crazy weather……

January 25, 2011

The wind was whipping the loose snow so hard, at times I couldn’t see the highway, the truck I was following or even the marking poles on the side of the road. I was driving over the bumps on the side of the highway. The noise told me I was still on the road.

Running from Buhl, ID to Atlanta with a load of corn was very interesting. The weather was pretty cold, in the low 20 and high teens. I was only in Boise a couple of hours after unloading the ice cream cartons. I headed back east to Buhl to pick up frozen corn from Seneca foods.

Cool picture, it shows the snow blowing across the highway, don’t worry, it’ll get worst. But notice the trailer’s shadow on the trucks left side. Strange to see a shadow with the snow blowing.

I was hoping to save a little fuel Wednesday night and didn’t run the engine all night. But added ‘Hollows’ to the fuel so it wouldn’t freeze and went to bed. About 4am I woke up and started the engine to get it warm and it wouldn’t start. I tried several times but nope, it wouldn’t start. The lights on the dash all came on but no fire. I thought the batteries were dead and jumped them off the reefer and it fired up. Thank You, God I out loud to no one around. But the last thing I needed was to break down at 4am, in freezing weather without an engine that ran in some place that didn’t have a repair shop. I needed a PM service [oil change, lube, etc] and thought I’d run it into an International dealer and get whatever is causing it not to start repaired. The next night in Lexington, NE I didn’t turn off the engine and kept it running all the way to KC. At the WalMart [in Lexington my over-night parking spot] I noticed the fan was making some noise and made a mental note to have that checked out too. It’s cheaper and less stressful to have some things repaired before they break as a breakdown will usually include a very high $$ towing bill. KC couldn’t find anything ‘really wrong’ with the fan and couldn’t get the engine NOT to start for them. So, down the road I went, my money in my pocket but still worrying when the truck wouldn’t start for me.

As luck has most things, 350 miles down the road the fan locked up and stopped working properly. Instead of only coming on when the engine is getting hot, it was on all the time. Better than not going around and around but at some point it would lock up and NOT turn. It needed to be repaired soon. I emptied out in McDonough, GA on Sunday and headed North to Atlanta and our terminal to drop the trailer and get to a dealer for repairs. A new starter and fan clutch later [Monday] and I’m on my way again.

I’ve been getting lots of miles. I drove 14,300 since I started with this company, Dec 22. That’s really good. I pray I’ll stay just as busy in the months ahead.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their weather, whatever it is. Just remember it could be a lot worst!

Rock Springs, WY. Lots of oil drilling, very windy but so pretty with the snow hanging on for dear life to the sides of the red rock cliffs.

Not sure why the mountains and side of the highway is purple, but it made for an interesting picture.

Pretty country!

A swift truck is ‘parked’ in the medium. However, this is not a place he’s suppose to be. The two drivers were still in the truck. Probably trying to get their story straight on explaining how they got there!


high winds ahead……

January 19, 2011

It’s Sunday, 1-16-11 and I’m stopped under an overpass for protection. I have a light load [15000#s] and my trailer was sliding from side to side behind me. Not tracking right behind me is a bad thing, I’m told. And didn’t want to experience laying on my side today. Better to park and wait then pick up 731,000 ice cream containers.

Been busy the last few days. Did a 34 in Omaha before emptying out Monday, 1/10. Then picked up a load going to Atlanta and headed out on Tuesday. Emptied out in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon and had a load going back to Omaha Thursday noon. Picked it up and emptied out in Omaha early Saturday, 1/15. Picked up a loaded trailer and headed to Boise, ID. By the time I get to Boise I’ll have almost 12000miles since I started with MCT. And still have 3 days left in the month. So I’m getting the miles. I just have to be more patient after I empty out. My expectation is to have a load waiting for me. And they seldom are. But then when they passed out patience, I thought they said who wanted to be a patient and I didn’t!!

The weather is real nice right now, very, very windy, temp at 35 and partly sunny sky with light cloud cover. I’m stopped between Laramie and Rawlings, WY. A stretch of about 60 miles. I called 511 for a highway condition report and the wind advisory is still in effect.

Aaron, good to see your Steelers won last night. One step closer to the showdown in Dallas.

The wind is really high now. A truck and trailer were flipped over while waiting / sitting on the on-ramp. I under a overpass, pretty well blocked by the bridge and ground supporting the overpass. The road under the highway isn’t very wide, a good thing when you’re hiding from the wind. There are storm clouds south and west of me. The 511 advisory report call for snow tonight but a lowering of the wind. I’m going to sit out the night and take off in morning if/when it’s safe and light. It’s only ice cream containers!

Hey, I just noticed the trailer in my photo at the top of my blog is a MCT trailer. That’s the sister company to WSE [the first company I drove for] and the current company I’m driving for. So weird! Life is coming full circle as they say.

WOW Monday morning seems worst then Sunday. It’s been howling all night. Even with the landing gear down to stable the truck and trailer a little, I’ve been swaying back and forth most of the night. The road traffic got real quiet for awhile last night, they may have closed I80 for some time. I know there are a lot more trucks stopped here now then there were last night. And it’s wet, so it maybe trying to snow. But it’s it’s only abut w39 outside, not cold enough to snow yet. Hopefully, the wind will die down enough to get out of here before it starts.

Hard to make out but this is a bust of Lincoln in WY. There’s a visitor center to go along with it. Apparently, Lincoln went to WY and did something special.

