Days away from home - 28
Miles drove since leaving home – 10,128
We were in Arkansas on Friday and an agent called with a load picking up in Alabama on Monday and wondered if we would be interested. The load ran down to Florida to Cape Canaveral and then he had a return load picking up in Ocala going back to Alabama and he would throw in some dead head pay. As we had nothing going on in Arkansas and loads paid well we said “YES”. We immediately got everything together and headed for a TA Travel Plaza in Alabama that had good facilities and we could leave from there on Monday morning to get the load. Two reasons for this; the main reason we have to worry about having enough hours to drive and after driving so many hours in seven days we needed to take 34 hours off for each of us. The second reason was this place had a good laundry room and showers. We lucked out as the weather was good, we were able to get our 34-hour restart, and get our laundry done.
This is a place that fascinates me as so much happens here. It is always interesting going in the commercial gate as we go by the port where all of the cruise ships dock. There is always at least one ship docked and sometimes we have seen several of these floating cities. They are HUGE and I have no desire to get on one of them but they are beautiful to see. Cape Canaveral is a big place and after our background is checked once again we had an escort take us to our location to unload and then our escort escorted us back of the base. The timing was pretty good and I missed a lot of the morning traffic as I went through Orlando. We have a new transponder from Pre-Pass called Elite that works in Florida and I was able to use the fast lane to get through the plethora of toll booths in the area. Once clear of Orlando, it was smooth sailing to Ocala. Florida is one of my favorite states to drive in as the roads are really smooth.
Back to Alabama
Once loaded, it was Bob’s turn to drive and after a light dinner, I was ready to read a bit before going to bed. Reading has always been my passion and I use my phone to listen to books while driving and I use my tablet to read books before going to bed. During the years of being a professional driver, I have learned to not read and listen to the same types of books as I would get them confused and the plot always seemed odd. Once we made it back to Alabama and were parked, Squeaky and Texas saw a cat wandering around the parking lot that kept their interest for a long time. Texas is not a barker and she just watched, while Squeaky the cat had to chirp at the cat. It constantly amazes me how many sounds that cat makes and then when he makes those sounds I now know what he is wanting or seeing.
After unloaded in Alabama, we got a great load that would run over the weekend from Georgia to California, and it looked like the weather would be great all the way across! Bob encountered some snow in Flagstaff, AZ and then found some pretty strong wind in Kingman, AZ but other than that we only had a little drizzle and fog. We made it to California on Sunday afternoon and were able to get a great night’s rest before unloading Monday morning and looking for another load. Friends of ours were at the 49’er Truck Stop and we were able to have lunch with them before they headed south. Finally, we got another load going from Sacramento to Yuma, Arizona picking up on Wednesday morning which gave us one day to explore the area. We walked a couple miles to the river and had a very nice lunch before walking back to the 49’er and getting ready to go back to work. Bob’s mom and step dad stay in Yuma during winter and we planned on having lunch with them after unloading.
120 Day Inspections
Funny how fast 120 days go by and it is time to get the truck inspected again. We are federally required to have this inspection once a year. The company we are leased with requires them every 120 days and as long as we pass they pay the bill. With the way Bob maintains our truck, that is not something we worry about it, it is more taking the time to get it done. Not just everyone can do the inspection, they have to be an approved technician and there is not a lot of them. We had an appointment on Friday in Tucson to get the inspection done and, on our way there, we accepted a load picking up Monday hauling one of our favorite easy loads, Slot Machines! What is nice about them is that we almost always can park at the Casino either for pickup of the old machines or to deliver new machines. So now we know how the next week will start.
The weather north of us is horrendous with lots of ice and wind. While we have our Onspot Chains, we know we pick our way through the ice, but the wind will easily blow us over. The other problem is that not everyone has Onspot Chains and those people scare me to death. All they need to do is run into us, cause damage, and who knows how long we will be out of the revenue stream.
Here is a sneak peek at our new truck and the sleeper that has just been painted.
Wishing you safe travels. Till next time,
Bob & Linda.