Sunrise in NM.

NO, it’s not a golden oldie from the 1965 top 10! Or a ’57 Chevy with S/S Cragars’ all around. Nope, it’s the snow, and it’s BACK for one more shot from ole’ man winter…just to get under my skin! It’s OK, I’ll be complainin’ about the heat and bugs in July and August just as loudly.

It’s Friday, March 25 and in Knoxville tonight it’s rainy and cool. I had a great day on the road. Left Madison, IL, a sub of St. Louis this morning with a dusting of snow on the road, truck and 30 minutes later, turning into very large but wet flakes. I met up with my cousin Stan [he also drives a big rig] there and he had a parking spot saved for me where he was emptying out in the morning. It was almost 10pm and the t/s was full, as usual. Thanks, Stan. Leaving at 730 the next morning, I enjoyed some snow and heavy traffic for awhile as I headed east. Hauling turkey wings Louis Rich will grind up and add to a sausage they’re making in SC.

Nailed to a fence along the highway are early warning devices in KS, just down the road from Greensburg, KS. When they make A LOT of noise and spin REALLY, REALLY FAST, you had better be in the shelter. Or look out for Dorothy and her little dog.

This was so cool. I parked in a rest area along US 54 headed to Tucumcari, NM, not very quiet but it’ll do cause my hours were up for the day. Another driver pulled in and started to work out with a mat and two dumb-bells. I walked up and said there was a sign he must have missed that read no work outs allowed. We started talking and found out we were both Christians. After his workout and my walk, we talked about life in general. He opened up that he was hurting, not knowing exactly where God wanted him. He was in a new relationship with a friend from his high school days, was still hurting over his daughter’s death 2 years before and he missed his 2 boys. WOW, what a bomb to drop on a total stranger. But nonetheless, we shared experiences from God’s word, what various text said to us and what we thought it meant and how it applied to our lives today. The cool thing was I had a chance to interact with another believer, on a deserted highway, in the middle of no-where Texas. Who else but God could make that happen? [OK, the devil could, but wouldn’t for fear we’d talk about Christ. He’s be more app to have a bus load of druggies break down there!!]

I think the mesas in western NM are so pretty. The setting sun falls at just the perfect angles to throw strange and beautiful shallows on them. And in the morning, the same shallows appear as if awaking from a night’s sleep to show themselves.

The snow’s almost gone but not the wind.

My back is doing better. I’m doing the work the PT gave me twice a day. Had I’d been doing them for the last 40+ years, maybe I wouldn’t be in this fix. I’m using the heating pad a lot, ice packs at night and sitting on a special seat insert a couple of hours a day [it vibrates]. Most of the trouble is caused from raising and lowering the trailer’s landing gear when I drop and hook. Because most of the landing gear mechanics are very poorly maintained they are very hard to turn, raising and lowering the legs. Sometimes I have to actually get under the handle and push up to get it to high point of the turn before almost laying on the handle to get it to come back down the other side.

Sun rise over the trailers in the WalMart warehouse in Cheyenne WY. I just love to see the sun come up. And seeing it around surround a building, trees, mountains or trailers is usually special. I wish I could capture the rays of light glowing the way I see it with the camera. It never turns out exactly as I see it. Must the high quality camera I’m using!!

Between Nashville and Newberry, SC the trees and bushes are starting to bud and flower. Just beautiful, sorry my pictures do not do them justice, because they are bright and glowing with color. There are bright green, purple, bright artic white, and rust colored trees and bushes. And of course, the grass and fields are coming to life. There are new calves nursing on their mommy as they eat. I yell at them ‘run cows, don’t eat, run for your lives’ but they don’t always listen to me! A few bulls were seen eating and laying in the fresh grasses. And of course there are horses here in KY, the Bluegrass State, with their little ponies by their side. I saw a very small [8-10] bison herd somewhere south and east of St Louis, MO today, so cool. Two of them were butting heads, locking horns, moving side to side. Like in the movies. Or in the WY buffalo herd we ate in the middle of 40+ years ago.

it’s raining, you see the wiper blade, the burr of green before the beautiful blooming of pink color.

Even the snow was pretty. Probably because it was MELTING! And the budding of spring-time colors 100 miles south of Sioux Falls put a continual smile on my face and lifted my spirit all day. The further south and east I drive, the more I see and feel spring’s new life. Even though it rained 90% of the day, I knew the under-laying seeds and plants would be drinking it down and tomorrow would be a more colorful day.

