Wednesday, August 15, 2018

So, we're all sitting around last night shooting the breeze, it was starting to get late.  I was left in the dark as to whether there was going to be a run today or not.  But it was 9:00 pm, so there wasn't any idea that my manager was going to send me anything that late, I started to make plans for today.  In fact, Taylor made plans for me, lol, asking if I could pick up the boys while she went out and did some shopping for their upcoming Anniversary day together, which they want to do on Saturday. 

I said sure.  Not 5 minutes later, at 9:15 pm, my manager sends me a text with a run to Mapleton, Illinois.  I'm like what?  I look at the load time: 5 am!!  Meaning getting up at 3:00 am to get there on time with everything I have to do.  UGGGGGGHHHHHHH, was the type of thoughts going through my mind.  I asked her why so late with the text?  She was in a manager's meeting all day long, they don't allow them to use their phones or computers while in those meetings.  That's pretty freaking lame and stupid.  How do you tie up a driver manager/dispatcher all day long and don't give them opportunity to do their jobs?  I couldn't blame her so I didn't.  I figured that since it's a 3 day trip (at least), I'll be back on Saturday so I can watch the boys and they can spend the day together, alone. 

That plan may change of course.  If I get to the plant tomorrow and they tell me the same thing they have told me a couple of times before: we can't take this today, sorry, well I'll be stuck up there at least 24 hours.  In fact, to be honest, I'd like to get stuck up there with extended detention pay, sitting in a company paid hotel watching movies, playing on the net and just kicking back.  There just isn't anything unappealing about that to me, especially the "getting paid while having fun" part of the fact of being at a decent hotel.  But for their sake, I do hope they get me in and out of there in a couple  hours time. 

Speaking of anniversaries, yesterday was my son's one year!  He says things are going great, yes they have had a few issues here and there, but he was informed by numerous married people that that is normal, especially at first.  Yes, I can attest, that is definitely normal and if you can work things out, that's a big plus.  I sent him a generous contribution for the day. 

Well anyway, I got up at 3am, did all the junk, felt like hell, to be honest because I only got about 4 hours of sleep.  It's just what it is: I can't get this "thing" out of my head on those nights when I know i have to get up early and because of knowing that, I don't sleep well.  I slept for a little bit in the driver's room at the plant, but that was short lived.  When I got out on the road, gag.  I was fighting to stay awake.  I thought, I"m going to have to stop up the road and take a 30 minute nap. I can't be driving like this all day long.  So, 90 miles down the road I stopped at a Love's, parked and fell fast asleep. If I hadn't set the alarm, I have no idea how long I would have slept.

I felt better - not great but better - after that and at least was functional.  Another 5 hours down the road and I had to take the 30 minute rest break to get all of my hours.  I needed it anyway.  Yup, same thing fell asleep with alarm set, felt much better after that.  Drove out the day, thought about driving through Saint Louis but I was going to hit it full head on at rush hour so I am stopped in a small town just south of there.  I'll get going around 4:30 am and sail right through that town at that early of an hour, there will be very little traffic. 

Not much fun having to sit here for 11 hours but this is the area where I usually stop on this run because going any further means hitting Saint Louis and almost always at rush hour.  No sense in the aggravation for only a 45 mile addition to today's driving.  I'll be at the plant at 8:00 am, hopefully get the thing offloaded and then have around 6-1/2 hours of driving time to head back this way.  Hopefully make it to Searcy Arkansas and then maybe 4-1/2 hour drive the next day home.  In a perfect world, lol. 

And speaking of truckstops, I got to this one at around 5:15 pm.  It's not huge, about 20 spots.  There is another one across the street that is larger than this one.  There was a truck that pulled in ahead of me who got a space, I got another space and in a matter of 10 minutes, all the rest of the spaces were filled up  The truckstop across the street was full when I looked at it coming off the Interstate.  This is what we deal with on a daily basis.  I had a nice place to park in a dirt lot next to a restaurant up the road about 4 miles, but someone must have ruined it for everyone, because they installed no overnight parking signs all over that dirt lot - totally unused, not an entrance or use for anything. 

Last time I came through here is when I found that out.  Very disappointed.  I found a gravel lot to park in last time as I was almost out of hours and the place I am at now? was full.  I was going to go there again if necessary.  It has zero amenities therefore not attractive to most truckers. I just wanted to get a sandwich and access to a bathroom if possible, hence why I"m here.  This parking dilemma - you can Google it, it's a nationwide issue - is not going to get better anytime soon.  I just try to find places that aren't at truckstops where no one else is or very few trucks.  Out of the way spots that most truckers would shun.  My company actually prefers that we don't park at truckstops, but no way they can make that a rule.  You're out on the road and want a shower? You best hit up a truckstop or get a hotel room.  You want access to a toilet? Same thing.  Food? well, that one is debateable.  Most truck stops are grease filled, calorie laden junk food that isn't good for you anyway. This one I"m at makes fresh sandwiches from scratch, made to order, much lower calorie stuff, delicious. 

I'm going to deal with that dilemma tho.  I'm going to buy a roast and a pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cook them up, package them in small sandwich bags and freeze them.  Grab a bag or however many I need for however long the trip is and just eat lean meat sandwiches on the road.  I've been buying deli meat at Krogers but I never know how much to buy.  I eat the stuff but end up giving it to the dogs after I've had it too long.  I thought about just buying that and freezing it, but James and Taylor have a commercial grade meat slicer, much cheaper to just buy large quantities of meat, cook it up, slice it up, bag it up and walaah.  It'll stay good in the freezer for months (at least) and I won't have to worry about last minute deals like today, getting dumped with a run late at night. 

Ugh, the truck next to me has a reefer unit on it. That's a refrigeration unit attached to the front of the trailer to refrigerate the trailer. NOISY. No, I'm not leaving here, lol, I'm just going to pull up about 5 feet and reduce the noise.  No way would I want to haul reefer units just because of that endless noise. They go on and off and on and off - well you get the idea.  It's much worse if you're in a sleeper and that thing is hanging up over top of you , just behind you, making all that excessive noise allllllllllllllllllllllll night long. Ridiculous. There we go. Pulled up 10 feet, no more noise, just the purrr of my truck's engine, which I am quite used to now. 

Well plenty more but I've been discussing stuff on the net.  Almost out of data for this month so no movies for me tonight.

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...