My phone gave it’s telltale vibration followed by the familiar “Oooooogah-Oooooogah” submarine klaxon while we were in Wal-Mart this morning.
“Ooogah”, as we’ve come to call it, signifies a call from our dispatchers letting us know they have a load offer for us. I answer the call and hear a greeting from “Dispatch Dave” as we’ve come to call him. I responded with “Hey Dave, it’s our one-year anniversary with the company, get us a load”! That garnered a good-natured laugh from Dave. One year ago, Dave got us our first expedite load (and many more since then) so we’ve always had a special place in our hearts for him. A few phone calls later, our first load of our second year was booked…A couch going from Archdale, NC to Pittsburgh, PA. And away we go.
Before we left for Wal-Mart, I snapped the photo of our Year One mileage. Over 132,000 miles in one year. Holy crap! Our van “Tootsie” has been to 44 of the lower 48 states and Washington DC plus a brief run into Canada. She’s hauled everything from two bushings you could hold in the palm of your hand to a 2000 pound locomotive turbo to a load of mirrors for Mack trucks to 30 cases of wine. She’s not picky. (Btw, the only states we haven’t been to are North and South Dakota, Montana and Washington.)
Reflecting on the past year, both Michelle and I agree it probably been the best year of our lives. We’ve seen more of this country in the past 12 months than most see in a lifetime, and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to do it together.
Granted, it’s not all fun and games. Sleeping on the floor of the van after 28 straight hours of driving because we’re too tired to blow up our air mattress isn’t much fun. Neither is having to deal with public restrooms on a daily basis. Or never really knowing where or when your next shower is going to come from.
But for all of the negatives, the perks are outstanding…With one in particular: the people. We get to meet new people on almost a daily basis. And for all the negativity in the world today, there sure are a lot of nice folk out there. Of course we can’t forget all of the friends and family we’ve been able to reconnect with. It’s awesome to be able to visit folks you thought you might never see again.
So what’s in store for year two? More driving obviously. But hopefully more “smart” driving. There’s a certain amount of luck in being in the right place to catch a load. There’s also some skill involved with putting yourself in the best place. We’ve spent our first year learning the ropes and it seems to have paid off. Our load brokers told us recently that we are now one of the top trucks in the company. Hopefully that will translate to better loads and less time spent waiting. Which, in turn, will translate into more time off and more time to enjoy the places we visit.
I’m sure you may have some questions about what we do and the places we go. So we’re going to try to keep this old blog going and update it more often. Those of you who follow us on Facebook may still want to check in here from time to time as we may post things here occasionally that might not make it to your timeline. We’ve got a few stories you haven’t heard and few pictures you haven’t seen. So come along for the ride and don’t forget to sing along.