December 19, 2012

Racing the Storm in Arizona

We had a load to Indiana which we delivered last Tuesday. It's been a while since we had a load on that side of the country, unless we were trying to get home to Tennessee.

After delivering we had a wait till the next load came in, but it didn't take too long. Just long enough to give us time to eat and take a nap, which was appreciated after driving all night.

Wednesday morning found us even closer to home, as we delivered in Guntersville, AL, about 90 miles from the house. It was hard to turn west instead of east, but it was too early to go home for Christmas break. So we headed to Flagstaff, AZ with a load of chicken meal for a pet food place.

Three things of concern with that load. The delivery appointment wasn't till Friday evening, which would leave us sitting in Flagstaff for the weekend with no load. Also, we'd be arriving on Thursday afternoon, and sitting for a day with nothing to do till we could deliver.
And finally, Flagstaff was supposed to be getting a snowstorm Thursday night.

Normally that particular place is difficult to get an appointment changed, but luckily this time they worked with our broker and allowed us to deliver on Thursday at noon, which meant some hard driving to get there. We didn't exactly get good fuel mileage, but we did make it on time. And we dumped that stuff out and high tailed it north to get ahead of the storm.

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous going north towards Utah. Highway 89 scoots just east of the Grand Canyon, and you get to enjoy a taste of what it might be like if you were to go on over to the park, which I will do one day! It was late afternoon, with an amazingly blue sky, the perfect light for photography, and the way it was hitting the red rock cliffs....well, it was just perfect!
We've been on this road before, almost always going south, and almost always in the dark. So it was a real pleasure to drive through here in the daylight and see what all we've been missing.
We'd been missing out on a lot!
I've known for some time that I want to come back to this area as a tourist one day. I think that's going to have to happen pretty soon.
It was almost all straight roads, until we came to a sharp turn and then started climbing into the sky.
And we didn't feel like we'd climbed that far, but a look back at the valley floor make it clear we'd come up quite a ways.
Once we crossed the hill the land leveled out and we were on a plain of sorts. There was hardly any indication that there had ever been any canyon walls or stone spires.

We drove till dark and a little after, crossing over into Utah. We were tired. It'd been a long hard drive to get to Flagstaff in time, and since it was 53 degrees and we felt like we'd gotten far enough north that we shouldn't have problems with the snow coming in, we parked and went to bed.

When woke up at 6:00 the next morning, we discovered that we'd made a mistake. We hadn't gone quite far enough north. There was about 2 inches of snow on the road, which normally wouldn't be that big a deal, but we had some hilly country to go through, and, an even bigger issue, our trailer was empty. That's about like pulling around a big sled that has a mind of it's own. The load is what helps give us traction on slick roads and without it, things can get interesting. We were spinning tires and sliding around a bit, but we made it over the mountain and onto I-15 where we found nearly dry roads for the remainder of the trip.
We weren't completely problem free at that point. We'd picked up about 1000 pounds of snow and ice that was stuck all to the trailer and the frame of the truck. Malcolm and I got out and beat on it with a hammer and scraped with a hoe, trying to dump the weight off. We were on our way to load and carrying around 1000 pounds of snow meant we'd get loaded shy a 1000 pounds of product and get paid less. Fortunately it was just hovering at freezing and so a lot of our snow fell off be the time we got to the shipper.

We're leaving the shipper in Utah now and will be delivering in North Carolina in a few days and then going home for the holidays. By the time you read this, I'll be a home visiting family and playing with the horses and sitting in my favorite chair in front of our fire. I decided to do a few posts in advance and schedule them to post next week, since I don't have internet at home.

So this will probably be the last you hear from me till we go back to work after the turn of the New Year. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by your closest loved ones and dear friends.

In case I don't manage to get back on here:
Merry Christmas! And may God bless you all in the year to come!


Shirley said...

Such spectacular scenery! A visit to the Grand Canyon is on my bucket list too.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home, and Christmas hugs to you and Malcolm. Give your horses an extra treat from me!

MTWaggin said...

Merry Christmas you too and enjoy your time off. I loved the photos coming out of Flagstaff, an area I too will visit someday after flying over it last April.

Cindy D. said...

Merry Christmas and I am glad you made it through the tip of that storm without incident.
I am actually headed to AZ this Friday for a week! yay warm weather!!!!!

Badlands said...

Joyuex Noêl et Bonne Année!
Miss you!

WeldrBrat said...

There is something about living in Page, Arizona during your teenage years that never abandons your, nor loses its huge place in your heart! Being able to tour around the state you live in is always fun. But the desert can push a kid to exercise their brain for finding creative ways to have fun in the middle of a picture. And as kids, so many of us always felt like we lived inside the most gorgeous picture! My family (as did many others) would make that drive from Page to Flagstaff, every 2 weeks, just for bulking up on groceries. Driving through Page, over Glen Canyon Dam and along Lake Powell to get to Utah is... such a great movie! Be safe!! Merry Christmas!

Muffy's Marks said...

I guess I never realized snow and ice on the truck would make additional weight!! (duh) Safe travels and enjoy your new home over the holidays. Merry Christmas to you both!!

Dreaming said...

I've driven 89 south to Sedona, AZ, but have never gone north. It looks just as pretty!
How scary to get caught by the snow. I'm glad you made it through uneventfully.

Merry Christmas to you, too!

Arizona Homesteaders said...

We feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place as Arizona.

Glad to hear that you were able to beat the storm; it was a doozy!

Janice said...

You guys sure get to see some beautiful country.

Janice said...

PS: Sarah I just dropped down to see some of your other posts. Love your new house....funny how things work out. I hope you and Malcolm have many many happy years in your new home. And speaking of happy. Happy New Year as well.