finally, spring is here…..

February 24, 2011

Time just flies by, before I know it I don’t have a clue where I was last time I wrote. Of course, if I wrote more often I probably wouldn’t have that problem. …..I’ll work on that….

Out of Ontario last week, I went to Visalia, CA to pick up non-fat dry milk. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go back to the FROZEN north! This time to Germantown, WI, just north of Chicago and south of Green Bay. The weather was suppose to be in the low 50’s by the time I’d got there. But again the weatherperson was incorrect. It snowed and was cold. But the roads were pretty clear without any signs of ice. A very good thing!

Leaving SoCal, I enjoyed watching the sun come up between two small hills, under a dark cloud, and through the smoggy haze and morning clouds.

The sky was a bright glow of orange, red and yellow. It was beautiful, yet like most things in life, you had to be there! Sorry you missed it.

These were National Guard planes in Visilia, CA. Just thought they were neat looking.

The snow storm in WI was actually pretty. I was really afraid I’d get snowed in, they were calling for 6-8”. With the wind blowing the snow around it looks worst then it really was, only 2-4” fell. But it was neat sitting in my living room looking out at the storm gather strength throughout the day. The trucks covered with snow shows the winds really blowing a gale. A simple walk to the c-store was a challenge in itself. As my trainer explained to me, it was best to clear the snow from under the tires at least once a day. And then I drove back and fought to flatten down any ridges so when I left in the morning there wouldn’t be any ‘hills’.

Through the snow blowing around me, I walked to Micky D’s for something to eat and saw this cool ‘art’ design on the wheel nuts of my front tires. The way the snow forms as it falls and then sticks there, growing in size all day. The wind was blowing around the truck from the front, thus the angle of the ‘growth’ is from that direction. Pretty cool!

Because I wrongly thought I would be able to change the delivery date of this load I had to sit the weekend, in the snow storm. I’ll be careful NOT to repeat that mistake. I simply wasn’t able to get it there on their time table. 2200 miles in 3 days is pretty hard to do, legally or safely. But that was my fault, not theirs. I should have spoken up before I accepted the load, about changing the delivery date and then decided whether I wanted the load. Or not accepted the load at all. When I was empty on Monday, I was offered a load going to Bristol, PA, which I turned down. I don’t like the northeast. 10 minutes later I had an offer to take some Oscar Meyer lunch meats to Atlanta, GA. That is nice, gets me headed SOUTH somewhere hopefully away from the freezer.

And it did, finally. The further I drove the less snow I saw. The temps were still cold but the roads are clear, without that white film that stays on the everything. Oh, that’s the chemicals they spray on the roads to keep the snow from freezing. Pretty cool stuff, it works great. BUT is a pain to keep off the glass. It forms a white haze, film that is really hard to wash off. The special windshield washer stuff we use as a chemical in it was stops it from freezing down to -20. But that leaves a white haze also. I feel a lot better mentally when I can drive with nice, clear windows.

And the green green fields of KY are a sight for sore eyes. I’m sure it’s winter wheat coming up. But I don’t care, it’s green and living. Not brown and dead [or sleeping]. And the cows and horses are out in the fields again. The closer I get to Atlanta the greener and more alive the country side is getting. The lakes, rivers and ponds are flowing again. The ice is melting. The earth is waking up.

Me too!

where was that snowplow?

February 15, 2011

IN the great state of MN, and probably other states that have lots of snow piled up on the side of the highways, they use a device that chops up large mounds of snow and sprays it out a tube like that found on a combine. On the highways I’ve seen a tractor or truck with this device driving on the safety edge of the highway while it ‘eat up’ large amounts of snow on the median and blow it up, over and across the highway to the other side of the highway. While driving in MN last week I had the pleasure of coming upon this operation for myself. It was driving in the right hand side of the highway, chopping up the snow and blowing it away from the highway. However, when the winds is blowing in the ‘correct’ direction, the little bits of snow are blown BACK against the highway. Regardless which direction one is driving, they are forced to drive through this ‘snow shower’.