Hope all is well with you. Enjoy the last days of winter wherever you are as you get ready for spring and look forward to the warmth [or heat] of summer; baseball, state fairs, watermelon then tailgating at your college football games.

SORRY about the REALLY POOR pictures. It looks like I’m heading to Best Buy to pick up another camera!! BUT I hope you get SOME idea of what I was trying to take a picture of….hope the effort counts for something???


another beautiful sunrise over IA.

WOW, it’s been over 3 weeks since I last updated by travels! I really don’t mean for it to be so long between posts yet I know it is. But I hope you’ll bear with me as I’m not as good at updating it as I once was. I guess it’s because I don’t see it as exciting anymore. Oh, I don’t mean for me but for you. I still love seeing the sun come up in the eastern sky, changing the darkness with a crayon set of colors as it crests the mountains. Or the rainbow that kisses the earth at both ends as it glows from behind the sun as it intersects the rain filled clouds. Driving through the canyon walls of MO and counting the various shades of stone that make up the ground rolling under my tires. I wonder what it was like before white man walked the same paths. That is still very much alive for me. As strange as it may sound, I’m still taken by the wonder and beauty all around me. Even though I see it every day, all day. It is the same ol’ thing, just a different day and place. But it’s still a wonder to me.

Picking through rubble in Greenburg, KS, the town that was 95% destroyed in 2007 by the F5 tornado. I wasn’t sure what they were looking for but two groups of kids were using racks, shovels and wheel barrels. They have rebuilt most of the town, going ‘green’ on all building permits. This was the first town in the country to require ‘green’ construction.

Main Street looks like so many others in rural America. Inviting, warm and charming. Please, leave your money on the counter as you leave!

How do I make it come alive for you? That is my problem. And as with life in general, some days are harder than others. Making it as real for you as it is for me is a challenge. And the pictures are getting to be the same. I mean, really, how many times can you see of a sunset, a mountain with snow or the Mississippi River and the bridge I cross it with? BORING!! Also I think my camera is starting to die as the pictures are not turning out as clear as they did when I started. Just haven’t bought another one yet.

YET, I’m very thankful for the sights and sounds of spring and the melting of winter. But as soon as I say that the gloves and hat return, I throw another cover on the bed and a log on the fire. OK, no fire, but two out of three isn’t bad. It was trying to snow as I drove through KS City. But I fought it off. I think spring is here, then go to Brookings, SD to pick up turkey for Sara Lee and take it to Phx, where it’s starting to get warm. Then pickup organic produce in Yuma where I know it’s hot already [95degrees]. I take lots of vit. C to ward off the colds I should be getting.

What may have started out as a good day, ended very, very poorly for this guy. Hope he had enough insurance. I doubled checked my policy!

I had a very big scare a few weeks ago. I was north of El Paso, just finished up a morning walk-around inspection of the truck and trailer and grabbed the handles to get into the truck and BAM! I twisted the wrong way and couldn’t move. The pain shot through my lower back, starting on my left and ran across me to the right and settled in my upper butt. I’d had that kind of pain there before and knew I was in very big trouble. Carefully getting into the truck and settling into the seat, I just sat there and prayed. Then I was able to get a heat wrap and my back brace on and started to drive. Jesus, take the wheel, was the song I kept singing [sung by Carrie Underwood] because I wasn’t sure I’d make it down the road this time. Last time [3 years almost to the day] it took a lot of help and a week of hot/cold pack treatments and doctor visits to recover. Yet, this time I didn’t have anyone to help me, no hot/cold packs and no place to get to a doctor. But, I did recover enough to keep driving. I still have pain if I move the wrong way or suddenly. I’ve seen a PT and am doing some serious work on loosening up the tightness of this ol’ body. It hasn’t been pretty but I’m still driving.

Guess I’m really glad I’m not a farmer. I saw one awhile back out tilling his field and laying manure on it in 4degree weather. And we think we have it hard at work.

It’s now Tuesday, March 15 and I’m in Ames, IA, waiting on repairs to the trailer to be completed. So far I’m about 3hrs behind. Isn’t looking like I’ll be in CA Friday at 6am. But the good news is, it’s NOT my trailer and I’m NOT paying that bill.

The weather is cold, with no snow or ice. Doesn’t look like there’ll be any in my immediate future either. I’ll wash the truck, windows and wheels and head to the land of beautiful cars and never-ending dreams.

Enjoy the rest of your winter, engulf yourself with the fresh breathe of spring before you make plans for a busy summer. Take care everyone.