It feels like forever since I’ve written. I haven’t made any major wrong turns, gone the wrong way down a one-way street, my backing has improved, and I haven’t hit anything. Well, except for lots and lots of bugs. But they’re harmless. Anyway, sometimes with the lack of things going wrong, it seems like there’s nothing exciting or dramatic enough to talk about here. But things have mostly gone right, so I guess that’s pretty awesome and definitely worth mentioning!
A few runs ago, we head to Portland. Usually when we go to Portland we meet up with friends, but we laid low this time – nothing personal, friends! Our schedule had me getting up too early, so it would’ve been tough for me to hang out. The next day went nearly perfect. I had three paper deliveries – all places I’ve been to before so they were familiar. The appointments were close, but I got unloaded a little early at the first place, and unloaded right away at the other two, so I was on time for all three appointments! Compare that to our run in Jersey a while back. We sat at a warehouse for so long waiting for them to catch up on counting freight that we had to haul booty to get to our first two pick ups (that we were very late for) and ended up having to cancel the third. I know I did everything I could, but not picking up that complete load still left me feeling bummed. So this Portland delivery day really made me giddy. I just felt good about it.
To add to that, I had a really good back on the first delivery, and a freakin’ rock-star back on the second. I made a 90-degree back without using a single pull up! I did that just one other time so far – in school – around cones. I was pretty darn excited about doing that for a second time at a real dock! But then I got to the third place, which I’ve been to twice before. I always have tons of room to set up and back, and I think it actually screws me up each time. I always overshoot my dock lane, and there’s just not much room for pull ups to correct it. So I had to reset a couple of times. Next time I’m bringing sidewalk chalk or something so I have a visual to work around! I guess it didn’t really matter, though. I got it in there safely and didn’t hit anything. All’s well that ends well!
From there we head to Washington state. The schedule for two pick ups of apples and pears were tight, but possible. This drive was a highlight of my day. First I got to drive I-84 out of Portland during the day. This is one of my favorite roads. It follows along the Columbia River and has some really incredible views of the gorge. On a clear day looking west you can even see Mt. Hood! It was in my rear view this time, though. From there I took Hwy 97 north across the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington. The climb out of the gorge was so steep I had to downshift to 8th gear – and our trailer was empty so we were super-light! That’s typical in the mountains when we’re loaded, but not empty! Crazy! Along the way I got a nice view of snowy Mt. Adams and saw just the tippy top of the brightly snow-covered Mt. Rainier. I drove through Yakima, which is a town we stayed in last year on our PCT adventure, and we came close to Snoqualamie. All on a clear, sunny, happy day. These might be little things, but they sure made me smile!
The apples and pears messed up our near-perfect run, but it still ended just fine. There was a mix-up with our order count. Our list didn’t match theirs, so we were on the phone with the broker while things got straightened out. We had to back in a second time and have another palette of apples added on, and then we were on our way to the second apple place – they were open a half hour later than normal so we just got in before they closed. This is also where I saw the coolest thing ever – a driver napping in a hammock hanging off his trailer while he got loaded – brilliant!
So nothing can go perfect, but it can still go right. And I don’t want to jinx ourselves, but so far… this current run? It’s been great. I hope this is a trend!
Tonight I love the dude in the huge, black Peterbilt that gave me a thumbs-up after I nailed an offset back at a truck stop. Note: it would’ve been an easier straight-line back, but I set it up wrong. Haha!