Trucking Trip

Monday July 23, 2018

The alarm was set for 3am, but Mark woke up before it went off. Again, we had Ash come up to our room with the dogs. We packed our last minute things and left.

We had coffee and breakfast on our way to Trenton and we arrived shortly after 7 to load. Our friend and his wife were already there. It’s the first time I have met her and we got along well because we have a lot in common.

Loading went well, but it was much like a jigsaw puzzle because there was a lot more ice cream than last time. The forklift driver was patient and very helpful.

We got loaded close to 9 and we were on our way. We did our first delivery and waited in case we were needed for the add on delivery. We weren’t, so we continued on our way. We delivered to Perth, Kemptville, Nepean, Manotick, Embrun. I had never heard of the last 2 towns before. Everyone was very friendly and helpful from what I could tell based on Mark’s comments. I was mostly in the back picking orders this time.

I had to figure out how to rearrange the boxes so I would have a path to the product at the front of the truck and not have the boxes shift as we drove. Also, the almond bars were right on top of the vanilla ones. Interesting. By the time I would get out of the truck, my fingers were numb.

I wasn’t sure if I should blog or not. I thought it is just an ordinary trip. Nobody wants to hear the same old stuff. If only I could get a sign that I should. (I have recently had a negative experience about posting on social media – something I thought was harmless was apparently a secret. Now you know why I need a disclaimer!) I was hoping for a positive sign. Something easy. I’m not sure I’m ready to share again. Still shocked, a bit embarrassed, and sad. Too much overthinking. I need to learn to let it go. I have learned I can offend even when I mean to compliment. So, I’m working on writing without including names or specific details.

Our deliveries were going well and we texted our friends to see how things were going. Our dispatcher checked in, too.

It was very hot out, but the sky was dark and we were wishing for a bit of rain or a cool down. We later found out some rotation was spotted in the area. I guess we didn’t need jeans on such a hot day. It was cool when we left at crazy o’clock in the morning.

We figured we would get to Cornwall, Rockland, and stop for the night in Orleans. We didn’t know if we would be in time to deliver Orleans or if it would be the first one in the morning.

We got close to our delivery in Cornwall and stopped at the lights. We heard a squealing sound and I smelled smoke and thought I could see smoke. Who could tell if it was coming from our truck? I have smelled smoke before in other vehicles and it was nothing.

We went through the intersection and looked for a spot to pull over. It was heating up. We ended up parking in front of a person’s house (800 metres from our delivery according to the gps). She was sitting on the porch. I quickly sent a bunch of messages to our dispatcher and Mark opened the hood. The belt was hanging down. Broken. Thank goodness the reefer was still running.

I asked the lady on the porch if we were in her way because we were blocking her driveway. She said it was not a problem. She didn’t have a car.

I didn’t want this sign about blogging, but I started to write anyway as I waited. Mark started making phone calls. It was 5pm, so people might soon be done work for the night.

Mark figured out that it the alternator was seized, too. More phone calls.

The woman on the porch came over to say that we could sit on her porch in the shade and asked if we had water. How kind. I was wondering if there would be a bathroom nearby. Why didn’t I ask?

We were told by someone who could help, that once the billing was sorted out he would send someone over, but it might be an hour. Our teenagers texted to ask when we would be home. :(

I walked up the street to find a bathroom. Tim’s! I would order a cookie or something, too. However, as I got there I realized it was a little drive through store. I walked in and said, “oh, you don’t have a bathroom? We broke down just down the street.” The 2 ladies told me no, but quickly gave suggestions about where else to try.

I easily found a bathroom at the grocery store and enjoyed my walk back to the truck. So much for my ab workout app. It would be ignored once again. Kind of disappointing since I had intended on doing it at the hotel room or using the exercise room.

Shortly after I got back in the truck, the lady from the house came to check on us again and offered her bathroom. I thanked her again for her kindness. She checked the time on her watch and said she would continue to check on us. :)

We booked a hotel room and found out that the place we were supposed to deliver to would be open until 9. Maybe we could make it there in time and then go to the room? It would open things up in the morning to get an earlier start. However, Mark likes to follow the safety rules for hours. More phone calls were needed to figure out what to do if we run out of time.

Ash was upset, so I called her. Hopefully she could snug in with the dogs and watch Big Brother without us. Some days it’s hard for her to be at home with those brothers!

I was starting to get a headache.

Around 7:30, a young guy showed up to fix the truck for us on the side of the road! I’m so thankful it happened in a town instead of on a busy highway!

The reefer stopped. Yikes! He plugged the battery back in and it was quickly restarted. Phew! Of all the things we need, the reefer is most important.

Part way through the repair, he commented that it was easy. Easier than normal. Music to my ears! 16 minutes left of driving time and allowed-to-be-at-your-job time. Never mind the delivery. We weren’t fixed up just yet.

