Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Welcome Change-Up

Since we've been with this company, our routes have not varied much. It is typical for us to drive the I-80 east to west, the I-5 north to south, sometimes the I-70 or the I-40, and when we're in the east/south, we stick to I-75, I-95 and I-10. But (finally) after getting back in the truck last week and moving on a long load from the St. Louis area to the Seattle area, we found ourselves on a route we've only driven 3-4 times: I-90.

We weren't supposed to take it, but the flooding along the Missouri River is still lingering in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, with continual interstate and state highway closures. The detours suggested made getting back on our original route of I-80 out-of-route, so communicating back and forth with dispatch led us to driving north on I-29 until we met up with I-90 in Sioux Falls, SD.

This route meant we got to see:
(a) 2684 billboards advertising for Wall Drug in Wall, SD
(b) lots of bikers getting ready for the big Sturgis gathering in Sturgis, SD
(c) the Badlands

There really isn't much more to see in South Dakota, but we were pleased, nonetheless, to have the change in scenery. The decrease in humidity once we crossed the Missouri River was clearly evident as well, and very welcome!

The stretch of I-90 in Wyoming was pretty boring, as we drove through there in darkness, but once we crossed over into Montana, Idaho and Washington, it was a welcome sight of mountainous beauty, pine trees, alpine lakes and rivers. The beauty of the Northwest is just astounding and we feel very blessed to be able to live among it (5 days a month at a time)!

Once we delivered our load in the Seattle area, we found out our next load would have us going to Pennsylvania, and our directions routed us, once again, on I-90 in WA, ID and MT, but then we'd take the northern route of I-94 through North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin before dropping down to I-70. Not only did we have back-to-back loads of 2000+ miles, we drove back-to-back on routes less-traveled! Not a bad gig, if you ask me!

We'll have likely one to two more loads before we have our home-time for Ben's thesis defense next week (and visiting friends and family after), and then we'll be back out on the road again for another 4 weeks or so until we head back to Bend. Stay tuned for adventures!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back on the Road...Again!

Whew! While we knew that the engine knocking in our truck would have us down for a bit, we never thought it would be 5.5 days! It made us nearly stir-crazy, not having many options to entertain ourselves or just relax, even. We spent 3 nights in a hotel and 2 in our truck (once it was cleared enough from the shop), and either hung out at the motel or the terminal.

There was this great thrift store across the street from the motel, and since we did not anticipate being away from all of our things as long as we were, I had only packed us one change of clothes. The thrift store came in handy with shirts for only $1.20!

There's only so much TV and The Office episodes you can watch at once, so on Saturday we had the shuttle van driver bring us to a movie theater. We watched the matinee of Cowboys & Aliens. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are a nice duo to observe, but the movie itself kinda stank. If you want to watch it, we recommend waiting until it comes to a Redbox near you.

We're finally back on the road now though, having gone from Atlanta to Louisville to St. Louis. We'll be heading to Washington state in the morning--it's nice to have a long run (2000+ miles) after having sat for so long. Our breakdown pay is only a cumulative $60/day, so big miles will help make up the deficit in our paycheck!

Hope you have a great week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone