September 18, 2011

The Last Week of Summer

This past week was the last full week of summer. Evidence of the season is seen in all my pictures this week. Mostly in the form of bug splatter on the windshield. It is an ongoing irritation for me, and one of the many reasons I look forward to cooler weather! There are few things more frustrating to me than thinking I've captured a great picture, only to discover upon loading it on the computer than there was a bunch of bug splatter captured in the shot. And this week seems to have won the prize for the most.
Tuesday morning near Denver, CO: I rarely have seen the day when the Rocky Mountains are clear and pristine behind the city of Denver. Whether from summer haze, smoke, or smog, the mountains seem to be always and forever more shrouded and dim. But even under cover, they are still impressive in size.

We had thought we'd get another load of drilling sand after delivering in Fargo last Monday morning, but it turned out different. Instead, we took a load of sunflower seed to Colorado, and then reloaded with the wheat screenings I told you about in the previous post. That load was picked up northeast of Denver, and then we hit the road for a hard drive to get to California in a hurry. I like the drive on US287 from Fort Collins, CO to Laramie, WY. Its short, but scenic, before picking up I-80 and heading west.

From California, we reloaded and headed to Sugar City, ID with a load of fertilizer. Then we reloaded in Idaho Falls, a load of malt barley being moved from this plant, to their other facility in Colorado.

We took a different route to leave Idaho than we have in the past. US26 cuts over to the Idaho/Wyoming state line where we had the pleasure of driving through the Bridger Teton National Forest, just south of Teton National Park and Yellowstone. More beautiful scenery, disturbed by an abundance of bug splatter.

Friday morning we delivered in Fort Collins, CO and then headed up to a little place west of Cheyenne, where we loaded at a quarry. We loaded 3/4" rock that was headed to a road project in Nebraska.

That was just a short load that went to a town south of North Platte, NE. We took our time getting there, because we didn't have anything to do until Saturday evening. So we stopped in Cheyenne for several hours to have some things tweaked on the truck, and then parked at a stop in Nebraska and slept for a number of hours in a PARKED TRUCK! The best sleep I've had in weeks! And then delivered the rock on a very foggy Saturday morning.
In fact, about the whole day in Nebraska looked like this. So I didn't try to take pictures. Yesterday was a very misty, damp day. We dumped out the rock, drove to a town north of Lincoln, and last night reloaded there. We are now loaded with......drilling sand! Loaded up in a different spot than the loads before, and its going to a different spot, almost. We'll deliver this afternoon at a town just east of Williston, ND.

Today the fog lifted once the sun came up. Malcolm started driving around 5:00 and I got up at 7:00. Its a gorgeous fall day! We're in South Dakota now, and will be at our destination sometime this afternoon. Malcolm took some pictures this morning while I was sleeping. He wanted to show me the spillway, still flowing, at the Missouri River crossing on the NE/SD state line. The Missouri River sure has acted up this year. Normally the water would be much lower by now.
That about sums up our week. By this afternoon, we'll have hit about 5,018 miles.

Another slammer week, but at least we got a little sleep this weekend. We'll need it because from the sounds of it, this coming week is going to be another doozy! At least its starting out strong, and that usually sets the trend for the rest of the week.

Do you mind if I vent a little bit? I've been very frustrated lately with being gone from home and not helping my frustration at all, were some reminders in my trucking news e-letter just how much we, the truckers, are unappreciated and disrespected, and quite frankly discriminated against! There was an article one day telling about how some organization is recommending to the powers that be that cell phone use, whether hand held or hands free, be outlawed for truckers while driving. Really?
Now I know my vehicle will cause a lot of damage if I hit someone. But does that justify this type of action? And just because my vehicle is big, doesn't mean I'm an unsafe driver, or any more unsafe that any other driver on the road with a phone. That would be like telling SUV drivers that they have to use hands free devices but those that drive those little eco cars can hold their phones, hell they can even text while driving! Do you think SUV drivers would take that sitting down? I think not! Why should truck drivers? And its little crap like that all the time. I'm sick and tired of it!