It clouded over as if it might rain. A guy on a bike rode past and yelled something. Was he drunk? Who knows. I was a bit worried for the safety of the repair technician as he walked to the drivers side to deal with the battery because of the traffic zipping by.

The lady came back from walking her dog and noticed we were getting help. I thanked her again for her kindness and chatted with her a bit longer. She gave me a thumbs up when the truck started and I cheered. She said it was nice meeting us and wished us well on the rest of our travels. :)

I brought an extra pillow from home to put on the bench seat in the truck and it helped me to be a bit more comfortable. You would think I have enough padding, but….

Sadly, even though the young buck got us fixed up in about 45 minutes, we were 2 minutes past our allowed driving time and we got a red light on the satellite. :( The voice kept telling us we were out of driving time. Great. We know.

At the hotel, the exterior looked very interesting and historic. The room smelled like your Grandma’s house and the furniture looked like it was from the 80s or 90s. Lol. Maybe I shouldn’t write that. I realize my hair is as long as it was in the 90s, so who am I to judge? Everything old is new again!

The bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and the shower was hot. What more do you need? We had new linens, tv, and the bathroom had had a renovation.

We had finished 6 deliveries in 16 hours. I was so tired from the long day and sitting in the hot humid weather while we waited to be fixed up, but I had to go back to the truck to get the block so I could charge my cell phone. Most important.

On the way down the hall to our room, a man and his dog were walking toward me. I asked if I could pet his dog and explained that my dogs were at home. He explained that his dog is one of 6 in Ontario. It’s called an Irish water spaniel. It had a poof on the top of its head like a poodle and it resembled a labradoodle. He pointed out that it has a “rat tail” and it is a hunting water dog. Interesting.

Back in the room, I emptied the cooler. Maybe I would have my salad with supper. Or not! My salad was completely frozen. Well that’s it. I can’t eat healthy now!

We ordered in St Hubert’s – it’s a lot like Swiss Chalet. So delicious! I called the kids again. I was tired, but not as much as last time because we had time to prepare and get to sleep early the night before.

Tuesday July 24, 2018

We had breakfast and I thought back to the night before and I realized that I was surprisingly calm when the break down happened. I didn’t panic – yay me!

We delivered and I felt tired and not very chipper. I decided to copy the counts on a small paper, so that the people can look at the official paper and I can pick the product in the truck properly. Yesterday my brain was fuzzy and I was not remembering the orders well as I had the last trip.

We got diesel, but forgot to buy our second coffee. We headed to Rockland and there was a light rain. I admired the same house as last time – in the bush and green and taupe coloured. Mark reminded me that I commented about it last time, too. How does he remember these things?

Eventually, I got my second coffee from Tim’s. I wished the boxes in the back were better organized. Every time I would get out of the back of the truck, my glasses fogged up for a long time. The organization was a struggle because of how many more boxes there were this time compared to last and the fact that the one skid had 2 products together. The good news was, through the day we got rid of a bunch of boxes and it started to be a bit easier to organize. I had more room to work, but I was still moving boxes many times…so they wouldn’t fall and get damaged.

One lady complained about the condensation on the boxes. I’m not sure how to avoid it when the product is frozen in the back and then it is brought out into the hot humid weather on the way into the store.

I felt like I had to use Ninja Spiderman moves to climb in (we learned where not to put the pump truck). Another customer sounded difficult again, but the temperature of the box came back as -15.4 degrees Celsius, so she accepted the delivery. My back was getting sore. I needed a break.

We delivered 12 stores and had a couple of long construction delays. We picked up Moose fm on the radio – a summer camping time favourite.

After our last delivery, our air conditioning fan stopped working. :(

Then, we were sent down Gravel Pitt road – are you sure gps?

Mark saw a deer…but I missed it. I could smell the pines. Something hit my cheek and it stung. I guess that is the problem with having the windows open. Shortly after, I saw a big hairy bumble bee, but that wouldn’t have stung me. When I got out of the truck later, I saw a different bee on the floor mat. Squished.

I saw a sign that said, Historic Polish settlement and it was near Barry’s bay. We noticed lots of names ending with “ski” on the signs in the area.

Moose! Moose! (Tap, tap!) Moose!

Where? Oh!

Mark had noticed the moose first, but he never gives me an indication of which side or where to look. However, I eventually saw it out my window. It was looking our way and eating and then slowly turned to walk back into the bush. Wow!

Shortly after that, we saw moose warning signs. Lol. Then, we never saw another moose again. Lol.

Back home, the kids would be having pulled pork with the grandparents. Thanks, Irene and Evert!

A flock of birds came flying out at us quickly. Scary. There was a terrible storm. We had to slow way down for the ponding and we saw many washouts.

