October 18, 2010

I'll Take the Peas, Please.

Of all the products we haul, peas are probably one of my favorites. I have a brief list of reasons, but I won't go into all of them. It would probably bore you. I will, however, share a few.

For starters, peas unload easily and leave the trailer clean, where as many loads Malcolm has to beat on the trailer to get the stuff to come out and then climb in and sweep it when its empty.

Another reason, probably the most important on my list, is that 90% or our pea loads come out of Clarkston, WA, and from that location they either go to Illinois or South Carolina. On either route, we drive through Montana, often with time to stop at home, and on the South Carolina run we often stop at my parents in Tennessee for a brief visit. That's my number one reason for liking the peas.

Another reason, less important but just as enjoyable, is that it doesn't matter what route you take to get to Clarkston, WA, its going to be a beautiful drive.
We most frequently take US195 south out of the Spokane area. Its about 100 mile drive to Clarkston from Spokane.

Eastern Washington is not as most would picture. I think the average person imagines what they've heard of the Seattle area as being the norm for the state. In contrary, the vast majority of the state is rolling grasslands mostly void of trees. It gets more dramatic over on the eastern side of the state as you near the mountains. I think its lovely.

This is grain country. Every square inch of every acre is planted in wheat, barley, or some other grain. All but the steepest hill sides are cultivated, and I admire the gutsy farmers who climb into their giant machines to plow, plant and harvest these hills!

The farms are picturesque, nestled into the hollows between hills...
...and the small scattering of towns are dominated by generations of grain elevators and bins.
I could find hours of entertainment studying the designs and patterns of wheel marks in the grain fields.

The end of the road brings us into Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA, two towns that sit so close to one another, they practically merge.
I've never stopped at the scenic overlook before, but since I was driving this time, I took the liberty. It pays to stop at these places. In addition to getting breath taking views, you learn new and interesting things. Such as....Lewiston was the territorial capital of Idaho Territory which included Montana and Wyoming, back before Montana became its own territory and Wyoming was added to the Dakota Territory. I found that interesting.

Once we were loaded with peas, we headed east across these hills, along the Clearwater River, and through the mountains of Idaho and Montana. Another gorgeous drive that I posted about last summer. (see the above link) 
This was all last Monday! I've been holding onto these pictures and had meant to post earlier, but things just kept getting in the way, mainly driving round the clock, and a good book. That load of peas went to Illinois, where we reloaded with hominy going to Texas, and then grabbed a load of feather meal, taking it to California over a very long and boring weekend. But I won't get into those dull details after looking at beautiful scenery in the above pictures. Dull details and beautiful scenery don't compliment each other.

We delivered this morning, and are now on our way to load sunflower seed near Sacramento. We will be taking it to Fargo, ND. What? Not enough sunflowers in North Dakota you say? Yeah, that's what I thought too. There are many things about this world that I don't understand.

There were a number of comments posted about the last picture of my Sunday Stills post yesterday. Many were concerned and wanted to know what happened, if the pick up finally fell off the truck. After Malcolm couldn't get the driver to answer on the CB, he drove up next to him and shook the CB mic at him so he would turn his on and we could warn him. The driver ignored us. This rubbed Malcolm the wrong way, and since the guy was about to endanger lives, AND was making truckers look bad, Malcolm called the California Highway Patrol and alerted them. They pulled the driver over about 30 miles later. I imagine he got a hefty fine for not securing his load, and maybe more.

I found it particularly ironic that Sunday was the first day of the CVSA's Operation Safe Driver, even though the focus of that campaign has nothing to do with the above described offense. All the same, it amused me. For more information on Operation Safe Driver, you can visit this link.  It might be of interest to you, as they are not just watching trucks, but also how YOU drive around trucks.


Missy @ My Life Ain't Always Beautiful said...

Beautiful pictures. Thank goodness for a load that isn't super messy. I can't imagine how bad some of it smells.

Shirley said...

I like Washington State too. You got some beautiful photos. I didn't get a chance to comment on your Sunday Stills, (Ted kept taking the internet stick away from me!)but I'm glad to hear the driver got stopped before there was a wreck.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Peas sound like a nice load to haul to me too. I hauled alot worse than that, many times. That would really be a nice haul from Washington to South Carolina. I hav'nt done alot of hiway long hauling, but I do plan on it sometime in the future. It'll be kinda like a paid holiday maybe. I've hauled into the States from Canada once, from Grande Prairie, Alberta, to Gooding, Idaho with a load of bull buffalo. It was ok, but I sure have alot to learn about crossing the line and all that. Log books? lol. I thought the DOT in Shelby, Montana was going to put me away forever. lol.