I’ve been around the south and north east for a few months, without getting west of the Mississippi. I sound like a broken record but I have a run or two that keeps me busy then I sit. It was a puzzle to me until recently. But I’ll complain about that later.

Made good time into SLC, emptied early Friday afternoon. I was working on setting up a load into Farmington, NM. on my way home. It paid well but there wouldn’t be anything out of there to anywhere. However, something paying was better then nothing. It’s all about getting paid to turn the wheels. So, I agreed to run it to NM and then dead head home from there. Fortunately, the load to SLC paid well enough to cover my costs home. Friday morning I was getting the load info off the Mercer website and realized the load stated a flat bed and traps would be required. While some flatbed loads will fit into a van, I called my coordinator to question the load info. They didn’t know for sure and called the agent in SLC that acquired the load. I was out of luck, the load did require a flat bed and I was off the load. So, no sense waiting till Monday or Tuesday for something else. I told them I was dead heading to Phx and would call later next week.

It’s raining as I leave SLC heading west, before turning south towards Flagstaff. I thought the mixture of a setting sun against the storm clouds made for interesting viewing.

The red sand-stone rocks of Bryce Canyon are beautiful. And with small waterfalls flowing off the rocks, it’s even prettier. The sun is just now coming up, with a warm orange glow peeking through the rain clouds. And the trees in the canyon are turning fiery colors as they settle in for the winter.

There are some stone dwellings and cravings of some kind on the road heading to Bryce Canyon. This area is fenced off now yet appears to have been open to the public at some time. This ‘totem-pole’ had no signage explaining what it was or who or when it was done. But it was cool looking.

Totem-pole 14

This lake next door to the totem-pole probably had something to do with each other. The water reflecting the rock formation below the water line was perfectly still in the very early morning light. The trees are turning in for the winter.

Lake Trees 19 20 24

I’ll be home before you know it….

Hello, from the land of lovers….West Virginia,

This is a sooooo cool sun rise…..amazing clouds, sun rays and con-trails from a couple of jets…..

Man, time just gets away from me most days. I get started writing and it doesn’t take long before it’s a week down the road and I haven’t written a thing. I get distracted from what I’m doing and then don’t seem to get started again. I sat 5 days in Mineralmills, WV, a little town about 40 miles south of Ohio and never wrote a thing. But it was pretty, the seasons are changing the leaves and the temperature was cool. It was nice.

These horses were right against the fence as I drove up to the truck shop. They were gone the next morning. Pretty horses….my grandkids should like them….

I finally got a load out of here taking small tractor tires to MN. A good load, good miles but the dead head miles were to long. But I got into a better freight lane. As soon as I dropped it, I picked up another load right away. This time picking up BBQ’s, snowmobiles, and small engine parts. Headed to a Northern Tools dist center in Ft. Mills, SC. Good miles, little dead head miles and it paid a decent rate.

I went for a walk and came across these footprints from something wild in the woods. I know some of them are deer prints, but not sure what else is here. Hope nothing man-eatin!

The season has really turned here in the north-country, the leaves have fallen off the trees already. And their talking about snow already! The drive up through OH was so pretty. I just love the change of seasons. A fresh awaking of my spirit, things just look clearer to me this time of year. And to think it’s still 90degrees in Phx. I sure hope it has cooled off by the time I get there in a few weeks. I’ve got a pretty long list of things to get done and it’ll be easier if the weather is cooler.

This was so neat, to see a caterpillar trying to cross the highway. I moved it around, heading it back towards the woods but he kept turning himself around towards the road. He seemed to be smelling something allow the way that was guiding him. I left him wrapped around a stick, curled in a ball, as if in a self protection mode. If he makes it to wherever he’s going, he’ll be a butterfly, flying around above the highway.

I’ve been sitting a lot lately and I think the reason falls on my young coordinator, who is lacking the experience to really do the job for me. I had some sharp words with him the other day about getting home by Nov. His answer wasn’t very supportive. The next day he got smart with me about some information I needed that I think he should have had ready for me. He told me to call the shipper for it. Wasn’t the right answer. I’m changing coordinators next week…about time I think.

Here are a few pictures of where I‘ve been, and what I’ve seen the last few weeks. Beautiful colors. Hope you enjoy them.

I know many of you text regularly. However, I hope you don’t when you’re driving. In VA yesterday a college student was killed when her car went out of control and she hit a guardrail and flipped her car. It broke her neck. She wasn’t speeding, was in the slow lane and no one else was with her. When the phone was recovered, she had been texting for 30 minutes to 2 friends. She was suppose to get married next year. Also, I saw a guy in the bathroom, going pee and was texting at the same time. I guess he’s a VIP of some sort!

The weather in the east has finally cooled off. 35degrees this morning! I heard Phx was in the low 100’s. It’s been hot for way too long. Come on winter!

I’ve been busy the last few days, waiting to be unloaded right now in Aberdeen, MD, 27000# of Frito-Lay bags. That’s a lot of chips!

This is a picture of one of the trucks that brought in a large platform to the power plant I delivered to in CT last week. It’s pretty cool, the center moves separately from the rest of the truck, like a large fire truck with a driver steering at the rear. However, this is controlled by remote control, on a keypad, by a person walking behind the truck or the driver. And it can fold up into itself, like a real-life Transformer.

This is a close-up of the bark beetle I found walking around on my truck.

I love coming over a ridge and seeing the clouds above the valley with just the highest peaks showing off their top-hats. It seems you could almost walk out on the clouds to the top of the mountains.

A dam I was driving over in MD had the water almost coming over the top. The East has had so much water there’s no place for it to go and they’re having to empty the dams to relieve the pressure from all the collected water. I could see the spray from the rush of water being released.

And of course, the seasons are changing here in the East. Everywhere I go, I see the trees telling the circle of life story.

Its raining here on the border of MA and CT. Had to take a 34hr reset as I ran out of hours getting up here to CT. The Frito-Lay receiver was closed till late afternoon on Sunday and I ended up waiting over 6hrs for them to unload me. This really messed up the rest of my week and I missed two loads that would have taken me out of the east. Oh, well.

I’m doing well, looking forward to getting back to Phx in Nov to get some work done on the truck and see family and friends. Have a great Indian Summer, early fall, Halloween, and T-day with all the trimmings.
Doug