Well, I have said it before, it is the little things that seem to matter the most. I LOVE doing this job with my wife. I know a lot of people who are in great relationships that could not do what we do and have the marriage survive but it just really works for us. We, of course, have the stupid arguments that all couples do but we have so much fun. Even the not fun times, we are at least in it together and this really is a team.
We ended up with 7965 paid miles on this weeks paycheck. This was in part due to the load from San Diego to Quincy MA that started on Monday evening of the previous week. Payroll cutoff in early Wednesday morning so a couple of extra days running ended up on this paycheck. We ended up running a load from Philadelphia to Chicago and then running empty to Des Moines IA to pick up a FedEx load to West Sacramento. We got to Cheyenne Wyoming and I-80 got closed due to nasty winter weather. We parked at the Flying J just as the weather there got bad. We posted on facebook that we were stuck at the Flying J and I got a text from Jim who had been following this blog with his wife Sandi and had joined USX in part due to us. We had become Facebook Friends but had never met. They were on a FedEx run to West Sacramento also and were stuck at the same truck stop. We had breakfast together the next morning and decided to run together to California. The freeway reopened about then and off we went. We got all the way to Laramie, about 45 miles and they closed the freeway again. This time we sat on the freeway and just hung out for about four hours. It was Sunday so I had the Bronco game on the TV, the Redskins game on XM Radio and my tablet on with my fantasy football page up. The best closed freeway episode ever. Anne walked back and hung out with Jim and Sandi for a couple of hours. Road reopened and we inched our way across Wyoming. Pretty tough driving conditions but we just took it easy and had no real bad issues. We dropped at Fedex and thought we had seen the last of Jim and Sandi for a while. We were told to run empty to LA to pick up a load heading to Washington. On our way South, we stopped in Lost Hills CA to fuel and eat. Two trucks over were Jim and Sandi. So we had dinner and watched Monday night football together. Pretty funny.
Uneventful trip to Fife Washington and my parents said they wanted to come down to Fife and meet us for breakfast. A big surprise when they brought my 20 year old daughter with them. Such a wonderful 90 minutes.
We had forgotten to put in our time off request early for Thanksgiving so when we did, we were told all of the time off slots were taken and we would have to work. Totally sucks but what can you do. Johnathan, our Fleet Manager had told us we could go home the weekend before Thanksgiving so that is what we decided to do. He gave us a load picking up in Sumner WA heading to New Jersey with the plan to repower the load in route so we could get home. It was a load of kcups (coffee) so it had to be a clean and dry trailer. Unfortunately it was raining hard in Washington (who knew?) and finding a dry trailer was a big issue. They also asked us to go looking for some other trailers to take to a shipper. We never found any but spent most of the day looking. I had sent a message with my concerns for the weather over the mountains but to no avail. By the time we got out of the Seattle area it was late evening. We got about half way up the pass when we were stopped by a big flashing sign …..”CHAINS REQUIRED”….. We had made the decision when we started that we were not going to chain. Our rationality was, if it is bad enough to chain, it is bad enough to stop. We were faced with the consequences of our decision for the first time. After some discussion, we decided that we were going to stick with the decision and we turned around and drove about 10 miles to an off ramp to park and wait it out. I got up about 3:00 AM to check the DOT website and, since it had stopped snowing, kept refreshing the site for about 20 minutes when it paid off. No chains required Eastbound. I started up the truck, made coffee and off we went for the toughest 26 hours of driving we have had so far. Slowly over the pass on ice and snow, fog and ice, including black ice in Eastern Washington. Lots of snow on Lookout Pass into Montana and then a big snowstorm and bad visability from Bozeman MT to Buffalo Wyoming. Just as I got out of the snow, the winds hit. 50 mile an hour gusts from the side. Got a message in Montana to head to Cheyenne WY to meet a team that would take our load on to NJ. We got into Cheyenne (the same Flying J we were stuck at last week) at 5:30 AM. We swapped trailers and headed home.
It is so nice to be home. Went bowling with our daughter and her boyfriend last night and having dinner tomorrow with them and my son and his girlfriend. Weather is nice, sun is shining and we are reorganizing the truck (again)
Life is good.
I am going to post a bunch of pictures later. To lazy to go out to the truck and get the camera. We are also going to do some cool things to the truck setup and I will post pictures of that too.