The Patricks Low Cost Housing Adventures travel blog

As I am SO far behind, I will just fill in via point for my cool map, and highlight our loads to get things caught up. After delivering our Mushrooms, we did a drop and hook in Bradenton, Florida (blowing the horn when we went past Brooksville) picking up a load of juice going to Walnut, California. It went to a container transfer place, which probably means its going on a ship over the Pacific. Needing to get home, the best load got us heading into Minnesota. We had a 2 pick-up produce in Bakersfield and Oxnard, which mainly consisted of carrots, strawberries, broccoli and varieties of greens. It took ALL DAY to load, since it was fresh picked. The field workers were running to get things done in time and load all the trucks. It was crazy hectic. Finally we got out and headed to MN with not a lot of extra time to spare. Definitely want to remember US highway 54. We rarely go in that diagonal, and even rarer on secondary road but it saves around 150 miles. We picked it up in Tucumcari NM and took it to Wichita, KS., cutting thru small parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Driving through there at night, we passed by several beef processing plants. What a smell!!! I remember going by slaughter houses when we had the dachshunds. Their noses would be sniffing the air and their mouths watering, enjoying the fragrance! The area in fairly high elevation, around 3000 feet and very, very flat. The fields of wheat in Kansas were beautiful green, growing fast and waving in the breezes. I drove through Greenland, KS. It was a lot different than when we went thru after the massive F5 tornado. Nothing was left to distinguish a town was there. Some pipes sticking out of the ground showed where building had been. Everything was knocked flat or simply gone. Today, it is revived and looking much better.

That got me remembering the 1999 tornados that ripped through Oklahoma City, OK. We actually saw the storm as it was forming in New Mexico. All four of us stopped at a rest area and got out of the truck to stare in amazement at the low clouds above us. To the north the sky was extremely black. I remember thinking I should video the clouds overhead, they reminded me of a pan of water in hard boil mode; bursting and rolling over the sky. It was a chilling sight. Days later came the new of a terrible outbreak of tornadic storms in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and Tennessee with a F5 touching down outside of Oklahoma City. Thirty-six people died in this tornado. Over 8000 homes were badly damaged or destroyed and doing $1.1 billion in damage, made it the single most costly tornado in U.S. history. Driving thru OK City later on was an eerie feeling. But not so strange as after the explosion that happened years before known as the Oklahoma Bombing. The sorrow that hung in the air was suffocating. Oklahoma has seen a lot of sorrow.

When driving, I often think back at all the things we have encountered. It has been a long, long ride. But rewarding at the same time. I think of my sister who has never likes to leave the state of Maine. When she visited me in Georgia, she got so homesick she flew home 2 days earlier! We could not be more opposite.

We delivered our produce. Unfortunately, freight is slowing. Not a good sign for the economy. I wonder if we are heading into that double dip recession they have been talking about. There are no loads to the east today, but a driver is wanting to return home to St. Paul, Minnesota and could we deliver his load in South Dakota? Then we will get a load out of there to Massachusetts for Monday. That sounded good to us and it paid quite well. So we sat around waiting for the load full of beer that was arriving from Virginia later that day. This gave us time to correctly diagnose Jim……he had an outbreak of shingles. It had been very painful and walking had not been easy. He must have a very high tolerance for pain, unlike me. But now he is on the mend.

The Prime driver with the beer finally arrived. It was going to an obscure town called Huron, South Dakota. We again found ourselves on back roads. But this part of the country is fairly flat and the roads are quite straight. So we drove out of Minnesota to the state line and called it a night. Tomorrow, I will tell you about small town America!!!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalms 30:5

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