Let’s play catch up!

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Bonneville salt flats, Utah. Always beautiful.

I miss you, bloggity blog and faithful readers/friends! I am happy to be back. I don’t know why I go in these streaks where I just don’t write. Busy? Lazy? Bored? I don’t know. But I’m still here and the trucking adventure continues to continue. In between driving, inspecting, backing, loading, unloading, fueling, securing, logging, sleeping, eating, and more driving, other things have been happening, too.

Let’s see. A little catch up. I started running again, which has been a great experience, except that I got a little too excited about it and maybe did a little too much a little too soon. I’m currently nursing a sore hip, which I think is a strained IT band – some muscle and tissue that stretches from your hip down the outside of your leg and kind of wraps underneath the bottom of your knee, connecting to the shin bone. I’m no expert, so I may have that screwed up (experts, please correct me if I’m way off on that).

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A run in North Dakota to visit Salem Sue, the world's largest Holstein Cow.

You see, the excitement started with my discovering a friendly Facebook page for truckers that are runners, like me. There are some obvious challenges to being an over-the-road trucker that needs to find places to run that are safe – from traffic and creepers. I mean, I’m not going to run just anywhere because I don’t want to end up in ghetto-ville. Unless I’m carrying my three-pound hammer/tire thumper. And I’m not going to run carrying a three-pound anything. Running is tough enough!

So anyway, this Facebook community has shown me a few routes already that I’ve taken advantage of. There’s a trail in Utah where I can park on a ramp and run up part of a mountain where it smells like juniper trees and fresh air.

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Utah

There’s a park in Evanston that has trails that wind along a river where wild moose are known to roam, and I hope to see sometime I’m out there. And there’s a 1.8-mile trail in that leads to the Arizona Trail, which is an 800-mile long-distance hiking trail that stretches the length of Arizona from north to south. My favorite!

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Can't wait to get back out here again!

So I got excited and I ran as much as I could when I got any opportunity, since they’re hard to come by. Then I did some speed work when I was short on time. Then my hip hurt. Now I’m taking time off and I miss it already. So there’s that. I hope to be back up and literally running soon.

We’ve also had a little time off. In early February we took a weekend so I could join my group of girlfriends for our annual “Big Box Tour,” which is a name we’ve given our girl’s weekend.

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Girls eating yummy paella and drinking wine.

We’re pretty low-key. We hang out, catch up, eat, drink, talk about getting old, act childish, cuss, laugh, shop, play, and just have fun together. This year we went tubing, colored in an adult coloring book of swear words, ate paella, enchiladas, and morning egg-bake, watched TV, compared ourselves to the Golden Girls, and suffered from Poo-pourri poisoning and gut-blasting laughter. I love those girls, and our annual get-together is especially important to me now that I don’t see them as regularly as I did when I worked with most of them.

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Tubing fun!

In March Adam and I took a full week off and rented a very cabin-y cabin in Door County.

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Super cabiny cabin!

Some highlights were wine tasting, having a campfire in the fire pit outside, couples massages, dressing up and going out for a fancy dinner, driving to the tip of Door County and back, getting snowed in for a day and hunkering down, playing lots of cribbage, having our own private basement frat-style party complete with drinking games, enjoying a shower every day, and taking advantage of the kitchen. Adam made tons of delicious french-pressed decaf coffee, omelettes, and even pork egg roll patties – a new favorite of mine. On his birthday I baked him a butter cake in a bundt pan and it actually turned out really freakin’ perfect. It was a great vacation and very relaxing. Door County is pretty quiet in late March and a lot of businesses are closed for the winter season, but we enjoyed the quietness of it all. That place gets nuts in the summer and fall with the touristy seasons. We’d do it the same way again. March is more our speed.

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Adam enjoying some wine tasting.

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The butter cake I baked!

Other than those few things, I’ve gone on a couple of day hikes. One was in January on a snowy, cold, sunny day and the other was a fantastic 20-mile jog/hike a couple of weeks ago. It was cold with hardly any signs of spring yet to be seen, and it even snowed. But it was still great and felt awesome to push myself a little bit. I was surprised to find that I could have easily done more than 20 miles, so I’m looking forward to another long day hike soon to see if I can creep closer to my current limit. Should I go for 25? 30? I dunno!

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January's wintery day hike.

The driving and working side of things has been going pretty well. I mean, I haven’t had too much to write about simply because things have been fairly smooth. I guess that’s a good thing. We’ve had a couple of interesting weight issues, having to get our freight reworked or cut, and a couple of times we even had to keep our fuel below a certain level to keep our load legal… which is a pain in the butt. But that’s been about it. No blown tires or breakdowns, and we’ve managed to miss or intentionally drive around some pretty major winter storms (mostly Wyoming) – oh! Except for the wind storm! We did end up stuck in Laramie for two days because of 75 mph winds. I forgot about that – I probably should’ve written about that. It was kind of crazy. We’ve never really had to sit somewhere that long, but thankfully we were at a pretty big truck stop, so we had bathrooms, showers and a restaurant to keep us occupied.

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I went for a run in that wind. It was blowing me all over the road!

This was also the first time we missed our deliveries. So we ended up delivering on Monday (instead of Friday), then driving a load to Iowa where we met another driver and switched trailers. He delivered our load and we took his to California to get us back on our regular program. It was an interesting couple of weeks.

So now that I’ve caught y’all up with a super long-winded, boring blog entry, maybe something super-exciting, but good, will happen that I can be long-winded about! Haha! Actually, I’m thinking about doing an entry showing what Adam and I eat on a normal day in the truck, and eventually one that shows some of my workouts and ways I keep active out here. It’s tough, but I’m staying determined to keep it up.

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You might be surprised to see what we normally eat while we're on the road.

Is there anything else any of you would like me to write about? Let me know!

In the meantime, enjoy yourselves, and thanks again for following along with me. I look forward to sharing my next big hiking adventure with you. I have a mini-long-distance trail in the works. It’s a longer trail, but one I only need some vacation time for. But I’ll leave ya’ hanging there! I’ve got more research, planning and decision-making to do before I can even really get too excited about it.

Onward!

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Love from the Grapa Truckers!


Tonight I love comfy beds. Lordy, we need a new, firmer mattress in our truck!

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