August 4, 2009

Eastbound and Down

Ever since I found out we were headed to Tennessee, I've had the lyrics to "Eastbound and Down" in my head. If your not sure what I'm talking about, then you need to go find a copy of "Smokey and the Bandit" to watch. Classic truckin' movie, and Burt Reynolds to boot, along with a fun song. Sorry, but some things trucking have infiltrated my heart and mind, even though I've resisted many parts of it. I'm not a trucker at heart, but I still have pride in our business, and tons of respect and heart for the industry.

Anyway, we're loaded and rolling east, across the great plains of Wyoming. I just finished my shift, and after we stop in Laramie to grab a bite to eat, I'm hitting the sack so I can drive again later. These cross country treks are hard for us. We've gotten kind of used to the piddly 500-600 mile trips and sleeping at night in a parked truck.

We finally got loaded last night around 7:00pm or so, and I drove out of CA. After all my complaining about the horribly bumpy interstates in CA, they've finally started doing something about it. I-80 is a mad house of construction all the way across the Sierra Nevada Mtns, ending with a grand finale of a 5 mile stretch driving between two concrete barriers with just inches to spare, on coming headlights blinding me, and ruts in the road trying to yank my rig into the walls. I looked in my mirror once, a dangerous thing since every time I glance I tend to drift that direction, and saw the rear end of my trailer a hairs width away from destruction. It was nerve wracking. I'm trying to decide if perhaps the jolting and jarring of the road was better than the construction. I'll just be happy when winter arrives and they all wrap up their projects and open the roads. And then all I have to deal with is icy, snow, and gail force winter winds trying to move me around! Anyway, I was glad to hit Nevada and the empty open nothingness of that state. What a relief!

Found out which Lebanon we're going to, and it IS the one just east of Nashville so hopefully we can hook up with my sister, and maybe even see other loved ones, depending on which direction we go to reload.

The new truck is here! It arrived in Billings yesterday, and Kenworth is running some road tests, checking things, and then the graphics shop is going to get to work. We just got off the phone with the designer and I think what we've finally come up with is going to look great. She's supposed to be sending us a proof before they start printing/cutting, or whatever it is they do. So I better go check my email. We told Mark, our broker to get us headed that way from TN so that we could get the truck next week when its ready. How exciting! I have pictures, but I'm not sharing until its done and has the graphics and everything. You'll just have to wait in suspense till then.

Change of plans:
Now instead of driving 65 for good fuel mileage, we're driving like a bat out of h*** (80 on 80) to meet Boyd, a cow haulin' buddy and long time family friend for dinner in Sidney, NE, about 150 miles away. He'll be returning from CO and droppin' off some cows, and we ought to get there about the same time. He and his family live in Bayard, NE, just east of Scott's Bluff, where Malcolm did some of his growing up, and when we got into haulin' cows a few years ago, he and Malcolm reconnected and now chat on the phone frequently. Super nice people, really love both he and his wife and all three of their teen age boys, so it will be fun to visit over lunch, even if it does cut into my sleep time. Oh well...I'm not that tired anyway....yet!


Ed said...

Congrats on the new truck, I miss driving the desolate section of I-80. Enjoy your dinner in at the T/A I'd suspect....:-)
Be safe..Ed

Meagan said...

I hope hope hope I get to see y'all tomorrow!! ;-)

Jennifer said...

Oh great! Now I can't get that song out of my head!! LOL.
Congratulations on the new truck-how exciting. I'm anxious to see the pics.
I hope you get to see your family while you're in TN.