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Author Topic: How about a really big update?  (Read 1680 times)

coloradogreen

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How about a really big update?
« on: October 16, 2013, 11:34:55 PM »
I quit driving for the company I was doing the oversize/ overweight for. If you're interested in knowing why, PM me, I won't be getting into why here.

Which means that, lately, all I've been hauling is milk and other dairy products.

Several interesting adventures. The biggest of which was finally driving in California. That's not saying I was looking forward to it!

It was actually team running. An emergency load was sitting in Fort Morgan and needed to make it to Lemoore, California in a day and a half. By the time the boss had picked it up and we were on the road out of Denver, we had about 24 hours to make it to Lemoore. I took the wheel from Denver to Green River, Utah. It's a stretch of highway I've driven before. Up and down over Eisenhower and Vail, and then on down through Glenwood Canyon and on to the Western Slope. It's a pleasant enough drive.

There was a nasty wreck about a half mile from the base of Eisenhower. A Freightliner Classic had run into the ditch with enough speed for the load to blow through the nose of the trailer and into the cab. A good reminder about taking mountain grades carefully.

The boss took the wheel at Green River. We stopped in Salina, grabbed some dinner, and got back on the road. I crashed in the bunk until we hit Yermo, CA where I took over. From Yermo to Lemoore I had my first taste of driving in California.

What an experience. Again, not necessarily a good experience! We typically set the cruise on the milk wagon at 62mph, and though 55mph might not seem like much less, hour after hour it becomes obnoxious.

Also, who the HELL designed U.S. 99?!? That is possibly one of the most screwed up highways I've ever driven down.

Backtracking a bit, Tehachapi Pass. It's an interesting pass, and was my first (and more or less, is my only) experience with the long, though less steep, Western grades. With a bit of advice from the boss on how to come off of Tehachapi it was smooth sailing from top to bottom (on a side note, there was a helluva wreck at the top of the pass on the Eastbound side. Looked like a T700 Kenworth where the cab had sheared at the front cab mounts). It's a different feel coming down the long, milder grades, and, in a way, I could see why a new driver might overheat the brakes on these more easily than say Vail Pass. It'd be easy to fall into a false sense of safety when the grade never gets over 5%. But, when the pass goes on and on, what might be a hair too fast at the top can mean smoking brakes and way too much speed at the bottom.

Then down through the San Joaquin Valley. Wow is that flat, and expansive. As my boss noted, and as you could plainly see, the breadth of produce and crops grown in the San Joaquin Valley is incredible to say the least.

22 hours after we left, and 2 hours early to unload, we were in Lemoore.

We got ourselves unloaded and eventually I found myself driving through Bay Area traffic. It was an intense driving experience that finished with driving up and over the San Rafael Bridge. I love iron bridges, and that was an incredible bridge to drive over. Coming from Colorado, bridges and massive expanses of water are something I enjoy because we don't have much, especially of the latter. Not to mention, I've always loved the smell of the ocean.

Up 101, north of Napa Valley where the boss took back over and we went on up to the Redwoods and into Fortuna for the next load. And the next load, boy did we have to wait, and wait. But, no matter, the boss decided we would do a little sight-seeing. First over to Ferndale and onto the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time I had seen the Pacific in over 10 years. Loved every minute of it. Much as I don't like the politics of California, if I could find a job running a logging truck in Northern California (State of Jefferson) I would strongly consider it.

After Ferndale we moseyed up to Eureka and had some sea-food and then parked in front of the ocean again. I couldn't get enough of it. Hard to beat that view.

Finally we were re-loaded and were on our way to for Hyrum, Utah. The boss drove out of Fortuna to somewhere between Redding and Susanville (I took over in the middle of nowhere). From somewhere up in the woods on down U.S. 395 (by the way, does that grade dropping into Reno have a name?) to Wells, Nevada I drove. Right out along I-80.

That is an amazingly boring stretch of highway. Other than a couple very minor grades, the only one of which I remember the name was Golconda (there was another one, funny name.). Cut me a break, this was quite some time ago.

I jumped in the passengers seat, and eventually the bunk, and at some point found myself waking up at the Echo port of entry in Wyoming. Back to familiar territory, through the Sisters, across the massive expanse of Western Wyoming until Telegraph Canyon and up Sherman Hill.

