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Old 01-21-12, 07:03 AM   #101
silvercreek
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I hate driving on I-40 at West Memphis Arkansas. Driving through OKC is bad enough but that road is one of the roughest I've driven on.
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Old 01-21-12, 07:46 AM   #102
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I took off from Carmel NY at 9:00 am on December 23rd. I hadn't seen my kids for months and the back of my pickup was 1/2 full of gifts. I filled both tanks of my dualie and headed off to Buffalo. I guess it was 2001 or so. I drove 70 the whole way. I got to Weedsport (nearly the whole way) and stopped for gas.

A fella walked up to me with a big wrapped gift box and handed it to me. He said "you dropped this a ways back", turned around and walked away. I realized the box had blown out of the back of my truck somewhere.

I ran over to the guy and stopped him as he climbed in his truck. "where did you find this" I asked. I had lost it as soon as I hit cruising speed (nine hours earlier) . Another trucker had seen the box fly out of the truck and called out on the radio. Another picked it up and somehow caught me while other kept tabs on my location. I had to drag all this info out of him. I didn't get a name. I just stood there floored as he drove away. It's one of the most profound events of my life.
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Old 01-21-12, 04:13 PM   #103
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Wow, a little bit of humanity can make such a positive difference. Too bad this is lost on so many people. :-\
Thanks for sharing this, Frank. There's been a cloud following me for the last few weeks that I can't seem to shake. I needed it.

BG:
Stay safe now that you're back on the open road through the Winter. I'm in awe of your tenacity.
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Old 01-21-12, 11:46 PM   #104
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Those of you who think there's time to bicycle and sight-see between runs? Forget it. There's time to eat and sleep -- maybe. Aside from the fact that there's no room to store a bike on or in the truck, and no place to go ride a bike at the destination. This is no vacation trip. + 1 I recently got very blessed with a moday-friday local driving job for pepsi(praise god). I feel very fortunate to have a loving/faithful wife & a 2 year old daughter i now get to spend more time with rather than talk to on the phone lol. OTR driving is an adventure and a fun one , but comes with a lot of responsibility and sacrifice to/by the ones you love. sounds like you making the best of it BG, good luck and GOD BLESS.
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Old 01-29-12, 03:04 PM   #105
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Been a busy week. I got that load of electrical conduit and boxes from Byhalia to Monroe Oh.

After I dropped that off, I picked up a load of shoes bound for Hotlanta, Ga. Despite the desires of dispatch to have it there by 0900 on 22nd I got there about noon. then I got to wait around until monday morning for a load of cereal out of Atlanta for Birmingham Al. The bad part about this load was I had to wait 4+ hours to load on monday and then anout 5 hours to unload tuesday.

Well once empty there at the Sloth Grocery warehouse, I got a odd message asking if I was HazMat certified. I got a dispatched on a load to pickup off of "chemical row" in Decatur Al. Since I had to put up with all the hazmat BS i was hoping for something good like Dynamite or Neculear waste but I just got big tubs of glue. I ran those down to a place called Brownwood Tx out in the boonies southwest of Ft Worth. I got up to Decatur as quick as I could and got loaded and headed off for Tx. I got over to West Memphis and found a place to stop for the night. Unfortunately when I got up wed it was raining pretty good off and on so it was off through the rain to No Little Rocka dn a fuel stop. the weather got better but the next day it was the same a very wet start to the day in Dallas area.

I got over there thursday morning and got unloaded. after a short wait I somehow lucked into a real gem of an assingment.

I went over to Ennis Tx just southeast of Dallas and picked up a load for Spokane Wa via Casper Wy. a great run for the weekend. I hustled over to Ennis and picked up and went over to Midlothian for the night. Wanting to beat the traffic and make some good miles I got an early start friday and left about 0430. A good thing about this run is that I got to run a route i never took before US 287 from Dalls up to Limon Co. it is not exactly interstate but a good road none the less. A few hours on the road and quick fuel stop in Armadillo I was off, I almost stopped for the 72oz Steak but decided not too, for Boise City OK out in the panhandle.

