Monday, December 29, 2008

Second Verse Same as the First

We are still in Memphis and got to go back and have some more of that wonderful Mexican food.  It was just as good the second time around. 

For any Con-Way drivers, when you are in the West Memphis terminal, the restaurant is over by the Dog Track.  Most assuredly worth checking out!

We are going to be unloaded and then over to Kenworth for the truck maintenance.

And Oh Yea . . . a wonderful man at AT&T has managed to restore our air card to the original unlimited data usage plan.  So, we are up and running again and can access the internet while moving.  What a great thing that was!!!!!!!

Feliz Navidad and Good Mexican Food !

We had a wonderful Christmas break in Odessa with both of our sons.  I am ashamed to admit that I left the camera in it's bag the entire time.  No pictures of darling grandchildren (Xander and Sirena) or their dad (Travis) or of Micah.  We also managed to get in a overnight stop in Kingsland, Texas with my parents.  No pictures there either.  Not sure what is going on with that, but it was dumb!

Our break in Odessa was cut short by a call from our Fleet Manager with a request to deadhead to El Paso for a load.  We left at the @$#@#'ing crack of dawn (actually, I slept in the truck so I could get back on sleep/drive schedule and so was wonderfully asleep when Tony came out and got us rolling!) on Saturday morning and hit El Paso and turned around for Memphis.

We dropped our trailer temporarily in our West Memphis, Arkansas terminal and did some grocery shopping.  

We also found MEXICAN FOOD.  Yea!  This was the real-deal Mexican food we have missed since we left Terlingua.  Yummmmmmmmm.

I didn't take the camera in, but we had a great mixed fajita plate (beef, chicken AND shrimp) and a really gooey good queso flameado.  We will most certainly be back to this place often.

Not a clue where we go from here, but tomorrow will be spent having our 200,000 mile check-up/service done on the truck.   Can't believe we have put that many miles on since mid-February.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mr. SnowMan

It is cold in the upper sections of this country.  We are in Utah and as we came across Wyoming, Tony saw -3f on the temp. gauge on the dash.  YIKES.  I was going to make a Christmas tree for the seasonal dash ornament, but felt like this fellow would be a truer representative of the season!!!!!!!
We are having internet connectivity issues.  In a nutshell, the days of unlimited data transmission via cell are sadly coming to an end.  We are now limited to 5 gigs of usage per month. The problem is that our plan doesn't reset until January 2nd.  In the meantime, we will become more familiar with wi-fi hotspots around the country.  So, if I don't answer e-mails right away, that's my excuse!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We are parked in Wolcott, Iowa at the Iowa-80 Truckstop.  As  you can see, it is:
Once you get inside, this place is giagantic ... no really, it is huge!  There are 3 full size trucks INSIDE the show room.  As you can imagine, we love this place!  We actually highlight (ask Dispatch to send us here specifically for some time off) for this wonderland of trucking goodness.

They sell all the things that truck drivers need, plus some stuff they don't need.  As you can see below, they also customize stuff.  Truckers REALLY like to put writing on stuff.  They like to have company names, truck makers, branches of military put onto their clothes and truck accessories.  These folks also make window vinyl stick-ons.

Another reason that we love this place is because our dentist works here.  He is awesome and so easy for us to get to.  The parking is MUCH easier than at your dentist.

It also helps that he is such a nice guy.  Dr. Tom and his darling wife Amy are very easy to do business with.  Tony and I are catching up on all the dental care that we avoided for 20 years and Tom is the guy for us.  He doesn't lecture or nag, and he just cuts to the important stuff.
Did I mention that we love this guy!  He even loaned us his truck to make a grocery/wal-mart run.  That way, we didn't lose our fabulous front row parking space.  Did I tell you how much we like coming to this denstist!

And next door to the dentist, you can get your hair cut.  We haven't used this service yet, but I'm sure we will someday.

In addition to all this trucker wonderfullness, they have a great laundry.  It is large and there are folding tables too.  Most truckstops cram the laundry into a closet and there are usually 2 washers and 2 dryers.  Typically, you have to fold the laundry on top of one of the washers.  This is sooooooo much more spacious.  Tony will appreciate that tomorrow when he does the laundry!

If all that wasn't enough, check out the nice space below.  What an inviting place to stop and spend some time with your laptop.  Maybe while waiting for laundry, dentist, etc.

Additionally, upstairs includes a movie theater (driver requested movies), nice showers, a tv lounge and a chiropractor.  Lots of good stuff!

And the final bit of wonderfullness - the food court.  Most truckstops have 1 fast food spot in addition to the usual roller dogs (hot dogs), coffee and sodas.  One of our favorites is Taco Bell. Our favorite burger brand is Wendy's and it is always sweet when we come upon a Dairy Queen.  Imagine the charge when all 3 are in the same place!!!!!

We also enjoy sitting down to eat it.  Driving and eating is not one of our favorite activities.

As I'm typing this, I realize that I forgot to take photos of the front door and a view of the parking lot.  Can you believe that there are 800 parking spaces for trucks.  When we cruised in late (2:00 a.m.) on Wednesday night (or Thursday morning for you picky types), the lot was mostly full and we ended up waaaaaaayyyyyyy out in the far reaches of the lot.  When the lot cleared out the next morning, we slid up to the front and will be here until we leave.  SWEET!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The WildLife of Humanity

As we slide by in the night, silent on our strip of cement, I like to look into people's windows and lives.  I see the oddest things as I look down into backyards and on to porches.  It is almost as if the people in the houses forget that the interstate is there.  I know that autos make good blinds for watching birds and wildlife, I guess it would follow that Big Rigs make good blinds for watching the WildLife of Humanity.  

I really feel lucky when I see a door opening.   Then, I get to see the inside and the outside at the same time.  When it is dark, open doors and windows are like tiny cubes of intimacy.  Nothing is every clear, especially as I whiz by at 65, but the sense of the people is clear. 

 You can get the feeling of lives lived with juiciness by how much stuff is piled into and around some houses.  You know those folks would all come out onto the porch to wave goodbye if you were visiting them.  Additionally, these are often the yards with the riot of Christmas lights and decorations.   

Very pristine, structured lawns and grounds don't feel as if the people who live there are very "juicy"  Usually their lights are only white and very formal in their presentation.  I bet they wouldn't all come out to wave goodbye either.

I am enchanted by the lights springing up on the landscape.  The trees are bare and I am seeing the most wonderful displays, both private and commercial.  I really really love the neighborhoods that are all in on the project.  Sometimes an entire hillside will be lit up.  And then there is the isolated house that has more Christmas decorations than you can believe.  Where do they store that stuff?

Having spent the bulk of the last 20 Christmas seasons in Terlingua, I am almost overwhelmed by the displays sometimes.  I catch myself driving with my mouth open in wonderment and have to remind myself to focus on the road instead.  It is also surprising to me that the lights are left on all night.  A waste of electricity, but a great bonus for me!