The Patricks Low Cost Housing Adventures travel blog


All these loads are beginning to blend together into a blob. Home is on our minds and we are just going thru the motions now.

We left Colorado with a 500+ mile deadhead to Liberal, Kansas to pick up a load of meat, to be packaged in some town near Milton, PA. Actually, I didn't mind the fact that we were leaving empty to go back over the mountain on Hwy 50 in Colorado. It was a lot less stressful! We picked up our load very early the next morning and headed east. So many of the major highways have massive construction programs going on. It doesn't seem to matter which way you go, unless you are going thru in the wee morning hours, you will be in a back up for almost an hour. But, that's typical of summer travel. It takes the place of storms and road shut down in the winter months. I can't recall much of the trip other than Jim's constant questioning as to why we are working for 4 weeks straight. That seems to be the ultimate limit to his endurance. I can't say I much enjoy it either. We just look at each other, wondering what on earth we are doing cooped up in this truck for so long. The big, guy just can't wait to get home and start cutting up trees, build something or do some other kind of hard, manual labor.

After delivering our load, we settled down for a nights sleep; as it was too late to get a load for that day. (I believe that was Jim plan all along.) We started getting messages during the night on our qualcomm. First was from a dispatcher, who had a driver that had run out of hours and had a load that needed to get to the yard. Didn't have to think about that one for too long. We were tired and didn't see the point in doing that. I remember a bumper sticker I saw: Poor planning on YOUR part, doesn't constitute an emergency on MY part. Or something like that. A couple hours later came another distress call. A driver had lost his clutch and needs a truck to get his load delivered near our terminal in Pittston this morning. That one we felt we should help out with. It worked perfect since when we delivered out load there were no empty trailers to be had. We were bobtailing. We got the load from the guy, delivered it and headed to our yard for some need new steer tires and shocks for all 6 tires. Then we headed down to put up our next load......frozen treats in Hatfield, PA going to Ontario & Oxnard, California. A two dropper. While en route to CA, managed to catch up on some much needed laundry. And pick up some of the most important things to have in the truck......diaper wipes and ear plugs. Then WD-40, metal coat hangers and duct tape come in a close second.

Just when we thought we had been in the clear regarding repairs, we had another exciting moment. I had just fueled up the truck in Oklahoma City and T/A when it just wouldn't start. I tried a few times to turn the engine over with the key, but it only made a whirling sound. Having to wake Jim, I told him the wonderful news. He tried banging on solenoid with a hammer while I turned the key over and over again. Nothing. He walked over to the shop and secured a mechanic. Before the guy made it over, he tried again to start it. Amazingly, it started......but the issue had to be resolved. It could do this at anytime and we didn't want to take the chance of it happening beside the road somewhere far from a shop! We were able to get the trailer dropped and the truck into the shop. Then we had to prove that there was a problem. You guessed it, the truck started every timet Jim turned the key. He had almost given up when it repeated the "won't start, whirling noise". So we had the starter replaced. It took a few hours so we used the time to shower, eat and get a smart phone! That repair cost Jim more than he bargained for! But I'm beginning to really enjoy this phone. Josh tells me I'm way behind on my electronic skills and need to get with the times. Have to keep that "cool mom" factor going.

So it's off again to the west coast. Temperatures were rising quite high; there were lots of older trucks broke down beside the road while attempting to climb the big western mountains. Also a time to pay real close attention to tire pressures. One of our companies truck had a tire explode burning the truck down in the process. We like trying to spend any extra sleep time high up in the hills where it's cooler as we don't run our truck when we are stopped. Last trip west and then its home sweet home.

When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Psalms 128:2



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