We drove through Algonquin (construction on that road, too) and saw signs for hiking trails we have done. I remembered the Lookout trail we did with Mark’s parents and Aunt Rosie and Uncle Art. We figured out the hard way that it was a challenging hike! Lol. Happy memories.

We got a room in Huntsville and walked to East Side Mario’s for supper and a drink. On Facebook, Mark saw pictures of Huntsville flooded from the storm we just drove through. Our server mentioned how bad it was because she drove through it as well.

Wed July 25, 2018

At breakfast, I was pleasantly surprised to see turkey sausage! (Pork is not my friend.) We saw people walking past the breakfast area with their dogs, but most were small dogs.

I started the day feeling a bit sad, tired, and drained. Again. I was pouting about how hard it was the past few days, but my Dad has been trucking for years. Ugh. I’m not sure how.

At our first stop, the parking brake didn’t want to engage and the roll up door was frozen shut. Really, we need more troubles?

We sent a message with the satellite and a short while later, we got a phone call from someone in the service department. She was so kind and helpful, but when I got off the phone I started to cry a bit. Really, kindness does this to me?

My daily horoscope said I needed positive thoughts. Ya think?!

We hadn’t even thought to check opening times, so we were a bit too early for the next stop. Oh well, no harm in that.

We picked up coffee after the delivery and I had a bathroom break even though I didn’t need to because you never know when the next stop will be.

I started to talk to Mark about my gratitude list – sleep, coffee, beautiful views, we’re still moving, Ash would get to her appointment (Thanks Grandma Rene!), we have an appointment time for the parking brake repair, good temperatures/weather, the smell of the trees….

On our drive, we saw the access roads like we had seen before. I also saw a bunch of logs lined up to make a road. So, Mark told me it was a corduroy road. I looked it up online. Well there you go – I learned something new!

I texted my Dad about our week. He basically said, that’s trucking. Some days you break down.

As I was moving my hands around, something felt bumpy. I looked down and saw that my diamond had come right out of my wedding ring. Good thing I noticed! I put it into my wallet for safe keeping. (Mark’s ring had split open years ago and we haven’t ever fixed it.)

On the radio, we had been hearing about the forest fires. I was wondering about us getting through to Sudbury. We saw the sign warning about heavy smoke, but didn’t see any.

We got to the shop a bit earlier than our appointment. The guys recommended nachos at Buzzy Brown’s for lunch while we waited for them to work on the truck. It was just a few steps away, so we walked over. It was very good and reasonably priced.

When we got back, they had us all fixed up. The guys were very friendly and funny. Mark decided to get diesel because we were near the Petro Pass.

Would we get delivered and to the next stop before it closes at 6? We were going to try! We did our deliveries in Sudbury and the gps said we would be at the next delivery about 20 minutes before closing.

We passed a lot of movie trailers on the ride and wondered what was being filmed and where. This time, it was very smoky on the road near French River.

We made it to our delivery before closing and the lady was very happy to see us! She was very friendly, too. Yahoo!

We checked for rooms near our next delivery, but there weren’t any available. So, we spent the night in Barrie at the Fairfield. It was the nicest room and the cheapest one on our trip.

We noticed a pizza place right next door, so Mark researched it. Lol. It had lots of good reviews, so we ordered. I’m embarrassed to admit that we even had it delivered to the room. What can I say, we were tired. Again. Like everyday that we bounce around in the truck for 12 hours or so.

Thursday July 26, 2018

It was our 21st anniversary. I was glad we had celebrated earlier in the year with a trip away. I was happy that we were on our last day of the trip. We made up some silly posts for social media. I was laughing so hard I started crying. It really kept me giggling all day. (I can’t believe I let Mark post the picture of me with my bee sting and frizzy hair! He wrote: Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife! Too funny!)

At first, I messed up the first order and I joked about getting fired. The lady at the store told Mark not to fire me. Oops, she doesn’t know our jokes. No harm done, she was quickly brought into the loop.

I got a text that Brendan’s sick. :( Ash is taking care of him, but he thought I should know. Yes, I should.

We got Jbc’s from Wendy’s for a quick lunch.

At one delivery, we shut the windows because it looked very dark. It poured on us, but I wasn’t soaked for long.

Everyone was so kind at all of our deliveries today and one person offered us water. We got the rest of our deliveries done. 35 deliveries in 4 days and about 2800 kilometres.

We were done earlier than we once expected (for the day). Thankfully. We stopped at Firehouse Subs for supper and started to look for campsites at Inverhuron. Still not sure what we are going to do about that. We got back home around 9 and everyone was happy to see us. :) Now, it was time to switch gears and figure out how we would be ready to go camping in the morning. There were only 2 available sites at Inverhuron. Could I get there early enough to get one of the 2?

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed are mine only and do not represent any companies. I do not mean to offend and my opinions are influenced directly by the amount of sleep I have had. Maybe hormones, too.

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