December 7, 2009

Finally in Minnesota

I had the camera out this morning as we left Minnesota, snapping pictures of snowy farms. So throughout this post, I'm going to randomly scatter my pictures for your enjoyment. These were all farms in Minnesota, and a couple on the North Dakota side. The one above was my favorite.

There is good news and bad news related to last weeks battle between Malcolm and the deer.

Bad news first: Thanks to the whole escapade, we couldn't reach Mentor, MN in time to pick up our reload. We were supposed to load sunflower seed and go to Spokane, WA for a Monday delivery. It was a nice load because even though it was a lot of time on it, we were going past the house and would have been home Saturday and almost all day Sunday.

Instead we sat in Grand Forks, ND all weekend long. To try and make the best of it, we went to the mall there because I was wanting to find a couple new things to wear for when we go to Tennessee for Christmas. I did find some thing, and fortunately found them before we got kicked out. Yep, that's right. We had gone to the back side of Sears to park, because it was a completely empty parking lot and we try to stay out of the way when we go in places. Apparently that wasn't good enough. As I was returning to the truck, mall security was pulling up to tell Malcolm we had to leave. They didn't want our truck parked in their parking lot. Never mind that we weren't in the way, that we weren't throwing out trash, that it wasn't 100 degrees so we wouldn't be squishing their pavement, and that between us we had spent a good sum of money at their mall. We were not welcome.
That is a common, and insulting, problem for trucks. We're expected to be off the road and parked for a break according to log rules, and yet there is no where to park. Truck stops fill up, and lately are closing down. Rest areas are being closed left and right to save the states money on maintenance. They don't want us parked on off ramps for safety reasons, and private businesses rarely welcome us.

In many respects I understand their position. Heavy trucks damage pavement, we take up room, its not the most attractive sight, and unfortunately there are a lot of inconsiderate drivers that throw their trash out in parking lots and road sides. They disgust me, and I think they are the cause of the majority of the problems with truckers being looked down on. Even Wal-Mart is starting to close their parking lots to trucks, and for many of us that's a double insult because Wal-Mart is just about the one of the only places where we have access to groceries and other supplies, as many other store parking lots are too small for us to get in and out of.
This is the bridge that we crossed the Red River on. This side is Minnesota, and the other side is North Dakota.
The Red River, half frozen.
Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now.
We left the mall, spent the night at a truck stop, and Sunday we drove over to the Minnesota side of Grand Forks, where Malcolm went to Cabelas, and then we went to see a movie at the theatre that was across the street. After dinner we drove on over to Mentor where we loaded sunflower seed this morning.
On to the good news:
We still got to load the Mentor, MN load even if it was a couple days later than when we wanted. So we're on our way to Spokane, WA, and will be passing through Montana. Even if we don't have time to stop at home, its still nice to be in our state. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the next load is still waiting on us too. That load goes to South Carolina! Great miles, great rate, and since I-40 is closed from that land slide they had a while back, we'll have to go down through Chattanooga, TN. If we get that load, and get to pass through Chattanooga during the day, I'll be calling my folks to see if they want to meet us for dinner or something. I'm really hoping that works out.
In the mean time, we've crossed over into North Dakota and its COLD, only 10 degrees. Malcolm talked to our broker this morning around 8:00 am and Mark said its -6 degrees in Billings this morning. So by the time we get there, it will probably be much colder than that! Also checked the weather this morning and the 48 hour forecast looks UGLY! Lots of white and purple and green blobs all over the country! Maybe we can dodge them all like we sometimes manage to do. Otherwise, we'll just be sledding our way to South Carolina and half way there we'll hop on a ferry or a really big row boat!
Hope you all had a great weekend. I have to say I enjoyed ours even with the disappointments and insults. And I know that my southern friends and relatives enjoyed a surprise snow, small though it was, so that made the weekend extra special for all of them. Congrats guys! I know you loved that little treat from mother nature!


retriever farm said...

Wow what a week you've had. I had no idea what parking issues faced our truckers who bring us all the things that make civilized life possible. if you're ever in Ohio you can park on my concrete drive. I don't mind. BTW thanks for repying about the cresteds ears. I love learning new things about dogs, I don't see many cresteds so It is nice to learn about them. I know alot of breeds tape ears, sounds like too much work, that's why I have floppy eared short coated dogs. less work. LOL

Jennifer said...

I love that first pic. It would make a beautiful Christmas card!
The parking issue would have to miserable. Here you are, travelling the country seeing all kinds of cool places you'd like to stop and check out, but no place to park. I'd never thought about the pavement being damaged before, I kind of assumed that if there was room, then what's the big deal? And, don't even get me started on Walmart..they are doing lots of things I don't care for.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Well gosh. Sounds like truck drivers are like Mary and Joseph being turned away at every Inn. That stinks.

Right after Thanksgiving hubby was able to stop in for a quick visit. He was carrying Samuel Adams beer and left the trailer at the truck stop and drove the engine to our house.
He and his driving partner stayed two night while they fixed the brakes on my van and one afternoon, hubby took me for a drive in the truck. That was actually my first time in a big truck while it was moving. lol!

We went to Walmart so he could pick up prescriptions and we parked right out front, a ways back from the entrance. Noone bothered us, but probably because he didn't have the trailer attached I assume.

When he's driving through and has time to stop, he usually parks at the Dairy Queen in Edgewood. off of I-40 and I come pick him, which is only 10 minutes away.

Hey! If you're ever in this area driving through and you want to take a break from driving, let me know. I'd be glad to come pick you up and bring you back here to visit, enjoy a home-cooked meal, wash some laundry and take some hot showers. :)