One of the places in the US that we’ve wanted to visit ever since we started this adventure has always been out of reach for us until recently. We don’t generally spend a lot of time in northern Wyoming so getting to Devil’s Tower National Monument seemed out-of-touch and we weren’t expecting to get there without taking time off.
But a recent load from Washington state to Iowa changed all of that. As we were planning out our route, I noticed we would be passing within a stone’s throw of the Tower. We did some quick calculations and found we could take the detour and still deliver our load on time so off we went.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get there until late afternoon and the visitor center was closed due to Covid-19 so we didn’t think it would be worth it to pay the admission. But the great thing about Devil’s Tower is even if you can’t get close up, you can still get some great pictures.
Guess we’ll just have to go back for the close-ups. 😁
We had a busy year in our first year in our new van who we named “Tiberius”. From August 22, 2019 to August 22, 2020 we put on about 161,000 miles!
Most have been issue free but we did have to replace a radiator, a throttle body, both 12-volt power points and two rims. Of course we did have to put on a new set of tires and other routine maintenance but amazingly, the original brakes are still going…lots of highway miles. (For safety reasons we did end up changing out the rear brakes at about 168,000. Still very good though.). Just in case you were wondering, it breaks down to about an oil change every 2-3 weeks. We spend a lot of time sitting in Ford dealerships.
Took a load from Georgia to Maine last week. Got there a day early so we were able to take in some of the local goodness.
Special of the day was twin 1 1/4 pound lobsters for just $22. Well that was too good to pass up. Michelle opted for the lobster pie…chunks of lobster covered in lobster bisque and baked with a breadcrumb topping. Delicious all the way around. Great food and a beautiful view as well.
On our way back from delivering in Calgary, I was driving thru Medicine Hat, Alberta and saw an unusual structure. Then I saw a sign that said “World’s Largest Teepee”. Of course we can’t just pass by the world’s largest anything so we stopped to investigate.
One of the hardest things to get a handle on when learning the expediting business is learning when to stay in an area and wait for a load and when to “turn and burn” i.e. drop the load and leave for another location. Pick the wrong location and you can wait for days without getting a load and spend a fortune in fuel and food. Get in a good location and you’re rolling and making money in no time.
You also have to learn that not every load offer is a good offer. You might get what sounds like a good offer on the surface, but the delivery location is in a horrible place to get your next load.
And then there’s the “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while” bit of luck. That’s what fell into place today.
Last week was decent but not great for us money-wise. So when we got a load from Morehead, KY to Covington, GA, we decided to take a chance and head down to Waycross, GA to try to get a load over the weekend. Now this is always a crap shoot. We’ve had times where we haven’t even made it to Waycross and we already had a load. And we’ve had times where we’ve waited for days.
So we waited all weekend and finally got a short load to Jacksonville, FL on Monday. We’ve learned that Jacksonville isn’t a really good place to get a load so we dropped and came right back to Waycross.
Tuesday came along and we landed a very unusual double load. We picked up two small shipments in Savannah, GA and took one to Fort Myers, FL (more on that very strange dropoff in a later post) and the other went all the way down to Miami.
Now we know from past experience that it’s nearly impossible to get a load out of Miami. So we were heading out of town this morning back towards Orlando and we’re shocked when we heard an “Ooogah” about ten minutes after we dropped off our load.
A few back and forth phone calls later and we landed a nearly 1400-mile run to Canton, Michigan near Detroit.
Sometimes it’s skill and sometimes you just find that acorn. The Detroit area has always been good for us, so hopefully this could end up being a very good week if we can land another good run before the Easter Holiday.
Why do you post so many pictures of food on Facebook?
That’s a good question. Granted, every once in a while we run into that meal that makes your mouth water just looking at it. But generally, I don’t believe that anything we have for a meal is so superior to anything you might be having. In fact, most of the time, we would probably want to trade places with you. You wouldn’t believe how sick you can get of eating out as much as we are often forced to.
Don’t get me wrong, we carry an electric skillet and use it as often as we can to cook a meal or to warm up something that we brought from home. (Whenever we are home, we prepare a bunch of home-cooked meals and freeze them to take out on the road with us.) But often times, when we are loaded and running, we don’t have time to make a stop to unpack the generator and fire up the skillet to make a meal. We always have bread and cold cuts or PB & J on hand as well as milk and cereal. But you can only eat that so many times each week without wanting to commit hare-kari. As a result, we end up eating at many of the same places. We can pretty much tell you what’s on the menu at Denny’s, Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel. What we try to do as often as time permits is to find the out-of-the-way diner or small local chain restaurants to add some variety. Often times, it’s at these places that we end up sharing our pictures.
Neither Michelle nor I fancy ourselves as epicurean foodies. Just like normal folks, we like good food. And when we find something different, we like to tell people about it.
Which brings us to the second reason we post those pictures. Both Michelle and I have become Google Local Guides. We contribute photos and reviews of locations and restaurants to Google Maps business listings. I guess we get something for doing it, some discount on Google Drive space or some such thing, but mostly we do it for the fun of seeing which photos will get the most views on Google.
I’ve been doing it longer than Michelle has, so naturally my counts are a little higher. I’ve contributed over 100 pictures so far which have been viewed (as of this writing) nearly 600,000 times. It amazes me how some pictures will take off and others don’t.
For example, my peeps back in Luxemburg, Wisconsin can tell you about a restaurant there called Billy’s on Main. During a visit with my dad back in November, I snapped two pictures. One of Michelle’s fried shrimp and baked potato and one of my prime rib and twice-baked potato. Michelle’s shrimp was selected as a featured photo for the listing and has been viewed over 20,000 times so far. The prime rib, not so much.
But what is amazing is that Luxemburg only has a population of around 2,500 people. That can give some idea of just how busy this place is.
So next time you pull up some info on a restaurant or some other attraction around the country. You just might be looking at one of my food shots. Hope they come in handy for you.