Sunday, September 2, 2018

3 days of pushing it and I'm in a small little nothing town called Caldwell, Idaho.  A truckstop that has it's own motel and restaurant.  I didn't opt for the motel.  I'm not going to be here long enough to warrant spending the money on it. 

But its been quite the drive.  Hundreds of miles of just grass land.  Some hills, NO TREES!!  

Anyway, I got to the plant on Friday and the usual stuff. Get it loaded and get out of there.  I started heading west and realized I better start checking hazmat rules in all these states I'm going to be going through.  Usually if you're staying on Interstates you're fine.  I hate staying on Interstates but for hazmat I didn't have the time to do a detailed search of all of this, it just never crossed my mind until I was already on the road. 

Colorado is pretty strict about it tho, they have a map of the highways that hazmat can drive on and from the looks of it, it's confined to the Interstates.  In fact, the only thing that took me by surprise was a tunnel that just appeared in front of me after going around a curve.  Tunnels can have restrictions on them for hazmat, some states won't allow you to go through them. But they are always signed if that's true and there were no signs on this one, so I blasted right on through it. 

It was a short tunnel anyway.  I'm pretty sure explosives aren't allowed through tunnels, ever, but the same does not hold true for other hazmat.  It really depends on the state.  And come to think of it, I just remembered I have a Rand McNally truckers road map, I'm sure they have the restricted routes in there.  

The other thing I didn't remember about this entire several state region is all these railroad type gates they have on the Interstates.  They get snow up here, and blizzards and bad weather.  There were literally dozens of these gates over hundreds of miles span of driving.  With signs and yellow flashing lights if there is a shut down.  There are chain- up areas where if the weather is bad enough, you are required to put chains on your vehicle or you can forget about going further down that road.  The thing is, a lot of these shut downs - which were all at exits - were leading you off into the middle of nowhere.  I'm glad it's not winter and I'm glad we only come up here once a year and I'm glad that only occurs during the summertime!

Anyway, the most enjoyable drive of the trip so far is on I-84 outside of Salt Lake.  You get off of 80 onto 84. I wasn't on it long and started going down - and down - and down.  And shortly after getting on it, there is a river the runs right alongside the Interstate and snakes back and forth underneath the Interstate all the way down - and trust me, it's a long way down there.  The fun part was that all of these people were at a launch site near the top with white water rafts to raft down this river.  It's a small river, nothing huge, but really looked like fun!  

I'm 227 miles out, this is a 2,000 mile and change trip one way.  I'll have that done somewhere around noon or maybe a little later tomorrow.  Anytime before 5:00 pm is fine. I want to get a 34 hour reset. That's when you sit around and screw off for 34 hours so you can get a fresh 70 hour start.  And I'm getting that because I found out after starting this trip that I didn't need to be there until Wednesday morning. Why on earth they think I need 6 days to drive 2,000 miles I have no idea.  I could have started today and been there by Wednesday.

Well I sort of get it.  They are firing this plant back up.  I have no idea why it's shut down, but apparently they do this every year, so perhaps they shut it down to do maintenance and repairs?  All I know is, from the man I talked to on the phone over there, Ethylene is used in the process of firing it back up, the 2 go hand in hand and they can't do it with this trailer full of this liquid being there I can see wanting to ensure it's going to be there on time, but at my expense....cause I'll sit around and not get paid for the wait.  I will ask for a hotel for the reset at least.  I should be able to get one of the 2 days paid by the company for that.  Actually, a friend wants me to come visit her over in Salem, Oregon, it's like 236 miles from the plant.  

The problem with that is the plant has to agree to let me leave the trailer there, I can't just leave it "somewhere" unattended and rest assured the company isn't going to want me dragging it over there on personal business.  Speaking of that, the pressure is up to almost 70 pounds. That is starting to get high.  This is one of the old trailers I am pulling. It uses old style insulation instead of these new vacuum jacketed trailers that will keep the pressure down for almost 2,000 hours.  I'm likely to have to find a place to vent it down a bit.  

Well I just found out this place has free wifi, lol. Too late! Time to go to sleep : )

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...