We started off with a couple days at home to get things packed, and get the truck turned into the shop for a clutch adjustment and a few other repairs. Then we headed to the ranch where we helped out with getting the calves shipped and then having the cows preg. checked. In all we were there 3 days, plus a few hours. Lots of fun, lots of visiting, a little asthma and allergy issues, but that was the only bummer.
From the ranch, we headed to Tennessee. This was the first trip we've taken down there in a personal vehicle since moving to Montana nearly 4 years ago! Up to this point we've always just gotten a load of something going down there, and then taken our time off once we delivered. Its quite a different experience traveling that many miles (about 1700) in a pickup, primarily that you can't stretch out and sleep good. We still managed to do it without stopping though. It took 27 hours. Could have been a little shorter except we drove 65mph in order to conserve some fuel and some money too. We stayed down there about three days and then turned around and came home. We went to visit, but there was also a purpose other than pure pleasure. It was time for my first car to come home to Montana.
This is my 1991 Mustang GT. Daddy bought it for me in 1994 when I was 16. It had 6000 miles on it. I love me little red car! My dad has been storing it in his garage for the past 7 years, but it was time to get it out of his way. Now I guess it will sit in my father-in-law's garage for the next 7 years. But maybe I can get it out once in a while and take it for a spin.
And since we had the trailer and had gone all that way, Malcolm brought a new toy home too. Dad was wanting to sell his 1971 CJ Jeep, and Malcolm thought it would be fun for bumping around the ranch in.
We got to the ranch Monday evening and woke up to a good old fashioned Montana winter morning on Tuesday. How's that for a "welcome home!" By Tuesday evening it still hadn't really cleared up, so we just struck out for home and hoped for the best. The gravel road was really messy.
Thirty miles later when we hit pavement it got better.
Good thing we remembered them because this morning they had the chain law up for crossing "Cabbage" east of Pendlton, OR. Beautiful snow.....
This was the earliers we've ever chained up I think, and the most we've ever chained up in one winter was 3 times. I hope, very much, that today was not a peek at what is coming this year.
Got to the bottom, and on down towards the Columbia River it turned into a gorgeous day. It was like another world!
And then a few miles further on, it started looking like this again...
It got more and more rainy the closer to Portland we got. I feel like mother nature has kind of thrown a little bit of everything at us today! By the time I got to Vancouver it was just misty, and then as we pulled into Woodland, WA, where we are now, a rainbow came out and now the sun is struggling to burn off the clouds.
We reload in Portland in the morning and then make a short run back over towards Pendleton and the mountain. And then we have to cross over empty. We're hoping the weather improves a lot between now and tomorrow evening when that is supposed to take place. Climbing an icy hill with an empty trailer...well its not a good scenario. Chances are it would be hard to get to the top. And I know that makes little sense. Seems like if you were loaded heavy, you'd have a hard time climbing on icy roads, but reality is the heavier we are, the more traction we have. Light weights are a night mare on icy roads.
Looks like we'll be driving to Wyoming empty ALL the way from Washington, to get a load of potash going to North Carolina! Looking forward to the trip! But right now I'm looking forward to a shower, a good hot meal, and a long night in a parked truck, as soon as we get unloaded. And we're backing in now.