Snowy mountains in WY.

Or not… I must admit I’m tried of having to fight the ice and snow this season. And to think it’s barely started. In Omaha on Monday, I got stuck on the ice three times in 3 hours in three different places. I un-stuck myself once but had to get pulled out the other two times. Not fun. I long for my shorts and Hawaiian shirts.

Ok, where to start this trip. I’ve done several trips to and from the frozen North. The last one was out of the Twin Cities, MN on New Years weekend going to SoCal again. It was good to get back into shorts and a t-shirt again. Or better yet, out of jeans, flannel shirt and jacket and socks and boots. Then within an hour of emptying out, I had a load right back to the cold again, to Omaha, the land of Warren Buffet. Nice to be rolling without the waiting.

I took a 34hr reset in Omaha before emptying out on Monday, 1-10-11. I took another 34hr reset the weekend before in Moriarty, NM because I ran out of hours. But in Omaha that’s just the way the trip fell. It’s better to plan a reset and have a fresh set of hours, then to be forced to take one. The weather was actually pretty nice, cold but bearable. I did some very minor PM work on the truck and cleaned the inside real good. The snow left so much dirt and grime, it just had to get cleaned up. I have some real pretty photos of the sunrise over the mountains of NM; see top photo.

GT 40 – The cool thing about LA is you can usually see the best cars in the world there, just rolling down the road. This day I saw what I’m sure was a fake GT40 Ford. I say it was probably a fake isn’t really true. It could have been one of the 4000 built a few years ago [2004]. They would cost you 100k and up. One from the true GT40 years, ‘64-‘69, could run you half million dollars. And most normal thinking people wouldn’t be driving that on the road. Still a beautiful car to look at. And I’m sure a blast to drive in anger.

I dropped the load in Omaha, and picked up 41000#s of canned SPAM. Everyone’s favorite. Actually, mom has a dish we ate as kids that was pretty good. Potatoes in a Dutch type pan, add layers of SPAM, potatoes, SPAM, potatoes, onions, topped with eggs, salt and pepper and enjoy. The best part was the hard crusty stuff on the bottom. Then off to the EAST coast, Atlanta actually, to Hormel. Snowy and slow going the first half day. But made it to Atlanta a day early and emptied out.

I did spend a few hours in traffic as a truck jack-knifed and it took them hours to unload the cargo onto other trucks. They routed us off the highway, through a small town over very narrow country roads before getting us back on the interstate. What not to do with a very large truck.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoyed the holidays. Now back to the same-ol’-routine of our lives, how ever boring they may be. I do hope the new year brings you renewed energy to make the changes you need/want to make.

The mountain mesa in NM was so pretty with snow on it. I thought I’d share, hope you enjoy.

just say Thank You….

January 3, 2011

The plane and moon back dropped against the blue sky and trees made for an interesting shot. Somewhere on Highway 89 headed toward Payson, Dec. 24

A&E had a show about KISS going to a military base. I only saw part of it but apparently the show put together various KISS military tours to highlight his efforts to entertain our troops. It was one heck of a great program. It ended with a combination of the four military ‘fight’ songs. I couldn’t help but think about all the men and women who came before the current troops. How they must have loved America. And America and its leaders loved them right back. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder how the much America and its current leaders love our troops. I happened to be reading the front page of USAToday, Tuesday, Dec. 21, and their article on what Mr. Obama thinks America stands for today.

WOW, I haven’t updated since before I left Peru, IL. Here is the down and dirty. Left Peru with a load to Omaha, NE, Dec 21 late in the afternoon. Dropped the trailer and picked up another to Ontario, CA. I went by of Phx and saw family for Christmas, having a good visit seeing most everyone. Had a big dinner at Lyle’s with all the relatives there. Mom and I drove over to the North Valley to see some real pretty Christmas lights.

Finished run into CA, emptied out Monday morning and by noon had another load going to Joliet IL. I’m now waiting to get emptied and have a load to pickup in Eagan, MN going back to Ontario, CA for Tuesday. I was told they had the freight to keep me busy and this has been an excellent start. It’s raining in Joliet with snow on the ground left over from their Christmas storm. It’s supposed to melt this weekend. Eagan has freezing rain with a low of 4 and high of 21. That won’t be fun but it’s winter in the North! I’ll head to CA by way of KS, and the panhandle of OK and TX to I40, then West to CA. Weather should be nice, as I think I’ll be below this blast of winter weather.

My Uncle Richard, Mom’s sister Ida’s husband, passed away Thursday night in ND. He will be very missed. So very glad I was able to get back there to see them this summer. He’s no longer in pain and I’m sure is singing with the Angels.

Here are some photos I caught along the way the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy.
My wish for all of you in the New Year is that you would take the time to say Thank You and shake the hand of every veteran you see, no matter how young of old, current or past. Tell them you appreciate their sacrifice and the sacrifice their family has made.

The peaks above Flagstaff are always so pretty. But they could use more snow. I did hear a few days after I drove through there they received a ton of fresh power!

The view from my hotel in Peru, Il. What you don’t see is the frostbit nose I had all week!

This river is almost frozen over. The edges of the water seem to be frozen but I wouldn’t walk on it.

The wet snow hung on the trees just waiting form someone to unknowingly walk under them.

A storm rolls in over the valleys of northern New Mexico as I was heading to ‘our’ valley Dec. 23. I just love the formations, shapes and colors they form. With just enough sunlight shining through them to make they interesting.