(last Monday in Dove Creek, CO where we loaded safflower seed)
Its been a white world, nearly everywhere we've been, except over in California. It was only in the high 30's north of Sacramento, where we delivered and reloaded last Tuesday, but the grass was an electric green! After seeing so much white for so long, it almost hurt the eyes to see all the color! But is sure was nice! Sadly, for you, I was so busy helping load and absorbing the color myself, that I forgot to get the camera out. Sorry!
Out of California we took a load of beet pulp pellest to a pet food plant in Sparks, NV. Then we took a 500 mile bounce to Oregon! Very low freight in the first of the year means long empty bounces for us to just keep moving, but it all balances in the long run.
It was a long bounce, but it was through some pretty country. North out of Winnemucca, NV on US95 into the Oregon outback. Its a remote, hardly populated stretch of rode, and I think its just lovely!
We picked up half a load of sunflower seed in Alicel, OR near La Grande. Then we took another 200 mile bounce to Moses Lake, WA to get the second half of the load.
Between Pendlton, OR and Umatilla, along I-84 sits this old elevator. It pretty much dominates the landscape and always gets my attention. There's just something appealing about it standing there so proudly, surrounded by the rolling plain of north central Oregon.
...waited patiently, throughout the loading process, right by the driver side door,...
...and then once we had loaded up, he led the way back to the scale, waited for us to weigh out, and then escorted us off the property, nipping at our rear mudflaps. He was very friendly, so I'm going to assume those nips were goodbye kisses.
(I think we're reloading there again tomorrow afternoon. I'll have to be sure to share the girls cookies with him. He's a very hard worker and deserves a reward.)
The sunflower seed went to Minnesota, by way of the house! We stopped in around 4:00 Saturday morning. Malcolm's Dad and sister came over and stayed the night with us before heading out Sunday for a trip. We had a nice long visit, lots of laughs, and good food with good company. We'd not seen Malcolm's baby sister since late summer, so it was really good to see her. (and of course we're not complaining about the day and a half at home either!)
Sunday noon, we left and headed east. And we had the pleasure of more good visiting to anticipate as we picked our way across eastern Montana's icy roads. We had had some very wet snow and freezing rain on Saturday and it made things a little slick.
Behind this little tree row is the town of Wibeaux, MT.
You might have heard me refer to it before. Its the little town just off I-94. It's a scant 10 miles from the North Dakota state line, but more importantly, its where we sometimes jump off the interstate to go south to Baker and the ranch. It's about an hour from Baker.
Come to find out, its also in close proximity to a blogger friend of mine. I first "met" Judy, author of Loves Ranch Life and More, through the photography challenge blog, Sunday Stills. And after reading her blog a few times, I recognized some reference points she mentioned, and asked where exactly was she in North Dakota. To my surprise and delight, her families ranch is just a couple hours away from my in-laws ranch! We're practically neighbors! (an exaggeration of course, but not too far off the mark for this part of the country!)
Anyway, Sunday evening, Judy and her husband Doug drove over to Wibeaux (pronounced Wee-boe) and met us for dinner. We had a delightful evening of conversation during which was discussed the various aspects of ranching, life in the country, our mutual obsession with Barnes and Noble and Hobby Lobby, and lots of other topics. Malcolm and Judy's husband have both trucking and ranching in their background, so there were lots of mutual interests all the way around the table.
We're looking forward to another visit sometime soon, and I'm delighted to know someone who lives close by. I'm finally getting to know people out here, a few anyway. Its only taken 4 years!
We delivered in Minnesota this morning. There was a nice layer of fresh powder on the road all the way from Bismark to our delivery. It wasn't slick, but I couldn't help but think of what a nightmare it could turn into once the wind started blowing, and it always starts blowing in North Dakota at some point!
So far, its staying pretty tame. We're headed back west now, pushing to get across this state before the wind tears loose with a fury. All that fresh powder will make an excellent ground blizzard! Hope we don't see much of it!
That's our week in a nut shell. It was a successful week, and a pleasant one. We got our 4000 mile quota, got time at home, and got several hours of socializing! Not bad for a weeks work!
And I got to meet another blogger. Judy is the fourth blogger to take the time to meet up with us as we passed through! Thanks Judy! We really enjoyed meeting you and Doug!
Seems like we're on a roll this year so far, in more ways than one!