March was one of the worst months we had since we started. Anything that could go wrong did! It seems that we spent more time sitting rather than driving. Every trailer that needed repair happened to have our name on it. We also had issues with our own truck, which resulted in cancelled loads and short mileage trips. I have said it before and I will say it again, if the wheels are not turning long distance, the wallet stays thin. Of course we did take a week off in March to spend time with family, which did not help, but it can’t be about the money all the time. We did have a few good trips though, and we had great weather all along. Everywhere we went the bad weather had just finished up or it was set to start soon after we left.It’s been refreshing to see all the spring colors popping out all over the country. With all the different colors and everything in bloom it really makes the job that much more enjoyable. We had to drop a trailer in Michigan and as we headed south our next run took us thru the Cumberland Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, and the Smokey Mountains. For Irene it was just a ho hum ride, the beach girl that she is, but I was in my glory. I love the mountains…. We picked up a trailer in Bryson City, NC in the Smokey Mountains. That load was bound for California. After reviewing the GPS route and the atlas, we headed south/west not realizing our route would take us thru the heart of white water rafting in North Carolina and Tennessee. For those of you who do not know, one of the items on Irene’s bucket list is to go white water rafting. Unfortunately this was not going to happen at this time. A, because we were under a load, and B, the road followed the river for miles, twisting and turning along with Irene’s stomach…yes, she got car sick. I should have known better, because years ago, when went thru the Adirondack Mountains, Irene was sick back then as well. Needless to say, the dozens and dozens of rafters we passed that appeared to be having the time of their life, Irene would never get to see, because she was in the sleeper hanging on to her stomach. After stopping for a bit and giving her a little Coke Cola she started to feel better.…Dramamine next time definitely…lol
We had the opportunity to do our 1st ever trip into the heart of Chicago. A very nice place as long as I never have to go back…lol. We had a 44,000 lb load of paper that we delivered to a place that was not truck friendly. Once again as luck would have it, Irene was behind the wheel. Just turning the corner onto the street that the business was on was a challenge in itself. I had to get out and hold up traffic while Irene turned the corner onto a street that was lined with cars on both sides. It left her with one lane to share with oncoming traffic…oh and let’s not forget that I was the one trying to stop traffic…in Chicago…oh not going to happen! I must have had a death wish…wait a minute, Irene sent me out there…ohhhh now I get it…I need to have a word with her about that.Anyway, she made it to the gate of the loading dock, and as we pulled up another driver said to me…“Dang, she’s good”. I wanted to say “wait a minute pal, did you see me dodging cars in the street?”…that was suicide in the making…but I just shook my head and agreed. I told the guy that I taught her everything she knows…ha ha! Once we checked in with receiving we learned that we would have to back into a long narrow alley from the street to the dock…this was going to be a challenge. I learned my lesson the night at the Nokia Theatre and I was not about to ask Irene if she wanted me to do it. I could tell she already had her game face on, so I along with 2 other drivers held up traffic while she maneuvered the truck into this alley. The drivers again complimented on how well she had done and with a couple of adjustments she was at the dock. After a short time we were unloaded and on our way…I looked at Irene and said…please get me out of this city! The area we were in reminded me a lot of where Archie Bunker lived. The houses were all very close together and it brought back memories of something I would see on “All in the Family” or “Laverne and Shirley”…lol. It was a beautiful day and it seemed like every one was on their front steps enjoying the weather, and of course all the kids wanted Irene to blow the air horn as she passed by. I remember doing the same thing when I was a little kid…I guess I didn’t realize then that I would be on the other end of the horn 40 years later…funny how things turn out.