My day started with a delivery to a distribution center in Plainview, TX. Watching the sun come up as I churned out the final 130 miles of my 1,115 mile journey from Illinois was very nice. I had driven 626 miles the preceding day, and the first leg was driven from the pick up site, which was confusing as all get out, and the guard at that location preferred sharp hand and arm movements which almost shouted at me: “Just go forward!” His waving screamed at me upon check in, Check out mimicked this also: “Back the heck up a second!” was about how I interpreted his crisp, jabbing hand-arm gestures thru the shack window, as I stopped with my nose a bit past of the stop line.
Upon arriving at delivery (the consignee) I settled in behind a short line of about 5 trucks in front of me, careful not to block anything as their inbound lane was short and right out to the public road. Creeped up as each truck in front of me cleared. Every location has different procedures and rules. This one had a forehead temp screener come to the 2nd truck in line, scan temperature and then check the trailer coming in. If it was an empty, she verified it via a quick eyeball as the driver popped a door open briefly, and if it was a load, she merely checked the seal number against the papers. Plus this location asked for photo ID. If all good, that truck moved to the head of the line, neutral, brakes and engine off before stepping out to visit the guard house for their drop slots and pick up slots. Slots is referring to a numbered parking system where they assign you to park your inbound trailer, and pick up your outbound trailer. Not all locations have this numbering system, some will have lettered sections and we just drop in any open spot in that section.
It was shift change and a 30 something male guard approached to ask for my papers and photo ID. I obliged with both, he then said “Go ahead and pull up, I’ll check your seal, and you can go to the guardshack for check in. As he also processed my inbound load, he came back to hand me my papers and made mention of how refreshing it was that I was nice; that usually folks pretty much toss their papers and ID at him, as they grumble. My insides twisted as I knew he spoke the truth and was so sad at the continually perpetuated almost “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” controversy of drivers feeling wronged by rude or grouchy security guards and loaders, and security guards and loaders feeling wronged by surly drivers. One of the things in this industry where I wanted to BE THE CHANGE. I offered up a “Really? That’s so sad. I truly hope you have a great day, kind sir”
Usually when we drop a loaded trailer off, we more often than not will depart with an empty one, so we are all set for our next customer where we’ll trade said empty (MT) for a loaded one, and let them fill it with more goods to ship. There are times though where no empties are available for various reasons so we leave as a Bobtail (tractor only), and proceed to another location which may have extras we can pull from. This bright and sunny day i received a location almost 300 miles away to go get an MT! This was definitely a first for me, but with all the storm and weather delays, there were actually no MTs any closer! I verified of course 1st, but then rolled on out. I pretty much prefer sticking to major interstates, but there really was none from A-B for this 300 mile stretch. So I just settled and told myself for some reason God wants me on this path today.. I could never know why, but I could speculate… was it some local who would see a lady trucker smiling and waving as she gently maneuvered through their small rural city? Population 250? Haha. Was it a for an intermodal train conductor who I would run along side for a spell, and toot my horn towards, as they blew their whistle? Which is just as much fun for me, mind you, as trains make me smile huge! Well, I’ll never know, but He would use me for His glory some kinda way; for that I had absolute certainty. About an hour into my route, I approached an S-curve sign with 30 mph, and as I slowed and rounded the first bend, my jaw dropped at the view! Turns out, yet again, my faith was being rewarded with a spectacular photo opportunity! I arrived at a picnic site at Caprock Canyon State Park.
I enjoyed a brief rest here grabbed a few photos, and continued onward. A few hours, and a few small towns later I entered the town of Lawton, OK. It was around 16:00 hours. It had a beautifully painted overpass welcoming travelers. Grabbed a pic with my dash cam! I do find a lot of gorgeous building art in all these towns I meander through, and love when I can grab a shot with my dash cam!
I was nearing my pick up location, and where I would eventually park for the night before heading to my Monday morning live-load at a wellness goods shipper. Here are a few other snaps from the dash cam, or spots I stopped along the way. Cheers!!
Well, more travels and fun stuff as the year moves on…
Blessings to all, and can’t wait to start handing out my books!
Thanks for stopping by!
Title reference: as I travel, I notice some towns at state lines combine the two states’ names. Since my post is for Texas and Oklahoma, I fondly followed the pattern.