After detouring to Denver and dropping off the boss (it was his birthday the following day), I took the truck on to Norfolk, Nebraska where I unloaded. From Norfolk I jumped over to Ravenna. There was a close call with a jackass bus-driver crossing right in front of me out on NE-2. If I had been loaded, I don't think I could have slowed down quickly enough for me to miss his bus. Once I had gotten my heart rate to back down a bit, I thought on it a minute. At the end of the day, that the bus driver had endangered himself and me was not what had me pissed. It was that, if he had passengers, he had risked the lives of 10, 20, 30 or more people for the sake of saving a few seconds. It's drivers like those that have NO place on the road.

I reloaded out of Ravenna for Roswell, New Mexico. I stopped at the Sapp Bros. in Odessa and grabbed some breakfast. Whenever I have the time, I stop at the Odessa Sapp Bros. Good food, and typically plenty of parking.

Back on the road where I followed 183 down into Kansas, onto 383 to Norton and eventually down 83 from Northern Kansas clear into Texas where I grabbed 60.

The first 20 or 30 miles or so of 60 are plain out fun. More rolling hills than you can imagine, it's like the worlds longest roller coaster! I loved every minute of it. Out through northern Texas and eventually I got to Clovis, New Mexico where I called it a night.

I woke up the next morning, put some fuel in the truck, grabbed a quick breakfast and cruised on down U.S. 70 to Roswell. No aliens unfortunately.

Luckily, I was unloading and reloading out of the same facility. Waiting around to unload, I took a nap in the bunk.

Once I was reloaded I was driving north out of Roswell for Greeley, Colorado. FINALLY, I was headed home!

I was hauling whey, my first time. I had taken a load of permeate from Ravenna to Roswell, and I had hear whey feels exactly like permeate. And it does, it kicks like a *Deleted* in the tank.

285 between Roswell and U.S. 54 is another very boring stretch of highway. Long, and you can see for miles on end. From 54 it was up to NM-219 which becomes U.S. 84 which dumps to I-25 in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Knowing I had to clear the Raton/ Trinidad and Monument scales, I decided it was best to park it.

I started early the morning from Las Vegas and drove my way over Raton Pass and on down to Colorado. Pass through the Trinidad scale and on up towards Walsenburg, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs.

I'm gonna' diverge here for a moment. I don't know how many folks (aside from ppsyclone) have driven I-25 through Colorado Springs lately, but, it is a mess with a massive highway construction project on the north side of town, and it has traffic screwed up beyond belief. The lanes get narrow with concrete barriers and on-ramps that have no join-lane, dumping slow-moving traffic right onto the highway. Whichever traffic engineer okayed the plan for I-25 through Colorado Springs ought to ride through it in a milk truck. It's downright scary at times.

After the Monument scale I was in the final stretch and would be parked in an hour. The boss was going to deliver the load to Greeley.

9 days out, the longest stretch I've spent in a truck continuously.

So, there's the first major update: my, to-date, longest OTR trip.

Troy.
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

IMAGES COPYRIGHT TROY MILLER/ 10-4 MAGAZINE

Contributor 10-4 Magazine

Hank's Truck Forum

How about a really big update?
« on: October 16, 2013, 11:34:55 PM »

NHRS

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Re: How about a really big update?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 04:08:25 PM »
Nice! I do so miss the high desert country, & the smell of cactus! Almost as nice as eastern Colorado sage (like between Akron & Brush in a spring shower).
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

honda374

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Re: How about a really big update?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 05:11:37 PM »
very nice reading my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

coloradogreen

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Re: How about a really big update?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 11:41:26 PM »
NHRS - You wouldn't care much for being around Akron or Brush right now with the construction going on.

Honda - glad you enjoyed it.

Troy.
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

IMAGES COPYRIGHT TROY MILLER/ 10-4 MAGAZINE

Contributor 10-4 Magazine

NHRS

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Re: How about a really big update?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 05:09:50 AM »
10-4 on construction.

But, I really loved the high-plains version of winter. Week after week in the early 60's, would tarp up a load of wheat, late afternoons at Platner or Yuma, total comfort in shirt sleeves. Then the next morning in the cold damp river-air at the KC barge terminals on the Missouri, be shivering like dog trying to pass a peach-pit.
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

Hank's Truck Forum

Re: How about a really big update?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 05:09:50 AM »

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