Seeing the snow plow ahead of me, I slowed down and tried to change lanes. However, the large SUV in the hammer lane wasn’t helping. When I slowed down so did he, I sped up and so did he. So, I squeezed him over as much as I could, driving half in both lanes. It was pretty cool, the snow actually made a rainbow in sub-freezing temps. BUT then as I pasted the snow plow I catch a glance of something large, dark and very possibly made of metal. I didn’t miss whatever it was by more than inches. OMG, I just barely missed killing myself and probably the driver too!!! I was shaking and thanking God so much, I never did look back to see what I barely missed. I was just thanking God I did. It was THAT close, I could have peeled some paint on my mirrors.

[sorry the photos are really grainy. I’m not sure why, but Bob and I are working on it]

About 30 minutes later I had a highway patrol pull me over and asked where I was coming from? Which highway I had taken and if I had passed a snowplow? When he said that I stopped in my tracks and said I’d almost hit that guy. I was over as far as I could and there was an SUV following me. He confirmed I was the guy he was looking for. The snowplow driver had called his boss about a semi getting toooooo close. They called the state troopers. We talked about the close call I had. He told me to be sure next time I got over a complete lane. I told him I would for sure. He implied he thought the snowplow drivers should not be driving half in the slow lane. That it was way too dangerous. He couldn’t come out and say it, but said it in so many words. I didn’t get a ticket nor did he make me go back to the scale house. I just know time I’m moving over…..

This was a cute little town in TX with snow piled up in the middle of main street. I had been in this town 7 days before and the streets were dry and free of snow….

This house was probably a gift to a woman. The man loved her so much he had the house wrapped up for her. Of course, if he REALLY loved her he would have placed it under a Christmas tree!

There was a lot of snow piled up in western MN. A good state to be selling snow blowers.

These three planes were found in front of a small airport in western MN. I didn’t see any other planes on the runway. I was just cool looking.

This is the easiest kind of road to be on, there’s no confusion on which way I’m supposed to be going. The road just goes on forever. The road getting narrower the further out it goes.

A few weeks ago in SoCal, the wind was so bad it blew over 4 trucks with trailers before 9am. I passed 2 of them at 3pm, were they were still laying on their sides.

pa-in-law….

February 2, 2011

In Kansas the road can seem endless…..but is actually headed to Salina on Interstate 70.

That’s what he called the guy who was looking after his grandchild in AL. His ‘pa-in-law’ and I couldn’t help but laugh. As down home as anyone I’ve met out here on the road. He talked about 30 minutes from inside his truck before I said I was going inside to have some chicken tenders. He thought that was a good choice and we walked in together, continuing the conversation. We talked some more after we ordered before I took my food back to the truck to eat and watched a DVD I’d seen many times before. Part of the benefit to not remembering things is being able to watch movies over and over again and still enjoy them. OK, not really but the cable connection broke when I ran out of cable and the DISH is on back order and ….I don’t even have a TV anymore!

Man, where does the time go! I was just headed to Omaha with a load of carpet and now headed to CA with a load of chemicals from 3M. Somewhere in there I took smoked hot dogs to a Oscar Mayer warehouse. And today I emptied out the chemicals and now I’m waiting for a repair on the truck. All the wires going to the starter that was installed a week ago in Atlanta were not attached properly so I’m waiting in CA for those to be correctly repaired. But I missed an opening they had for today [Tuesday] so have to wait till the morning. The company that did the repair in Atlanta is going to cover the repair here.

The weather is GREAT. About 60, sun is shining, a light breeze, not many clouds. A perfect CofC day. THIS is why so many want to live here. I just wish they would speak English.

This morning driving over from AZ, I saw the largest, brightest and longest tail falling star I’ve ever seen. I saw it almost hit the earth…somewhere. I mean it just kept falling, its long tail brilliant bright seeming to be trying to catch up with the head.

Yet, I wait, right off the freeway in Colton, hearing nothing but the roar of engines and tires humming on the concrete. It’ll make for a rough nights sleep. Better then listening to a Peterbilt CAT run all night, but not by much.

I had a trailer washed out in Walcott, IA last week and they had a Dog-O-Mat where drivers could wash their pets while getting their trucks washed. Cute idea. I thought all you dog lovers would enjoy that picture.