Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Since getting an internet connection on something other than the phone has been challenging, text has taken precedence over photos, while photos have gone to Facebook. So while we are at the Indianapolis OC, I thought I'd post photos for a change. Let's start with the ones for the truck.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Internet connections aren’t always the greatest, so I guess this will get posted as it becomes available. Tonight there isn’t even a cell phone signal, but less internet. Oh well.

Yesterday was the first “real” day of “truckin’.” We left again—but this time with an empty trailer hooked up—to go pick up the load that because of all the computer glitches couldn’t be picked up on time the previous day. All loaded up we finally got on the road—with a slight detour back by the OC to pick up an electronic pass for toll roads.

The weather continued to be rainy and overcast for most of the day. We drove almost exclusively on I-20 and parked for the night at a truck stop outside Meridian, Mississippi. It was actually a pretty nice place except for the fact that we had a refrigerator truck on both sides of us than ran all night long! NOISY! So no, I didn’t sleep well.

Today the weather was pretty much the same, but the scenery going through the bottomland hardwoods and pineywoods of Mississippi and Alabama was just beautiful. Birmingham wasn’t anything special, at least not where we drove through it, but the countryside certainly was.

The load was delivered to Home Depot late morning, with the next pickup scheduled a little over 100 miles away for tomorrow. We drove most of the way to the next pickup this afternoon and paralleled the Tennessee River towards the end of the driving day. Tonight we’re parked in a dirt lot next to a little convenience store and across the street from Lake Guntersville. Not a lot of amenities, but certainly a great view! Tomorrow we’ll go the last 18 miles to pick up this next load and then we head for. . . Coldwater, Michigan!!

While all of the day’s events are unfolding outside the windshield, I’ve been knitting. The nice deep dashboard makes a great place for my yarn. I’m averaging about one sock per day and now have three pairs finished. No, only two pairs are genuine “truck soxs.” The other pair was knitted while we drove back and forth for La Grange and Dallas. This evening while we’re parked I pulled out some of my crystals and beaded a bracelet. As much as I love watching the countryside roll by, I still have that need to be working on something productive and creative.

Actually it’s been a rather cozy evening sitting here in the truck together. I’ve been beading while
Jim’s been working on trip mapping and reading his new BBQ cookbook. The curtains are drawn and now it’s time to snuggle up and get ready to put another day to bed.

Truck Living

Obviously the truck is meant for living in, and we do. As someone who’s done lots of field work and lots of camping--for the moment at least--the thing seems pretty darn spacious! I’m sure that opinion will change over the course of the month but for now I’m still in awe of how much
room there is.

Two seats up front of course, and no they don’t swivel. The armrests will go up but that’s about
it. The driver side has, as one would expect, an extensive console that leaves the passenger side a little shorted on space. In between is “Jill” the GPS navigation, tracking, and communications console. Jim and Jill frequently disagree on things like best and/or shortest routes, but overall Jill does pretty good.

The inside of the cab is tall enough to easily stand up in and move around. Maybe not for two
people doing different things at the same time, but yeah, you can get around each other pretty well.

Behind each of the seats are sets of cabinets. The set behind the driver’s seat consists of a cabinet and a bedside table with pullout desk/drawer combo. This is where Jim keeps his night-time CPAP breathing machine. The passenger side shelves don’t have the pullout table, but have deeper shelves on the bottom.

At the back of the cab are the twin-size bunks. You can very easily sit up with lots of extra
headroom on both of them. Only the bottom one is in use for sleeping. The top bunk is used for storage with a fasten-down net over everything to keep stuff from shifting. One can also lift upthe bottom bunk to expose additional storage space, although it’s not very convenient to access. But it IS there.

There are also overhead bins and other little nooks and crannies where things can be stored, but yes, overall it’s kind of challenging to bring enough of everything to last 30 days and still have room to putthings.

Friday, February 17, 2012

So Much for Day One

Technology is great when it works. But when it doesn't.....well, nevermind! New computer systems don't come off the shelf working perfectly and yesterday was an exercise in frustration. So where are we today? Why right back in Dallas where we started! Sat around most of the day waiting for a load assignment that was actually ready that morning...we pulled out at 1:15 PM. Went into downtown Fort Worth to pick up an empty trailer, that when we got there wouldnt be released. Okay. So then we "bobtailed" over to Del Monte and picked up an already loaded trailer of mostly evaporated milk. Then we took that to the Walmart down the road in Cleborne. Then we sat while computer system glitches that had piled up during the day finally reached the point of "this is impossible to do." The end result? Go back to the Dallas OC and start over in the morning.

Today is overcast and rainy, BUT we ARE poised and ready to roll! Today we WILL be on the road and heading to Alabama. Its going to be a long day--we won't be parked until around 10:30 PM.

Mileage this morning is only 152 miles further than yesterday. But today WILL be different!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In The Truck...Oh Yeah!!

Here it is....the windshield chronicles of my first trucking trip with Jim. I'll update this as internet connections permit with photos, etc. and with any luck also make it look a little better aesthetically. Feel free to add comments and send emails! --Linda

Day One
February 16, 2012

Just waiting for the "real" adventure part of this to begin--that is, that Jim gets a load assigned and we GO!! Starting mileage: 664299.

Yesterday we loaded all the stuff into the car, which was an adventure in itself as one would expect! The plan was to be on the road by 8:00 AM, go by my parent's house to say good-bye and then head to Dallas to get all the necessary paperwork signed, the stuff loaded into the truck, and then be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. Well...that didn't quite work.

Instead, what happened was a 9:30 getaway and a phone call to my parents. And rain, of course. It just HAD to start raining just about the time we're ready to load stuff into the car. But if I can do nothing else well, I CAN pack!! So yes, it all fit into the car. And we did get to Dallas with plenty of time for me to get all the paperwork signed and stuff into the truck.

Yarn is light. Beads are not. So the yarn got to go behind my seat, so problem. The beads I'd brought along? Those were a problem. So the ammo box of beads went to the hotel for re-sorting. And re-re-sorting. And a re-re-re-sorting. Final bedtime verdict: the beads needed to stay in the trunk of the car. A final "sort of last resort" while Jim was in the shower this morning resulted in a zip lock bag that passed muster. So there are enough beads with me for 3-4 bracelets, which is enough to satisfy my "need to bead."

A last minute run through Walmart this morning at 6:00 AM to grab an extra standard size pillow and a toothbrush case for me finished things up and now we're just waiting to get going! Jim is doing his exercises and I'm trying to get as much posted while internet access exists.