July 2002  

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The start of this month brought a trip to Denver, CO.  I picked up my loaded trailer in Council Bluffs, IA for delivery on July 3 in Denver.

 

I never dreamed I would be "stuck" for the 4th of July.  My carrier has been overbooked with loads lately and I assumed (such a dangerous thing to do) that they'd have a plan all worked out for me.

 

No dice, though.  After delivery in Denver I loaded beer out of Golden, CO and took it to Salt Lake City, UT.  The load actually went up into Idaho, but they only wanted me to take it to Salt Lake.  I got to Salt Lake and had to sit over the 4th.... Drag.  Even though I am now on salary, I don't like to sit any more than I ever used to -- it isn't as bad as when I used to be paid mileage, but I still don't like it.  I spent my time at the Sapp Brothers Truck Stop and read two full length novels.  I hadn't brought my laptop -- thinking there would be too much freight to have any time for it -- and my partner had taken the television out, too.  Talk about boring.

 

I loaded out of West Jordan, UT on July 5th with a load bound for somewhere in Ohio, but I was told to take it only to Lincoln, NE.  I rolled into Lincoln on a Saturday night and once again, there was nothing on the books to do.  I dropped the load and read another couple of books and then went shopping.  Bad girl, I spent a bunch of money on a new digital camera, but hey this one takes movies and I hope to be able to really bring the trucking world to you now.   I tell ya, trucking is rain or pour, feast or famine.  There never seems to be a middle ground.

 

After loading at Dannon in West Jordan, UT, (Fantastic shipper, in and out in an hour.)  I made it as far as Cheyenne, WY and put it to sleep.  I slept hard -- and slept completely through what must have been one heck of a storm.  I remember waking at some point and thinking, "Oh, that sounds like hail," and going back to sleep.

 

As I got into Nebraska on I-80 I saw a road sign that said that I-80 was closed at Big Springs, NE. (MM # 107)  I turned the CB on to see what that was all about.  Apparently they had gotten so much rain in the area the night before that an interstate bridge in the Big Springs / Ogallala area had been completely wiped out.  All traffic was being routed around.  There is a Sapp Bros truckstop at Ogallala and the drivers who had parked there to sleep the night before had been awakened to find 1 - 2 inches of water in their cabs.  What a drag.  On US 30, there was an entire mobile home court wiped out by flood water.  People were standing around looking at what used to be their homes.  Sad.  I know a bit about floods, having lived through the Flood of 1993 and going without city water for two weeks, but I certainly didn't lose my home.

 

Westbound traffic was being taken off of I-80 at North Platte, NE - MM # 177.  Eastbound traffic was able to reenter I -80 around MM 140.  From MM 140 to MM 177 there was no westbound traffic and that felt strange.  I-80 is such a busy corridor that to see no traffic at all was kind of like Twilight Zone time.  I don't know how long it will be before they repair the bridge, but for future reference, at least for the time being, getting across I-80 in this part of Nebraska is going to be time consuming.

 

It wasn't a very hard week but the boring weeks are almost more tiring, if that makes any sense at all.  After getting back in I went to work at the driving school for a couple of days and managed to get this short video below.  It is of a bobtail tractor on the skid pad.

 

You'll need Windows Media Player to run the following:  Skid Pad Video Clip AVI

 

Well, that's it for now.  I'm on my way to Rocky Mount, NC.  I haven't been down that way for quite awhile and I am looking forward to it.

 

 

 

North Carolina State Line on I-77 Southbound

Truck Runaway Ramps

 

It scares me to even think about taking one of these.  It is kind of difficult to tell, but these ramps are very, very steep. 

 

Some ramps use peat-gravel to sink a vehicle, this type uses gravity to stop an out of control, heavy vehicle.

 

I think these ramps are on I-77, but I don't remember.  They are in that general region, though.

 

 

West Virginia wildflowers

 

 

St Louis rush hour

 

 

Coming into St Louis from the east on I-70.

 

 

This poor guy... Sorry about the picture quality, this photo was taken from a distance in the dark.  This driver attempted to pull into a spot, but did not swing it anywhere near wide enough and ended up fighting it.  He can't clear the truck on his left side now.  Eventually he gave up and backed out and for some crazy reason, went the wrong way and got into a nearly identical situation on the other side of the Pilot truckstop parking lot.  This just wasn't his day, I guess.

 

When I got into my truck to go out, I found the fairing bent badly.  While it may sound like tattling, if I don't report things like this, I will probably get blamed for it.  The other guy who drives this truck must have done it, but when he was asked, he said he had no idea how it had happened.  Call it CYA, call it what you want, but call in all damages you find on tractor and/or trailer so someone doesn't come back and blame you later.

 

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