I spent a quiet night there, not exactly a hoping town, and I was up and off earlyish saturday. the weather was nice both days and I got a great view of the sunrise. the sky in the east turning from black to indigo and increasingly lighter shades of blue as the western sky was still pitch black.

After leaving Boise City I was off to Denver but not certain exactly where I was going to stop for the night. after arriving in Denver area I decided to head for Cheyennne just incase the weather turned bad.

Since I don't get up this way much I decided to wait until sun up today to hit the road. the drive in total not just up here to Casper was great.

Tomorrow after I get the first stop off I really get a treat and get to drive into Big Sky country!!!

A short wildlife report, I saw three eagles the last few days, one down between Ft Worth and Amradillo, one up around Limon Co and one today just sitting on a fence post.

I think I forgot to mention this but last week around Altus Ar I saw what I think was a white hawk of some kind. I am not sure just what it was but I saw a big white bird that looks just like a hawk but it was all white except for a yellow beak. I don't think it was an owl, as I understand there have been many sightings of snowy owls in the lower 48 recently.

I have seen lots of Coyotees both alive and walking and the other way.
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Old 01-29-12, 03:10 PM   #106
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A friend of mine says these windmills are noisy (no he is not a NIMBY type) so I stopped to listen to them. not too bad.



I have no clue why it is there but this is sitting in downtown Lamar Co.



This was on I25 just north of Douglas Wy.



I25 just north of Douglas



I bet most of you were unaware of the huge trade with Mexico in slightly used small trucks



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Old 01-29-12, 04:36 PM   #107
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Your "office" has a great view!
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Old 01-29-12, 05:20 PM   #108
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Great post BG.
- And better luck of the draw next time you have to haul hazmat.
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Old 01-29-12, 06:32 PM   #109
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I have been up by some and you wouldn't want to try to sleep anywhere within a couple miles of one when the wind is up. They make a really low frequency "womp" noise. Standing out in the open...no so bad, in a building or a hard side camper, it seems to resonate.

Thats an interesting load of Yotas on the flat bed. I'd guess those are a JDM shipment. 85 was the last year you could get a solid axle Mini truck 4x4 in the US (they kept building them well into 90's for other markets) and last year you could buy a Diesel Toyota in the US.

Those are a lot more intact though then you usually see. Usually they cut the roof off aka Half clip so they can jam them in containers. The front clip basically becomes a shipping crate for the engine. For a while there was good demand for the Diesels till Bio diesel started to get hard to find the oil for free and and Diesel prices got higher then gas. I was going to do the swap on my 4Runner but the math didnt work. I would never break even on the swap and have problems getting some parts..
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Old 01-29-12, 07:18 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
A friend of mine says these windmills are noisy (no he is not a NIMBY type) so I stopped to listen to them. not too bad.


I bet most of you were unaware of the huge trade with Mexico in slightly used small trucks



Living in Austin and driving to Dallas on 35 on a regular basis its a common, yet irritating site. Same goes for the trailers loaded down with bikes. I just love old Toyotas and old bikes.
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Old 01-30-12, 03:21 AM   #111
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I love reading your travelogues. Each one paints another picture of the US. The white hawk you saw could have been a white Red-Tailed Hawk. There have been sightings of these birds as far apart as Utah and Northern Texas. I look forward to the next instalment. BTW Have you managed any good bike rides at all?
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Old 01-30-12, 07:21 AM   #112
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I love reading your travelogues. Each one paints another picture of the US. The white hawk you saw could have been a white Red-Tailed Hawk. There have been sightings of these birds as far apart as Utah and Northern Texas. I look forward to the next instalment. BTW Have you managed any good bike rides at all?
No I do not have a bike with me, and finding time and place to safely ride is tough. I am pretty sure it was some sort of Redtailed/Chicken Hawk but the little WikiPedis research I have done does not seem to list white as a normal 'morf' of color. I see Redtails all over the country just never white ones.


