September 21, 2012

Back West

We left my parent's home last Thursday early in the morning....
...and headed to middle Tennessee to load up and get back west where we do most of our trucking. It was a peaceful morning, with a light mist laying on the mountains. As much as I love my mid-western plains, I have missed my Tennessee mountains tremendously.
We took a load of dirt to a Minnesota farm. It was comical to see that windrow of brown Tennessee soil dumped out in the Minnesota field. Expensive dirt too!  OK, so I'm exaggerating a bit. It was actually not just plain dirt, but some kind of mineral stuff for fertilizing. But....basically dirt.

It's always fun to start off after a break with an all nighter. We were kind of tired on Friday. Fortunately, we had the weekend to recuperate. We loaded sunflower seed in North Dakota and headed west, wrapping up the day with a lovely western sunset near Bismarck.
We stopped and slept a few hours during the night, and started our day in Montana, a very smoky Montana. We took our time getting across the state, stopping to run some errands and have a couple of meals at a couple of favorite places. It was a very smoky Montana, as I said. It was smoky from the time we entered the state, till we left it late Saturday evening. In fact, the smoke was the worst we've seen all summer.
southwest of Bozeman
Sunday we had to make up for our lazy day in Montana, so we stayed rolling most of the day, down through Idaho and across northern Nevada...
...delivering in central California bright and early Monday morning.

Since then, we've pretty much been going going going....
We bounced up north of Sacramento and loaded something called "heifer mix."  They were burning off some harvested fields there. More smoke.
In fact I could pretty much sum up our week in two words: busy and smoky.

We left California on Monday afternoon by way of highway 20...
 ...and I-80 into Nevada, and have been running our wheels off ever since. Not that the loads have been long, but the way everything is landing, it's been a lot of load and unload during the day and then drive all night to get there. We've been driving through the night every night this week, and when we're not used to doing that, it starts to wear us down. However, by this point, we've worked our way into the routine, so it should be easier from here forward, if we continue on this pattern.

We delivered in Idaho, reloaded in Ogden, UT, and went back to California. We reloaded in California, delivered in Ogden, UT, reloaded in Idaho and this morning we delivered in Washington. Now we're reloading in Washington, and about to head to California, where we'll deliver in the morning, turn around, bounce back to Washington, and do this run again by Monday morning.

I find it really bizarre that California has had the clearest skies this week. Usually it is so very much the opposite! But west coast skies have been pristine blue compared to the other areas we've been driving through. Montana of last weekend still takes the cake for the worst, but Idaho last evening ran a close second. You know it's bad when you can drive into a blazing western sunset and you have to take off your sunglasses because it's making everything too dim!

Today in Washington, it's not much better.

I told Malcolm this morning, "you know that lovely first whiff of someone's wood smoke from their fire that you get each fall that brings back all the warm fuzzy memories and makes you feel all nostalgic? I don't have that this year. I'm sick of smelling smoke!"

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Muffy's Marks said...

Our friends just came back from a bike trip through Montana and said the same thing. Must be awful. I'd have a hard time breathing. How about you guys, any lung issues because of all the smoke? Hopefully the fires are extinguished real soon!! Safe travels.

Shirley said...

Holy smoke! That air is thick enough you could slice it!
How is the farm hunting going, did the place you mentioned in your last post work out?

aHunkaHunkaBurningLove said...

Niccccccce pic of the smokey sun in montana, im goning to use that on my screensaver.

Meagan said...

All that smoke - yuck! Glad that y'all are staying busy, good business now will ease your mind a bit (I hope) when the moving trips start! :-) LOVE YOU!

(I think about your move every. single. day. NOT kidding)