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Monday, April 28, 2014

On Being a Sick Truck Driver

I've made a few small posts about this already, and I don't want to come across as whiny, but it really does suck being sick on a truck.

I mean, it's not even really a bad cold, just stuffy head, sniffles, and aches, but oh, the things I take for granted when I'm sick at home.

One thing I like to do for a cold is drink tea and/or orange juice. Well, on a truck there is no readily available bathroom, so fluids intake is problematic.

Another thing is a good night's rest, and in general just lazing about. I've been lucky so far, since Collin has felt better and I needed to reset my hours, anyway. Except that trying to rest on a moving truck is not easy, or restful. Especially here in the east after a crappy winter has roads that were already bad, have been torn up even worse.

Even though we spent one night in a hotel, where I got to dip in the hot tub, I still woke up this morning feeling like I'd been in a sparring match with Hugh Jackman. (Think 'Real Steel')
I thought I'd at least be able to get some writing done, but my attention span is only equal to about 15 minutes. 20 on a good streak. Like I'm already losing interest in writing this....

It may just be the cold, but I also feel like I have no nerve for driving in this east coast hustle and traffic. Usually I'm able to just let Collin drive, but I've spent the last two days holding on to the OS handle and hollering at other drivers to stay in their lanes. Not like me at all!

The good part is that Collin and I have been chatting while I ride shotgun, which we don't seem to get to do, much. (I know, you'd think working together 24/7 we'd have said it all....) We've hatched a plan to pay off the house by 2016, so maybe we can go back to working local and hang up the Ball & Chain and our OTR miles in favor of a nice, simple life at home....

Sounds really good about now.

I know I'll be better in a day or so, but I hope we remember our incentive to pay down the house, so we can get this stage, this means to an end, behind us.

We can figure out what exactly the 'end' is later.

Okay. It's hot here in Miami, and we're waiting on the side of the road for our next load, and my attention is falling on napping more than writing this blog.

Thanks for reading! There will be more, later. ♡♥♡♥♡

Sunday, April 20, 2014

On Being a Truck Driver Who Writes

(Or: On Being Tired and Out of Touch)

So I've been on the road for three weeks, now, and we have been back and forth across the USA -- not quite coast to coast.

Let's see: Mill City, OR to Sisseton, SD to Watertown, SD to Mason City, IA to Faribault MN to Seattle, WA to Ferndale, WA to Clearfield, UT to Spanish Fork, UT to Blaine, MN to Stewartville, MN to Spokane, WA to Swedesboro, NJ to Fonda, NY to Chino, CA.... Well, we'll deliver in Chino tomorrow morning. You get the picture.

That's over 13,000 (yes thousand!) miles.

I won't say I'd forgotten how tiring non-stop travel can be. But I had forgotten the reality of feeling that tired.

But it is funny because I've actually written more out here than I expected I would. Feels like more than I wrote all winter. Almost. I think the reason for that is because I can't get online at a moment's whim like I could at home. So when I'm not driving or sleeping, when I crank up the laptop, there's really not much else to do except write. Not much signal across Montana and South Dakota, never mind Wyoming. At least not a quality signal that doesn't have me pulling out my hair.

Oh, there is the never-ending receipts that have to be entered in the computer, and the husband who wants to implement a 5 year plan so we can go back to being local, which requires budgeting, which I can geek out on for hours.

But I'm getting the writing done, too. Plus, there's not much to do other than think of plot lines and conflicts and back story while driving. Inspiration is surprisingly abundant while I'm watching what little traffic is out there in Big Sky Country.

And you know what? The Google Keep app has pretty good voice recognition quality, so I can dictate notes into my phone hands free, at least well enough to know what idea I was trying to impart.

So, surprisingly, it is working. Which is what I should be doing now. Except I wanted to update folks on what it is like out here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Broken down in Utah (again)

Not saying I'd rather be elsewhere, but the people at Larry's Towing in Provo Utah are very nice. If we have to break down in this part of the country, this is a much better solution than Mountain West Volvo.

So, what happened? you wonder. We had just gotten loaded in Spanish Fork and were heading up Highway 189 when we heard a clang like a spring breaking, and then a rattle that slowed down as we did. We got safely pulled over and looked for the problem. Turns out the cap came off a u-joint. We didn't lose the driveline entirely, but we were stuck.

The folks at Larry's Towing came and brought us back to Provo last night, and have it apart. There is no damage, we just need a new u-joint. It is taking a little longer than anticipated, but we hope to be on the road soon.

Larry's crew are upfront and thorough, so we are more than willing to take the time to fix it right now, rather than having the same problem down the road because they didn't notice a small part that was ready to fail.