We are constantly subjected to ridiculous stuff like this from the government and general disrespect from the public. How many times have I gotten dirty looks, and dirty gestures, sent my way when my only guilty act was to be the one sitting in a truck instead of a "normal" vehicle. Cut off, cussed at, flipped off, and don't forget the Oklahoma Unwelcoming Committee that blocked our way, threatened us with a 2x4, and spit in Malcolm's face! I try hard to forget him, but I can't.

So last night when we were driving through a small Nebraska town and some kids THREW ROCKS AT OUR TRUCK, we had reacked the end of our rope. We couldn't let that one slide.
Malcolm hit the brakes and threw the truck in reverse. The kids ran of course, into their home, and we parked on the shoulder and Malcolm went to the door and asked for the parents. The kid that had the guts to come to the door said he didn't live there and no parents were home. Malcolm came back to the truck and called the local police, who showed up in less than 5 minutes, about the same time "mom" pulled into her driveway. The kids of course tried to lie, and then one of them broke down in tears when Malcolm told them they were lying and suggested he go get me from the truck to come over and tell my version of what I saw. She fessed up to lying to the police officer, something he wasn't too happy with them about, and to throwing rocks at our truck. The parent was upset of course, and the kids were terrified, and our feathers were smoothed a bit after being so rumpled. Not that we wanted to cause problems, but a point needed to be made there, and I think it was done. Probably those kids will hate truckers the rest of their lives, but quite frankly I don't care. I just hope they use some common sense, and maybe, just maybe, have a little respect for the next trucker that drives past their yard. If not respect, then at least the decency to behave appropriately. Cause let me tell you, there were a couple cars that went past the same time we did, and I didn't see any rocks aimed at their vehicles! They just picked the wrong trucker to aim at.


TexWisGirl said...

well, i'm glad both the parent and the cops were informed of their behavior. maybe it'll scare them before they turn into the kind of rabid adult like that oklahoma guy...

MTWaggin said...

I am constantly amazed the mileage you guys put in and appreciate the scenery shots as well. Enjoyed the hopper trailer cleaning expose previously too! You were right to stop the truck and call the kids on the carpet...otherwise they continue to run amuck and disrespect others property! Stay safe and drive carefully. Give the nakeds hugs from us and yes, the carousel is in Helena just over by Carroll College.

Jake said...

You were on HWY 26?? You went through one of the nicest towns in America. Dubois! We lived there for 2 years, In fact we got married just west of Crowheart. You and Malcolm have the support of this family on the trucking issues.

Michaele said...

Okay - first of all, thank you SO MUCH for the Wyoming photos! Thank you, thank you!
I don't see how that cell phone thing for truckers can ever go through. Hope it doesn't. It is a problem for EVERYONE not just truckers.
Also, very sorry about what happened in Nebraska. But GO MALCOLM! Glad he took the time to do what most people would only say they "should have done".

Leigh said...

Over 5000 miles in a week? Gosh, that's fantastic. It sounds like you have very little wait time between loads, the truckers bane.

Meagan said...

Y'all have been SOOOO BUSY! I guess it's good for business and sets up for another nice break at home and some time off for the holidays though. I can't believe that you got rocks thrown at you and I REALLY can't believe that you stopped and confronted them - WAY TO GO! :-)

Cynthia Eloise said...

way to go, glad you didn't let those little kids get away with it. i always enjoy reading your updates and seeing your photos. it's great insight into a truckers life.

Carol in Colorado said...

Sorry you didn't get a chance to see the mountains when you were in the Denver area. We do have clear days when the mountains are in the full glory.

I love reading your blog of being on the road. My hubby and daughter were OTR truckers. My daughter would love to get back into it again.

Be Safe out there!!

thecrazysheeplady said...


Janice said...

That's a lot of mileage. The scenery shots are pretty interesting.