March 17, 2011

We Were Exhausted in Virginia, but the Truck Held Out Till Texas

Over the weekend, we had a long trip to run, roughly 2600 miles. We started on Friday loading Granny Smith apples near Yakima, WA.
Normally, a trip like that is just what we want for a weekend, but we were already worn down from two weeks of hard driving. So even though it was the perfect weekend load, we started it tired and with little enthusiasm, which really just adds to the weariness. We stopped for Malcolm's birthday dinner, but that was the last real break until Sunday afternoon.

We drove all night, crossing the norther stem of Idaho and most of Montana, just in time to enjoy a gloriously beautiful Saturday morning in southeastern Montana.

I love the drive across MT200 from Crow Agency, MT to Belle Fourche, SD. Its two lane all the way, and never fails to provide breathtaking scenery. Near the end, we cross about 20 miles of the northeastern tip of Wyoming, with the Black Hills visible in the distance.

And then its into South Dakota, which has seen a considerable thaw since we passed through last weekend.

It took the rest of the daylight to cross South Dakota, and by the time we were in Minnesota, it was too dark for pictures. Saturday night we crossed Minnesota, Iowa, and most of Illinois. Sunday morning we stopped long enough to grab some breakfast and take a shower in Indiana, and then hit the road again, wanting to get close to our destination before stopping again.
In Ohio, the skies started to cloud over a bit, but the weather held and we made good time.

Long after dark we crossed a tip of West Virginia and then rolled into the mountains of western Pennsylvania. Late during the night, on a little side road deep in the Allegheny Mountains, we passed the site of Fort Necessity, the site where the French and Indian War began. Do you know how it kills me to drive by these things and not be able to stop? It was agony...and it was DARK so I couldn't even get a glimpse of more than the sign for the park.

We stopped at a little pull off to sleep a few hours, and woke to a sunrise over the hills of Maryland.

The states in the eastern US always seemed so large to me, but after being out west for a while, now it seems like even the larger eastern states are small. It takes next to no time at all to cross them. Within a short time we found ourselves crossing the Potomac River...
...and crossing a few more miles of West Virginia's rolling hills and mountains.

And then finally, after two and a half days...
We were delivering in northeastern Virginia in the city of Winchester. It lies about 60 miles or so west of Washington D.C.

We knew, from past experience, that its best to avoid Washington traffic whenever possible, and yes, even 60 miles away you can get stuck in Washington traffic. Its AMAZING how far those people are willing to commute!!! Luckily we didn't have any issues and were able to enjoy an easy trip in, and get the apples delivered easily and quickly. Recognize this name?

The Granny Smith apples from Washington went to the White House plant, makers of one of my favorite brands of apple juice.

We didn't have a load waiting for us and we didn't care. We dumped the apples off, and went to bed. Forget making money, it was time to sleep! In 7 days we had driven 6,160 miles and crossed 19 states, and we felt like it too!

A few hours later, the broker called with a short load, picking up 20 miles away. We loaded up and headed out. Virginia is soaked in history. It's peaking at you around every corner.

On our way south, we passed the turn off to go to Manassas (remember the second post on my Civil War Quilt about the battle of Manassas?). And we also passed Fredricksburg, and drove through Richmond, getting caught in a little bit of Washington's evening rush hour.

We also crossed another historically famous river, the Rappahonnock.
The trip was only 250 miles and just across the border into northeastern North Carolina. We delivered in the morning in Cofield, NC. Unfortunately, they didn't have room for all the product, even though they ordered it. We were a little peeved. After a little while, the broker called and told us to take the rest of it 180 miles east to another location, and fortunately the receiver agreed to pay a little more.

North Carolina is beautiful and Spring is beginning to show up all over the place.
The state also has its own share of historic homes...

...and points of interest. On the side of this 2 lane road near Mocksville, is the cemetery where Daniel Boone's parents are buried.

We didn't get reloaded till Wednesday morning, in Mocksville, NC. Then it was over the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The peaks were living up to all their names.

We drove through the night to northeast Texas and delivered this morning. Guess where we are now?
No, that doesn't look like the sleeper in the truck does it? We don't have near this much room! This is me and the girls relaxing in a hotel room in Dallas! Just before we got to Winchester, VA, an alarm went off fussing about low antifreeze. That happened three more times since Sunday, each time going off a little sooner than the time before. And then this morning, Malcolm discovered where its all going. There was water in the oil.

So we unloaded and drove 70 miles to Dallas, where we turned the truck into the doctor. Hopefully its the cheaper fix, which will cost us about $2000 and 6 hours off the road. Praying that its not the more costly fix, an undetermined amount of money and at least 4 days in the hotel room. We'll know here shortly, but if that's the case, Malcolm and I will be crying and kissing our wonderfully profitable weeks goodbye, all that exhaustion for naught. At least the girls won't be complaining. They love hotels!


Horses Are Our Lives said...

wow, that is a lot of miles. And you got from the PA hills, and I love the Appalachian Mtns to Texas??? how is your horse doing? I've been thinking of you. Brenda

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Enjoy following your travels - I get to see many places I have never been....

Debbie said...

I love your posts. I feel like I have gotten to visit some of these places. Today you took me home to the mountains of West Virginia. Thanks! I hope your mechanic has good news for you!

Anonymous said...

This is, I think, the most unique post, I have read or seen for a long time. I am tired just trying to imagine the trip. All those sour granny smith apples are not the kind I like but some people must if they got a truck loaded.

I guess you are driving with an 18-wheeler? My nephew used to drive one. Went all over the country from San Francisco to New York City and most of the places in between. He finally gave it up. He was hard of hearing all his life and I suppose that make going all over the country a big more difficult.

Vintage West said...

Great photo story, Love the light on the trees at the Potomac river!

small farm girl said...

Wow! I bet you guys ARE tired! I'm tired just reading about it. I hope you can get your truck fixed for the cheaper price. I can imagine what the other price will be. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

WOWEEE that's a long trip and a lot of pictures. I loved the ones with the old houses.

I've been to Montana once and I think that we may have taken that road you were talking about. I know we left and came back to SD threw Belle.

I'll never forget the smell of the pine trees while it was raining out there.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I love all your pictures and stories. You do a nice job!