FT Welder great story too bad there arn't more drivers like those two. next time secure your cargo better LOL
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Old 01-30-12, 07:53 AM   #113
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BG, take care out there, thought of you and your travels when we had a big pileup on I-75 here in FL, Fog/smoke in the early morning. I just drove through that spot last week, and seeing the tangled mess of Big rigs and cars on the news was terribly sad. Ice, Fog, Smoke, inattentive drivers, mechanical issues, so much potential trouble out there on the road. Be Safe.
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Old 02-06-12, 02:52 AM   #114
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Re White hawk, I found this interesting site:-http://www.diversityinutah.com/albino1.html.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:36 PM   #115
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WOW I can't believe I never updated this after Casper. The rest of the trip was pretty un eventfull but after unloading on Wed the 1st I did have wait until Thursday to get a load that picked up in Kent Wa and delivered to Princeton Il on Tue the 7th.

I crossed Washington state, very beautiful, and got loaded but only made it halfway back across. I was disappointed to see the Coffee Shop I wanted to visit in Ellensburg, The Evening Hatch, was closed and I am not sure they even sell coffee at all anymore.

On the 3d I got up and ran the rest of the way across Wa, through Idaho, and a small part of Montana. That is a HUGE state! I ran to the 298 exit in Belfast and when I got up on Sat I still had 200 miles to go to me fuel stop in Hardin and the another 100 to get out of the state. Friday was prety uneventfull just alot of driving.

On Saturday I got an early start and the sunrise was beautiful. I got to harding dying for a good cup, or atleast a OK cup of coffee but the truckstop was a real cesspool. fortunately there was a McDonalds across the street with an espress machine so I was able to score a huge iced coffee.

Instead of running the interstate all the way back across I took a small detour and ran US HWY 212 from just east of harding Mt over to Raoid City SD. It added another 200 miles of driving in Mt but I missed 200 miles of Wyoming. it was a beautiful drive and a great choice. Interestingly someone told me the route is actually 55 miles shorter but you only save about 10 min because there are a few small towns you need to slow down for. I came across these two signs in Broadus MT and thought they were pretty interesting especially the last few lines on each.




Once I finally got through Mt and into SD I ran about 100 miles east of rapid city and found a place to stop for the night. I woke up in the morning to something I had seen in the Spokane area but didn't take the time to take pics of it and the results. there was this erie ice fog in the air, which was clinging to everything including my truck as I drove through it. I took several off ramps trying to find the perfect tree to take a pic but just ended up with these.







Later in the day after getting into Iowa while the roads were bone dry it must have snowed the previous night as there were several vehicles in the median and ditch! I managed to make it to Des Moines without incident though.

Monday I got up to more fog but not quite as bad but still a few trucks off the road. After getting to Princeton Il I was unable to unload until Tuesday morning so I got another day off.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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Old 02-17-12, 06:47 PM   #116
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We get that icing alot around here. It's called hoar frost. It looks beautiful in the trees. Hopefully, one time when you come through Minnesota or Wisconsin you can see it clinging to the "big woods". Great set of posts, I just read them all.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:51 PM   #117
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Here is just a random view of Mt while crossing HWY 212






Sugar beets!


Here are the various trucks parking in the median in Iowa





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Old 02-17-12, 07:04 PM   #118
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One of the great things about the C&V forum, is that you get to see places, at least vicariously, that you would otherwise never go to in this lifetime.
I suppose that's the one great perq of OTR driving too, BG.



Of course, there's a downside to everything :

