January 10, 2011

On a Roll

Going over our home time escapades, I'm getting behind on keeping you up to date on our travels!
(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.

When we reached Moses Lake, our escort was waiting for us to scale in,...
...and then he showed us the way to the bins where we would load,...

...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!

As a side note:
Y'all are going to laugh at me! Remember me asking how to make my pictures bigger. Well all this time I've been annoyed at that stupid little blue bar that pops up under my pictures when I attach them to my posts, lol. Guess I should have looked more closely, and in fact I had read across the line. It didn't register, in all this time, that "large" "extra large" etc....HELLO SARAH....yeah. So I was in the middle of writing this post, and that blue bar was under a picture and I was rolling my eyes at the delay. Then it was like a light bulb came on. So, thanks for the offers to help me figure it out. Just goes to prove what I tell others all the time. If I just ask someone, then I'll figure it out or find what I'm looking for. Never fails. Sometimes I do wonder about my mind.


small farm girl said...

I just love your pictures! It feels like I'm right there with you.

Meagan said...

I always love your pictures and I'm so jealous of you meeting bloggers! So fun! Glad y'all are doing well and making good time... it sounds like y'all had a WONDERFUl week!

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

Great pictures. I love the dog. She almost looked wolf like in the first picture.

Have a great week & drive safe it's been a nasty weather week.

SunnySD said...

Beautiful scenery, and I love your escort! Hope your highways stay clear!

Rising Rainbow said...

As I'm reading this and since I know the latest forecasts on the far side (from me) of the country, I can't help but wonder if you are driving through the horrible winter conditions covering the whole side of the continent. Seems if you are going back to meet the little helper soon, maybe you're going the opposite direction. I sure hope that's the case because the midwest and beyond does not sound like a safe place for anyone to be heading.

Stay safe and I'll be thinking of you.

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Great pictures - I came here thru Judy at Loves Ranchlife -- I'll be back to visit more - we love Montana and almost moved there years ago.

Janice said...

Glad to hear you had a great week.It is pretty cool that your work also affords you the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers.Loved the pics....but then I always do. Your posts always make me feel like I'm along for the ride.

Sharon Tachenko said...

Clearly, you have a large following of us who find vicarious delight in your great adventures, Sarah. Admittedly, too, it's probably more luxurious from the comfort of our sofa ~ though, we also know the pictures NEVER capture the utter grandeur of the expanses!! We love imagining it all, though. Thanks for helping us peek and inspiring us to take our own cross-country adventure!