July 1, 2010

Through the Hills, Across the Plains, and Over the River We Go

In the past 7 day these things have broken or malfunctioned:

  1. the laptop
  2. the XM radio
  3. the arm rest on the driver's seat
  4. the exhaust system on the truck

The last one had us broke down in Oklahoma City last night. There for a while it didn't look very promising. In the Bible, God has many names. I don't remember "Master Mechanic" being one of them, but perhaps we should add it. We were actually 40 miles east of the city and had to limp back to OKC where the Kenworth guys said they'd look at it in the morning. We were about 13 miles away from the shop when the problem suddenly fixed itself, and it wasn't as if it was a minor problem, so it was quite shocking when the alarm suddenly stopped dinging at us! We were pretty much going to be there for the weekend it was looking like! So praises and thanks to God for His help!

The truck is still going to the "doctor" as soon as we can get to Chattanooga. Whatever is causing last nights problem isn't gone, just giving us a break. We're praying, and please join us, that whatever the problem is, they can find it, and when they do, hopefully it will be considered an engine component, as those parts are still under warranty. Anything else will be out of pocket.

Enough complaining and woes though. I feel like for the past couple weeks its been nothing on here but problems, and for the handful of new people reading my blog, I worry that they are going to regret joining us! Its just been a flood of issues lately it seems, and its been overwhelming, but I'm expecting July to be a new beginning, a run of good luck if you believe in such things. We could use it!

That said, the rest of this post will be positive. I have a few nifty things to share. First, some of you are familiar with this magazine -

I'm not a subscriber, but on occasion if the cover catches my interest, I'll pick up a copy, which I did last week on our way to deliver in Spokane, WA. I got it out Tuesday morning after we had delivered and were on our way to Palouse to load barley. I was flipping through it, which I'm prone to do with magazines, flip through looking at pictures and not really reading much, when I noticed an article with a large picture of an old mill. It was eye catching and since Malcolm is also interested in old buildings, I showed it to him. There was some brief discussion of it and then I went back to flipping through the rest of the pages, while he drove with the radio on. A short way down the road and around a few curves, and I heard Malcolm say "Um, isn't that the mill you were just showing me?" Sure enough. There sat the mill that was featured in the magazine. We parked on the shoulder and I flipped back to the article just to make sure, and it was. We confirmed it for sure when we saw the sign with the town name, and the mill sits there, one of maybe a dozen structures. It was truly a work of art, being in as good a shape as it is for its age. Anyway, what are the chances of something like that happening? It was kind of strange! So I took a picture to share with you.

From Palouse, we went to San Francisco, then to Bakersfield where the computer catastrophe took place, but you already know all about that! Once we finally got to Hermiston, OR we turned around and went back south to Lakeview, CA which is not that close to LA, but the Los Angeles area is so huge, I just say "we're going to LA" when we're going to be within 100 miles of that city. Lakeview is near Riverside, CA. It was a long drive after a tiring week, but we had the weekend to do it in, so that helped.

At the lower end of the San Joaquin valley, before you get to LA, you have to cross these mountains. I always think they are pretty with all the ripples. This portion of I-5 is generally referred to as "grapevine." I've never really looked into why. Does anyone know? I can tell you its not indicative of the vegetation. There are definatly no vineyards in them thar hills! Its D.R.Y!
My assumption has always been that its called that because the north and south bound sides of I-5 twist and turn and go over and under each other a number of times before finally reaching the other side.They are steep hills and at times the roadway clings to the hills with the help of extra supports. Believe it or not, as desert as it looks, they get snow here in the hills in the winter at times, even enough so to shut down the road. I doesn't seem to happen extremely often, not like say Donner's Pass in the Sierra Nevadas, but enough that we've heard about it, though never experienced it.
Finally reaching the other side, it was near enough to dusk that my photography session had to end. And that was OK. We stayed on I-210, one of the "bypass" of LA that stays farthest to the north. So we never came within view of the actual Los Angelas anyway. But its near presence was undeniable.
For the record, that is not evening fog! But its name does rhyme with fog!
Ahh....fresh city air! This is the life! Truly, I know many people thrive in this type environment, but it is definatly not for me.

From there we went further south to Brawley, where it was 115 degrees, and loaded meat and bone meal for a chicken feed mill in central California. And then loaded salmon meal near the delivery location which is going to Alabama. We have 160 miles left.

Yesterday morning, while I was sleeping, my husband, the same one who swears he doesn't care a whit about sight seeing while he drives, noticed the beauty of the Arizona sunrise and thought I'd enjoy a picture of it. As is the case with all sunrises and sunsets, the picture did not capture its true depth of beauty, or so he tells me. Its still quite lovely though.

And then yesterday in Texas just outside Amarillo, this truck passed us, and Malcolm noticed the sign on its side... ....and its cargo...

Its kind of hard to tell in these photos. I was hurrying to get the picture. But it was apparently hauling movie props, two vehicles. And from the looks of the tail gate on the pickup, one of the Transformers is on the loose in Texas, heading east! At least I think that's the Transformers logo, isn't it?
Just crossed the mighty Mississippi river a bit ago and are cutting the corner in TN over to Mississippi. Baring disaster with the truck we'll get this delivered and be in Chattanooga in time for dinner with the family! I'll be online this weekend sometime to wish you all a great 4th of July!


Shirley said...

Some beautiful scenery there, and maybe Malcolm should grab the camera more often when you're sleeping! That is a stunning sunrise.
Interesting about the exhaust system, your guardian angel must be busy.

Sharon Tachenko said...

WOW! You always have the coolest escapades. . . as noted by the casual observer - not the invested one doing the living! Thank you, tho', Sarah, for sharing so many interesting things. Such beautiful country you traverse, I LOVED the story of the mill - THAT was amazing!

Well, I'm expecting YOUR HUSBAND to dinner - better get with it. . . see you soon!

QUEEN TRACEY...or Master Mrs. Struble...whichever you prefer! said...

Love the pictures and love reading your blog. I'm pretty sure in Leviticus (or was it Romans) that Jesus was referred to as the "Master Mechanic"! at least that's what my husband says! ;) Also, your thought on why the Grapevine is called just that - right on. I forget how I know this, but I had the same question once and that was the answer that a local gave me as we were driving thru!
Next time you drive thru Dorris, CA, snap a pic - it's a Beautiful little valley on Hwy 97 at the Oregon/California border!
Safe travels my friend!

Tom Stewart said...

I know that this is kind of late, but I just read the post and as a kid I spent alot of time in the summer on the "Grapvine" going to "Kings Cannon Natinal Park" with my family. From where we lived at the time we had to drive that way to get there.
The name comes from the old section of the road and the wild grapes that still grow there even today! Its been a long time ago that I was there and I belive we used the old road back then.