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Old 02-17-12, 07:04 PM   #119
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just so you know that is what is considered a really good road in Montana...... we used to go over 200 miles one way just to play basketbasll or football games.....big state
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Old 02-17-12, 08:38 PM   #120
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just so you know that is what is considered a really good road in Montana...... we used to go over 200 miles one way just to play basketbasll or football games.....big state
I am sure it is. I recall years ago when I was driving there was a big debate in either Wy or Co about going to a 4 day school week as the students mostly lived in residence (because of the distance) and it would make the job of getting to the Dr or dentist or whatever easier if the kids only wnet 4 days
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Old 02-17-12, 10:12 PM   #121
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Guess I should check C&V more often. I totally missed this thread.
Sorry to hear about the job, but sounds like you've landed on your feet.
I began trucking over 40 years ago, and with a few years off here and there along the way, trying to change my own career track, I always end up going back to it. One thing about having a CDL in your pocket, you need never be out of a job. It's never taken me longer than about 20 minutes to get a new job whenever I went looking for one.
I went back on the road 3 years ago after shutting down my bike shop, but I don't drive full time. The company I work for has a program called truck share. You share a dedicated unit with another driver and work 7 days on, 7 days off. I'm loving it. It gives me lots of home time to play with my bikes and do some bike building and repair for a select clientele.
It's totally worth it to carry a bike on the road, at least in the summer months. You won't get to ride every day, maybe even most days, but there are times when you will be laid over with nothing to do, and you would kill for a bike to ride.
I've found lots of great places to ride in my travels, not going to list them all here, but there are trails to be found, and even industrial areas after hours are sometimes ok places to ride.
My bike rides in style on the top bunk in my sleeper. No leaving it out in the elements for me. A folder might be easier to get in and out, but I have no difficulty getting my grown up bike in the bunk with the front wheel off.
Anyhow, happy trails, and you never know when our paths will cross. I'm sure we travel some of the same roads.
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Old 02-18-12, 06:37 PM   #122
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So sorry to hear about this, but congrats for finding a new job so fast! I hope that you can take a bike on the road with you.

I'm sure you'll be popping up everywhere nabbing people's CL bikes!
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Old 02-18-12, 11:59 PM   #123
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Bianchigirl, I am enjoying this thread, thank you.

How are you coping with not having a bike with you? How often do you get to ride? How do you stay in shape? Why did you decide not to carry a bike?
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Old 02-19-12, 08:33 AM   #124
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Here's one driver's solution to carrying his bike with him.
I don't really recommend this, and I'm sure the DOT checks over his securing methods all the time.
[video=youtube;KluGYXU4C_k]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KluGYXU4C_k[/video]
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Old 04-21-12, 07:22 PM   #125
Captain Blight
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Bikes: -1973 Motobecane Mirage -197? Velosolex L'Etoile -'71 Raleigh Super Course
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Wanted to bump this thread (again):

Six months ago I was facing winter layoff at the bike shop and in a bit of a panic because I was having a hard time making ends meet. Then something BG wrote caught my eye, that there were hundreds of thousands of jobs waiting to be filled. "Shoot," I thought. "I can drive."

Long story short, I now drive for a living. I'm typing this in Pilot #013, just west of Akron. It's cold and blowy out, and I have another 14 hours to go until I pick up my next load. So of course I went for a ride. Put in about 20 miles (I am *remarkably* out of shape) and got a remarkably mediocre burrito at a local joint. Seriously, it tasted like they went out of their way to duplicate Taco Bell. But night before last, I decided that I would take advantage of the beautiful South Carolina evening and just rode into town (Greenville) for a twilight ride; it was really nice.

the job is remarkably stressful; always counting time, always having to stay focussed, and of course the seats are for crap. But the way I look at it, there's a $300 bill laying on the ground every other day and all I have to do is drive over and pick it up. And it gets better from there. I have an auxiliary power unit on my truck, which lets me carry a microwave, an electric kettle, and a griddle; I have a good big ice chest so I can carry groceries and I'm not eating the crap they sell at truck stops. It works out... okay. It's a living.

My truck isn't a double-berth "condo" so I had to work out another solution. I have it bungeed to the back of the cab, and locked to the grab rail. I had to wrap the end of the left pedal in a length of inner tube to keep it from scratching up the back ended up with a pretty good solution

{Hmm, apparently my phone isn't loading to Photobucket right now. Pics to follow, sorry.)

In any event, I get to ride my Trek 560 all over the country. As circumstances change, I might try to figure out a way to carry a mountain bike; if I'd had one the other night, I could have got in some trail riding in the Pisgah, which would have been epic.

Also: It took me exactly ONE trip to figure out that I HATE I-40 from Knoxville to Asheville, and while West Virginia is truly beautiful, I-77 north is several hundred miles of fuel-sucking, brake-burning attention wh**e.

More later.

Y'all keep the shiny side up now, y'hear? HENCHMAN out.
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