Just a little over 3600 miles this week. Not really very good, when you consider that we aim for a 4000m/week average, and usually get more than that! Yes, our first week back on the road was a bit of a disappointment, but maybe that was for the best. I guess maybe it was better than leaping back in on the run and wearing ourselves down when we've gotten out of practice.
Monday morning, we left the house around 10:00, and made a short run, hauling a load of canola seed from Regent, ND to Velva, ND. Upon arrival at Velva, we found ourselves in line behind about 30 other trucks, all waiting their turn to deliver. It was several hours before we were out of there.
Unloaded, we headed to Devil's Lake, ND and arrived around midnight. We were out of there by 2:00am with a load of pea starch, an ingredient that they needed at a mill in California where they were making horse feed. I drove out of Devil's Lake and through the early morning hours, which meant I got to enjoy the sunrise, something I often miss, due to the way our favorite driving shifts fall. Tuesday morning dawned chilly and foggy in central North Dakota. It felt and looked like fall.
couldn't unload us. It was discouraging to say the least. So we sat there, all day Wednesday, and all night, and Thursday morning we woke up to find another truck had arrived, and wouldn't you know it? They were going to unload him first, because of the appointment schedule. Malcolm called our broker, who is marvelous at his job, and within a short time, we were pulling into the unloading area while the other truck waited.
A short 30 mile hop down to Stockton, CA to reload fertilizer, and we were headed back out of California, slipping through Sacramento before afternoon traffic really picked up.
|this is about as empty as I've ever seen this stretch of I-80|
We had an 850 mile run to northeastern ID, with plenty of time to get it done. We stopped in NV to eat and shower and still got to ID a couple hours before they opened Friday morning in Sugar City.
Seemed like the week had salvaged itself a bit after our 24 hour layover in CA, but then it turned out that CA had messed up our chances for a decent weekend load. After a couple hours, the broker called with the best they could come up with from our position, a 450 mile load from Pocatello, ID to Valier, MT. Not good news going into the weekend. That was way too much time for that short of a trip.
But that's the way the cards were dealt this week. So we heaved a few sighs of frustration, loaded our fertilizer in Pocatello, and headed north.
|approaching the ID/MT border on I-15|
Just across the border into Montana, we ran through a little rain storm, which worked like a charm. Got the bugs off the windshield and cooled things off considerably. At one point it dropped down to 61 degrees! There's hardly anything between Idaho Falls and Butte, MT in the way of food with truck parking. So I drove all the way into Butte, finishing off nearly half our trip before the weekend had even gotten here!
The scenery along that empty stretch of I-15 is lovely. Like an introduction to Montana's mountains, the interstate meanders along between the smaller ranges, through ranching valleys, and as you near Butte, the terrain becomes more and more hilly, working you into the larger mountain peaks.
We hit the mall in Great Falls, did a little window shopping and actually found a couple things we treated ourselves to. Then we killed some time browsing at the farm supply store, which is always fun and interesting.
And it just so happens that Malcolm's sister and her husband recently moved to Great Falls, so Saturday night we were able to meet up with them for dinner and a visit.
North of Great Falls its a gently rolling terrain, nearly every inch of every acre planted to one kind of grain or another.
The mountains are still hovering on the horizon to the southwest of us, and we'll be back in them tomorrow, as we reload and head for Spokane, WA for a Tuesday morning delivery. This was an easy week. Too easy. I guess it was a good way to break us back into trucking, but we're sure hoping we get to run our wheels off in the days to come!