The Patricks Low Cost Housing Adventures travel blog

Midland, TX Oil Rig

That last entry was terrible.

Feeling like myself again :) Those two days were a blur. It took a while to even talk about food let alone look at billboards of dripping hamburgers luring you off the highway.

I may never eat fried chicken again.

But, you should never say never. After delivering our yogurt to Los Angeles area,(a 5:45am appointment, in and out before traffic) we headed to the big truck stops on the outskirts of the city to await our next load. First, Prime sent us a load to North Carolina that didn't pay very well. We turned that down, much to our dispatchers dismay. Then we were offered one going to Georgia for Friday morning. That was close enough.

While waiting for our appointment time we had a funny mishap. A guy wandering around the truck stop, convinced us he could brighten up our old headlight that was cloudy. It was $10 and we didn't have to pay him if it didn't work. Sure, why not. While we were outside at the front of the truck watching him work his magic, Jim noticed the truck moving a little. Then it lurched forward a couple times! Jim looked down the trailer to see what was going on. Another truck was parking in the spot behind us, had hit us and was STILL trying to back up more! And lo and behold, it was another Prime truck! I say funny because there was no damage done. The two bumpers of the trailers just lined up against each other. He had only been with Prime 3 days. Now, this truck stop has 250 spaces to park and the lot was a little more than half full with lots of easier places he could have chosen. Hopefully he will get better with time, and avoid hitting fixed objects!

It was HOT in southern California that day, over 90 degrees and our load temperature is going to be -10 degrees. It takes a couple hours to pre-cool the trailer, but soon we were loaded with frozen cookie dough going to McDonalds distribution. Yes, they sell cookies.

Here's the specs on the load.

Empty Miles 50 Loaded Miles 2105 Picking up at Sweet Life Bakery in Bloomington, CA on 1/3 at 13:00 Load weight 34,235 lbs. Piece count 1050 Delivering at Hub Atlanta in Lithia Springs, GA on 1/6 at 9:00 Pay $3572

That's how it comes thru on our Qualcomm. We need to make sure everything matches up, shipment numbers etc., that the load is secure, our weight in correctly distributed and away we go. At 60mph we have an extra 24 hrs down time. Out of the pay must come all operating expenses, travel costs, taxes etc. Jim's favorite phrase is "Not a bad life, if you don't weaken."

Going to Georgia we will take I-10 to I-20. This is one of the most boring roads, in my opinion. Maybe it's due to lack of variety in terrain and no mountain views. Until you hit the easternmost part of Texas, this time of year the landscape color is basically brown. In Western Texas there is nothing but hundreds oil rigs, dirt and scrub brush.

The land produces oil, just like Maine produces trees.

When I first started driving team with Jim, we lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Our first run was from Atlanta to Dallas and back three times a week. After about 6 months or so we got itchy to see more of the country. So we began going from Atlanta to Los Angeles and back to the southeast. There isn't much to do on this route and it was a challenge to keep the kids entertained. We visited quirky, roadside exhibits like "The Thing" (We think it was a mummified Indian) and "Rattlesnakes Ranch", where you could feed them mice. A couple of times we took a side trip to Carlsbad Caverns, or we would take a day or two off in L.A. area and go sight seeing. We even drove down to the San Diego Zoo once. This was 20 years ago when fuel was less than a dollar a gallon.

Now we are in Louisiana and still have an extra 11 hours. Think we will find a Walmart to pick up some supplies. It's been a uneventful trip; we are just counting down the miles till we turn the truck off and return to normal life. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the new t-shirt I bought. It's black with two red tractor trailers near the top, surrounded by red roses and says " The Only Thing Tougher than a Trucker is a WOMAN TRUCKER ".

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20

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